Sanitizers VS Automated Handwashing in Schools
by Joe Johnson, on August 12,2020
Throughout the school day students need to be washing their hands. As they transition from classroom to classroom, use the restroom, or head to lunch there needs to be a hand hygiene events to prevent pathogens from spreading throughout the student body. A commonly applied solution to this issue is the implementation of alcohol based sanitizers. While hand sanitizer is great in a pinch it does have some pretty glaring pitfalls.
Benefits of Hand Sanitizer
The main perk to using an instant sanitizer is convenience. They don't require power or water so sanitizer dispensers can be placed at the entrances to classrooms and any other areas throughout the facility for a quick hand hygiene event. A study performed by the American Cleaning Institute found the most common reason students don't wash their hands is lack of time. Sanitizers are a great option for overcoming that hurdle. Additionally, using hand sanitizer is a method that is familiar to all and requires little to no training.
Pitfalls of Hand Sanitizer
While using a sanitizer is faster than a manual hand wash and pretty familiar, it does present some issues. For one, sanitizers aren't effective against every pathogen. Certain gram-positive or gram-negative bacteria like Norovirus, Clostridium difficile, or Cryptosporidium won't be killed by an instant sanitizer. It's important to be aware of the types of pathogens that where sanitizers wont work in order to keep everyone safe. Sanitizers also present similar issues as a manual hand wash due to the manual process needing to be executed perfectly to be effective. Often, dispensers will not provide enough sanitizer to adequately cover the entire hand and for the sanitizer to be as effective as advertised it must completely dry. Frequent sanitizer use also results in problems with skin health due to the drying effects from the alcohol.
Benefits of Automated Handwashing
The implementation of CleanTech® Automated Handwashing Stations accomplish the same goal of instant sanitizers: time savings. With a full wash and rinse cycle of just 12 seconds students will finally have the time needed to effectively wash their hands throughout the day. Unlike manual handwashing and hand sanitizers, automation leaves no room for human error. By automating the entire process you can confidently provide the perfect hand wash to each of your students. Another important benefit of CleanTech® is it's promotion of healthy skin by leveraging our proprietary hand hygiene solution, UltraPure. UltraPure contains skin softeners that leave your hands feeling refreshed and hydrated after every wash which results in more frequent use.
Pitfalls of Automated Handwashing
Automated solutions are more expensive, have a more involved implementation, and are less familiar to users. But it guarantees clean hands by taking out the potential for human error, this standardized process will remove more than 99.9% of harmful pathogens each cycle.
When comparing the two methods there is not a totally clear winner. Both of these options have their place in your hygiene process. While hand sanitizer can be installed anywhere and is incredibly easy to use it falls short in efficacy and can be damaging to your skin. Automation provides the perfect hand wash every time but cannot be implemented without the proper utilities. Which method sounds better to you?