How To Choose The Right Dispensers/Proportioners For Your Facility: 8 Things To Consider

By Lauren Belskie, Marketing Operations Manager at Imperial Dade

Lauren Belskie (Photo courtesy of Imperial Dade)

In the labyrinth of choices in the cleaning industry, selecting the right dispensers and proportioners is one of the paths that can prove difficult to navigate. The seemingly easy decision of selecting the best dispensers as well as chemical proportioners is blurred by a fog of considerations and a myriad of options that, when not evaluated properly, can impact the cleanliness of your facility and health of the people in your building.

The right selection of dispensers and chemical proportioners helps regulate product usage, enhance safety, increase sustainability, enhance facility appearance, and contribute to overall cost savings among other benefits.

Why Are Dispensers And Proportioners Important?

Dispensers and proportioners are precision instruments designed to accurately measure and dispense cleaning chemicals, sanitizers, and other janitorial products. There are several reasons why their importance is paramount:

  • Cost Efficiency: Properly calibrated dispensers and proportioners ensure that the right amount of product is used, reducing waste, and saving money.
  • Sustainability: By controlling product usage, dispensers and proportioners contribute to environmental sustainability by reducing chemical waste and packaging.
  • Safety: Proportioners ensure accurate dispensing, minimizing the risk of overexposure to chemicals which protects the health and safety of cleaning staff and building occupants.
  • Consistency: Proportioners ensure consistent product dilution and application, leading to uniform cleaning results and maintaining the desired cleanliness standards.

8 Key Considerations When Selecting Dispensers And Proportioners

When selecting dispensers and proportioners, it is important to ask the following questions:

  1. Compatibility: Specific to proportioners, is the chemical compatible with the device? Some cleaning products may require specialized dispensers to maintain their effectiveness. Ensuring compatibility with the specific cleaning products being used is crucial.
  2. Durability: How long will the dispenser or proportioner last? The durability and reliability of the devices are essential factors, as frequent breakdowns can disrupt operations and incur maintenance costs. Dispensers can be made from a variety of materials including plastic and stainless steel. The choice should be made not only based on budget but how well the material will hold up in a facility. For example, given the strength and robustness of stainless steel, it is a great choice for high-traffic bathrooms with frequent refilling and cleaning as the surface will not rust, helping you maintain a sleek, high-class look.
  3. Ease of Use: Who will be using the device? Are there any specific modifications or design considerations? User-friendly designs and intuitive operation are vital for ensuring that guests can easily use the dispensers and cleaning staff can operate the proportioners without extensive training.
  4. Cost: Is the initial investment justifiable considering the long-term benefits and cost savings? Balancing the upfront cost of the equipment with its long-term benefits and savings can be a concern for budget-conscious organizations.
  5. Facility Safety: Is there a high risk of damage to dispensers in certain parts of your facility? For example, on large campuses, some facilities or areas may be at an increased risk of dispenser damage, vandalism, or abuse. Carefully select a dispenser that can be secured to the wall or area. This is not as much of a concern for chemical proportioners because the general public should not have access. However, consider the placement of proportioners. Make sure they’re placed in a safe area. For example, they should not be placed right behind a door that may break the dispenser or injure someone using it.
  6. Level of Traffic: Unique to dispensers, do you need to consider high-capacity options? One of the most important factors you’ll need to consider is the level of traffic in the area where you will be placing dispensers. Areas with a lot of foot traffic will need high-capacity, durable dispensers to withstand frequent use and limit soap or sanitizer runout. High-capacity dispensing systems are available for paper towels, toilet paper, and soap and sanitizer dispensers. High-capacity dispensers significantly increase the amount of product that is available for use in your restrooms by increasing the amount of product that each dispenser can hold. For example, some high-capacity paper towel dispensers can hold 250 percent more paper towels than a standard dispenser.
  7. Maintenance: For dispensers, what maintenance is required, and how often? Will your cleaning team be able to monitor for stockouts or should high-capacity options be considered? Ensuring that your restrooms are fully stocked, and your dispensers are working is important to keeping your building occupants satisfied.
  8. Environmental Sustainability: How important is sustainability to your facility? Do you have green purchasing requirements? There are paper dispensers compatible with recycled paper. For soap and sanitizer dispensers, there are cartridges or refill bottles that can be engineered from the most widely accepted recyclable plastic, PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic number 1. There are also innovative refill bottles or cartridges that are designed for 99 percent or more product elimination. This means that nearly all the soap or sanitizer will be dispensed from the bottle or cartridge before requiring a refill, eliminating soap waste and associated costs. Once used, simply recycle the bottle. Other eco-friendly refills can be derived from 25 percent post-consumer recycled material, helping to lower your ecological footprint.

Additional Opportunities Associated With Dispenser And/Or Proportioner Selection

The selection of the right dispenser and proportioner presents opportunities for organizations to enhance their operations. This can be done through:

  • Customization: Many manufacturers offer customizable dispensers and proportioners that can be tailored to meet specific needs. Proportioners can offer variable dilution ratios or specialized applications. Dispensers can not only be branded but also offer customizable dispensing amounts from the length of paper to the amount of soap.
  • Technological Advancements: Some dispensers now come with digital interfaces and IoT-connectivity options, allowing for remote monitoring, data collection, and automated reordering of cleaning supplies. Showcase your facility’s drive for the future with these sleek options.
  • Training and Support: Choosing a supplier that provides comprehensive training and ongoing support can help organizations maximize the benefits of their dispensers and proportioners.
  • Sustainability Initiatives: Opting for eco-friendly and sustainable dispensing systems can align with corporate sustainability goals and enhance the organization’s environmental stewardship. Dispensers can display this through visible third-party certifications.

Dispensers and proportioners play a significant role in maintaining the overall cleanliness, health, and safety of any facility. By considering factors such as compatibility, durability, ease of use, and cost, and leveraging customization, technology integration, and support from suppliers, facility managers can choose the right path for their budgets and needs.

Lauren Belskie is a major contributor and the primary editor for the Imperial Dade Expert Insights Learning Center, a platform designed to answer common questions, provide insights on the latest trends, and offer creative solutions to help businesses create safer, healthier & cleaner facilities. She is the Marketing Operations Manager at Imperial Dade, producing articles, videos, trainings, and other educational content targeted to the Janitorial Services market.

Imperial Dade is the leading independent distributor of foodservice packaging, facilities maintenance supplies, floor equipment, and industrial packaging in North America. A provider of customized supply chain solutions, Imperial Dade serves customers in many business-to-business market segments including hospitality, healthcare, education, grocery, foodservice, and more. Value-added services include customer training programs, sustainability consulting, asset management, and technology. Our mission is to help our customers succeed and exceed their expectations. Headquartered in Jersey City, NJ, the company’s growing network of over 100 strategically located distribution centers serves customers across the continent. Visit or call 201-437-7440.

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