How to Clean a Waterless Urinal 

 December 13, 2020

By  Xion Lab

How to Clean a Waterless Urinal

A waterless urinal looks almost similar to traditional urinals. However, on close inspection, you will see that the flush valve and piping is missing. As the name suggests, waterless urinals don’t need water to operate. They generally found in public restrooms. Building owners prefer typically waterless urinals as they help in saving water charges. The urinals help save thousands of flushes, thereby drastically cutting down the water bill.

One study conducted by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) had found that the odours in case of waterless urinals were more due to urine on the floors instead of the urinal. The study had used sensors to evaluate the differences between odours in waterless and traditional urinals. The researchers had placed sensors on every urinal at different places. Results of the study found no significant differences in smell between the two types of urinals.

Besides, research has shown that dry urinals are also more environmentally friendly. Installing the urinals helps in conservation of precious water resources. It is a positive step to creating an environmentally friendly building. The potential water-saving benefits of the urinal are enough reason to install it in the building. While the urinal is ideal for public spaces, it can also be installed in residential areas to conserve water and reduce energy bills.

The fact is that waterless urinals are much better as compared to traditional flush urinals. They are preferable for installing in offices, schools, and shopping malls. Installing the fixture is especially recommended in settings that are prone to vandalism such as K-schools.

Waterless urinals feature a vertical tap design. There are three standard designs of waterless urinals: integrated drain trap, cartridge trap, and silicone diaphragm trap.

  •         The integrated drain trap design uses a liquid sealant to separate waste from the bowl. A cylinder filled with a layer of liquid glue sits above the urinal’s drain area. The cylinder fills as the urinals pass through the vertical tap. It then flows into the waste line under the barrier layer from where it drained. Generally, waterless urinals made of porcelain or vitreous china, similar to traditional urinals, they rely on the density differential between the waste and the sealant instead of water. Since the urine is denser, it passes through the glue.
  •         The cartridge urinals use a disposal cartridge that fits into the urinal base. The cartridge can also slip into the ground. A unique tool is generally required to insert and remove the cartridge. The cartridge contains a half litre of water typically.

It collects sediment and directs liquid flow to the drain. Apart from controlling the flow of liquid waste, the cartridge also blocks odours.

  •         The third type of waterless urinals features a silicone diaphragm. The diaphragm housed in the cartridge. It allows urine to pass through and then seals the drain. Also, the diaphragm prevents odour from penetrating the room.

Different waterless urinals require different cleaning techniques. Some are easier to clean and maintain as compared to others. Keep in mind that not all urinals are effective in removing waste. In fact, with some urinals, the debris collects under the bowl rim that creates a nasty odour problem. This point should consider when cleaning the urinals.

Now that you know the different types of urinals, let’s find out how to clean a waterless urinal.

How to Clean a Waterless Urinal

Waterless urinals cleaned in the same way as flush urinals. You should wear gloves when scrubbing the urinals. Also, an all-purpose cleaner should use to clean the urinal. Sanitizer and disinfectant used to block the odour of the urinal. Most cleaners use bleach or other harmful chemicals to clean the urinal. However, this can result in a negative impact on the environment. A more eco-friendly approach is to use elbow grease and toils bowl brush to clean the urinal.

You should select a brush that specially designed to clean urinals.  The brush should be designed to clean the bowl rim as well as the rest of the bowl. Consider purchasing a brush with soft bristle. A brush with stiff hair may scratch the urinal bowl. Besides, you should select a brush that is designed to bend at an angle. It will make the cleaning job more manageable.

Apart from an appropriate urinal brush, you should have the following items to clean a waterless urinal.

  •         A ‘Cleaning in Progress’ signboard
  •         Gloves
  •         Safety Goggle
  •         All-purpose cleaner
  •         Filled water bucket
  •         Soft cloth
  •         Air freshener

 Step-by-step Guide on How to Clean a Waterless Urinal

Step 1. You should first of all place cleaning in progress signboard at the entrance area. If the bathroom has more than one entrance, you should place the signboard in front of every access to the site.

