How Do You Actually Remove Odor on Office Urinals

employee trying to use office bathroom

Office urinals have become sort of taboo when it comes to cleanliness. These stations are space savers for public restrooms and other commercial establishments but have earned the reputation of being repulsive when it comes to odor. It’s like public restroom trends, and we all know it.

Truth is that odor comes from unsanitary and improper cleaning methods. And this is not an isolated case. It’s a common thing, hence the reputation. And if you’ve got a bad case of the odor, you might want to take rethink your commercial bathroom cleaning routine.

And sometimes, even with your best efforts, the foul odor just won’t go away.

Here’s the thing. To be able to clean and get rid of the odor off your office urinals, you need to dig deep into the root cause of all this issue—urine.

Understanding urine

Urine is made up of 95% water and 5% urea. Urea consists of the toxins and waste that your body flushes out, and mostly depends on what was in your body a.k.a. the food, drinks, medicine, and other edible stuff you consume.

So, in a way, you could say that urea is responsible for that foul odor.

But the flushing has something to do with it

Flushing the toilet or the urinal with fresh water activates the hydrolysis of the urine. Hydrolysis happens when the enzyme turns urea into ammonia and carbamate. Carbamate, in turn, further decomposes to carbonic acid which creates the second molecule of ammonia.

 This process is responsible for causing the odor from the urine.

Why does it smell, anyway?

Ammonia is a pungent gas. Hydrolyzed urine, when left to sit on its own, can cause a strong and foul odor to permeate a room.

Apart from ammonia creating a pungent atmosphere, another major cause of the odor is the bacteria present in the urine. Certain bacteria use urine as a food source, and these bacteria thrive in improperly maintained washrooms. Apart from feeding on urine, they also penetrate porous surfaces and grout.

Other factors that contribute to a smelly urinal

Apart from urine itself, there are other scenarios that worsen the case of a foul-smelling office or public urinal.

Poor ventilation

Bacteria thrive in warm settings. If the temperature inside the washroom becomes too hot, bacteria can multiply faster, and produce a bad odor quickly.

Moreover, uric active d reaction happens fast in a hot environment, speeding up ammonia production and creating a pungent atmosphere.

Well-designed exhaust systems keep positive ventilation. Make sure that doors and windows in your office restroom have louvers that pull in the fresh air and ensure a well-regulated airflow.

office employee feeling the summer heat

Poor plumbing design

How the pipes and outlets are connected in the washroom also factors in the smelly situation of a commercial restroom or an office urinal. For example, if the overflow pipe from a WC cistern gets connected to a urinal, don’t be surprised if the smell from the waste into the cistern comes up to penetrate the washroom.

Inefficient cleaning

The formation of algae and debris produces foul-smelling organisms, stimulates salt formation, and causes ammonia buildup. So, a standard cleaning process must be followed to prevent foul odor.

A special case where water doesn’t solve everything is the cleaning of urinals. Since water-based cleaning agents react with sealant and prevent it from working, a biochemical spray and a cloth are recommended, with frequent cleaning. Keep in mind that high-traffic areas must be cleaned more frequently.

Abandoned spills on the floor

Urine spills on the floor that weren’t taken care of immediately are also culprits of the stink. Improper and delayed action toward cleaning these spills can only worsen the situation.

coffee spilled in office floor


Some of the situations mentioned above can be taken care of, so try to reconsider commercial cleaning services around Windham County, Connecticut if you haven’t already. Others may require more planning and investment, but you deal with what you can first.

What can you actually do to remove the smell from your urinals?

Given that water is not your best friend here and that the problem concerns us all, what must really be done to get rid of the horrible odor that’s pestering your urinals?

Use proper cleaning agents.

For cleaning to be effective, utilizing the correct and recommended cleaning solutions must be implemented. If you’ve ever heard of biological treatment, then you’re on the right track.

The biological treatment makes use of gentle “bugs” that feed on and absorb bacteria and other germs without the worry of getting your washroom surfaces damaged.

In fact, with regular use, the biological treatment creates a permanent protective layer on the surface that you clean, allowing the surface to remain clean and odor-free until the next scheduled cleaning.

Consider waterless urinals.

Because of the dilemma posed by using water as a cleaning agent, a modern solution has taken place—waterless urinals. Waterless urinals are basically made of the same materials as traditional flushing urinals and are also plumbed into the standard drain line. The difference lies in the flow.

Waterless urinals use a cartridge filled with a liquid sealant, placed atop the urinal’s drain. The sealant acts as a barrier once the urine passes through the trap to prevent odor. Since urine is denser than the sealant, it flows into the drainpipe.

Apart from eliminating the problem of the hydrolysis of urea and triggering ammonia buildup with water use, waterless urinals have a few more benefits. Its improved design prevents the splashing of urine onto the walls or floors, maintaining the cleanliness of the restroom.

Because of their design, these urinals also provide easy maintenance. Cleaning these would also be easier and would relatively cost less to maintain.

Lastly, since these are waterless, you’re saving a real lot on water use and expense.

Schedule deep cleaning by the experts.

How often should you really be cleaning your office building? At least a couple of times a day for the restroom. But apart from regular daily maintenance by your in-house cleaning staff, it’s still crucial to set deep cleaning arrangements done by professionals on a regular basis. They will make sure that every nook and cranny of your restroom and urinal is cleaned, eliminating any possible cause for the foul smell.