Cleaning up for Loo of The Year awards

16 March 2011

Applications and nominations are now being taken for this years Loo of The Year competition, so why not let your loo's shine with our cleaning supplies

The Loo of The Year awards are a great opportunity to show your public toilets off and improve the overall standards of your public convenience.  Last year more than 1,400 venues-including restaurants, shopping centres, hotels and government buildings competed in Britain's prestigious Loo Of The Year awards, an opportunity to snatch the crown for having the nation's best throne. The prize being, recognition from colleagues and a trophy bearing a mounted golden toilet seat.

public bathroom

You can enter the competition and put your public toilets forward for inspection and consideration at a cost of  £99.75 per bathroom to enter the competition, although there is a volume discount. Entrants get detailed feedback from expert inspectors.  The closing date for all applications is 31st July 2011 with the awards ceremony being held on 2nd December 2011.

During the summer, nine inspectors head out to grade entrants on more than 100 criteria, such as cleanliness, disabled access and availability of paper towels. Judges pride themselves on their incorruptibility.

Keeping your public toilets in excellent order by carrying our regular cleaning with your cleaning supplies, keeping regular timed checks on your washrooms and adding those extra special touches to make the visitors experience that bit more comfortable, can make your loos and attention to detail stand out from the rest. 

Last year the pub chain J D Wetherspoon walked away with the top prize, a few years previous the Trafford Shopping Centre won the award and are still striving to raise the standard of their washrooms and look to improve on toilet technology.

The inspectors are not only looking for high standards of cleanliness and evidence of the cleaning staffs commitment to maintaining clean and hygienic conditions for visitors but they are also on the lookout for touches of customer care beyond the expectation.  For example one establishment mixed their own mouthwash on a daily basis for their guests to use, others may leave complimentary cosmetics and sanitary items.

Inspector Richard Ward declines offers of free food, and even cups of tea or coffee, when making his rounds. "I won't compromise my neutrality," he says. Mr. Ward admits to thinking not "about an awful lot" other than toilets in the summer and struggles to step into a bathroom without mentally grading it.

Judges need an eye for detail. Bob Davies, a retired computer project manager from Reading, became an inspector for Loo of the Year seven years ago when a friend involved with the contest approached him. "He knew me and knew it was the kind of job I had some aptitude for," says Mr. Davies.

Last year, he scrutinized more than 150 toilets across England, always arriving unannounced. Contestants sometimes stall him so someone can clean up before he enters. "There are distraction techniques which buy time for people," he says. "But you can always see the long-term dirt."

Services such as two hand drying options are a plus factor giving the user a choice of hand dryer or hand towels to dry their hands on.  Hand soap dispensers should be topped up and many establishments are now offering hand creams so that visitors can moisturise their hands after washing.

Flowers show that the establishment is wanting their visitors to feel welcome and comfortable when using the washroom and can enhance the visual effect of the room enormously, studies have shown that when visitors are presented with clean and well maintained toilet facilities, incidences of vandalism were much lower.

Tourists have reported that Britain's toilet facilities were a disappointment falling quite below the mark of what should be expected from a public washroom.

Over in the US for example, New Yorkers arent prepared to put up with sub standard public restrooms and are using their phones to go online and check out the nearest public toilet and see how it was graded for cleanliness and overall comfort,  they can then avoid visiting those facilities that didn't score well.

France, in times gone by had quite poor public toilet facilities, they have since addressed the situation cleaning up their facilities, investing in new toilet technology and are now considered to be streets ahead of us here in the UK.

Look at this lady bird style public washroom in China.

public toilets in china

Many public toilets quite simply don't look like they have been cleaned properly with the correct cleaning supplies.  The tell tale dark marks at the edges of the  floor tiles are usually an indication of poor cleaning practice.

Possibly the cleaning operative has done a quick mop around the cubicle with a cleaning product not suitable for this cleaning task, the dirt has not been removed and a build up of dirt and grime has occurred. A deep clean is now required using the relevant washroom cleaning supplies.

By establishing some cleaning guidelines, taking advice from your cleaning supplies company, businesses can have in place effective cleaning practices with staff becoming more aware of expectations and able to select the right cleaning product for the cleaning task in hand, ultimately raising the standards in your washrooms.

Nowadays with the quality of products available there is no reason for washrooms to be grimey, germy or smelly.  The Cleaning Shop has a great range of washroom cleaners with a super choice of cleaners and fragrances, with 4 in 1 bathroom cleaners able to clean, disinfect, descale and freshen the washroom or bathroom in one operation.

Many public toilets use automated air fresheners which can be discreetly wall mounted and set to spray at regular intervals with a great choice of fragrances.  This enhances the visit for the user and improves the overall standard of your washrooms.

Beyond the cleaning supply and cleaning taking place it is important to tackle any maintenance issues as they arise, dealing with broken tiles, plumbing problems, cracked sinks, broken door hinges and how often do we see toilet cubicles with broken locks and bolts, all these maintenance issues if not tackled effectively can leave visitors with the impression that the establishment does not care about the facilities or its customers coming in to use them.

If a restauranteur cant be bothered to provide pleasant and properly maintained washrooms you could ask yourself if this poor attention to detail and hygiene lends itself to the kitchen too.

"What makes an award-winning restroom? "It's the wow factor we want," says Richard Chisnell, founder and chairman of the Loo of the Year Awards, who inspected about 150 loos with his wife Maureen in Wales this summer. The couple storms out of restaurants without clean bathrooms.

So why not put your company forward?  Even if you dont win by putting the spotlight on your toilet facilities you are likely to greatly improve your washrooms, educate your staff and receive valuable feedback from the inspectors.  If we can be of any assistance to you then do contact us, we shall be happy to help.

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