For some facilities, consumer preferences have little to do with hand soap purchases and a lot more to do with infection control. Respondents say antibacterial hand soap takes precedence over other soaps for two reasons: health and safety. 

Antibacterial properties are especially sought in healthcare settings, such as nursing homes and hospitals. These are areas where the difference between clean, and just looking clean, can cost someone his or her life. 

Jack Van Reeth is the director of environmental and surgical cleaning services for Geisinger Medical Center, a two million square foot campus with 560 patient beds, two research centers and administrative office buildings in Danville, Pa. 

“As far as hand soap, in clinical and patient areas, the hospital wants soap that has an antibacterial claim,” say Van Reeth. 

Though Van Reeth doesn’t directly purchase the buildings’ hand soaps, he works in conjunction with the infection control staff to help determine which soap is most appropriate. Most of the antibacterial hand soap purchased by Geisinger happens to be foam, he says.

Getting patients, staff and visitors to wash their hands with antibacterial hand soap prevents cross-contamination and the spread of disease, which is a constant threat inside healthcare facilities like Geisinger’s. 

However, in lobby areas and other rooms frequented by the public, the system uses a value liquid hand soap. Van Reeth says this decision was made to cut costs. 

Regardless, a big focus, in any facility, is keeping germs at bay — especially during the cold and flu season. Readers say antibacterial hand soap not only puts customers at ease, but it also helps to boost their business. 

For example, when a building service contractor can offer an antibacterial hand soap program to a client who is concerned with germ contamination, it adds another layer of value to his business. 

“I think with antibacterial [soaps], it’s pretty simple why purchasers want to use them,” says Sansoni. “They offer a distinct germ-killing benefit as compared to other soaps. They have a long history with science and research behind them showcasing their effectiveness and safety.”    


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