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5 Tips to Reducing Restroom Consumable Costs in Your Business

No one put it as bluntly as Taro Gomi when he wrote the kid-classic potty-training book “Everybody Poops.” It’s the truth and because of it companies usually spend a large amount for consumables within their business. Depending on what type of business you’re in, consumable costs can be a few packages of toilet paper, paper towels and a couple hand soaps to large medical facilities that require thousands of dollars’ worth of soaps, sanitizers, masks, gloves and paper towels, etc. on a monthly basis.

We have compiled a list of a few cost saving ideas for those that purchase consumables. Helping streamline and control your consumable costs can improve cleanliness and reduce absenteeism, all while helping the bottom line.

  • 1. Use hard roll paper towels over multifold towels.

Hard roll paper towels can save you money in two ways. First, the cost per foot it much cheaper than multifold. The case itself will cost more, however a case of hard roll towels will typically be 2 or 3 times more paper than a case of multifold. Secondly, people seem to be less wasteful when using hard roll towels. When hard roll towels dispense, the average consumer take one or two pieces to dry their hands. Depending on how the multifold towels are dispensed, people generally take more than necessary. When they are in a pull dispensers the average person take 3 or 4 sheets. When they are in a basket on the counter people can take up to 10 or more by grabbing a handful and then disposing many unused towels right into the trash!

  • 2. Switch from regular toilet paper rolls to jumbo rolls.

Have you ever noticed at the doctor’s office they have a roll of toilet paper that’s huge? This is called a junior jumbo roll and it can save you a lot of money for a couple reasons. Mainly, the size of the roll reduces the cost per foot. These jumbo rolls last longer, require less individual attention from attendants and perhaps the biggest advantage is that they never turn up missing. Don’t ask me why, but toilet paper is one of the most frequently stolen items from any business.

  • 3. When applicable use electric hand dryers.

Electric hand dryers can save you a significant amount of money by eliminating the need for paper towels in the restrooms. Instead of going to a paper towel dispenser users push a button and let the hot air dry their hands. The tradeoff here is cleanliness. It has been well documented that hand dryers typically just blow the germs around the room. This is not a feasible choice when you are in a medical facility, but for an insurance agent or retail setting hand dryers can work just fine. Hand dryers have come a long way in the fact that they do not have to be built into the walls anymore. Many new hand dryers can be retrofit into a towel dispenser built-in or mounted directly on the wall. Some models of hand dyers even do a better job at restricting the air flow, to minimize the spread of germs.

  • 4. Use mounted soap dispensers instead of disposable countertop containers.

Wall mounted soap dispensers are more expensive at start up, but one insert for the dispenser could contain the equivalent of five or six disposable “home type” dispensers. They generally look nice, do not get “gummed up” and are much less likely to end up stolen. Most mounted dispensers are rather inexpensive and oftentimes if you talk to your provider, they can get them at no cost at all.

  • 5. Have your janitorial service provider purchase your consumables for you.

Generally speaking, your service provider has access to wholesalers, consortiums and preferred pricing for the volumes in which they purchase. One janitorial company can do the purchasing for many different businesses and buying in bulk and selling it to end users can pass the savings on to you. Your company may not have the space to order toilet paper by the pallet, but this is routine business for your janitorial service. By buying it at such a large amount the cost is reduced. Think of the next step up from Costco. So a case of toilet paper can be $100. If you buy 10 cases its $80 and if you buy 2 pallets it may only be $60.

There are more advantages to buying from your service provider also. If your provider is purchasing the consumables, they should also be monitoring usage levels, rotating and organizing the stock and breaking down and disposing of the boxes. You should never run out of anything and most importantly never have to think about it! They should also be partially responsible for maintaining any equipment that the towels come in. For instance, if we purchase the soap for a facility, we can often negotiate the dispensers at no charge to the client by having an agreement with the soap company. Hence if one breaks down, we will fix or repair it at no charge. Paper towel dispensers typically are the same way. The only difference is that they are more expensive and if one breaks down it can be hard to find one that matches it without paying a premium price for them.

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With these tips we hope that you can help streamline and reduce costs for the consumable needs of your business. In most cases you can save money not only from the actual cost but also the time needed to manage these items. This list could also improve the image of your business while also instilling a higher level of confidence with your customers. Higher confidence equals more sales… all from toilet paper.

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