General Question

flo's avatar

Where is the soap dispenser that makes you chose between washing before or after toilet use?

Asked by flo (12974points) August 21st, 2015

Apparently the soap dispenser takes some info about your hands, and it won’t dispense soap if you want to wash after toilet use, if you already washed your hands before, or if you want to wash the strong smell of a medication or something.

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43 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Never heard of this. Can you tell us where you heard of such a strange apparatus?

flo's avatar

I’m asking around, including here. It is supposed to be one of the major international fast food restaurants, but it’s not at every franchisee.

flo's avatar

…To answer your question @zenvelo as to where I heard about it, it’s by word of mouth.

zenvelo's avatar

It would be illegal in California to prevent restaurant workers from washing their hands after using the toilet. Why would anyone design such a cock-a-mamie gizmo?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think some one is yanking your chain, @flo. That seriously makes no sense. And the cost of the dispenser would be prohibitive, even if anyone came up with the crazy idea to invent it.

flo's avatar

I don’t know if there is a washroom just for the employees, but I’m referring to the ones for the customers.
@Dutchess_III The person is not a chain yanking kind, and he didn’t say it to me. He said he saw someone else use the dispenser with no problem next to him, seconds after him dispenser seeming empty. He went again another time just to test it, he said it happened again. Maybe it’s to discourage the homeless? Regardless it is crazy.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Is it one of those you have to trip a little light? (And how would a soap dispenser know if someone is homeless?)

elbanditoroso's avatar

This may be a male/female thing?

I’m more than 5 decades old, and I can count on one hand the number of times I have washed my hands BEFORE peeing. The few times I have done that, it because I was filthy with motor oil or mud or cookie dough, or something like that.

On the other hand, when I am finished pointing Percy at the porcelain, I wash my hands, 100% of the time.

But as I noted above, men have different equipment which may obviate the need for pre-urination cleaning.

jca's avatar

Makes no sense, @flo. When I hear things that make no sense, I don’t believe them until I see them.

flo's avatar

@Dutchess_III “trip a little light”? You mean is there light going on and off when it dispenses? I suppose he was talking about the latest kind with noise and light they dispense not the old fashioned kind.

“how would a soap dispenser know if someone is homeless?)” It can’t know if someone is homeless that’s for sure.

But it can’t be hard to find out, just try the ones you come across.

flo's avatar

…but I’m sure they are rare, so maybe calling one of the automatic soap dispenser manufacturer, and asking them if they have one with that feature. Maybe it was just defective.

jca's avatar

Anybody who manufactured a soap dispenser that did not allow you to get soap when you wanted soap would be out of business, because nobody in their right mind would buy it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Many soap dispensers (and paper towel dispensers and toilets) have a little lasar light that you have to move your hand in front of before it will dispense soap. If you miss the light it won’t dispense. Could be your friend just missed the light and attributed all kinds of nonsense to it.

jca's avatar

Yeah like the dispenser knows your homeless and knows you just went to the bathroom. LOL.

snowberry's avatar

It sounds like the soap dispenser was malfunctioning. Regardless of how often or when. It was malfunctioning.

zenvelo's avatar

@flo So, are you interested in getting one of these for your home?

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
cazzie's avatar

I’ve heard of this @flo. They scan for finger prints with that light. The dispenser detects who has used it and it won’t work again if it scans the same finger print within 2 hours. Ain’t nobody going to Bogart that soap.

snowberry's avatar

I think you got your information wrong. They do indeed have fingerprint activated soap dispensers, but it’s to PROMOTE sanitation, rather than reduce it.

“Washing a person’s hands is becoming very important in the food and health industries. In some food industries, there is a legal requirement that workers wash their hands every 20 minutes. There is also a legal requirement that the persons wash their hands after every break or upon entering a clean room as in an operating room in a hospital. These legal requirements give rise to the disadvantage that employers should monitor that people are properly washing their hands to comply with health regulations and proper safety procedures, and to be able to provide evidence of compliance with such regulations and procedures. Presently known systems suffer the disadvantage that it is difficult to monitor hand washing and there is no reliable tracking procedure as to who does or does not wash.”

The result was a series of different inventions to insure employee compliance with health requirements, including fingerprint recognition.

