The attitudes towards cleaning in the backgrond culture are not irrelevant to this conversation. Westerners oftentimes have a praiseworthy attitude towards cleaning which goes: “cleanliness is Godliness”.
Good for the Mahayana for enshrining cleaning as being something which would be pretty much sacrilegious to not do. I feel that this has helped them to attract many Westerners to their religion, thanks to this compatibility with Western culture.
If Westerners visit a Theravada temple, then look in a bathroom and find it all nasty and grotty, they very well might never return, despite the eloquence and refined demeanour of the monks there, in proclaiming their lofty doctrine. For many Westerners, the lowly, worldy dhamma of bathroom cleaning comes before the high Dhamma in a formally-preached bana or desana, in it’s weightiness.
Virtually all Western Theravada forest monasteries, which are run by Westerner abbots, or Westernized ethnic Asian abbots, are sensitive to the “cleanliness is godliness” background value of many Westerners, and ensure clean bathrooms, lodgings, kitchens, workshops, etc. They would risk alienating members of their congregation if they didn’t!
If predominately, culturally Asian Theravada temples wish to attract more Westerners to become repeat visitors to their temples, they would do well to “know the assembly” (as the Buddha famously did, see AN 7.68), and care more about public sanitation. I’ve been to several such places who are woefully below the standards and expectations of Westerners, and Westerners rarely visit those places, let alone come back again repeatedly.
One more than one occasion, while travelling from monastery to monastery in Asia (and I won’t say where), I would carefully pack a bottle of 10% hydrochloric acid Toilet bowl cleaner (as part of my nomadic monk kit), and several pairs of nitrile gloves. When I was assigned lodgings, I would proceed to the bathroom, find the toilet a nasty abomination of filth, then drizzle that acid gel all over the toilet, rubbing it around with my hands (with the gloves on). In a matter of seconds, ZING!, the shining, gleaming, immaculately clean toilet appeared from under its mantle of filth.
Same goes for grotty, black-colored footbaths: use more than one entire bottle of 10% HCl toilet bowl cleaner, and a toilet brush, scrubbing slowly, but firmly. Don’t let it splash on your bare feet, or it’ll leave a chemical burn that will take like 2 weeks to heal!
Same goes for marble benches that are covered in mold. 10% HCl gel is your friend, rubbing it all over with your hands, wearing nitrile gloves with no holes. Very carefully, swish with a clean pail of water afterwards.