Scent and The Mind: The Physiological Impact of Washroom Hygiene

washroom hygiene

What is washroom hygiene

Walking into public washrooms is always a risk. Seeing dirty sinks, unkempt floors and toilet stains are unpleasant but the worst is having our noses assaulted by awful smells. 92% of people have reported experiencing bad smells in washrooms. Be it public or private, Malaysians have experienced their fair share of walking into a restroom and immediately crinkling their noses when welcomed by unpleasant odours. Recent research conducted by Initial has shown that our sense of smell greatly affects our brain chemistry and plays a part in how we feel. This article explores why these research findings greatly impact businesses and the importance of washroom hygiene.

How it affects the mind and behaviour

The sense of smell is closely linked with part of our brain that controls memory, mood, behaviour and emotion. Research has highlighted that a particularly scent may invoke certain memories or feelings tied to those memories. The smell of lavender may bring up fond memories of a family member who wore lavender scented perfume while the scent of the sea breeze may take one back to an island vacation.

While scent has a powerful impact on memory and emotion, foul smells especially affects us the most, with 40% greater emotional impact on the mind.It is found that perceptions of cleanliness decreases by 32% when unpleasant smells are present, even if washrooms are clean.  This is further aggravated if no proper hygiene facilities are available, for example the lack of hand dryers or soap dispensers that are empty, as people immediately look for these services to feel clean when a stench is present. Scent not only affects how we feel and behave in the washroom, but how we feel about the business itself.

Why it matters to the business

For businesses, this is alarming and may be a serious issue if our washrooms are not up to standard. Even if there is no visible indication of filth in the washroom, foul odours make visitors feel uncomfortable, unhygienic and unhappy. An enjoyable trip thus far could be ruined just by a simple trip to the washroom. Improper washroom hygiene associates the business with negative emotions which provokes avoidance behaviour. Customers may stop visiting a business to prevent themselves from contracting diseases or to avoid feeling disgusted.

Furthermore, feelings such as lack of confidence or disgust are automatically associated with your business if visitors are faced with unhygienic washrooms. Your once reputable company will be known as unhygienic and unclean, which keeps customers away. In addition, it is shown that 91% of the public look around to identify the source of the bad smell, which allows them to observe and question other elements of the business.  This may prove to aggravate the situation if current hygiene facilities provided are deemed not sufficient.

Washroom Scenting

It is clear that a commonly overlooked detail such as scent can greatly impact the success of your business. One whiff and everything a company has painstakingly built can come crumbling down. As alarming as this is, Premium Scenting can remediate these odours and provide a consistent pleasant atmosphere throughout the day. With a wide range of scents such as fruity, floral, and spicy, Premium Scenting can help provide a consistent and uniform coverage throughout the day. It is also perfect for creating multi-sensory marketing opportunities for your business or event. Initial is dedicated to enhancing your customer experience by providing world leading hygiene and scenting solutions to leave customers happy, healthy and most importantly safe from bacteria and infections. Contact us to start your Premium Scenting journey with Initial today.


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