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Dispensers with a difference

10 January 2017

Paul Jakeway, marketing director at skin care expert Deb, explains how well-designed dispensers can make or break a visitor's washroom experience and encourage hand hygiene and a skin care routine

Dirty surfaces, no toilet paper, broken toilet seats – when it comes to washrooms, first impressions are everything. If even just one aspect of a facility fails to meet the expectations of visitors, they are likely to feel negative about the environment they find themselves in. And it can be very hard to rectify this later on.

It goes without saying that, in order to be appealing, a washroom needs to be cleaned regularly. It needs to be functional and well-maintained. But design matters just as much.

Whether it’s the washbasins or cubicle doors, a stylish, well-designed washroom will always be more appealing than one that doesn’t take design seriously. For this to work, it’s important that all elements are in harmony with each other.

Dispenser design

In the past it could be quite difficult to integrate a crucial piece of washroom equipment – soap dispensers – into a well-designed environment. All too often, dispensers were eyesores. Facility managers viewed them as mere necessities, and not much time was spent choosing them.

In recent times, dispenser design has made huge advances to the point where the equipment has become a distinguishing factor for a well-designed washroom. Dispensers are not only much slicker and more stylish, they can be fully customised. 

This means that dispensers can blend in with their environment, using a matching colour scheme, for instance. They can also carry logos or messages – opening up exciting new possibilities for organisations to further their brand identity in an unusual location.

Washrooms that do more than fulfil basic standards are not just more pleasant to use, they can also have a significant impact on hand hygiene compliance. Visitors and employees are much more likely to wash their hands properly, using the products supplied, if the washroom environment invites them to.

Skin care solutions

Given that our hands are responsible for transmitting 80% of infections, hand hygiene compliance should be a priority for anyone who wants to avoid the spread of germs and diseases. 

But well-designed and equipped washrooms can do even more: if protective and restorative creams are supplied besides soap and cleansers, they can be transformed into locations for a fully-integrated skin care programme.

Such a programme takes into account the health of the skin – in addition to its cleanliness. Specially formulated to leave a protective layer on the surface of the skin, protective creams can reduce direct contact with specific types of physical contaminants, help retain natural lipids and moisture in the skin, improve comfort and skin strength, and make the skin quicker and easier to clean.

Restorative products, meanwhile, help to moisturise, nourish and condition the skin, improving its strength and preventing it from becoming dry or damaged. Modern dispenser systems can provide such products in a very cost-effective way: no more than a controlled amount of soap or cream is being dispensed at any given time.

Skin care experts can help organisations choose the right skin care products, and work with them to choose a system that suits their individual needs. Should the dispensers be smaller in size to fit into a compact environment? Is touch-free the right solution? How many dispensers will be needed?

Thoughtful design can turn washrooms into much more than a required facility. As environments with a difference they have the potential to leave a lasting impression on those who are using them, improving hand hygiene compliance and skin care best practice at the same time.