Hand hygiene continues to show up on the public’s radar as one of the key ways to prevent the spread of communicable illness. More soap and sanitizing products are available on the market than ever before, catering to a variety of facilities, budgets and populations.
Weeding through the offerings can be challenging for busy managers, which is why jan/san distributors are ready and willing to help.
“It’s certainly within the realm of the distributor to demonstrate to custodial managers the benefits of installing the proper soap system based on what they want their desired outcome to be, providing health and sanitation inside the facility,” said one product manufacturer.
Soap And Sanitizing Dispensing
From the traditional liquid or gel bulk-fill soaps to the more modern sealed cartridges, dispensing options haven’t changed much in recent years. Low-traffic facilities may be more likely to use the less expensive bulk soap. However, hermetically sealed cartridges provide a distinct advantage to bulk soaps in that they are not subject to contamination.
“A study by the University of Arizona found that since the air interacts with the soap as you’re pouring it, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria,” says Dan Josephs, general manager at Spruce Industries in Garwood, N.J. “When they tested the soap coming out of bulk-fill dispensers, they found they were very contaminated. You’re better off washing your hands with water when you see those dispensers.”
For that reason, Josephs typically recommends facility executives implement soaps that are available in sealed cartridges. These offerings are not exposed to air or other elements, eliminating their potential for contamination.
However, as long as there are still facility managers who prioritize being economical about their purchases, there will continue to be plenty of facilities that use bulk-fill systems — not that all decisions come down to money.
For instance, in a high-end facility, managers may want to create a specific perception. To do so, they may implement a beautiful bulk-fill dispenser that is filled with the most pearlized, rich emollient luxury hand soap available. Distributors comment that this high-end soap comes at a price, but to facility managers, the perception is more important than the savings departments may find by using sealed soap and dispensers.
In the case of high-traffic facilities, distributors comment that functionality and dollars drive purchases. Foam soaps that dole out more hand washes and touch-free dispensers are gaining market space.
LISA RIDGELY is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee. She is the former Deputy Editor of Contracting Profits magazine, a sister publication to Facility Cleaning Decisions.