Which Soap Dispenser to Choose? Understanding the Costs
Facilities managers in commercial and public buildings are faced with an array of hand soap and dispenser options, but how do they determine which is the most cost effective?
Is liquid soap the cheapest or do you just use more, therefore a spray or foam soap is actually more economical?
Does the type of soap dispenser have the biggest impact on cost?
To answer this question:
- Firstly, we look at the capacity of the refill pouch or container within a bulk refillable dispenser? E.g. 800ml
- Then we find out how much soap is being dispensed each time? e.g. 2ml
- Divide the amount of soap in the ref
ill by the amount dispensed e.g. 400
- Then divide this by the average number of pumps the dispenser typically gets e.g. 2
In this example the soap dispenser/refill combination is
producing 200 hand washes. So if the refill costs £2.50 then the cost per hand wash is 0.8p per wash. If we use the same ratios as we use for hand dryer uses which is 4.5 washes per day in a typical office and 3 times per day we could access the hypothetical costs per annum.
A school with 400 pupils and 40 staff
400 x 3 = 1200 pupil uses
40 x 4.5 = 180 staff uses
Cost per day is 1380 x 0.8 = £11.40 per day = £2280 per annum
Other factors you need to consider is the time spend refilling the dispensers and also the environmental impact of regular deliveries.
In theory, a foam or spray soap dispenser will create a larger volume of soap from a smaller dispense, therefore encourage people to use less. There is also an argument that an automatic soap dispenser will prevent people from pumping the dispenser more than necessary, therefore cutting wastage. We will explore the validity of this in future articles but ultimately a facilities manager needs to use the basic calculations we mentioned above in relation to the particular soap systems they are assessing in order to compare. Ok so the cost savings are no where near as significant as they can be by swapping from paper towels to hand dryers but we would still suggest a trial period to see the reality of your soap use and cost before investing in systems for a large facility.
We offer a wide variety of soap dispensers to meet the needs of different clients. Cost is only one factor so please explore our articles further to gain a complete picture or contact one of our friendly advisors. Each page is currently being updated with a cost per use calculation to assist your comparison.
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