Joe Tehan

By: Joe Tehan on June 6th, 2021

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Commercial Soap Dispensers: How to Select the Right System For Your Business

Modern commercial skincare dispensing systems can enhance your facility’s hand hygiene program in several ways including reduced germ spread, limited risk of cross-contamination, and improved sustainability. 

As you search for a new skincare system, you’ve likely realized there are many new, innovative soap and sanitizer dispensing options on the market today, and narrowing down the options might seem difficult. 

Many dispensing systems are now engineered with a variety of distinct features designed to offer several benefits, including: 

  • Improved Cleaning Staff Productivity 
  • Reduced Germ Spread and Risk of Illness 
  • Enhanced Facility Appearance 
  • Improved Sustainability 
  • ..and More 

Before you can find the right dispensing system for your facility, you should be aware of the different features available and how each of these relate to one of these benefits. 

We put together this article to provide an overview of some new, innovative features that today’s commercial skincare dispensing systems offer so you can choose the best option for your facility. 

We’ll also break down some of the benefits you can enjoy when adding new, updated soap and sanitizer dispensers to your facility.  

Before we begin, it’s important to understand the main types of dispensing systems. 

Different Types Of Commercial Skincare Dispensing Systems

Soap dispensers can be categorized in two ways. First, by where they are placed, such as wall-mounted or countertop.  Second, by how they operate including manual pump and sensor/touchless soap dispensers.

Wall-Mounted Dispensers 

Wall-mounted units are hung on the wall. 

Wall-mounted units maximize counter space and are designed to fit where many traditional dispensers couldn’t fit. Tork PeakServe Mini (002)

These units can be manual pump or battery operated. 

This type of dispenser typically offers more versatile designs. 

Wall-mounted dispensers are available in the same stainless steel look countertop units offer, but they can also be white or black plastic. 

Given the larger face of these dispensers, some can even be custom-branded to promote your organization or a certain cause. 

Countertop Dispensers 

As made obvious by the name, counter units are installed into the counter. Countertop dispensers are placed close enough to the sink bay that they typically release soap over the sink, limiting soap waste and reducing countertop cleanup. 

Many times, these dispensers are silver and provide the look of stainless steel. The units actually look similar in appearance to a faucet.  These dispensers typically allow for a greater soap reservoir under the sink so that it needs to be replaced less often when compared to wall-mounted dispensers. However, they may cost more than wall-mounted dispensers. 

Countertop dispensers can be manual, automatic/hands-free, and are either hardwired or battery-powered. 

Benefits New, Innovative Dispensing Systems Offer

Enhanced Cleaning Staff Productivity 

Finding ways to help your cleaning team do more in less time has, and will continue to be a priority. 

Choosing a dispenser engineered to limit maintenance and reduce the time between refills can help your cleaning team get back to other, more important tasks. 

Battery Operated 

Automated systems are commonly battery-operated.  

Battery-operated units are hands-free and eliminate the need for occupants to touch or pump soap, reducing germ spread. 

These systems also offer unique benefits such as the ability to be paired with IoT (internet-of-things) service platforms for improved worker productivity. 

It can be difficult to predict when your staff will need to change out batteries on a dispenser. Finding a system that can extend battery life or alert your staff to an outage is important. 

Long-Lasting Batteries  

Certain battery-powered systems promote extended life batteries also referred to as battery management systems. 

Some dispensing systems with management systems are tested and guaranteed to provide over 4 ½ years of battery life.

Increased battery life helps to reduce maintenance and improve the reliability of the dispenser. With greater dispenses per battery, you won’t have to worry about outages or sending your staff to check on the life of the batteries as frequently, ultimately giving your cleaning staff the time to tackle other cleaning challenges. 

Reduce Battery ChangeoutsES8-Features-Banner

Reduce battery changeouts by selecting a dispensing system with a battery on the refill technology. 

With a battery on the refill, this means that each new refill comes with its own battery. 

When you replace the empty refill, you get a new battery, eliminating dispenser outages. This technology eliminates premature battery changeouts and customer or guest complaints. 

Visible Alert Systems 

Understanding when a refill is needed is important, and it should not take your staff more than a few seconds. 

With just a glance, staff should be able to see whether they need to spend more time refilling or exchanging or if they can simply move on. Spending more time debating if they should refill the soap or sanitizer leads to unnecessary downtime and lost productivity. 

Look for systems that prominently display product levels on the outside of the dispenser to make it easy to see when maintenance is needed. Low product or battery levels can either be displayed through clear cartridges on manual systems or LED indicator lights on automated systems. 

Pro Tip: Consider if an IoT-connected dispenser is right for your facility. IoT, Internet of Things, dispensers let your custodial crew remotely monitor dispensing conditions in all of your dispensers from an app or desktop. This eliminates your staff from having to go to the respective dispenser to check on product levels. Instead, they can be alerted when it is empty or there is a problem that requires the soap or sanitizer dispenser to be maintained.

Easy monitoring reduces the amount of time employees will spend checking on dispensing systems, reducing complaints about empty dispensers, and increasing guest or customer satisfaction.

High Capacity Systems 

Designed to help facility managers better manage high traffic operations, high capacity systems are built to deliver more dispenses per soap or sanitizer refill. 

In some cases, dispensers can provide greater than 2,500 dispenses per soap or sanitizer bottle or cartridge.  

