How the Ambiance of Your Restrooms Affects Customer Perceptions of Your Business

How the Ambiance of Your Restrooms Affects Customer Perceptions of Your BusinessEveryone has at least one "bad smell" story from the workplace...

Mine happened when I was a bright eyed law student clerking for an elderly lawyer who ran a suburban practice in a leafy inner-city Melbourne suburb.

Everything about this place was beautiful, from the carefully selected, locally sourced, art on the walls and the retro but chic furniture in the reception area; to the warm and impeccably turned-out 40 something-year-old receptionist, and the lawyer’s wonderful manner and easy rapport with clients.

Unfortunately, all of this brand capital went out the window when a person crossed the threshold into their conference room. It's been five years and I can still smell it. Stale uncirculated air with notes of mildew and just a hint of raw sewage. What made it even more unsettling was that it wasn’t overt or overpowering. Instead, it would waft in from time to time and then leave as quickly as it came. 

My boss seemed blissfully unaware of the situation — his sense of smell probably laid down and died one day, fed up with the years of constant abuse.

All jokes aside here, this guy actively spent tens of thousands of dollars creating and maintaining a beautiful ambiance in his office, only for it all to be instantly undone whenever he had a client meeting. 

Many businesses make the same mistake and focus on the big ticket items at the expense of the all-important little details. This oversight is commonly seen when it comes to restrooms and many businesses and commercial landlords think it's enough to stick a tiny scent machine on a wall and keep the room generally clean.

This article briefly touches on the settings and places you absolutely MUST use an effective odor eliminator and diffusion system in your restrooms and it also discusses the best scents to use in this environment. 

The Powerful Effects of Scent on the Human Psyche and the Importance of Using an Odor Eliminator

First-off how do bad smells in your restroom negatively impact your business? Well, scent has been proven to be the only sense that positively impacts arousal, pleasure, and satisfaction among customers and the emotional impact that bad smells can have on a person’s mindset is huge. Sweet and pleasant fragrances are known to affect people’s moods and mindest in a positive way. While unfavourable odors have been linked to negative perceptions of an organisation’s professionalism and trustworthiness.

Studies have also shown that 90% of consumers have had negative impressions of a business in the past due to its smell and have left a store or have greatly sped up the time they stayed in it due to unpalatable scents or smells. 



If you are a business or government organisation that has clients or members of the public using your restroom facilities then you simply MUST use an effective odor eliminator in your restrooms. There are no excuses and no exceptions. What’s more, if you are in an industry or government organization where people visit your office to meet with you, then your restroom will literally be the first or second impression a person has of your business, beacuse typically people use the facilities to freshen up and compose themselves before interacting with your staff. Make no mistake. As the first or second physical touchpoint to the outside world, your restroom is saying more about your professionalism and the way you treat your customers and stakeholders than you ever could. 

Restrooms also often have the most unpalatable and persistent odors of any business space. As such, it is important to diffuse your chosen odor eliminator frequently and in ample quantities — the only thing more revolting than a bad restroom odor is a bad restroom odor intermingled with an ineffective scent!

Your best bet here is to use some sort of diffuser, the size of which will depend on the size of your restrooms and their frequency of use. Commercial HVAC systems that connect to the air conditioning vents that lead to your restrooms are a popular and cost-effective option, as single unit can scent several restrooms at once.


Unpalatable restroom scents are strong and heavy so the best type of odor eliminator to use to combat these are heavy floral and pine-based scents such as jasmine, lavender, pine and eucalyptus as these effectively mask and eliminate unwanted odors. Our "go to" scents for restrooms include scents such as "White Flowers' or 'New Hope' and we can also add a proprietary blend of hospital grade antibacterial to destroy bad odors at their source.


Summing Up

While having a pleasant and fresh scent that permeates throughout your whole business is ideal, you absolutely must NOT have foul or unpalatable odors lingering around your restrooms. Effective scenting in these areas sets the tone for the rest of your business and often the customer perceptions. If you don't care enough about your stakeholders to provide them with the most basic ammenities such as pleasantly scented restrooms, why would you go over and above in your business dealings?

You can read more about scenting for your specific industry here, or if you would like to discuss using an odor eliminator in your business restrooms, please contact one of our expert staff to chat about your specific scenting needs.