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Best Cleaning Practices Sanitary Product Disposal Receptacles

The "Best Cleaning Practices for Sanitary Product Disposal Receptacles" offers guidelines on how to maintain the most contaminated fixture in women's restrooms. It's also designed to educate the industry about the steps that should be taken to disinfect and properly line the receptacles (OSHA expectation) to prevent direct contact with discarded feminine care protection products. Following these practices will help keep women's restrooms safer and cleaner for restroom users, maintenance personnel, janitorial staff and any employee whose regular job responsibility includes emptying the stall feminine waste disposal units.

Safety Reminders:

Wear protective gloves.


  • Empty sanitary product disposal receptacle contents by removing the liner bag, sealing it and placing in lined cleaning cart trash receptacle or lined trash pickup container.
  • Use extra caution when handling liner which may contain sharps such as needles.
  • Visually inspect the inside of the receptacle and carefully remove debris remaining in the bottom and discard in trash.
  • Use paper towels or other disposable wipes only.
  • To properly clean, apply (via disposable wipes/spray bottle) an EPA-registered hospital-grade disinfectant cleaner on interior and exterior of the receptacle including the lid, even when there is no visible soiling.
  • In order to be effective, always follow the recommended dwell time on the manufacturer's product label.
  • To dry receptacle surfaces, use paper towels or other disposable wipes only and discard when saturated.
  • To comply with the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, line the clean receptacle with one bag that will completely cover the inside surface and totally enclose discarded sanitary products. This protects the janitorial staff from coming into direct contact with materials containing blood or body fluids.
  • Check the dimension of the stall receptacle to choose the correct size bag.
  • The liner should reach all the way around the sides and to the bottom of the receptacle.
  • Use one liner bag only; do not place multiple waxed paper bags in the receptacle.
  • Handle the filled trash disposal container carefully; knowing that sharps and blood-borne pathogens may be present. Do not sort through or compress trash with even gloved hands.
  • Inspect your work to ensure visible and hygienic cleaning standards are met; ATP measurement can help to verify organic soil removal.

Contributors: Allen Rathey, President of InstructionLink/JanTrain,  Inc. and The Housekeeping Channel, LLC, Professional Edition; Lynn Krafft, Building Services Contractor and International Custodial Advisors Network, ICAN/ATEX Editor; Perry Shimanoff, MC2, Management, Maintenance and Cleaning Consultant; and Ann Germanow, Founder and CEO The Scensible Source Company, LLC


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