Tough task for cleaners to keep toilets clean

I am glad that the students involved in the survey on public toilets in hawker centres and coffee shops gained an appreciation of what our cleaners do ("Eat, drink but maybe give the toilet a miss"; Nov 15).

Cleaning the toilet is a thankless job.

Users step on the toilet seats and dirty them with footprints. Contractors wearing muddy shoes dirty the place when using the toilet.

Others clog up the toilet bowls and urinals with paper, clothes and cigarette butts. Some even stub out cigarettes on toilet paper dispensers, leaving them pocked with scorch marks and littered with ashes.

One cause of clogged toilets is the low water pressure of the flushes, often an attempt by building owners to save water.

It is not uncommon to find the toilet unflushed, or see urine or excrement on the floor. This makes the whole toilet smelly.

People feel that it is not their responsibility to keep public toilets clean. We must put ourselves in the position of the cleaners.

They face a tough task because the management would come down on them if people complain the toilet is dirty. But it is difficult for them to keep the toilet clean because often, after they clean it, another batch of people use it and dirty it again.

We cannot expect the cleaners to be there the entire day.

Good toilet etiquette reflects on our society and social grace. Maintaining clean toilets has to do with our mindset. Regardless of how often our toilets are cleaned, they will remain dirty if users make a mess.

Francis Cheng