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When I was growing up, my parents were fastidiously teaching me to be clean following reports of the local school toilets having no hot water, and thus being very unhygienic using coal tar soap and cold water after using the toilets. When my father joined a multinational company in the 1980's, he came home one day with a soap dispenser gadget called "DEB," which was basically a home designed glue-to-the-wall soap dispenser, similar to what you would find in professional areas like clinics, hospitals and much later in public loos and restaurants. The liquid soap was glossy with silver flecks and though it had a nice flowery fragrance, it provoked my mates no end who spent more time in our bathroom pressing the button than actually doing their business! What the system lacked was an auto stop function to prevent the soap from being abused and thus decreasing wastage.
The Presence of Dettol's No-Touch System
Where upon a time the advent of an invisible laser sensor operated soap dispenser would certainly have appeared on an episode of "Tomorrow's World," the latter is already with us in the form of the "No-Touch" liquid soap hand wash dispenser courtesy of the safety antiseptic giants, Dettol. Since it came out early last year, it has provoked a source of loathe/love reviews from a whole load of buyers but I'm of the latter camp where I actually approve of the system and the bonus fact that it takes modern day "normal" replacable batteries and not some fangled thing in the watch department that have to be pre-ordered or specially ordered.
The reason to why I adore Dettol's gadget here is simply because I pride myself on being clean. I promote washing hands wherever I work and in schools when I'm in contact with pupils, I scent the classroom, leave out hand sanitizer and leave out hand tissues whenever the kids require them. When the science department arrived one day to take swab bacteria samples off the equipment, I wasn't surprised that the report that came back for my classroom showed a drastic positive lack of germs against the other teacher in their room who doesn't have tissues on hand or anything else - result? Their room got a "warning hazard" sticker on the front door!
The premise of Dettol's "No-Touch" hand wash system though is rather different to liquid hand soaps on the market though and not many buyers who have chosen to review this product seem to see past the battery operated gadget. This is because by and large with this kind of design, you'd have to turn kitchen or bathroom taps on with a dirty hand before placing your hand under the laser controlled tap of the Dettol soap system.
However, if like me you have a modern kitchen or bathroom with a single mixer tap and an angled handle that can be opened "doctor style" with your elbow, then you'll see past the nonsensical rubbish that other buyers have chosen to forlorn. The Dettol No-Touch system is made for modern kitchens and bathrooms - quite possibly the reason to why it has come out in the last two years alongside AirWick's automatic sensor release air freshener sprays designed to be used in the bathroom to knock out those "nasty niffs." Both work on the same principle of sensor/motion activated releases that eradicate the owner from manually doing it.
Modern Compared to Traditional Soaps & Pricing
Usually when it comes to hand soaps I tend to use a tablet of soap like Dove or at the most tend to buy liquid hand soaps for the kitchen, especially crucial when handling food or washing my hands just after work or more so when dirt is more apparent, emptying a bagless dust bin from a vacuum cleaner or coming into the home with garden soil and chemicals all over my hands. I'm also a bargain bunny too scouring the shelves at pound shops and
Pictures of Dettol No-Touch Hand Wash System
No use if you have a tap like this!
supermarkets for antibacterial hand washes which DON'T DRY out my hands - but the element of antibacterial chemicals in my experience seldom leave hands feeling soft after my hands have been rinsed, but rather dry and brittle as a condition to the antibacterial formulas that Carex and other companies continue to churn out; this is because most antibacterial soaps contain bleach and other abrasive chemicals to kill germs, hence to why most of the scents the products carry are often mild let alone the rinsing isn't kind after wards.
For the last couple of years I've grown fond of the "Milk and Honey," hand wash soap by Imperial Leather and don't mind paying the £3 retail price when pushed; but it isn't antibacterial. With Dettol's liquid soap however, you're getting the same quantity of 250ml bottles at a cost price of £2-65 to £3-99 on average and it does pay to shop around since prices for the whole system itself which includes batteries and a soap pack to get you started has dropped from £9-99 to a much more appreciated £5-99 or £7-99 - again, dependent on where you go such as Wilkinsons, major supermarkets or privately owned pharmacies. If you're a trader you'll currently find the Dettol system priced at £5-99 (Costco.). Fair enough if you buy your liquid soaps from £1 shops but in my experience when it comes to washing the body, buying cheap sometimes isn't better.
