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The Best Soap for Public Washrooms

Hand washing with soap and water is an unanimously accepted practice for minimizing the transmission of potentially pathogenic microorganisms. Although opinions have and will differ when it pertains to the best soap for public washrooms, most high-traffic facilities’ public restrooms offer either liquid or foam soap for their customers. In this article, we will examine the different varieties of soap as well as their advantages and disadvantages. Although they are different in appearance and lathering consistency, foam soaps are actually aerosolized liquid soaps. In a study published by the American Journal of Infection Control, foam soaps were found to be inferior to liquid soap varieties. Despite their increased usage in medical facilities, schools, and other public institutions, foam soaps have little to no effect on bacterial colony counts. Liquid soap, on the other hand, always reduces the presence of bacteria unless the bulk soap is contaminated from unsanitary replenishment.

Finding the best soap for public washrooms is dependent on user preference and efficacy. The decision to provide bulk soap is a tricky one. Microbiologists at GOJO Industries, Inc. suggest that washing your hands with contaminated bulk soap can leave your hands filthier than before you washed them. With regular cleaning and sanitation policies, you or your janitorial staff can keep all your public restrooms and the available soap dispensers hygienic and safe.

As documented in an article provided by the American Society for Microbiology, studies show that adding soap to a partially empty soap dispenser can lead to bacterial contamination of the soap, regardless of whether your restroom contains automatic or touch soap dispensers. To prevent cross-contamination and transfer of microbes, ensure that you only replenish your washroom’s soap once it is completely used. Prior to supplying soap, you should always inspect the material safety data sheet to confirm ingredients, hazard identifications, physical and chemical properties, as well as first aid measures.

According to the FDA, many liquid soaps categorized as antibacterial contain triclosan. This ingredient is of concern to many ecological, academic, and governing groups. Animal studies have indicated that triclosan alters the way some hormones work in the body and raises potential concerns for the effects of use in humans. Although not much is known yet about how triclosan affects humans, antibacterial soaps have not proven to provide additional protection from disease-causing infections and may not be the best choice for your facility’s commercial restroom. At best, antibacterial soaps provide a false sense of security. The consensus standard is that liquid soaps provide better protection than foam soaps. If you have any questions about the best soap for public washrooms, please contact a member of the team today.

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