Restroom Cleaning Strategies for Every PRO

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Are you new to the portable sanitation industry? One of the first things you should learn is how to keep your units clean. After all, this is your reputation. Portable Restroom Operator spoke with two industry professionals for insights on restroom cleaning strategies to get you started.

Trent Clinkscales, owner of Clinkscales Portable Toilets & Septic Service in Molalla, Ore., developed a three-step system to clean a restroom quickly and efficiently:

1. Pull the truck up and pump out the restroom (Check the paper products).
2. Put the hose and pumping accessories back on the truck.
3. Grab a bucket of cleaning water and solution, a scrub brush, water hose, and graffiti remover if necessary. Scrub the restroom, rinse it out, and spray on any graffiti remover.

Clinkscales adds that checking for damages can be an extra step. He can clean a single unit in about five minutes, but that wasn’t always the case. “When I started, I knew nothing about portable restrooms,” he says. “I had a septic background so I knew how to pump the tank out and that was it. It must have taken me 20 minutes to service my first restroom.” 

With some experience and know-how, other PROs can learn from Clinkscales to ensure restrooms get as clean as possible, and hopefully in less than 20 minutes per unit.

Tricks of the trade
It is important to consider the products used for cleaning portable restrooms. “One of my trade secrets is SuperClean or Purple Power (Clean Rite),” says Clinkscales. “That stuff is amazing for taking urine salts off and keeping them off. I use it on every urinal as preventive maintenance.”

Edwin Scott, owner of Piedmont Portables in Burlington, N.C., uses a specific kind of rag for wiping down and drying units. “We buy cotton towels in bulk,” he says. “We have laundry units in our 30,000-square-foot facility so we wash and dry the rags ourselves.”

Scott keeps his cleaning strategies and the types of units he supplies consistent. He uses portable restrooms manufactured by PolyJohn Enterprises and Satellite Industries. His special event units are one solid color and construction units are forest green with yellow tops. This creates a type of branding for his company. “We are very uniform in the way we do things,” he says. “People recognize us.”

Scheduled upkeep
Restrooms placed at long-term construction sites or special events should be on a regular cleaning schedule to ensure none are overlooked.

“We have an every-other-week or weekly cleaning schedule,” says Clinkscales. “We don’t go monthly because we just don’t feel we can keep up well enough – cobwebs form and deodorizer breaks down too quick.”

Scott agrees that weekly cleaning is the best plan of action. “On a regular basis, restrooms are serviced once a week,” he says. “You can just about set your watch by that.

“On a construction site, service depends on usage. We have some sites right now getting done every day. Part of that is because you can’t get any more restrooms on the site so they have to have them serviced more often.”

Scott also notes that working together with contractors can be an advantage for everyone. “If they want the restrooms serviced at 4 in the morning and that’s to our benefit and theirs, then that’s what we do,” he says. “It makes life easier for everybody because nobody is in our way.”

Scott recognizes hard work as the principal element in maintaining clean restrooms. “You just do the very best you can,” he says. “I think we do a good job.”

Check out full-length profiles on Piedmont Portables in the February issue and Clinkscales Portable Toilets & Septic Service in the March issue of Portable Restroom Operator.


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