Read on:
https://www.google.com.tr/patents/US5960991

flo's avatar

Thank you, @snowberry. At least now we know there is such a thing.
But I don’t know if there is a separate toilet for the employees or not. This one was in the customers’ toilet.

snowberry's avatar

Hmmm, I’m guessing that’s the only dispenser they had when they needed one, and just stuck it in there.

snowberry's avatar

Or more likely, if there’s a chance an employee might use the customer restroom, they need the same fingerprint recognition soap dispenser in every bathroom.

flo's avatar

I don’t think people go to the toilet every 20 minutes though do they? Maybe it’s meant to be in the kitchen.

I can something for the employee making the food and doing the cash register.

snowberry's avatar

@flo No, they simply have to use the soap dispenser a minimum of every 20 minutes. So there needs to be an abundance of these high tech soap dispensers around, and none of the other kind, so they can make sure the employee is following the rules. Sounds simple enough to me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why shouldn’t employees use the public restrooms? And why do some have signs that say, “Employees must wash their hands….”?

flo's avatar

@snowberry I understand, it is to get them used to the habit of washing.

flo's avatar

@Dutchess_III Do you mean why don’t the signs say “Everyone must wash their hands…”? I think because they can only dicipline fire etc., the employees.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No, I was responding to @snowberry‘s comment ”...if there’s a chance an employee might use the customer restroom, they need the same fingerprint recognition soap dispenser in every bathroom.”

Why should an employee not be allowed to use the customer’s restroom?

flo's avatar

@Dutchess_III I don’t know if it’s strictly about not being allowed or not. It could be in case they need to, in case the employees’ restroom is too busy, or other reason.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Are you saying that this soap dispenser has the ability to recognize an employee from a customer?

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snowberry's avatar

@Dutchess_III,.Yep apparently so, through fingerprints.

Dutchess_III's avatar

…So they program it to recognize finger prints?

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
snowberry's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes, apparently so. Hopefully this would only be recorded if the fingerprint were on file, but with Big Brother watching our every move, anything’s possible, right?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@snowberry I would think that such a soap dispenser would cost thousands and thousands to make and purchase, and would have to include a computer that might have to be reprogrammed occasionally, for additional expenses. What if it malfunctioned and refused soap to everyone?

What, exactly, would justify such an expense for a business? I’ve never heard of employees not being allowed to use the public bathroom at an establishment. But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that this is so in Resturaunt .Inc. So the employee uses the public bathroom…and then can’t use soap to wash his or her hands, so they go back to work with dirty hands?

Also, is there some sort of log that a manager has to review every evening to see which one of his or her dastardly employees used the bathroom, then tried to wash their hands?
I just don’t think it would take long for it to get around to the employees, “If you use that bathroom, don’t try to wash your hands! You’ll get busted!”

Fail, fail, any way you look at it.

flo's avatar

@Dutchess_III “I’ve never heard of employees not being allowed to use the public bathroom at an establishment.”
No one is suggesting that is the case. @snowberry posted that it must be some defect. And to update on the case, the person went back again and again after that, and found no problem. It must have been a coincidence.

snowberry's avatar

@Dutchess_III Read the article I posted above. This is to help hospitals and food production factories meet health safety standards. I’m guessing the every 20 minute hand washing rules are regulated by some arm of the government (maybe the CDC?), and the rules are mostly for food, but also for health related industries, not for any restaurant.

To illustrate, the health department in our county requires that all refrigerators and freezers in food establishments be checked regularly and the temperature logged. A health inspector wants to see a daily log of the temperatures taken throughout the day, of all freezers and freezers. That’s an incredibly time consuming job, and guess what? Somebody invented a gizmo to track all that information, and furthermore, it’s automatically uploaded to the cloud, so it can be accessed remotely. In addition, the manager gets a notification if the temperature goes too low (which has potential to save $1000s in lost food if the freezer dies)! These devices are not cheap, but considering the savings in time, the easy record keeping (available at any time to a health inspector as a printout), the cost is well worth it. The head of our local school cafeteria has one on her “wish list”!

The fingerprint ID soap dispensers were developed to fit a similar need. You can bet they make a lot of these things, and probably more than one company makes them. And the companies that buy them think they’re worth it.

And of course, technology can break down…

Dutchess_III's avatar

@snowberry but you said _” ”...if there’s a chance an employee might use the customer restroom, they need the same fingerprint recognition soap dispenser in every bathroom.” That’s where we got off on the customer/employee bathroom business.

I have looked. I don’t see where a machine like this is in any kind of use. It looks like there may be some patents pending, but, as far as I can tell, none of them are in production.

Also, didn’t we come up with “touchless” soap dispensers so we didn’t have to touch the god awful germs of the cholera-infected person who pressed the lever before us? And now we want to go the other way? I just don’t see this being a viable product at all.

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