As a facility manager, we know that you need to be able to provide a clean, hygienic solution for your facility users to help prevent the spread of germs. In addition to ensuring the facility has the infrastructure and regimes for both hand and surface hygiene. In this article, we dive into the detail to help you understand why the ‘bulk fill’ dispensers we commonly see and use are often not as hygienic or user-friendly as sealed cartridge alternatives.

What are bulk fill dispensers?

Bulk fill dispensers are simply dispensers with open-top containers of soap, where the cover or lid is opened or removed and the soap is replenished. According to best practice, these systems should be fully emptied and sanitised before refilling with new soap, however this often is not the case. While there may be a host of reasons why they are not always correctly cleaned and emptied. We have found that this likely occurs because bulk fill dispensers can take a fair amount of time and be labour intensive to clean and refill.

The issues

One of the most important things to know is that refilling or ‘topping off’ containers of liquid soap has been associated with outbreaks of pathogenic bacteria.1 This usually happens when dispensers are inadequately cleaned or incorrectly refilled and in turn airborne germs can enter the soap itself and contaminate it. This therefore increases the risk of spreading germs and bacteria in your facility as staff and visitors could be washing hands with contaminated soap.

It’s safer sealed

The safer and more efficient alternative to refilling bulk fill dispensers is using sealed cartridge systems, which use ultrasonically airtight refill cartridges for maximum hygiene.

SC Johnson Professional’s sealed cartridges and BioCote® Protected Push Buttons2 work together to create a hygienic soap system. The sealed system can help to lower the risk of contamination of germs in the soap that could then be transferred to the users’ hands3.

Not only are these systems more hygienic, they will save your staff time as they are quicker and easier to change being able to be replaced in seconds. Unlike bulk fill dispensers they do not need internal cleaning to be hygienic and safer to use. The dispensers are designed to be easily wiped clean making them easy to maintain. The systems technology is also designed to be non-drip and non-clog eliminating any mess that the bulk fill alternative could leave.

Additionally, SC Johnson Professional’s wall mounted dispensers are secure and lockable helping eliminate the risk of them being tampered with. Sealed dispensers are also designed to deliver a measured dose of fresh product with each push. Furthermore, their cartridges are also designed to collapse, ensuring that all product is used and making them simple to dispose of.

A hand using a cartridge soap dispenser

Switch to sealed cartridge systems

SC Johnson Professional offer a wide range of manual 1L, 2L and 4L sealed cartridge systems to suit your washroom and facility. They also provide power efficient touch-free dispensing systems for use with their pioneering foaming hand hygiene products. The foam format enables you to use less product compared to traditional lotion soaps, while still achieving great results. The foam products also enable you to reduce your environmental impact with less packaging waste and water consumption4. From washroom soaps and industrial hand cleaners to high efficacy hand sanitisers and antimicrobial hand wash, with numerous patents SC Johnson Professional now have the world’s widest range of hand hygiene products using foam technology.

SC Johnson Professional also provide bespoke dispensers on request. Their in-house designers can work with you to create a unique dispenser design that reflects your own brand identity. Their exclusive design and manufacturing process produces permanent decorations that are chemical and fade resistant. Finally, their dispensers are built to last and if a dispenser breaks due to normal wear and tear they will replace it.

Why use bulk dispensers when it’s safer sealed?


2. Our Dispensers buttons are uniquely protected with BioCote®, a silver-based antimicrobial agent that inhibits the growth of a broad spectrum of bacteria and molds. Reduces bacteria and mold on the surface of BioCote® treated button within as little as 2 hours and achieves up to 99.99% reduction over a 24-hour period.  BioCote® is the registered trademark of BioCote Limited.


4. Independent research, commissioned by Deb Group, shows that organisations could use up to 45% less water and reduce waste by 26% by switching from lotion soap to our foam soap.