Compared to tons of liquid soaps like Carex, Antibacterial Carex and other antibacterial liquid soaps however, I always had to place a tube of hand cream nearby to get the softness into my hands after rinsing. Based on the price and the actual soap dispenser, the Dettol "No-Touch" is a no-brainer - it makes a lot more sense on its cleaning abilities alone when the replacement bottles are the same price as other brands after you finish the initial "introductory" bottle that comes with the system. Not only that but if, like me, you suffer from dry or painful hands after using general antibacterial liquid soaps, the bonus of Dettol's "No-Touch," is that the liquid soap formula has moisturisers built in and the bonus to the whole system is far more compact and hygienic wherever you place this gadget.
One bottle alone of the Dettol "No-Touch" soap gel has lasted between 1.5 months and 3 months before needing to be replaced and the soap dispenser in the kitchen gets used three to five times a day. This has been a finding that certainly surprised me from the off - the bottles don't look like they last long - but in use, it has proved to be economically viable.
The Design & Assembly
The Dettol system is quite different from your usual bottle of liquid hand soap though. For a start it comes with a handy, nifty and technological battery powered dispersal unit that literally tells the story of being able to disperse said liquid onto your hands without touching buttons. The procedure is simple and efficient:
You simply hover your hands under the dispersal tap gratefully and a dollop of clear or coloured gel drops into your dirty hands. I was intrigued yet curious about this new gift and I was initially delighted to find four AA batteries (of which you'd have to constantly replace, if you intend to keep using this system) in the starter pack.
Loading the soap bottle is also very easy to do since it has a simple peel slip before pushing it upside down into the top but its better to put the batteries in first before doing anything. On the soap dispenser itself there are two windows, one that acts as a view window set on a vertical slit design whilst the other is an infra-red sensor built into the unit which detects hands near the dispersal tap at the top of the unit. There is also a LED light which comes on to show when it is on, but luckily it doesn't stay on for long and merely blinks to show you the system is switched on. There is a handy slider activation control on the back of the unit where you can switch the system off when not in use, or if you simply want to move the whole gadget to a better position on the sink. Then the soap cartridge can be slid in easily once the peel-seal has been removed. I must say Dettol have designed this little unit well because the bottle can only be slid in one way before it is locked into place and the plastic bottle's labels can easily be peeled off if you like. There is also a release button on the back of the unit to make removal of the replacement soap bottle easier to remove when it needs to be replaced.
The Look & Size
Dettol's No-Touch hand system is well designed for something that is quite expensive at cost and yet its appearance is modern and mirrors a standard bottle of mouthwash in terms of its dimensions. Measuring 14cm height by 6cm diameter, even my Braun Sonic toothbrush charger is taller than this! Coloured in white and grey PVC plastic it should mix or blend in with any kitchen exterior or bathroom, or anywhere really that the unit is intended to go and it is far from having blocky or sharp edges thanks to it's bubble inspired appearance, most evident around the tap. It also has a soft appearance and wouldn't look out of place for children's use or in nurseries designed to teach children to wash their hands although the grey/white tap dispenser could be made a bit thicker as it is a bit flexible and feels liable to break. Once the bottle is locked into the back of the unit, it is easy to see what level the soap is at by looking at the display window. It is also suitably weighted and there are four bonded feet on the base to ensure it is stable on level surfaces.
Performance / In Use
In use there are a few surprises! For a start when I hover my hands under the small 2" protruding tap, it takes the gadget milliseconds for soap to dispense and does it with a bigger blob than I'd like of the cleansing soap agent. I'm so used to controlling my own amount of liquid hand wash from standard bottles, I totally get the idea that Dettol are trying to minimize here such as eradicating every bacterial opportunity of touching a tap to get soap out. However the amount it gives out is a lot more than I need unless I've been doing a lot of gardening and need that kind of amount each time I wash my hands. I did think initially that the large amount dispersed was a bit of a waste until I realised that the softness my hands feel afterwards make up for the additional cream I'd have to waste to get the softness from rival brands! On the basis that our first bottle lasted for nearly 2 to 3 months however, the amount that looks large to the eye probably isn't that much compared to what I've used before.
Secondly the motor within the unit is a little noisy. It grinds a fair bit each time the unit is asked to dispense soap. Now whilst this doesn't obtrude into daily life, it's the kind of sound you could easily rely on if children are abusing the unit by constantly playing about with the model. Well there are no kids in my home but I find the grinding noise a little disconcerting each time I use Dettol No-Touch. One good aspect of this gadget is the battery life; I went through 3 bottles of 250ml replacement liquid soap and the batteries it came with it never needed to be replaced.
The feel of the soap is luxuriously soft. It foams and froths up very well, with a wonderfully soft and silky feeling, both at the time of use and afterwards - a first for me where antibacterial liquid soaps are concerned!
