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Why commercial washrooms need dispensers

05 September 2022

YOU MAY have heard of the ‘Razor Blade Business Model,’ a tried and tested approach to secure future sales by selling a primary pack at a low (or even lower than) cost in order to make a profit on future refills and consumables. 

This model has proven rather successful for King Gillette who founded this approach to build the global and well renowned Gillette Company. It’s also a business model that has influenced the washroom dispenser market for decades.  But this hasn’t been or ever will be Dudley Industries approach; you see our expertise is in the design and manufacture of the dispensers themselves.  We trust that it is our product quality and service that builds our customer loyalty.  By purchasing the dispenser from Dudley Industries you are free to choose the best consumables that meet the quality and cost you need, not one that we feel is best for you. Choosing dispensers that offer superior product quality to house the consumables you pick is vital but just why is that so?

Why are washroom dispensers so important?

Legal requirement
The HSE’s approved Code of Practice for workplace health, safety and welfare states ‘toilet paper should be provided in a holder or dispenser’ this means a toilet roll sitting on the cistern or ledge is not enough which is something that can be seen far too often.  But toilet paper dispensers are more than just a regulatory requirement; they help to reduce contamination of the roll from splashes and dust, they secure the contents from pilfering (and we all know how important toilet rolls have been during 2020!), they make it easy for the maintenance teams to refill and they also reduce waste by suppling the tissue that is required and not falling on the floor etc.

Keeps washroom products safe & hygienic
The toilet ‘Sneeze Effect’ is a term coined by Dr Charles Gerba, a well-respected professor of virology at the University of Arizona. Dr Gerba conducted a study on the spread of bacteria when a toilet is flushed. The studies demonstrated that an invisible mist of flush water droplets and bacteria is projected out of the bowl and can spread almost 2.5 metres from the bowl.

In domestic toilets it is recommended to always close the toilet lid before flushing but this isn’t always possible in a public facility. These bacteria can survive on a surface for up to 24 hours and we don’t need to explain how this stacks up with multiple flushes each day. So, by using a good quality dispenser the toilet roll is protected by a hard surface that can be cleaned easily to remove bacteria, therefore helping to keep the washroom a safe and hygienic environment.

Reduces waste & business costs
2020 has brought images most of us never thought we’d see as people panicked bought toilet rolls and filled large supermarket trolleys with multi packs. Toilet Rolls became a luxury and more unscrupulous companies sought to profiteer from this demand with inflated price tags.

And whilst we all knew that there wouldn’t be a long term shortage, toilet tissue continues to be pilfered from public washrooms and the same can be extended to hand soap and sanitiser. So it’s important to protect the consumable.  A secure lock on a unit helps to deter theft but it also helps to protect the contents from contamination, dust and splashes.

But not all waste in a washroom is down to theft; simply by not using a good dispenser you can unintentionally waste both products and costs. The prime example is a pile of paper towels displayed neatly in a basket or similar on the counter top.

Interleaved paper towels are designed for dispensers and not for countertop displays making it really tricky to take just one or two towels from the top and the reality is a concertina effect that sees towels spilling out. The law of gravity takes care of drips which naturally land on top of the towels or, more annoyingly on the side to dampen all the towels below. No one wants to use a towel that is damp from someone else’s hand so this means users discard the ones on top and take from lower down.  

And suddenly the attractive pile of paper towels at the start of the day is not quite so attractive.  Whereas a paper towel dispenser presents the next ‘dry’ towel for the user, yes they may take more than one, who doesn’t?! But this still significantly reduces waste and also helps to keep the washroom looking neat and tidy.
There is also an environment benefit to not wasting washroom consumables through spoiling them or unintentionally encouraging users to use more than they need to.

Helps to reduce vandalism
Public washrooms unfortunately do attract anti-social behaviour and dispensers need to be able to stand up to abuse whether accidental or intentional. Metal dispensers are particularly resilient and can withstand knocks and scrapes whilst maintaining their stylish aesthetic. Versatile too, a well-designed metal washroom dispenser can complement both high end décor of a boutique hotel and a busy shopping centre washroom.

Reduces the risk of infection transmission
Having worked in the hygiene industry for nearly a decade I’ve written many articles extoling the benefits of effective hand hygiene. Speaking with many Doctors, Professors and industry experts over the years I have gained a grasp of the fundamental benefits to life that good hand hygiene can bring. This has perhaps been more focussed previously on social change initiatives in developing countries but the Covid-19 pandemic has brought it firmly to our doorstep. Clean hands save lives, whether that is in countries with poor sanitation or first world exemplary teaching hospitals.

Everyone now has a better appreciation of the importance of clean hands and taking responsibility for one’s own hygiene. The messages throughout the pandemic are that you are helping to protect yourself and others by washing your hands more often and more thoroughly. Let’s hope these habits continue when we are through this pandemic.

So whilst we’re developing our new clean hands habit we need to turn our attention to washroom design  Washrooms need to be efficient and a space that is safe and comfortable to use.  

Long walks from the basins to the hand dryers can cause drips on the floor that can become a slip hazard and cause additional cleaning.  How often do you see rows of multiple basins and then only two hand dryers at the end?  There is a natural flow to using a washroom, cubicle first followed by basins for washing and then drying.  A small busy washroom can become a choreographed dance as users weave there way between each other.
Simply techniques such as providing soap and drying facilities behind the mirror above the basins keeps the whole hand washing process in one place, reducing the movement needed around the washroom but also keeps drips above the basins.  In tight spaces using the wasted space in a wall cavity to recess dispensers https://www.dudleyindustries.com/washroom/product-category/ranges/recessed-range/ help to stop them protruding into the washroom and causing another obstacle to manoeuvre around.
Present the Right Impression to Users
Presenting good hygiene is more of a brand ambassador for your company than ever before. We’ve often talked about how good washrooms can underpin brand values or indeed how an unpleasant washroom can unravel a good brand instantly. Would you now trust a company that didn’t provide hand hygiene solutions such as soap dispensers and hand sanitisers around their premises?

A good, robust and stylish dispenser range can amplify your approach to hygiene, they demonstrate that you’ve invested in hygiene and not relied on the first solution, and they show that your business is a safe environment.  Not only that, good dispensers keep a washroom clutter free, reduce waste and complement your décor.

Give the illusion of space
Appearances can be deceptive! It is a tried and tested interior design solution to use mirrors to help make a small space appear larger, and in a washroom setting installing dispensers behind the mirror doubles this impact by removing objects from the walls which can make a small space feel smaller.

Wall mounted dispensers help to keep countertops clear and clutter free making washrooms look clear and tidy whilst also making the task of cleaning easier for the cleaning teams.

Explore Dudley Industries range of washroom dispensers

Washroom dispensers are indispensable and deliver more benefits to your washroom than perhaps first thought. If you would like any advice on the right dispensers for your company either for installation or as a stockist, please get in touch with our team today who will happily talk you through our ranges and advise on the best solution for you.

Alternatively, take a look at our washroom brochures for a detailed look at our washroom dispenser ranges.