Step 2. Next, put on the safety goggles and gloves.

Step 3. Now remove foreign objects from the urinal.

Step 4. Pour all-purpose cleaner on the urinal surface. Allow the cleaner to remain on the urinal for a few minutes.

Step 5. Now, clean the urinal using a soft bristle brush. You should dip the brush in the water bucket before cleaning the urinal surface.

Step 6. Use a soft cloth to clean the urinal surface.

Step 7. Lastly, use an air freshener to mask any lingering smell.

An important thing to keep in mind regarding how to clean a waterless urinal is that you should not pour dirty water in the bucket down the urinal. The reason is that it can flush the sealant inside the trap. Another essential thing to keep in mind regarding how to clean a waterless urinal is that you should never use harsh chemicals as it can harm the urinal surface. Consider buying a neutral cleaner to clean the urinal safely.

As compared to traditional urinals, waterless urinals are not that hard to clean. With the right tools and chemical cleaner, cleaning a urinal can be a breeze. The bowl is generally liquid repellant that helps in the urine drainage. It’s essential to prevent bacterial buildup to keep the urinal dry. You can use a mild disinfectant to eliminate bacteria from the urinal.

The disinfectant can be applied using a soft cloth. Microfiber can be perfect for this task.

Regular cleaning of the waterless urinal is essential. It is particularly true for urinals placed in public bathrooms. The cleaner should know the correct way to clean to the urinal to avoid damaging the unit. Also, it’s essential to maintain a schedule for cleaning the urinal. It will ensure that the urinal doesn’t reek of foul odour.

Best Waterless Urinal Cleaner

Not all waterless urinal cleaners are useful. It’s essential that you carefully select the product to clean the urinal. Below are some effective cleaners that you can use to clean waterless urinals.

  •         Waterfree Urinal Cleaner — The product is safe for cleaning waterless urinals. It is composed of lactic acid that effectively cleans the urinal. The best thing about the cleaner is that it can easily descale the urinal without leaving any residual. Most importantly, the cleaner will not cause any damage to the sealant when used according to the specified direction.
  •         Unclean Cleaner —  Another product that you should use if perplexed about how to clean a waterless urinal is Uriclean Cleaner. The product works for almost all types of waterless urinals. You should spray the cleaner on the surface of the urinal, leave the product for a few minutes and then wipe off using a soft cloth.
  •         Nviroclean Waterless Urinal Cleaner — The cleaning product specifically designed for cleaning waterless urinals. It quickly breaks down organic matter, including urine. A good thing about this dry urinal cleaner is that it leaves behind a deodorised and clean scent. Using the product can result in increased longevity as the cleaner virtually eliminates the buildup of deposit from the trap and the cartridge. Reduction in buildup can also prevent blockages.
  •         Spray Nviro-Clean™ — This product effectively cleans the inside surface of the waterless urinal. It can also use to sanitize and remove the odour of not just the urinal but the surrounding surfaces.

A critical thing to keep in mind regarding how to clean a waterless urinal is that should clean not all urinals with chemical-based cleaners. They can damage the sealant or cartridge. You should contact the manufacturer to determine whether it’s safe to clean the urinal using chemical-based cleaners. For urinals that should not clean using a chemical cleaner, you should clean the urinal with water. Use as little water to flow down the cartridge when scrubbing such urinals. Using too much water can degrade the sealant, thereby requiring frequent replacement.

Maintenance of Waterless Urinal Trap and Sealant

Apart from knowing about how to clean a waterless urinal, you should also know how to maintain the urinal properly. Two essential components of the waterless urinal that should hold include the trap and the sealant. While the exact requirements of maintaining these components of the urinal differ depending on the product, it usually involves replacing cylinder and replenishing liquid sealant.

Small amounts of sealant drain in the waste line over time. They generally need to be replenished after about every 1,500 usages. In public spaces with heavy use, should refill the waterless urinal twice a month. It is the case with waterless urinals placed in large schools and shopping malls.

