Deep clean – why your washroom needs the Bidvest Steiner touch

Bathroom Hygiene

23 June 2017

It’s no secret that germs and bacteria lurk in bathrooms, but do you know to what extent?

We’ve put together this handy infographic, taking a look at the dirty facts and shocking statistics surrounding personal and bathroom hygiene and discussing what you can do to maintain a clean and hygienic washroom.

As surface cleaning with regular cleaning agents does not completely eradicate all of the germs and bacteria in bathrooms, we highly recommend a commercial deep cleaning service at least once a month.

General facts

Most people know that bathrooms harbour germs, but how dirty is the bathroom really?

Well to put it into perspective, in just 7 hours, 1 bacterium multiplies to over 2 million bacteria. That’s a lot of germs that need cleaning.

In the following section, we’ll go over which types of bacteria and germs are commonly found in bathrooms. But for now, here are a few more general germy facts:

Germs from flushing the toilet with the lid up can travel as far as 1.82 metres – that’s why experts recommend you always flush the toilet with the lid down. Polluted water vapour erupts out of the flushing toilet bowl and it can take hours for these particles to finally settle.

Women come into contact with more surfaces in an office bathroom than men.

It is common knowledge that washing hands with soap and water after going to the toilet drastically reduces the spread of germs and illness, but the statistics reveal a rather alarming truth.

Out of the 95% of people that claim to wash their hands after going to the toilet, only 33% practice proper hand hygiene by using soap when washing their hands. What’s even more shocking is that 10% of people don’t wash their hands at all after going to the toilet!

That is truly disturbing as around 1.8 million people die from faecally-transmitted diseases every year. 

Another worrying statistic is that only 1 in 20 people wash their hands properly after visiting the bathroom. 

But what exactly does properly mean? Well, the recommended hand washing time is 15 seconds and the ideal washing time is 30 seconds (singing happy birthday twice is equal to the same amount of time you should be washing your hands for).

That’s not all – there are six steps to follow in order to achieve the maximum results when hand washing.

Proper hand washing procedure in 6 easy steps:

Step 1: Wash hands with soap and water

Step 2: Wash your hands palm to palm

Step 3: Wash between your fingers

Step 4: Don’t forget your thumbs and nails

Step 5: Wash the back of your hands

Step 6: Lastly, focus on your wrists, rinse well and thoroughly dry your hands

What’s lurking – types of bacteria found in the restroom

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Knowing what types of germs and bacteria are found in the bathroom and how they are spread will go a long way in promoting proper hand hygiene.

Shigella Bacteria

This dangerous bacteria is the major cause of dysentery. It is easily spread by contaminated faeces, skin-to-skin contact and where there is poor hand hygiene. It infects the digestive tract and causes a wide range of illnesses including:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps

It is found mainly on toilet seats and in faeces.


Staphylococcus aureus or more commonly known as S aureus or Staph A is a type of bacteria that is spread by skin-to-skin contact, cuts, abrasions and the sharing of razors, towels or equipment. Common symptoms include:

  • Skin infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Bloodstream infections
  • Surgical wound infections
  • Respiratory infections
  • Food poisoning

Staphylococcus is found in bathrooms, on door handles and on toilet seats.


Noroviruces consist of a group of viruses that cause gastrointestinal illnesses. They are easily transmitted by faecally contaminated food or water and by person-to-person contact, causing the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach pains
  • Headache
  • Weight loss

These viruses are commonly found on bathroom door handles and toilet seats.


Escherichia coli also known as E.coli is a bacterium that is found in the gut of warm blooded, living organisms. This bacterium is responsible for food poisoning, spread through person-to-person contact and often found in unhygienic areas where there is infrequent hand washing.

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Severe stomach cramps

E.coli is found on toilet seats and bathroom door handles.

Dermatophytic Fungi 

Dermatophytes are a label for a group of three types of fungus that commonly causes skin disease.

  • Ringworm
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Jock itch

It is spread through skin-to-skin contact and sharing towels.

Dermatophytic Fungi is found mostly on bathroom floors and toilet seats.

And lastly, did you know that some viruses can live on surfaces for up to 72 hours? That is reason enough to invest in a professional deep cleaning service in order to maintain a clean and hygienic washroom.

