However, there’s much more to choosing hand soap than just which liquid soap to use: you also need to consider what kind of soap dispensers to install in your facility.
In this article, we will explore exactly why bulk fill soap cartridges are not always the best option, and why cartridge-style soap dispensers are a better choice to help fight bacterial contamination.
The difference between closed cartridge and bulk fill soap dispensers
A closed cartridge soap dispenser is one where the liquid soap is sealed inside a bag or pouch, and installed into the soap dispenser as a sealed system. On the other hand, a bulk fill soap cartridge is refilled through ‘topping up’ liquid soap into the dispenser container.
The reason why bulk fill soap dispensers can be unsafe and unhygienic is due to the ability of the soap itself to become contaminated with bacteria. This can often come to many people as a surprise as soap is meant to keep your hands clean!
The list of points below will explore the five key reasons why you should avoid bulk fill soap dispensers and instead opt for a closed cartridge hand soap system.
1. Closed cartridge hand soap is safer and cleaner
Unlike bulk fill soap cartridges, which are open to the environment and can be easily contaminated, a closed cartridge system prevents pathogens from spreading.
A shocking study by the American Society for Microbiology revealed just how unsafe bulk fill soap cartridges can be – it revealed that 1 in 4 public bathrooms that used bulk fill cartridges were affected with unsafe levels of bacteria, including potentially harmful pathogens. The bulk fill soap cartridges also gave rise to a high level of risk of second-surface contamination and therefore pathogenic outbreak.
The worst part of this research showed that, through the use of contaminated bulk fill soap cartridges, the study participants were actually left with 26 times more bacteria on their hands after washing with the soap.
In contrast, the participants who used the closed soap cartridges benefitted from half as much bacteria on their hands after washing.
This highlights how the use of potentially contaminated bulk fill cartridges could entirely defeat the point of careful handwashing.
Due to this and similar research, the advice for healthcare establishments is to under no circumstances add soap to a partially empty soap dispenser due to the impact on health and safety. But even just opening the soap cartridge to refill can introduce airborne contaminants.
This is why closed cartridge sealed soap dispensers are much safer and cleaner for residential care homes and other healthcare environments.
2. Sealed soap cartridges are more reliable and less prone to break
Cheap bulk fill soap dispensers are often unreliable and can need replacing more frequently due to the moving parts inside. This can be annoying to repair or replace and can leave your residents without hand soap for some time.
On the other hand, the sealed system of closed cartridge hand soaps means there isn’t repeated wear and tear of the dispenser during replacements. They’re also easier to monitor the soap level inside to prompt a refill, meaning your soap dispensers are never out of action.
3. Closed cartridge soap dispensers are quicker and easier to refill
The quick and easy refilling system of closed soap cartridges means you can save loads of time and effort. Simply slotting in a new cartridge is much quicker than carefully refilling liquid dispensers from a bulk container. Multiply this by however many hand soap stations you have in your healthcare establishment, and you can see how much quicker closed cartridge soap is to maintain.
When it comes to refilling bulk fill cartridges, the process can also be a messy one with soap drips or spills requiring extra clean up time afterwards. On the other hand, closed cartridge soaps can easily be replaced – simply take out the empty sealed soap cartridge and pop in a fresh one, making refilling easier and quicker than ever.
4. No need to clean inside a closed soap cartridge dispenser
In addition to being difficult to refill, bulk soap dispensers are also hard to clean. Due to the risk of bacterial contamination, bulk fill dispensers should be cleaned each time the dispenser is empty, and of course, this adds even more time and inconvenience to the refill process.
Unless a bulk fill soap dispenser is cleaned before each refill, any bacteria inside could build up in just a few months. Once this occurs, the pathogenic biofilm can be difficult to remove and is prone to return time and time again.
With closed cartridge hand soap, you never have to clean inside the dispenser. Each cartridge you install guarantees a clean, hygienic, sealed hand soap that can never be contaminated.
#5 Closed cartridge soap is more economical
When we put all these factors together, you can see that bulk fill soap dispensers become an undesirable option, despite their lower initial cost. When you take into account the major risks that contamination can pose and the impact this could have on your healthcare establishment, it’s simply not worth it.
In contrast, with the pre-measured doses dispensed by closed cartridge hand soaps, they can be economical and allow you to optimise cost per use. Also, when you factor in the collapsable design of sealed soap cartridges, you can be sure each drop of soap is being used up.
Why choose Veridia sealed cartridge hand soap dispensers?
As we’ve learned, using a bulk fill soap cartridge can actually add to bacterial contamination risk rather than removing it. To minimise the risk of contamination, using a sealed-system closed cartridge hand soap is the best option for your healthcare establishment.
At Veridia, our Accent Hand Care System reduces the risk of an outbreak through pathogenic contamination and means you can continue to protect the hygiene of your staff and residents. Quick and easy to replace, our closed cartridge soap cleanses, protects and cares for everyone’s hands in your healthcare facility.
View our closed cartridge range here or contact our knowledgeable team for advice and support on creating a healthy and safe environment at your facility.