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With the arrival of spring comes a new challenge for business owners across the country. While it’s easy to assume cold and flu season disappears with the snow, employees and building guests are still susceptible – and carriers! – for bacteria, allergens and viruses. Studies show that the flu doesn’t just affect those left coughing and sneezing. It affects businesses through costs totaling approximately $7 billion per year due to the nearly 111 million work days lost to this all-too-common virus. To help tenants and their guests stay healthy both physically and fiscally, building managers and cleaning professionals should make sure they have ample stock of soaps and sanitizers to help prevent the spread of illness within their facilities. According to ISSA, handwashing reduces respiratory illnesses, like the flu, in the general population by 21%, meaning there’s an opportunity to help curb operating costs by encouraging handwashing among employees. Consider the two factors below when reviewing your soap options to make sure you’re choosing the right soap for your business.

Audience and setting take precedence.
Whether it’s a general office park, an industrial factory or a restaurant, any building with a restroom should stock soaps that will be able to uphold the level of cleanliness required among employees. Because industrial soaps often include materials like plastic beads, pumice, or walnut shells to help scrub and remove heavier soils, factory employees tend to wash their hands on a more frequent basis. It’s important to find an industrial soap that cleans efficiently but is gentle on skin. Meanwhile, general office buildings should stock general liquid or foam soaps to reduce the spread of bacteria. Taking these factors into consideration will help find a cost-effective solution that’s the right fit for your building, and show your employees that you care.

It’s about preference, but it’s really about cleanliness.

From gel to foam soap, and from bulk-fill to hermetically sealed cartridges, there are many options for providing a robust handwashing experience. Across the board, consumers want a soap that is hygienic and does its job, but ultimately is gentle enough on skin to encourage repeat use.

Foam soap is thought to be the best of both worlds in terms of customer satisfaction and ease of maintenance. Foam soap starts in a liquid form then becomes foam through air injection. As a result, many facilities have found the cost per pump benefits to outweigh the higher cost per ounce. Customers are also speaking up, as reviews reveal preference for foam soap, noting it provides good coverage and rinses quickly and easily. Additionally, while not always the most economical, sealed systems are the most hygienic packaging solutions on the market, ideal for high-traffic factories or industrial settings where contamination is of high concern.

Distributors and managers agree that there are a number of factors to consider when outlining soap purchases, and it takes time to filter out what’s important. Before making a decision a consultation with a jan/san distributor is a good way to learn what’s working and what’s not in similar spaces. Because once you’ve found the right soap for your employees and guests, it’s easier to encourage regular handwashing habits that will keep your employees at work, and reduce the number of work days lost due to spring illnesses.