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Dirty Restrooms Bad for Business

But clean ones send a positive message to patrons




Clean restrooms send good vibes about a company’s management. Photo: Thinnapob/iStock by Getty Images

OK, this really shouldn’t come as any surprise, but in case you aren’t sure just how much the public dislikes dirty bathrooms, consider this: Almost 60% of the respondents to a recent survey believe an unclean restroom shows poor management; 56% are left with a tarnished opinion of the business; and half vow not to return or will think twice about doing so.

“Businesses that neglect restroom cleaning and maintenance are jeopardizing customers’ repeat business and sales,” notes the survey, which was undertaken by Bradley Co,, a manufacturer of commercial handwashing fixtures and washroom accessories. (Yes, they have some “skin in the game” here, but their point seems worth reinforcing, especially since unclean bathroom environments seem to be a recurring problem.)

Indeed, the same survey found nearly 70% of Americans reported having a particularly unpleasant experience in a public restroom due to the poor condition of the facility. The top restroom aggravations include clogged or unflushed toilets, an old, dirty or unkempt appearance and unpleasant smells.

On the other hand (pun intended), 62% of the respondents say they make a point to stop at businesses with clean and well-maintained bathrooms when they need to use the facilities, and nearly 60% willingly spend more money there.

Shoot, there’s even a beauty contest for the best bathroom in commercial circles. Run by uniform/office cleaning supplier Cintas Corp., the winner of the 2023 America’s Best Restroom was the Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) Thurgood Marshall Airport. Finalists in the 2024 competition are slated to be released in July, with a winner unveiled in September.

The Bradley survey involved responses the company gathered earlier this year from more than 1000 American adults.


Click here for more from the study.

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