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Touchless Technology

Touchless Technology Helps Keep Your Restrooms Clean and Healthy
Steve Hanson
Are you tired of cleaning grimy fingerprints off restroom faucets and soap dispensers? Indeed. One of the major sources of customer complaints is restroom cleanliness.  The reasons for this go beyond the abilities of your cleaning staff.  The more traffic a building gets the harder it is to keep high cleaning standards, especially if you are cleaning the building only once or twice a week.  Restrooms can have problems with odors, general appearance, empty dispensers, leaky soap dispensers and wads of paper towels stacked up on the floor.  Besides not looking clean, this leads to a perception that the restroom is not sanitary. Installing touchless dispensers can help to control these problems.  

Touchfree technology not only helps keep restrooms clean, but also helps to reduce the spread of germs and cuts down on your staff's cleaning time.  Using touchfree soap dispensers, water faucets, toilet paper, and paper towel dispensers, restroom visitors do not have to touch handles, buttons or levers.  The fewer the objects visitors' hands touch, the less dirt and grime your staff will have to clean off fixtures.

You may think of a touchless system as expensive because it's controlled by a sensor.  But touchless systems do not have to be complicated or expensive.  There are toilet paper systems that hold individual interleaved sheets of paper.  The user easily takes the sheets they need and do no have to "fish around" the inside of a potentially dirty dispenser looking for the end of the toilet paper roll.  This provides a much cleaner and more sanitary system than the traditional toilet paper roll dispensers. Another low-cost hygienic choice is a folded towel dispensing system.  Towels are dispensed one-at-a-time and restroom visitors only touch the towel they need.

The more high tech type systems are sensor activated.  These are devices that flush toilets, turn on water faucets, dispense hand soap, and dispense paper towels.  No touch technology is extremely important with paper towel dispensers as towels are used after hands are clean. 

When deciding on a touchless paper towel dispenser, keep the following in mind:

·         Power source. Most paper towel dispensers work off battery power.  Look for dispensers that run off normal D-cell batteries as opposed to ones that need a special and expensive battery packs.  Those special battery packs may not be available locally and have to be ordered - which will be a problem if the batteries die unexpectedly.

·         There are several different types of dispensing components.  Several studies have shown that users prefer a system where the dispenser is triggered when hands are placed directly under the dispenser. 

·         Refilling.  As with any dispenser, the easier it is to refill, the quicker your cleaning crew can get the job done and move on to other tasks.  Avoid using dispensers that need threading the towels through a series of rollers.

To minimize the items a visitor has to touch, many buildings are now installing automatic toilet flushing mechanisms.  These allow toilets and urinals to flush automatically after use.  Some systems are even designed to flush periodically when not in use to keep fresh water in the bowl at all times.  To help minimize bacteria and reduce odors, consider adding an automatic disinfectant dispensing system. 

Installing touchless soap dispensers and automatic water faucets cuts down on what visitors' touch and saves on soap and water use. If the restroom is heavily used, be sure to order soap dispensers that are large enough so frequent refills are not necessary.

Restroom cleaning in itself can be very labor-intensive - from wiping down counters to scrubbing toilets, it requires a big time commitment.  There now touchless cleaning products that can save you time and money.  These systems are designed to allow your staff to clean without having to touch any surface in the restroom with their hands. 

One type of system includes a cleaning cart, bucket and series of extension handles with specialized mop heads and attachments. The cart itself includes storage space for cleaning supplies and paper products.

Steam and vapor cleaning is also growing in popularity. The steam cleaning system uses a tank that superheats water as opposed to using chemicals.  The steam is applied to dirty areas through a special wand and an applicator, which includes an attachment for cleaning towels.  To use the equipment the operator "wipes" all surfaces with the superheated water and changes the cleaning towel as it becomes soiled. 

Another alternative to use in restroom cleaning is the microfiber mopping system.  This is a self-contained system.  It cleans faster and more efficiently than a traditional bucket and mop.  For restroom cleaning, the microfiber is a more hygienic as the mop water is not reused.

Public restroom users are concerned about how clean and sanitary restrooms are.  Using touchless dispensers not only helps to control the spread of germs, they help to conserve water, soap and paper towels, and provide the convenience of requiring less action from the user to get the job done. Touchless dispensers also help to keep cleaning costs down as your staff will spend less time cleaning the restroom and refilling dispensers.  Less time spent cleaning restrooms means more profit for your cleaning business! 
 

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Steve Hanson helps owners of small cleaning companies build a more profitable and successful cleaning business through his online community at TheJanitorialStore.com. Read inspirational cleaning success stories at http://www.cleaning-success.com, and sign up for weekly cleaning tips at http://www.TheJanitorialStore.com.

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