Cleaning Toilet Partitions

Cleaning products for use with toilet partitions.

There are a variety of acceptable toilet partition cleaning methods. This strategy is practically universal:

  • Prepare a mixture of warm water and a mild all-purpose bathroom cleaner in a bucket or basin. Submerge a soft, absorbent cloth or soft sponge in the mix. Wring it out, so it is damp, not soaked. Then wipe the partition surfaces side-to-side, top to bottom. Tackle one panel, door, or pilaster at a time.
  • Avoid any cleaning solutions or cleaning tools that are abrasive or chemically harsh. Do not use wire brushes, fibrous sponges, steel wool, scouring pads, powdered cleansers, gritty creams, bleach, acids, toilet bowl cleaner, or scale remover.
  • Repeat the wiping process using clean, warm water and a fresh cloth or sponge. Primarily, this removes the loosened dirt and excess cleaner. This step also limits the build-up of cleaner residue.
  • Always dry partition surfaces. Some partition surfaces can corrode if exposed to moisture for prolonged periods. Almost any partition material, even waterproof polymers, could show water spotting and streaking if they are not thoroughly dried.

PRO TIP: Use a wet mop with a flat, cloth-covered head (mounted on a ball joint) to cleaning bathroom partitions. Use the mop in conjunction with a misting bottle to speed up the cleaning process. These tools make light work of cleaning hard-to-reach areas. Do not reuse a mop or mop cover previously used to clean floors. Also, avoid excess moisture.

To remove difficult stains while maintaining the finish and cosmetic appeal of the partitions, use an approach tailored to your bathroom stall material: powder-coated steel, plastic laminate, solid plastic, phenolic, composite, or stainless steel. Consult these material specific pages to identify the composition of your partitions. Then, follow the directions in this article.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is resistant to ordinary soiling and discoloration, but prolonged exposure to moisture or harsh chemicals will cause corrosion. While stainless is quite durable overall, the unique brushed (or textured) finish should be carefully maintained and gently cleaned.

For fingerprints and tougher spots, upgrade to a stainless-specific cleaner. Thanks to the prevalence of stainless steel appliances, these cleaners are readily available.

In the event of corrosion or real staining, a light abrasive cleanser – that’s carefully applied with the grain of the stainless steel – may be helpful. Avoid harsh cleaners and chemicals that will ruin both the finish and surface itself.

Download the manufacturer’s cleaning guide for stainless steel (Hadrian).

Powder Coated

Powder coating is, essentially, a sophisticated painting technique. The coat, including the pigment, is applied to the metal surface electrostatically as a dry powder. Then, heat is employed to cure the coating. Abrasives and harsh chemicals might wear away or react chemically with the powder layer.

Treat difficult soil and stains with a special cleaner designed specifically for powder-coated surfaces.

Occasionally, apply automotive paste wax to help protect the finish. If the finish is damaged, touch up painting is possible. Touched up areas will have a different texture than the factory finish.

Download the manufacturer’s cleaning guide for powder coating (Hadrian). Or, read about the special procedure for cleaning anti-graffiti powder coating (Hadrian).


Phenolic is entirely water-resistant, making cleaning relatively carefree. The exterior laminate layer is durable. However, abrasives and strong chemicals can degrade its appearance.

For significant soiling and staining, try a commercial cleaner that includes acetic acid.

Because phenolic stalls are waterproof, washing it with a hose is an option. Remember to dry the hardware thoroughly. Some phenolic partition manufacturers recommend a periodic, light application of furniture polish to protect phenolic surfaces.

Download the manufacturer’s cleaning guide for laminate surfaces (Bobrick).

Plastic Laminate

Plastic laminate toilet partitions require careful cleaning. The laminate surface itself is very robust, but the wood-based core is vulnerable to moisture. Make sure plastic laminate stalls stay as dry as possible, even during cleaning.

For significant soiling and staining, try a commercial cleaner that includes acetic acid. Never soak, splash, or spray plastic laminate.

Some plastic laminate partition manufacturers recommend a periodic, light application of furniture polish to protect laminate surfaces.

Download the manufacturer’s cleaning guide for laminate surfaces (Bobrick).

Solid Plastic

Solid plastic, or HDPE, is simple to clean. Dirt has difficulty clinging to this material. It is waterproof and indifferent to most cleaning products. However, some aggressive abrasives and chemicals can still harm or discolor the finish.

If first-line measures fail, try a commercial cleaner containing acetic acid or look for a plastic-specific cleaning product safe for high-density polyethylene.

Because it is both waterproof and tough, heavily soiled solid plastic may be pressure washed or “hosed down.” Always dry partition surfaces and hardware. Resurfacing is possible for very heavily stained HDPE solid plastic, as the material is the same color throughout.

Download the manufacturer’s cleaning guide for solid plastic (HDPE) surfaces (Scranton Products).


Download the manufacturer’s cleaning guide for composite (SCRC) surfaces (Bobrick).