Restroom Hygiene: Managers Specifying Touchless, Antimicrobial Products
Manufacturers have responded to end users' concerns by removing the need to touch restroom products whenever possible.
"Automatic operation of everything possible in restrooms is definitely the trend," Gettelman says. "It gives everyone the confidence, ÔI'm not touching something someone else has touched.'"
Manufacturers also have introduced options made from or with antimicrobial and antibacterial materials. Many now use molded plastic with antimicrobial benefits in products such as baby-changing stations. Others apply silver-ion coatings to stainless steel. Each manufacturer continues trying to convince customers its products offer the edge in improving restroom hygiene.
"Folded towels were always the hands-free option," says Debbie Ponath, category manager for smart disposables management with San Jamar, which makes paper and soap dispensers. "That's why they were in doctor's offices for the last 30 years."
While other options emerged, such as electric hand dryers, she says, "Folded towels came back because they offered an option that was both low-cost and touchless."
In turn, makers of electric hand dryers point to hygienic benefits of their products. Rosen says his company's product eliminates the need for paper, as well as for cleaning crews to pick up discarded paper towels and empty waste receptacles as often.
Robert advises managers to remember that successful specification involves other equally important considerations.
"Hygiene is important, but performance and customer satisfaction have to be there, too," he says, adding products have to last and maintain their appearances. "Nobody can afford to look good for only six months."