Commercial Soap Dispenser Maintenance Guide
Soap dispensers are an essential part of your public restroom. When they fail to function properly, users are immediately dissatisfied, and the complaints begin pouring in. It is essential to ensure that this never happens in your facility. Proper, regular care of your soap dispensers should be one of the top priorities of your maintenance crew. This involves more than simply cleaning the surfaces and refilling the reservoirs of your dispenser. It also involves using soap with a proper viscosity and pH balance, and it requires periodical cleaning of dispenser valves.
The term “viscosity” refers to the thickness of soap and is measured in units of “poise” broken down by the 100ths. For the dispensers we install, you should invest in soaps that have a viscosity ranging between 100 cps (centipoise) and 2500 cps. Anything with less viscosity is often called “watery” by users, who mistakenly perceive a thinner soap as being weaker and consequently use excessive amounts for hand washing. Too much viscosity, on the other hand, will congeal in dispenser valves and clog the unit.
The acidic level of your soap (pH factor) should be no less than 6.5 and no more than 8.5. Highly acidic soaps below 6.5 will corrode even the strongest stainless steel and also eat into plastic and rubber components. Highly acidic soaps also irritate the skin. On the other hand, soaps that are too basic (more than 8.5 pH) will also irritate the skin and can cause plastic and rubber parts to swell and degrade.
You will protect your equipment investment by investing a little more in quality soaps. Most soaps on the market work very well with our dispensers. You can also use Isopropanol or PCMX cleansers with your dispenser provided you clean your valves according to your model’s recommended maintenance routine.
No matter what type of soap dispenser you have us install, valves are something you simply cannot ignore. If nothing else, pump some hot water through the dispenser’s valves every once in a while to remove any built up residue. Even better, soak the valves in hot water, or a soap valve cleaner, for half an hour. Pump the valve at least 20 times to remove clogs, and flush the reservoir with hot water before reassembling your dispenser. Valves that have been previously neglected and severely clogged should be completely disassembled and soaked in cleaner or hot water to remove all latent residue.
Always spend a little more on good soap and avoid the temptation to take financial shortcuts with cheaper hand cleaners. Make sure you properly dilute the soap you purchase because almost every dispenser failure results from soap that is either too corrosive or too thick. Make sure you train your maintenance crews to clean dispenser valves from now on so that you will not have to keep replacing units that would otherwise last for years.