Bathrooms – Where Are The Germs Hiding?

Have a significant number of employees in your commercial office space been taking regular sick time recently? Are you struggling to figure out why so many key employees are getting sick at crucial times?

At Regency Cleaning, our experience tells us there are a number of areas in a commercial office that are often neglected. When this occurs, dust, dirt, and dangerous allergens are allowed to accumulate in these areas and can lead to rampant sickness amongst office staff.

As you might expect, office bathrooms are one of the dirtier spaces in an entire commercial office building. Because most offices contain only one or two bathrooms that are shared by a number of employees, the high level of use in these areas increases the likelihood of germ buildup.

According to Craig Conover, MD, MPH, and medical director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, “It’s prudent to assume virtually any surface in a public restroom carries germs.” In some cases, these germs may include intestinal bacteria, such as E. coli and Enterococcus, which can cause severe diarrhea.

While it’s important for employees to be well versed in the techniques of properly cleaning hands after using the bathroom, and before returning to work, you should also be aware of the specific places where germs are likely to hide in the office bathroom.

Underneath Faucets

This hard-to-reach area is often neglected by even the most thorough commercial cleaning companies because it’s simply too easy to overlook. Because we can’t visibly identify dirt buildups on a surface that’s not easily accessible to the eye, germs are much more likely to accumulate under bathroom faucets than in other areas of your office restroom.

While you might not touch this area every time you use the restroom, you may not even realize you’re making contact with the under side of the faucet when trying to wash your hands. If you finish washing and subsequently touch a potentially infected area to your eyes, nose, or mouth, this is a quick recipe for allowing germs to enter your system.

Communal Towels

While you might be utilizing disposable paper towels, some office spaces will instead utilize drying towels in order to reduce paper waste. However, if these towels are not cleaned and replaced regularly, they easily become hotspots for germ accumulation.

This is especially true if employees aren’t adequately removing bacteria from their hands in the sink before wiping their hands dry on the communal towel. A general rule to reduce risk is to replace communal towels at least twice a week and to adequately wash soiled towels with hot water and bleach.

Soap Dispensers

Most of us use the side of our hands to activate the soap dispenser, and you might think the effect of this momentary contact is negligible, but when it happens multiple times per day, with potentially hundreds of individual office staff, the cumulative effect must be considered.

According to, nearly 25% of soap dispensers in public or shared restrooms are contaminated with fecal bacteria. “Most of these containers are never cleaned, so bacteria grows as the soap scum builds up,” says Charles Gerba, PhD, professor of environmental biology at the University of Arizona. “And the bottoms are touched by dirty hands, so there’s a continuous culture going on feeding millions of bacteria.”

Getting Professional Help

At Regency Cleaning, we’re very much aware that it’s not always a blast to thoroughly clean your commercial office’s shared bathroom and we don’t think you should have to. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-520-7788 to see how we can assist with all your commercial cleaning needs today!