Hot zones – the dirtiest surfaces

STEINER_Infographic-Deep_Cleaning-ver03_hot zones

So now we know what types of germs are lurking in bathrooms, but what about where they’re found?

You may automatically think that the toilet is the dirtiest thing in the bathroom, but the facts might surprise you.

In order of most to least germs, these are the dirtiest surfaces:

  • Inside the sink 

Astonishingly, it is not the toilet that claims the number one spot for germiest surface. Germs survive longer in a moist environment and studies show that there are around 100 000 germs per square inch inside the sink. Think about that the next time you wash your hands.

  • Toilet seat

Here comes the second offender. Water droplets from flushing can settle on the seat and some bacteria can thrive for up to 17 days on a standard toilet seat. However, most of the time the toilet seat is too dry for a lot of bacteria to thrive.

  • Sink tap handles

We’re talking about the refillable soap dispensers here. Faecal bacteria and other germs grow inside the dispenser, but how do they get there?

  • Germs from bathroom attendants hands
  • Foreign objects
  • Vandalism
  • Soap is dispensed from a permanent nozzle that is rarely cleaned

Did you know that 1 in 4 soap dispensers are contaminated? What’s worse is that the types of germs found inside soap dispensers can make you sick and cause fever, diarrhoea, vomiting and even pink eye.

Steiner has a range of hand washing solutions to suit your every need.

  • Toilet handle

Roughly 40 000 germs per square inch are found on toilet handles, which are contaminated in a number of ways, namely:

  • People usually flush the toilet before washing their hands
  • Bacteria from the spray of the flushing toilet settles on them
  • Bacteria from the bottom of people’s shoes – 64% of people operate the flusher with their foot!
  • Hot air hand dryer

Studies found that hot air hand dryers can spread 1,300 times more germs than using paper towels.

  • Paper towels

Using paper towels after hand washing will significantly reduce the amount of germs by up to 75%.

  • Air

Some airborne bacteria can remain in the air for a few hours after flushing.

The toughest cleaning jobs

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Maintaining a clean and hygienic bathroom is vitally important in the prevention of spreading of germs and illnesses, as well as public perception, and without a doubt, bathroom cleaning is one of the toughest and most important jobs in the industry.

According to a recent survey by Clorox , in which they wanted to uncover the toughest cleaning jobs, cleaning industry professionals were asked to give their opinion and this is what they had to say:

  • 67% said that the number one toughest cleaning job is urine stain and odour removal
  • 45% said removing persistent odours 
  • 25% said restocking supplies

Top challenges

STEINER_Infographic-Deep_Cleaning-ver03_top challenge

According to the same survey, selecting the right products and processes for effective cleaning and disinfection can help ensure that restrooms are both aesthetically and hygienically clean.

However, industry professionals said that they face certain challenges that prevent them from achieving optimum results. Such as:

  • Lack of time for intensive cleaning
  • Too much foot traffic
  • Lack of effective cleaning products
  • Lack of training

The Bidvest Steiner touch

Steiner’s premium washroom deep cleaning utilises specialist chemicals and highly trained staff for optimum results and effective cleaning. In other words, our commercial deep cleaning services are of the highest standard.

A combination of specialised processes, tools and detergents make our deep cleaning services one of the best in the country. We make use of:

A colour coded hygiene service

Our trained staff use colour coded equipment to prevent cross contamination between distinct areas within the washroom.

Specialised chemicals

We utilise SABS approved quality products.

Green chemicals

Eco-friendly chemicals. Contact us today to find out more about our range.

Specialised brush ware

We use the highest quality specialised brush ware designed for optimum cleaning.

Specialised equipment

Whatever your specific need, we have the right equipment for any job.

Highly trained staff

Our staff is trained to the highest standards, ensuring a professional deep clean, each and every time.

Founded in 1954, Bidvest Steiner has grown into a national company with over 30 branches throughout Southern Africa.

We provide a range of health and hygiene services from washroom accessory rentals to deep cleaning, dust control, pest control as well as hygiene, cleaning and office consumables sales.

Our commercial deep cleaning services are guaranteed to keep your washroom hygienic, clean, and germ-free. We highly recommend a monthly intensive deep clean to complement your daily cleaning regime.

Contact us today if you require a professional deep cleaning service or download the full deep cleaning infographic here.


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