Sanitary vending machines - Luxury or necessity?

Sanitary vending machines can become an essential item in your washroom

What normally comes to mind whenever we talk about essential washroom hygiene equipment are soap dispensers, toilet paper dispensers, air fresheners, sanitary bins and urinal/WC cleaner dispensers. However, are these enough to provide a complete hygiene service?

The answer of this question could be ‘yes’, but Dawn Shomaker’s article -Feminine hygiene - creating a positive experience- may suggest we have been forgetting something. The article highlights the results of a survey conducted by Harris Interactive in 2013, which illustrates how unexpected period related situations can be a common occurrence with women. Esspecially because the most of public washroom are not adequately equipped to respond to these feminine needs.

‘The most of public washroom are not adequately equipped to respond to feminine needs’

The following situations reported by the survey will be very familiar to all women.

‘’In these “unexpected” situations, nearly 80 per cent of respondents said they try to make a pad out of toilet paper. Sixty-two per cent said they went to a store immediately to purchase tampons. Thirty-four per cent said they went home to get feminine supplies. Fifty-three per cent said they asked another woman for supplies. - Dawn Shomaker ‘Feminine hygiene - creating a positive experience’1

The fact is that as extreme as this might sound, these situations have become part of women’s life and stigmatised by society, thus being overlooked by businesses. Although washroom vending is becoming increasingly popular in the UK and Ireland compared to other European countries, the reality is that there are still many washrooms that do not offer this service. However, if we asked a sample of women, it is highly likely that they would rather have a sanitary pad dispenser in the washroom than an air freshener in the event of an unexpected period.

‘They would rather have a sanitary pad dispenser in the washroom than an air freshener’

Vending machines dispensers can also be configured to dispense a large variety of personal care products which might not be as essential as sanitary towels and tampons, but make your washroom service stand out. Moreover, vending prices can be totally programmable to allow business to set up affordable prices or products FOC.

So, why should washrooms have vending machines installed? Period related situations can make women feel unconfident and uncomfortable especially in working environments. However, vending machines with the right products can be just what you need in many cases, not only for sanitary needs but for other similar situations. Here are some examples which may help us to understand this better.

‘Period related situations can make women feel unconfident, especially in working environments’

How many times have you got a ladder in your tights and you couldn’t go home to get changed? Have you ever suffered from period pain, headache or sore throat and you needed that paracetamol or ibuprofen to keep you going? Going out and not being prepared for a successful occasion? Sanitary towels, tampons, tights, paracetamols and condoms are just some of what a vending machine can offer, the possibilities for your business and your customers are endless.

In the end, everything comes down to one critical factor, providing the best service making customers’ lives easier.

Related articles:

1) Dawn Shomaker ‘Feminine hygiene - creating a positive experience’. The European Cleaning Journal.

2)Menstrual equity, interesting articles: