03 July 2020
Admit it. The coronavirus and the pandemic that came with it has now made touchless washrooms a must. What once was considered a secondary factor when planning or designing public or commercial washrooms, touch points have now been emphasised as a focus area with which disease and infection could spread from.
Understanding the urgent need to go touchless or implement touchless solutions in our modern-day washrooms, both public and private, can be best understood with the knowledge on the various touch points in a washroom and how many germs they actually carry.
Much research into cleanliness in the washroom has discovered that there are millions of bacteria spawning all over the place. Among these research, recent studies showed between 1,500 and 6000 bacteria on the handle of manual taps alone. Some studies show even more, presenting the obvious correlation between the number of bacteria there is and the number of users in washrooms, which should not be much of a surprise.
Health authorities, medical professionals, and governments across the world have always been compelling people to avoid touching their faces, especially their mouths, noses, and eyes, as the hands are considered the largest carriers of bacteria and germs in general.
Whilst all this has been made compulsory with the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains just as relevant to all germs: we easily pick up most of these harmful germs with our hands more than any other part of our body.
On Hand Washing and Sanitising with Hands Free Products
In collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual (NIPCM) have created guidelines for World Hand Hygiene Day 2021. These protocols emphasise the need to lessen the transmission of germs and bacteria with proper handwashing, using the right products and equipment.
Relevant to this is the below information by a report compiled by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which details on hand washing and sanitising and how much illness could be prevented by properly doing these two.
According to the report from CDC, educating people about proper hand washing helps them and their communities to stay healthy. Proper handwashing and sanitising significantly reduces the following:
- The number of people getting sick with diarrhoea by 23 to 40 percent
- Diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58 percent
- Respiratory illnesses, such as colds or flu, in the general population by 16 to 21 percent
- Absenteeism due to gastrointestinal diseases in schoolchildren by 29 to 57 percent
It should be noted however that alcohol-based hand sanitisers can quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands in some situations, but they DO NOT eliminate all types of germs.
For germs and other bacteria to grow, they need moisture. Hence, reducing touch points or going touchless in your washrooms will considerably reduce, if not completely eliminate cross-contamination, slowing and ultimately preventing the spread of infectious diseases.
Obviously, the ultimate action for building owners, architects, and specifiers to take when designing and planning the layout for their commercial or public washrooms is to reduce as much of these touch points that allow for any form of contamination in the washroom as much as they possibly can.
Touchless Technology Washrooms for Your Commercial Building
Despite the global rollout of various vaccination programmes and more commercial and institutional establishments starting to open their doors to the public, health experts have remained incessant in warning people of the potential dangers of keeping in close contact and sharing close quarters with others.
More often than not, commercial washrooms have been approached from a strictly utilitarian perspective, where convenience and durability are recognised as the two most important factors in designing them. Until only very recently, public washrooms are starkly designed and normally lacking the space required for the user to get clean, have privacy, and be comfortable throughout their washroom experience.
Indeed, Plato was correct when he said, “Our need will be the real creator” that was further translated over time into English saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”
With the current pandemic, touch points have now been brought into the spotlight as an integral area of focus in designing restrooms that are intelligent enough to prioritise the prevention of spreading disease and infection by going touchless.
Go Touchless with Touchless Solutions and Hands-free Products
There are several areas in your commercial washroom layout and design where you can go touch free and remove those traditional touch points that no longer serve advantageous, especially for the needs of the modern-day washroom user.
The first and most obvious one is the use of touchless products and alternatives for your commercial washrooms. And when it comes to touch-free technology, touch-free sensor taps and soap dispensers are the most popular and most common.
Dolphin has an extensive selection of these WRAS-approved automatic sensor taps, commercial sink taps, washroom taps, and bathroom taps. Their smart taps have been intelligently designed with ultra-low flow rates, infrared sensors, and smart technology. Their touch-free taps for commercial and public washrooms are precision designed to look great, provide ease of use, and handle a large volume of users and the high level of wear common in public or commercial washrooms.
Dolphin likewise offers a huge range of commercial hand soap dispensers and sanitiser dispensers for both public and commercial washrooms. Their wide selection of soap and sanitiser dispensers come in a number of various designs and finish options, including non-touch foaming soap dispensers to infrared hands-free dispensers, among many others.
Obviously, businesses wouldn’t stop at using automatic technology with their hands-free products such as the touch-free taps and automatic soap dispensers when they want to go hands-free all the way for their commercial washroom users. Touch-free solutions for your restroom should now include automatic hand dryers as they offer to significantly minimise the spread of bacteria.
Practical, modern, and highly effective, blade hand dryers have grown popular the past few years with commercial building owners, architects, and specifiers, as they use a high-powered sheet of air to quickly dry both sides of the user’s hands without having the need for them to touch anything.
Now, after using the toilet and washing your hands with all these automatic solutions and hands-free products, the next hurdle is to get out of the washroom door without having to touch the door handle.
Designers have come up with several creative ways to open the door without touching the doorknob or handle, but the simplest way to do so is to actually have no door at all. This however requires careful design to ensure that privacy is not compromised.
Providing touch-free alcohol sanitiser dispensers on your washroom’s entry and/or exit points also provides an excellent backup option to reduce and eliminate cross-contamination risks with using door handles. Automatic soap and sanitiser dispensers are also likewise available in the Dolphin range and are a low-cost way of keeping staff and visitors safe.
5 Advantages of Touchless Washrooms That Every Commercial Washroom Can Benefit From
Touchless solutions mitigate the need for your users to come in contact with those high-touch surfaces in your washroom, significantly reducing the risk of cross-contamination and illnesses that can come from those.
Many of these automated, hands-free products can also be retrofitted to your current washroom systems so you don’t have to worry about spending so much when you’re looking to switch to these innovative items.
Before digging a little deeper into some of the major advantages you can provide switching to going touch free in your commercial washrooms, it’s important to understand that a touchless washroom isn’t all or nothing.
You can actually add some of these hands-free products or all of them. Keep in mind, however, that the fewer surfaces or objects your washroom users touch, the lesser chances they’re going to be picking up germs and subsequently contaminate other surfaces they’ll be in contact with.
Here are some touchless technology and hands-free products and alternatives you can include in your commercial washroom:
- Touch-free taps
- Automatic soap dispensers
- Touchless hand sanitiser dispensers
- Automated paper towel dispensers
- Touch-free trash bins
- Automatic refills of consumables like soap, alcohol, sanitisers, etc.
Here are the top 5 benefits your commercial washroom users will enjoy and benefit from when you go automatic or hands-free with your washroom setup:
Significantly Reduce Cross-Contamination or Germ Spread
This is perhaps the most significant advantage of touchless washrooms: the considerable reduction of germ spread. The use of hands-free products designed with touchless technology is an intelligent and proactive way to mitigate the spread of germs. They say prevention is always better than cure, and that could never be any more correct than eliminating any risks for cross-contamination than waiting to disinfect after germs are already present.
Again, when we eliminate the need for your washroom users to touch anything during their washroom experience, it likewise follows that we eliminate any risk of them picking up germs from surfaces.
Confidently Have the Peace of Mind for Your Health and Safety
With the ongoing health crisis brought about by the coronavirus that everyone continues to face to this day, it’s no surprise people have grown fearful of contracting the virus or falling ill, taking their health and safety much more seriously than they used to.
As building owners or architects and specifiers, it should fall under your responsibility to ensure your washroom ensures users that their welfare and sense of health and safety are on top of your priority. Automatic solutions in your commercial washrooms speak to your users in a way that makes them feel you value and prioritise their peace of mind and reassuring them of your commitment to prioritising their health and safety.
Sustainably Consume Water and Energy and Eliminate Unnecessary Wastage
While touch-free product alternatives that of Dolphin’s sensor taps, soap dispensers, and high-speed hand dryers, functions that are built with the Dolphin Alavo Washwall System, come precision-designed with its proprietary smart technology, they are essentially optimised for sustainable and efficient consumption to ensure wastage is kept at negligible levels.
Dolphin’s touch-free taps are not only designed to look great but are low-flow, and as such, save as much as 20% on your water consumption. The same holds true for Dolphin’s soap and sanitiser dispensers that release just enough amount when activated, discouraging users from taking more than is necessary.
The low-energy high-speed premium hand dryers from Dolphin are likewise sustainably designed to dry your hands as efficiently fast as possible, eliminating unnecessary energy production to produce more heat than is needed.
Considerably Improve Productivity for Maintenance Personnel
With the pandemic affecting all industries worldwide, building owners, businesses, and other commercial establishments have placed more emphasis on cleaning and disinfection requirements across many areas of their buildings, facilities, particularly those high-touch surfaces.
When your commercial washroom facilities go innovative, the touch-free taps, soap dispensers, and other touchless alternative products considerably reduce the number of touch points and the time your janitorial and cleaning personnel have to spend on cleaning them so they’re free to perform other more productive tasks.
Beautifully Elegant Look and Feel for Your Complete Washroom Experience
There’s no doubt automatic features and fittings in your commercial washrooms will give your restroom users a completely different washroom experience. Hands-free products and alternatives with innovative hands-free technology generally come in sleek and stylish designs, offering an enhanced, more convenient look and feel for your washroom users.
The Dolphin Alavo wash station, for example, comes complete with hands-free solutions of infrared taps, sensor soap dispensers and hand dryers, provide for a clutter-free, elegantly smart, and clean washroom area, devoid of water messes and unsightly drips or pools of soap and sanitiser on your countertops. Not to mention that you can have your very own Alavo completely customised with beautiful trough basins, different lighting colours, and matching splashbacks.
Final Thoughts: Touchless Washrooms Make for Beautifully Sustainable Solutions
Considering to go automatic and touch free with your commercial washrooms could be the smartest decision you will be making to help alleviate the global health crisis that your business and the rest of the world is faced with.
For one, deciding to go modern and implement an innovative approach with touchless technology on your commercial washrooms coincides with the efforts that almost all industries are working hard to be successful at: being sustainable to help safeguard the future of our planet.
Not only do sensor taps reduce cross-contamination, they also reduce unnecessary waste water, such as when they are left running or intentionally used to flood a washroom for vandalism. Not only do hands-free soap dispensers and alcohol sanitisers prevent you from passing/acquiring germs or bacteria, they also reduce excessive output of products, making its efficiency and smart consumption a vital factor.
As to whether or not your business needs to have a touchless washroom for your commercial building, the answer would most likely depend on how safe and hygienic you want your washroom to be for your users. And if ensuring the health and safety of washroom users is your top priority, then you most likely will know better now whether you should go touchless or not.
Know your options when it comes to going touchless in your commercial washrooms. Contact the Dolphin team today and they will be happy to help you figure out which touchless washroom solutions will suit your business requirements best.