Right way to keep public toilets clean

The Restroom Association (Singapore) (RAS) thanks Ms Shamim Moledina for her feedback on the importance of cleaning public restrooms the right way at community centres and on the installation of auto-door entrances so as to provide hands-free access for public users ("Focus on cleaning doors of public loos"; last Saturday).

We have written to the People's Association about training restroom cleaning attendants at community centres.

The right way of regular public restroom cleaning is not water spraying, but using disinfectant to wipe and mop surfaces.

This is according to a pictorial guide on the procedures of restroom cleaning developed by the National Environment Agency, in partnership with RAS, the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), the Environmental Management Association of Singapore, cleaning companies and WDA-approved training organisations.

We have been sharing the guide with cleaning companies and building owners. We also use the guide when conducting training for restroom cleaning attendants at pre-schools and schools.

Last year, we partnered a WDA-approved training organisation, the Centre for Competency-Based Learning and Development, to not only provide training for cleaning attendants on the right way of public restroom cleaning, but also to assess the competency of the attendants, under the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Perform Basic Cleaning of Washrooms module.

With proper design, the main restroom entrance door can be omitted without the need to install an auto door. This not only helps to improve ventilation within the restroom but also minimises hand contact for hygiene reasons.

The main door can be replaced by an offset entrance maze which blocks the view of cubicles and urinals. This design concept has already been adopted at almost all shopping centres and hawker centres.

It was also mentioned in our third edition of A Guide To Better Public Toilet Design And Maintenance, which was published in 2013.

We have also been actively sharing this guide with architects and building owners. We have also been offering on-site consultation to owners looking at renovating their restrooms.

We are always more than happy to work with all stakeholders to maintain the quality of restrooms in Singapore.

Emerson Hee

Executive Director

Restroom Association (Singapore)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2015, with the headline 'Right way to keep public toilets clean'. Print Edition | Subscribe