Cleaning From Across The Pond

Members of our staff have been traveling to various countries over the last couple months and they’ve noticed a few differences in terms of cleaning/facilities offerings.

For example, one of our sales people is currently in China. She noticed in Beijing that the toilets are a tad different over there. Maybe they don’t want you spending too much time in the restroom? And although this stall offers toilet tissue, she says not all came with such a luxury. 

Toilets in Beijing


In Shanghai, she saw this broom used for sweeping up in the streets. Do you think it works as well as microfiber? 
Shanghai street sweeping


Our publisher recently visited Amsterdam, where he noticed this very public urinal. These are designed to discourage urination on public structures. They are well lit with three walls for some privacy, and they are available throughout the city.
Public urinal in Amsterdam

In response to this, a reader sent us this older version of the same type of urinal in Amsterdam. He tells us that there is also an app available to users looking to locate one of these restrooms. I think that’s fantastic for you guys, but what about the ladies?
Older version of a urinal in Amsterdam


And finally, one of our editors visited Switzerland recently and found some interesting facility/cleaning offerings. First, he noticed the same “brooms” as those used in China. If you look closely, you’ll see it sitting on top of this street sweeper. 
Switzerland street sweeper

And, he found that the toilets were excessively large. This photo was taken in a public porta potty and although it is difficult to tell, he says it's large enough to sit two grown men next to each other. And if the seat were down, it would actually be hovering over the bowl — notice that the hole goes all the way to the walls. 
Switzerland toilets


I don’t know about you, but I find it very interesting to see how different cleaning and facilities management is in the different countries. 

  • The Amsterdam outdoor urinals is to help prevent people from drowning in the canals. People (presumably under the influence of some vice) tended to pee in the canals and fall in.

    I look forward to seeing them in person when I'm in the city for ISSA/INTERCLEAN Amsterdam next month
  • There are two types of brooms in the Philippines known I believe as Walis brooms. There are two types, one of which is a bundle of stiff fibers not unlike the fibers at the end of the bamboo handle in picture 2 above. The Philippine version is called a "walis ting ting" and it is actually quite effective. I have one, and it works great to sweep the edge of the street or the driveway.

    The "walis tambo" is an ultrasoft broom for fine sweeping, and it is extremely effective in sweeping smooth, hard surfaces. We are the tiniest distributor in Hawaii yet we sell almost a thousand of these brooms for Commercial use. We frequently learn about cleaning products or methods from other countries, and it is good to keep an open mind to them.
  • Interesting international fact:
    My coworker just came back from ISSA Amsterdam and learned that, apparently, hand sanitizing is an American thing. We are far more conscious of hand hygiene than other countries.
    At the same time, the good people of Germany are far more concerned with hand health than other countries. They judge facilities on the quality of lotion and creams provided.