Are Touchless Bathroom Fixtures Helping Keep Us Healthy?
Touchless bathroom fixtures are becoming more commonplace in homes and public restrooms alike. With a wide range of automatic restroom technology on the market, including automatic faucets, soap dispensers, towel dispensers, hand dryers, toilet flushers and doors, public restrooms are becoming more “hands-off” than ever before. Touchless technology is said to be the solution to germ-infested public restrooms, but do these fixtures actually keep us healthier than manual fixtures?
What’s the appeal of touchless?
- The public feels cleaner – Regardless of whether or not it’s actually true (stay tuned!), the public regards touchless fixtures as altogether cleaner and healthier than manual fixtures. They can use the restroom, wash their hands, dry their hands, and exit the restroom without touching anything. Because public restrooms are breeding grounds for all kinds of germs, touchless technology gives patrons peace of mind when nature calls.
- The janitorial staff cleans faster – Janitorial staffs are thrilled with touchless fixtures, as they are easier to clean and promote altogether cleaner habits in restroom patrons. Because the public isn’t touching as many surfaces, the janitorial has less to clean. In addition, with technology like automated flushers, there are less restroom “emergencies” to handle. Finally, when the public believes that the restroom is cleaner, they are more likely to put in the effort to keep it as clean as they found it.
- The organization saves money – Because touchless fixtures are dispensing items automatically, the amount is controlled, saving the organization money. Instead of a restroom patron taking an excessive amount of towels, or perhaps not turning off a faucet completely, these fixtures decide on an appropriate amount for them.
Are these fixtures actually healthier?
In theory, touchless fixtures should be cleaner and healthier than manual fixtures, as you reduce contact with the surfaces that harbor bacteria. However, a study completed within the last several years has put the health benefits of touchless technology into question.
Of water samples taken from both kinds of faucets, 50 percent of the samples tested positive for several kinds of bacteria from a touchless faucet, while only 15 percent of the water samples from the manual faucet tested positive. Why? Hands-free models have more complex plumbing, and all of this machinery is said to be a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
The conclusion? Touchless bathroom fixtures may not be as clean as we’re led to believe. While they are probably the better choice of the two, it’s important to be aware of the fixtures you use to keep clean. Could sanitizing your hands be more effective than washing? Find out in this blog from Mr. Rooter Plumbing.
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