The Soap Varieties On Offer
The soap liquid types that you can buy for this gadget though are enterprising and delightfully pungent to the nose. I'm often reminded of many a scented Persil or Fairy washing up liquid in Dettol's different scents on offer here and have already sampled their "Hydrating Cucumber," "Cleansing Green Tea and Ginger," and "Refreshing Grapefruit Essence." All of these different versions leave hands feeling smooth for up to an hour so it is good to see Dettol have actually analyzed the market and given buyers here something different that actually works as well as promising to eradicate 99.9% of germs. Pity the scents don't linger on my hands for up to an hour but I'm glad that the antibacterial formulas haven't dried my hands out like a lot of others on the market tend to do and I do find compared to Carex however, that the scent from Dettol's liquid soap gels do last longer.
There are a couple of downsides with Dettol's "No-Touch" system. For a start, now several months down the line and only having to replace the batteries a second time after the initial set I got (yes, I realise that's a good point!), the only disadvantage I don't like about this system is that you can't control the amount of soap that comes out. Look to AirWick's "Freshmatic," system in two versions and you can see as time went on, AirWick improved the design by fitting a three way selection option for the amount of fragrance dispersed. Dettol could do the same here to limit the amount of soap gel that comes out. In my mind, at times the amount dispersed is too much for one quick clean of the hands whilst at other times depending on what I have handled or what is more viewable in terms of dirt, the large amount I get is most helpful. I'd prefer to be more in control though.
The second downside with Dettol's "No-Touch" system is the most important reason for why some reviewers feel that this product is a waste of money. A lot of members who have purchased this product have old fashioned double twist type taps - either in the kitchen or bathroom - this system won't work with the "touch the tap with dirt to get it going" styles, but rather taps that have elongated ears in which your elbow or a part of your hand that isn't dirty can open the tap to get water flowing BEFORE reaching for the liquid soap to wash your hands.
The third downside to Dettol's "No-Touch" system is the fact that whilst you can replace the liquid soap gel with another product of your choice, you'll have a hard time getting the top off the bottle. Following the advice of another member who had written the "bonus" of being able to cut costs and adding your own liquid gel, I went to screw off the top and got a lovely scar on my hand for trying. No, there are no screw threads on the bottle tops of the Dettol soap bottles, but rather something you'll have to prise off with a blunt knife on either side - and if you want to put something a bit more luxurious in (Molton Brown springs to mind here!), I would advise to put a tea towel over the top and then prise the knife under the cover under the lid of the soap gel bottle, because it will fly off quite fast once it comes undone.
When all is said and done the Dettol No-Touch system is a very good gadget that has clearly been designed for nurseries, children and an industry in mind where optimum hygiene is crucial. This is the kind of product I'd imagine I'd find at my local dentist, doctors surgery or even a small privately owned coffee shop in their toilets or even at their commercial sinks. However, the amount it gives each time is too much soap per individual application, which then empties the bottle far too quickly and needs to be replaced. Availability of the replacement bottles can also be hard to find since this is still a relatively new product, two years on from launch.
But I'll stick with the old fashioned pump systems for now. To help decrease the chances of contaminating the top of the dispenser, the part you push down to dispense the liquid, i tend to use the back of my hand to push it down with, thus stopping anything like 'raw meat juice' on my fingers touching it...
wigglylittleworm 25.06.2011 17:15
i have the old fashioned taps and still would use it, it is less about having germs transfer to my hands than stop me transfering dirt to the soap dispenser and then have to clean it! Yes, I'll still have to clean my taps but would have to do that anyway.
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The new Dettol No-Touch Handwash Systems uses advanced no-touch technology to give a ... more
healthy handwash experience. It gives 10 times better protection against germs, proving to be the ultimate solution for healthy hands. Its unique formulation helps moisturize your hands while also providing the trusted Dettol protection against germs.
Dettol No Touch Hand Wash System (With Refill) Every day your hands come into contact ... more
with millions of germs. Your soap pump is one of the worst places for these germs to congregate. The Dettol No-Touch Hand Wash System automatically senses hands and dispenses soap to kill 99.9% of bacteria and remove viruses, eliminating the need to touch a soap pump ever again. This unit is easy to use and is perfect to keep in the kitchen or bathroom etc to prevent the spread of bacteria around your family. Main Features: - Dettol No Touch Hand Wash System - Supplied complete with Refill - Unit automatically senses hands removing the need to touch germ covered soap pumps - Easy to use - Encourage good hand hygene habits - Anti-bacterial (Refills kill 99.9% bacteria)
Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your credit card will not be charged until we ship the item.