Is Your Washroom Malodour Impacting Your Business?


When it comes to using public toilets, nobody wants to experience unpleasant smells, in the same way no one wants to experience a washroom which is unhygienic or missing essential amenities such as hand soap and toilet paper. The importance of good air hygiene in the toilet should not be underestimated as 84% of Malaysians shared that smell is one of the first things they notice when entering a toilet. Hence, this highlights the importance of effective odour control and the risk of damaging business reputation due to unpleasant washroom experience.

A good air care solution is deemed to remove malodour, effectively ‘cleaning’ the air by neutralising bacteria that causes bad smells. Below are three main points that businesses should consider when it comes to understanding the impact of malodour in their washrooms and the importance of good air hygiene:

  1. Perceptions of cleanliness and everyday hygiene

    Initial’s Global Air Hygiene Survey found that 88% of respondents admitted when they encounter a bad smell, they try to get out of the washroom as quickly as possible, which can lead to people not washing their hands as thoroughly as they should. The Centre for Disease Control estimates that up to 80% of all infections are transmitted by hands, so if people are not washing their hands thoroughly enough this could cause harmful germs and bacteria to spread easily through the premises.

    Dr Andy Myers, Director at consumer neuroscience consultancy Walnut Unlimited, agreed that these findings make neurological sense because “the strong association between smell and memory means that smell is a powerful gateway to our emotions and to core emotion processing regions of our brain.”

  2. Business reputation

    Failure to remove unpleasant smells occurring in washrooms can cause reputational damage to a business. Research done by Initial Hygiene shown that 42% of Malaysian employees think their workplace washroom should do more to control the smell. 46% who work in offices have also experienced feeling ashamed by the smell in their company’s washroom when directing clients or visitors to their facilities.

    Furthermore, when using public washrooms, an unpleasant smell leaves nearly 85% of people with a negative perception of the business, while 6 out of 10 would give negative feedback to a place with smelly washrooms and a majority of people would tell their friends and family about their experience.

    The findings from another study by Nielsen found that 92% of consumers believe recommendation from friends and family is more effective than other types of advertising, suggesting the potential for negative word of mouth if customers had unfavourable experience with a business.

  3. Risk of losing return customers

    Survey by Initial Hygiene also revealed a connection between unpleasant washroom experiences and repeat patronage. The study found that 72% of respondents say that an unpleasant smelling washroom impacts their purchasing behaviour and make them less likely to shop there. In fact, 3 out of 4 Malaysian respondents will leave or not return to an establishment if their toilets have a bad smell. In a world where consumers are sensory driven, creating the right experience for customers, even in the washroom is essential.

Unpleasant smelling washrooms, understandably, evoke emotive reactions from people, but the issue for businesses lies in how they act on those emotions and the measures they put in place to create the right first impressions. Discover our Premium Scenting solution that is specially designed to neutralise odour with diffused scents remaining for up to 12 hours in the air. If you wish to find out more, speak to our experts now at 1300 882 288!


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