While these dispensers can be small and sleek products, there are high capacity dispensers that are larger, and contain more soap which is better suited for high traffic facilities. These units can vary in size and some may not be aesthetically pleasing or fit in the desired footprint.

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Integrating a high-capacity system into your facility is crucial to reducing unnecessary maintenance and lowering the time your janitorial team spends on replacing soap and sanitizer.

Easy Maintenance 

To help you keep your facility looking great, there are dispensing systems that offer a pause button or maintenance mode to stop the dispensing of soap or sanitizer for easy, mess-free cleaning. 

Systems with this function help your staff clean under and around dispensers without product waste or frustration. 

Another function to look for is drip-free dispensing systems. Drip-free dispensers stop dispensers from dripping onto the counter or into the sink after use to help reduce unnecessary product waste and the maintenance required by your staff. 

Reduced Germ Spread

One of the most important benefits of newer commercial skincare dispensing systems is the ability to limit germ spread. 

Automatic Touchless Dispensing Hand Sanitizer

Many soap and sanitizer dispensers limit germ spread through automatic, hands-free dispensing. 

This means that users do not have to pump or touch the dispenser in any way to activate soap or sanitizer release into the user’s hands. 

Sealed Refill Bottles  

Further reducing germ spread, some dispensers can be paired with sealed refill bottles, helping to reduce the risk of germs getting into the soap or sanitizer container.

Sealed refills greatly limit the risk of cross-contamination when compared to bulk dispensing. 

A bulk-fill dispenser is a breeding ground for bacteria. They’re refilled by opening the container, leaving the soap reservoir subject to contaminants like germs, fecal matter, and more. Then, when dispensed the soap actually transmits these contaminants to the hands of users, actually increasing the risk of illness.

Purell Hand Sanitizer

In fact, a professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson, studied 541 soap samples from around the United States, finding that 25 percent had unsafe levels of bacteria (more than 500 parts per million) and 16 percent contained coliform bacteria, which are fecal-based and can cause illnesses

For more details, check out the full study

Single-Use Pumps 

Further reducing germ spread is dispensing systems that offer refills equipped with single-use pumps. 

Single-use pumps are typically attached to refill units and are exchanged when the bottle or cartridge is replaced, offering quick and easy maintenance while reducing any potential for cross-contamination.

Improved Sustainability 

An added advantage of newer commercial soap and sanitizer dispensers is the emphasis on sustainability. 

Dispensers offer a variety of green features from full cartridge recyclability to minimized soap waste. 

We gathered some of the most sought-after sustainability features below. 

Recyclable Refill Units 

Soap and sanitizer refill bottles and cartridges vary in construction. 

There are cartridges or refill bottles that can be engineered from PET (polyethylene terephthalate), plastic number 1, the most widely accepted recyclable plastic. Once used, simply recycle the bottle. 

Other eco-friendly refills can be derived from 25% post-consumer recycled material, helping to lower your ecological footprint.  

Always check with your local recycling center to confirm product acceptance. 

Reduce Soap Waste 

Newer refill bottles or cartridges are designed for 99% or more product elimination. Meaning that in many cases, all of the soap or sanitizer will be dispensed from the bottle or cartridge before requiring a refill. 

This eliminates soap waste and associated costs. In addition to lowering waste, this also helps improve worker productivity by reducing the number of times staff need to perform a changeout. 

Modern Aesthetics

Whether you manage a school, Class A office building, hospital, or another facility, the satisfaction of the people in your building is important. 

In addition to these functional elements, consider the aesthetics of a soap dispenser. Whether your surroundings are traditional or modern, choose a soap dispenser that features a design and a color scheme that pairs well with your facility and its decor.

Innovative new commercial skincare dispensing systems are available with sleek, stylish designs. 

Quiet

Help your guests enjoy the restroom experience with dispensers that are as quiet as a whisper. 

Loud dispensers can be annoying and distracting, leading to occupant complaints. Low noise dispensers eliminate this issue. 

Anti-Theft

Protect your investment while enhancing your facility’s image. Invest in a dispenser that is designed to prevent theft. 

Select a dispenser with a secure, integrated locking mechanism, keeping it secured to the wall or mount. 


Final Thoughts 

Not only will the right soap and sanitizer dispensers enhance your occupant or guest experience, but they also will help you boost cleaning staff efficiency, lower product waste, and reduce complaints. 

EBP and other Imperial Dade locations have a variety of new, modern soap dispensers to boost your hand hygiene program in your facility.

If you're located in the United States, Puerto Rico, or the Caribbean, contact an EBP Specialist today for help deciding on the right dispenser for you. We can perform an in-person or virtual evaluation of your facility to help you optimize your facility's hand hygiene program.

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About Joe Tehan

Joe Tehan is the Vice President of Services and Training for EBP Supply Solutions, with over 20 years of experience in the Chemical and Janitorial Industries. During the first part of his career, he primarily focused on helping customers solve their toughest warewash and laundry challenges. He specialized in developing effective warewashing and laundry programs that utilize one-pass washing, sustainable products & processes, and staff training to help customers achieve increased safety, improved cleanliness, cost-savings, & maximum operational efficiency. Today, Joe, who is an ISSA-CMI certified instructor, helps customers optimize their cleaning operation with innovative solutions, customized cleaning programs, and staff training.