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Truckstop Training: How to Have the Cleanest Restrooms on the Interstate

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Human Resources, Operations

Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Truckstop and Travel Plaza Training. Training is an essential element in the success of any operation. Truckstops and travel plaza that train their staff well are able to improve their sales, profits, customer service, effectiveness and safety. As a result, their company’s overall operations also improve.

NATSO also offers a Truckstop and Travel Plaza Training Manual. The manual is designed to help operators create their own store- and company-specific operations training manual. NATSO members can purchase the manual for $175 and nonmembers can purchase it for $675 here.

How to Have the Cleanest Restrooms on the Interstate


Clean restrooms are often the top reason a customer chooses to stop at a truckstop, so keeping restrooms tidy is key. There are three types of cleaning—courtesy checks, routine cleaning and deep cleaning.

Employ all three types and you will have the cleanest restrooms on the interstate.

Courtesy Check
A courtesy check is performed every half hour or hour based on the location’s traffic flow. It involves a light cleaning when needed to make sure that the restrooms stay clean.

Steps to a Courtesy Check

  • Walk through the entire restroom and note what needs specific attention. For example, there may be one toilet out of five that is dirty.
  • Clean the toilet, urinal, sink, mirror and counters if necessary.
  • Make sure all toilet paper, paper towel and soap dispensers are full.
  • Pick up any trash on the floor. 
  • Change trash bags once they are 3⁄4 full.

Routine Clean
Each restroom should have a routine clean- ing performed three times per shift or more and should be done according to a pre-set cleaning schedule. If necessary, the courtesy check may turn into a routine cleaning. 

Routine cleaning is very similar to a courtesy check with the following additions:

  • Every toilet, urinal, sink and counter should be cleaned even if it appears clean. Use different rags for the sinks, toilets and urinals, mirrors and counters.
  • Urinal pads will be replaced as needed.
  • The walls beside the urinals will be cleaned with the proper supplies. This >keeps the restroom smelling nice.
  • Urinals should be cleaned specifically for odor elimination. Keep the lip and chin of the urinal free of urine build up.
  • All paper towel, toilet paper and soap dispensers should be filled.
  • The floor will be mopped using fresh mop water, the appropriate approved chemical and a clean mop head. Pay special attention to the floor below the urinals. This area usually contains a buildup of urine and will result in a foul odor.
  • Other areas not specifically mentioned as part of a routine cleaning should still be cleaned if they appear dirty.

Steps to a Deep Clean
Deep cleaning of the restrooms follows the same steps as the routine cleaning with the additions of cleaning the walls, ceilings, partitions and vents with the proper chemicals. The deep cleaning usually requires shutting down the restroom and is typically done on the overnight shift. It should be completed at least once a day on each restroom. Some locations use a hose for this process. If your location has one, make sure to tape off all electrical outlets and light switches.


Join the conversation! Does your truckstop follow these three types? Is anything missing? 




Photo Credit: Ira Wexler/NATSO

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About the Author

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators.

Schulte also leads NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program. A Profitable Retail Review is a custom assessment of your truckstop, including recommendations for every aspect of your facility, from actionable ideas to improve revenue to tactical ways to improve your net operating costs. Learn about NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program here.

Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for: 

  • Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores,
  • HESS Corporation, 
  • Petro Stopping Centers, and
  • TSC Global/Barjan LLC.