Washroom hygiene in the holiday season
07 March 2013
Hand hygiene is particularly important in the summer when crowds of holidaymakers gather together in hotels, campsites and tourist attractions and the risk of infections is high. SCA's Charlotte Branwhite suggests some suitable washroom systems for holiday venues
Many of us associate the winter - with its inevitable outbreaks of colds and flu - as the season when there is a heightened need for hand hygiene.
But in the summer there is also an infection risk when crowds of people converge on popular holiday resorts and tourist venues.
Most of us have high expectations of our holiday and will want the washrooms in our resort, hotel, cruise ship or campsite to be at least as hygienic as those at home. But besides focusing on hygiene, washroom providers will also want their facilities to present an attractive, clean appearance to keep their customers coming back.
This is particularly true of the washrooms in an upmarket hotel. A recent survey carried out on behalf of SCA revealed that washrooms play an important part in the overall impression of a hotel for more than 90 per cent of us.
Most hotels have public washrooms situated near to the reception, and these act as a showroom for the premises and create a powerful impression in the minds of the guest.
Smart washroom dispensers that match the overall dÃ©cor of the hotel will impress the user and provide an impression of cleanliness and order.
A high-capacity hand towel roll dispenser such as the Tork Hand Towel Roll, or an interfold hand towel dispenser containing soft, high quality towels would work well here - especially if it gives out towels one at a time to avoid cross-contamination and over-consumption.
In a hotel's busy public washrooms the soap system should be user-friendly, long-lasting and easy to use even small children and the frail elderly.
Going the extra mile Items such as facial tissues, fresh flowers and hand creams in a hotel's public area washrooms will demonstrate that hoteliers are willing to go that extra mile to please their guests. Other "extras" that guests will appreciate include a toilet seat cleaner - such as Tork Premium Toilet Seat Cleaner - to enable them to sanitise the seat before use.
Hotel en suites are designed to make the guest feel at home and the manager may opt for fluffy textile towels and conventional toilet rolls of a similar quality to consumer brands. Good soap options include Tork Premium Liquid Soap Mini - which contains 475 shots of soap - and Tork Premium Hair and Body which is a two-in-one soap and shampoo solution for use in the showers.
Such systems also works well in campsite shower blocks where campers often bring their own toiletries. Where Tork Premium Hair and Body is supplied it will help keep the shower area free from slimy soap residue and empty wrappers.
The risk of toilet roll pilferage at campsites is high so here a lockable dispenser will be required. Look for a system that is sufficiently compact to fit into small campsite washroom cubicles and can easily be topped up to prevent the toilet tissue supply from running out. High-capacity hand towel rolls also work well in a campsite toilet block because they can give out one towel at a time to prevent overconsumption, mess and waste.
At the other end of the spectrum, passengers on a cruise ship will expect a high level of comfort and luxury - and hygiene is particularly important here since infections spread very quickly on board a ship.
Upmarket dispensers work well on a cruise ship since these have a smart, striking appearance and are easy to clean since their surface is resistant to fingermarks. Soaps such as the Tork Luxury Soft Liquid Soap which contains silk extracts and comes in a dispenser that holds 1,000 shots of quality soap are also popular on cruise ships.
Thorough hand washing with soap and water will help prevent the spread of infections, but a sanitiser in a dispenser format should be supplied as a supplement to hand washing, particularly at the entrance to dining areas.
Holidays are memorable experiences and people returning from a trip away will be keen to share their memories with friends. They may not mention the pleasant, hygienic washrooms they encounter but they may well talk about the dirty, unhygienic ones. So it makes good sense for washroom providers at holiday venues to keep their washrooms clean, hygienic and well stocked.