The Hidden Dangers of Refillable Hand Soap Dispensers

Level 2
Port O'Connor, TX

The Hidden Dangers of Refillable Hand Soap Dispensers

The Hidden Dangers of Refillable Hand Soap Dispensers in Vacation Rentals **


Refillable hand soap dispensers are becoming increasingly popular in vacation rentals as a way to save money and reduce waste. However, there are some potential risks associated with using these dispensers, including the spread of germs and allergic reactions.



-Rate of Fecal Exposure


A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: found that 25% of refillable hand soap dispensers tested were contaminated with fecal matter. This is because fecal matter can easily be transferred from hands to dispensers, from dispensers to hands, and from dispensers to the soap itself.



-Diseases Spread


The fecal matter found in the actual soap and on the refillable hand soap dispenser itself can contain harmful bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella.These bacteria can cause a variety of diseases, including diarrhea, vomiting, and fever.



-Types of Pathogens


In addition to fecal matter, refillable hand soap dispensers can also harbor other types of pathogens, such as staphylococcus aureus and streptococcus pneumoniae. These pathogens can cause skin infections, respiratory infections,and other serious illnesses.



-Legal Risks


Vacation rental owners who fail to properly clean and sanitize refillable hand soap dispensers could be held liable if guests become ill as a result of using the dispensers. In addition, vacation rental owners could be cited by health inspectors if their dispensers are found to be contaminated.



-Best Practices


To reduce the risk of spreading germs, vacation rental owners should follow these best practices:


Clean and sanitize refillable hand soap dispensers between each guest use.


Use disposable liners in refillable hand soap dispensers.


Label refillable hand soap dispensers with the ingredients of the soap.


Provide hand sanitizer in addition to refillable hand soap dispensers.



-Alternative Practices


Instead of using refillable hand soap dispensers, vacation rental owners could consider using:


Disposable hand soap dispensers.


Bar soap.


Hand sanitizer.


Hotel size single use bar or liquid hand soap.

Don’t provide any personal items.





Refillable hand soap dispensers can be a safe and environmentally friendly option for vacation rentals, but it is important to use them properly to reduce the risk of spreading germs. 


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1 Best Answer

@Laurelle3 Thank you the good ideas!  And no you are fanatical, you are smart! 

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6 Replies 6
Level 10
Huskisson, Australia

@Barbara2907 thank you for the information, I am sure many Host are unaware of infection control and the importance of protecting others.

My style of Hosting and cleanliness comes from my basic nursing experience from many years.

Everything is removed in the bathroom and wiped down. Hand pumpes are removed from bottles and washed. Tops of the large bottles of shampoo and conditioner are washed the same as the bathroom spray.

If toilet paper roll has been and opened it is removed between guests a new one is replaced. The toilet brush and container is only for those guests then removed washed and sprayed aired and dried ready for the next guest (misses a turn). 

Yes, you could say I am a fanatic for hygiene as I have seen how people can be affected and infected from other people's  habbits of what they don't do to keep themselves protected and protecting others.


@Laurelle3 Thank you the good ideas!  And no you are fanatical, you are smart! 

Great reply and advice for harm reduction strategies!  Thank you!

Level 10
Helena-West Helena, AR

When we are traveling, we take our own hair/body products in trial size containers. We ignore any 'common use' type of items provided at bnb's or hotels. It's just not worth the risk, honestly ! We provide single use/travel size items to our guests as well. Yes, in the long run it may cost a bit more, but we think it's worth it 🙂

I contracted Salmonella as a teen (from a local eatery; I wasn't the only one who got sick there..) and ended up in the hospital for several days. It wiped me out and there was a long road to recovery. I think using gloves when cleaning after guests is a good idea. No reason to risk any germ crossover 🙂

C. Diff. is another highly contagious infection you will want to avoid. It is picked up at a hospital or clinic or can develop in your body if you take antibiotics (I also had this later in life). It is really, really hard to get rid of and lasts a long time (my bout was 6mos), wreaking havoc on your body. If you've ever been that sick, you absolutely respect cleanliness and the need to use caution and avoid the sharing of products. Disease control is really up to all of us 🙂

@Cheri354 Thank you for informative reply and I am so sorry you went through all of that!  I did the research before we made decision about our cleaning methods and once I started reading it became a no brainer!  It made me realize I could share this info and help others make informed choices that look at the health and legal repercussions as well. 

Level 10
Penngrove, CA

frankly I’m shocked that there isn’t an epidemic. Every public restroom uses dispensers. Please people! The use of soap on the hands is negating the scare you are suggesting.