This is the fourth part of a five-part article on industrial soaps.

Facility managers and BSCs are typically concerned about the impact the soap will have on a building’s plumbing rather than the impact it may have on the environment, distributors say.

The age of a building’s plumbing is a big factor when choosing the right industrial soap.

“You should look at your facility and ask whether you have had plumbing problems with things not flushing through,” says Silverman.
Pumice-based soaps contain sediment, which is heavier than water and, as a result, will settle in drain traps.

“Over time, you have to clean out that pumice,” says Sinn.

To avoid plumbing problems, an option is to use industrial soaps containing plastic scrubber beads, which will float through the drains. However, these beads can also pass through water treatment plants and end up in the ocean and, increasingly, the Great Lakes. As a result some states are drafting legislation that bans their manufacture and use.

The crushed walnut shells used in some soap to remove tough grit are biodegradable and, as a result, do not clog pipes.

Powder hand soap, an alternative to liquid soap, is still used in some industrial settings. But many users are phasing it out, because it is more difficult to dispense and creates a mess when unused powder becomes wet or when the dispenser becomes clogged, says Sinn.
The location of a facility’s sinks is another deciding factor when suggesting industrial hand cleaners. Heavy-duty hand wipes are an ideal alternative for situations where employees are mobile or work far away from a sink and dispenser.

“If you got a guy that is out in a truck and is working without water nearby and who is going site to site, then you need to give him something to clean his hands,” says Silverman.

Hand wipes can cut down on the traffic as workers will have a way to clean their hands without walking to a sink, which may be far away from work stations.

Industrial waterless hand cleaners are another option for workers without access to water.

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Employee Involvement Leads To Higher Satisfaction
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Industrial Soaps Are A Necessity