How to Make Your Restrooms Green

When implementing green programs in a facility, the bathroom areas are often overlooked.  Think about how much water, paper, tissue, and energy get used in a typical bathroom facility daily.  More water is used in the bathroom than any other area in the facility.  However, by incorporating certain products and procedures into daily use, you  can greatly improve the eco-friendly program for your restroom – thus making the overall facility even more green.

Here are ways to implement a greener restroom:

  • Lighting – Install sensors to turn off lights when restrooms are not in use – there is no reason the lights should be on when no one is in the room
  • Light bulbs – replace conventional light bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs
  • Cleaning – all restroom cleaning products have certified green equivalents, Pike Systems can help you put together a plan with green certified products for your restroom
  • Water faucets – install sensors – reduce water consumption up to 70%
  • Fixtures – install fixtures that surpass current government mandates – some new toliets use 1.28 gallons of water per flush and no water urinals
  • Recyclables – station recycling bins in restrooms – many paper products used in restrooms can be recycled
  • Leaks – search for and fix leaks – just one faucet dripping intermittently can waste 3 gallons of water per year – or up to 1,095 gallons per year


How to remove ice melt and rock salt


Winter weather brings with it additional challenges for keeping hard floors and carpets clean and looking great. Ice melt/rock salt leaves a haze on carpet and hard flooring. Some products do a better job than others at removing ice melt/rock salt residue. For instance, Top Clean and Delta Mild work great, but Super Shine All and LinPol do not. All floor cleaners will remove small amounts of ice melt/rock salt residue but when conditions get particularly sloppy, a neutralizer is required. We have some good news – whether you are removing ice melt from carpet or floors, you can use the same product: NutraRinse. It is important to take the proper steps in cleaning to ensure good results!


For those of you who pay someone for snow removal and salting, it is highly likely that you are getting rock salt, which is harder to remove than ice melt (Hint: ice melt is typically colored, rock salt is not). There are two challenges with removal: (1) selecting the right product and (2) putting down enough water to remove residue.


Here are the proper steps we recommend in cleaning ice melt off your floors:


– Be sure to follow directions on ice melt so that you do not over apply – over application causes more mess and more work for you later!


– Place entrance mats at all doors to prevent excess salt from entering your building – Note: an overly wet and saturated mat will not be able to its job and needs to be replaced or extracted.


– Procedure for cleaning:

  • Remove all obstacles and furniture including entrance matting
  • Dust mop the area if the floor is dry
  • Place “wet floor” signs at the entrances and exits
  • Fill your mop bucket, scrubber, or extractor with NutraRinse (HIL0021906), a high quality neutralizer and conditioner formulated to help eliminate alkaline residue on floors. Mix NutraRinse at 4 oz per gallon in your mop buck/autoscrubber/extractor
  • Autoscrubber: After you fill the autoscrubber, begin scrubbing the floor using a double-scrub method. Leave the squeegee and vacuum motor off for the first pass, then turn the vacuum motor on and lower the squeegee while continuing to apply solution during the second pass.
  • Extractor: Follow standard floor extraction process, if there si still a large amount of salt residue present, repeat treatment
  • Once the floor is dry, return any furniture or mats and remove the “wet floor” signs.


Here’s to keeping your sanity and your floors clean during the long winter months!