When it comes to buying hand soap, Regional School District looks for the product that will bring the most value to the table, Odell says. That includes the soap’s level of effectiveness, as well as the number of uses and refills needed to maintain the hand-washing program. So far, that soap has come in the form of foam. 

The popularity of foam hand soap amongst end users is growing. Respondents say foam hand soap is economical, effective and easy to clean. Odell says Regional School District switched entirely over to foam soap in school restrooms a few years ago and have been very pleased with the results. 

“We go through a lot less [product] than we did with the liquid soap,” Odell says. “We get 2,750 hand washes — that’s a lot. And a lot of my facility managers agree we are replacing less than we used to.” 

With liquid soap dispensers, Odell says the schools’ janitors were replacing product every week; now, they’re refill ing the dispensers after nearly three. 

“It might cost a little bit more, but we are using less,” Odell says. “There are time-saving costs; you could be doing something else (instead of refilling dispensers) and that in itself is worth it.” 

Because of its lathering qualities, patrons are less inclined to go back to foam dispensers for more soap, meaning facilities cut back not only on product and packaging waste, but also on water. 

Foam hand soap also saves on labor costs. Besides having to replace the product less, readers say foam soap is also a lot easier to clean. It drips less than liquid soap, and doesn’t pile up on the floor the way that liquid soap can. 

“It’s always inevitable that we’re going to have drips on the floor,” Odell says. “But, a liquid would pile up on the bathroom floor and it gets slippery, and there would be thick buildup. It is very hard to clean off a tile floor. The foam is easier [to clean] if it should end up on your tile.” 

Schindler says foam hand soap saves an average of two to three hours of cleaning per employee, per month, at his company. 

Foam’s “sweet spot” is in high-traffic and commercial restrooms, says Sansoni, where touchless devices, such as automatic soap dispensers can distribute the right amount of product directly into consumer’s hands, lessening the chance for cross-contamination and ensuring that the product doesn’t end up on floors, sinks and counters where they can cause other hazards such as slips and falls. 

“If you can put the soap in their hands without a mess, that’s been key,” says Sansoni. “Facility managers have tried to pay more attention to that. The cleanliness of your restroom goes a long way.” 

HOTT Associates handles the supply purchases for several clients. Schindler says the product’s lower labor costs, paired with the effectiveness of the product, and increasing consumer demand make foam hand soap an easy sell.  

Some customers balk at the higher price of foam hand soap initially, Schindler says, but are persuaded of the product’s value once they see how long a single installation can last. 

“We’ve never had anyone in our buildings say they don’t like it,” Schindler says. 

“I think the foam soap is the biggest boon to the industry in a long time. It’s inevitable that it replaces everything.” 


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