Restoring restroom etiquette

Question: Although I am not in charge of making sure that the restrooms stay clean, people tell me when it needs cleaning.

Any suggestions on how to communicate in a professional manner that everyone should pick up after themselves and maintain a clean restroom? We provide cleaning supplies such as Clorox wipes, etc. – Martha


Get some business cards from your janitorial service rep & hand them to those who have issues with the service. Or provide them with the name & phone # of whoever your janitorial service liaison is.

Place the cleaning supplies out in the open and make a sign that says “Did you use the facilities? Yes…then please clean up after yourself.”

Do you actually have janitorial service set up? If not, research at least three companies and present your research to your manager. If you do have janitorial service, then the suggestions from the first comment could be followed.

I’m not sure what your title is at your job, but there must be a reason people think you are the “go to” person. You can simply ask, “Why are you telling me this?” Sometimes it’s just a simple case of co-workers really not knowing who does what within a certain department.

In some environments, a sign can help.

The bathroom issue seems to be a common problem in a lot of offices. Even if there is janitorial service, some people’s behavior in the restrooms is shocking and a good janitorial service can not remedy that unless a janitor is stationed in the restroom at all times.

You could post a small sign that says “As a courtesy to other employees and guests, please keep this room neat and orderly. To contact janitorial services to clean unexpected messes, call XXX-XXXX.” This sign could be printed on nice stationery and placed in a lovely frame to soften the message

If there is not a janitorial service being used for whatever reason, suggest at your next meeting or to your boss that if adults can’t clean up after themselves then a “bathroom duty” will have to be established. Nobody else likes cleaning up after others’ either, so maybe that will help – and you shouldn’t have to!!!

It might be a good investment to have a housekeeping service come by and clean up once or twice a week. You will have a difficult time getting grown ups to clean up. The expense should be fairly cheap, $50 or less. My maid service cleans my entire house for $75. Good Luck!

I would agree with Amy Lee’s response. Why are they coming to you? I would find out who they SHOULD be going to, so next time they complain to you, you would say, “That is in Tom’s area of responsibility, not mine. Let him know about it.”

We have a janitor that cleans the bathroom in the morning and evening but during the day it can be tiring the way people behave in the restroom. We have etiquette signs and they barely work. We now have each department on a rotation and they are responsible to check the facilities during the day and tidy up. That helped because then they got a feel for how gross they all are. Prior to that we had a “pooping” issue and had the staff sign in and out and that took care of that. They are willing to do it, but not willing to get caught!!

It sounds like you work in a small office, so it’s not like you have janitorial staff you can talk to. I agree with (and truly like) Jocelyn’s approach. Signing in and out of the bathroom can solve the problem.

First, I’m shocked at the question. After all we are talking about adults. Are there two bathrooms? One mens, one womens? We all agreed no one wants to clean up in the kitchen so what makes anyone think a fellow employee would want to clean up the restrooms.
Sounds like you don’t have a janitorial service. If not the suggestion regarding a sign typed on stationary, placed in a frame and left in the sink area seems like the route to go. Good Luck!

Are you the one who gets to clean the bathroom because you are an admin? If it’s not in your job description, use Jocelyn’s solution and I bet your problem will go away. If not, you could consider having somebody (not you) place an anonymous call to your local or state department of health and have a surprise inspection. I bet being cited for violations of health code would make the bathroom problem go away also.

I’d like to add kitchen etiquette to this thread. I in an office full of women & I am always amazed at the condition they leave the both the restroom & the kitchen. The general feeling among the “non-professional” staff is that the “Professional” people feel it’s beneath them to clean up after themselves. We’ve tried funny signs, office memo’s & remarks made within the hearing but nothing seems to sink it. The most discouraging thing is that the boss is the biggest offender. It is nothing to find a half dozen half filled cups of coffee in her office and she wonders why there are ants all over. Does anyone have any suggestions for this situation? Thanks.