To add the sealant, you should use the ‘portion aid’ device that comes with the liquid. It will help incorrectly measuring the amount of glue that just poured in the cylinder. Generally, water urinals require about 3 ounces of the sealants.

Also, the cylinders of the waterless urinals need to replaced three or four times a year. Here are the steps that you should follow to replace the cylinder of the waterless urinal. Keep in mind that you should use a metal tool to remove the trap. The manufacturer provides the metal tool typically.

Step 1. Insert the metal tool inside the trap, and then pull out the trap. It would help if you gently pulled out the trap using back and forth motion.

Step 2. Now, you should drain excess liquid present inside the cylinder. Appropriately discard the trap.

Step 3. After removing the trap, you should proceed to add a bucket of hot water down the drain.

Step 4. You should now install a new trap. Once the trap is in place, you should add about 12 ounces of water.

Step 5. Next, you should fill the trap with 3 ounces of sealant.

The above steps are applicable for most waterless urinals. However, one thing you should keep in mind regarding how to clean a waterless urinal is that you cannot replace some urinals’ trap. You may need to take apart the trap and clean it.

Also, urinals with dry-type cartridges do not need replacement. However, they should regularly clean to remove and flush deposits.

Frequency of Cleaning of Waterless Urinal

Waterless urinals are not that difficult to maintain as compared to traditional urinals. They are much easier to clean and maintain as compared to flush urinals. Similar to conventional urinals, they must be cleaned and disinfected continuously. Waterless urinals are the easiest to clean. The issues of odours generally arise when the urinals not cleaned regularly, or the cartridges and liquids not replaced.

You should know how to clean a waterless urinal properly to avoid any problems. Depending on the type and brand of the waterless urinal should maintain the liquid sealant cartridge used in the urinal regularly. The cleaning frequency is 1,500 uses for most waterless urinals. Cleaning should occur more frequently for high usage urinals.

For older urinals that do not have cartridges, the individuals need to perform cleaning on a bi-weekly basis. Also, it should clean the urinals by pouring 1 gallon of water. It ensures that the waste effectively purged from the urinal.

The cleaners should consider keeping a log to record the date of cleaning, sealant replacement, cartridge cleaning, and other maintenance tasks. They should also record the tools and chemicals used to clean the urinals. Keeping an accurate record of this will ensure that the cleaner remains cleaned and well-maintained.

Concluding Remarks: How to clean a waterless urinal

A vital benefit of the waterless urinal is that it does not contain any component that requires extensive maintenance. Since there are no mechanical devices, the workers do not have to replace or repair the flush valves. Also, there is no need to worry about having an inventory of flushes, valves, and another similar component. The only requirement regarding waterless urinal is stock cartridges and sealants. These components can easily be cleaned and maintained without any problems.

An important consideration regarding the waterless urinals is that it must be cleaned and maintained by trained janitors. Should train them on how to clean the urinals properly. Proper training regarding how to clean and maintain a waterless urinal ensure that it will remain odour free. Should carry out the activity right after the installation of the urinal. The cleaners should be taught not just how to clean the dry urinal, but also how to replace cartridge and sealants.

Keep in mind that the codes regarding waterless urinals are not the same. Some jurisdictions do not allow installation of waterless urinals and require every plumbing fixture in the home to have a water supply. You should consult with the local authorities to know whether it’s permissible to install waterless fixtures in the house.

Lastly, cleaners are required to know how to clean and maintain the waterless urinals properly. They should also be aware of the new types of water urinals that are introduced in the market every year. Today, new advanced models are available that require less cleaning. Some of them need cleaning after up to 7,000 flushes. It results in even more cost savings.

The tips that mentioned above can help in properly cleaning and maintaining the waterless cleaners. Ultimately, a waterless urinal is much easier to clean as compared to flush urinals. With proper care and diligence, these urinals can last for a long time. Building owners can benefit from installing the urinals as it will result in fewer water costs for them. The savings due to installing waterless urinals makes it highly preferable as compared to traditional urinals.


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