Corporate Statements

Bulk Soap Contamination: An Interview with GOJO Chairman and CEO Joe Kanfer


When GOJO Industries learned about the contamination issues of open refillable bulk soap reservoir dispensers, the company wanted to know if it was based on verifiable data.

QUESTION: Why did GOJO initiate the study of open refillable soap reservoir dispensers?


GOJO is the industry leader. Our focus has always been on the health and well-being of our customers. When GOJO became aware of the contamination issues regarding open refillable soap dispensers, we immediately went to work exploring the issue and finding a solution.

This story is similar to our launch of PURELL® in the healthcare market. Prior to the launch of PURELL, more than 2 million people became ill as a result of healthcare-associated infections. This resulted in approximately 90,000 deaths and $5 billion in medical costs. GOJO worked with thought leaders in the healthcare industry in helping to develop guidelines that focused on hand hygiene compliance. We created an entire program around building compliance, with PURELL as the cornerstone of that program.

We see contamination of open reservoir soap dispensers as a similar public health threat.

QUESTION: Does GOJO manufacture bulk products?


GOJO no longer manufactures open refillable soap reservoir dispensers.

GOJO does continue to sell bulk soap, but with a warning that indicates bulk soap products can become contaminated and that soap should not be added to a partially empty dispenser as the practice of topping off may lead to contamination.

GOJO remains committed to our customers through the transition from open refillable dispensers to SANITARY SEALED™ systems. In addition, GOJO is committed to educating the industry about the contamination of bulk soap so you can make informed decisions.

QUESTION: What is the difference between open refillable soap reservoir dispensers and a SANITARY SEALED system?

MR. Kanfer

Open refillable reservoir dispensers are just that - they are open. That makes them susceptible to the environment, including bacteria.

Cleaning these open dispensers is time consuming. Because the CDC recommends not topping off these refillable dispensers, cleaning and sanitizing might take place as often as every 30 days. In addition, when we asked Dr. Gerba about the protocol for cleaning and sanitizing dispensers, he said none existed. It's just not practical or cost effective to clean these types of dispensers. And routine maintenance can't be relied upon to prevent bacterial contamination.

SANITARY SEALED systems, on the other hand, are safe, smart and simple to use. They're safe because they are factory sealed and include a fresh nozzle with each refill. SANITARY SEALED™ systems are smart because there is no risk of contamination. They are simple because they are virtually labor free.

When you compare open reservoir dispensers with SANITARY SEALED systems, well, there's really no comparison.


Contact Information

Contact: Kelly Ward-Smith, Public Relations Senior Manager

Phone Number: 330-255-6293
Mobile Phone: 330-819-8638


This contact information is for news media only. For other inquiries, please contact GOJO customer service at 1-800-321-9647 or use the GOJO Contact Us form.