Hygiene: How can bathroom users benefit from touch-free taps and hassle-free hygiene?

Pop up my Bathroom Magazin zum Thema Hygiene auf der ISH digital 2021

On the subject of hygiene, host Jens J. Wischmann (VDS) has invited Dr. Peter Arens (Schell), Dirk Engelhardt (Geberit) and Frank A. Reinhrdt (FAR.consulting).

What does modern hygiene in the bathroom look like? That’s the topic host and Managing Director of the VDS Jens J. Wischmann and his three talk guests turned their attention to in the Pop up my Bathroom Magazine programme on the second day of the ISH digital 2021.

While it’s certainly not a new topic in relation to the bathroom, the corona pandemic has brought hygiene back into focus. Nevertheless, according to trend researcher and co-organiser of the forum Frank A. Reinhardt, it would be wrong to call hygiene a trend. Instead, said Reinhardt, in terms of its dynamism and function, “hygiene-related themes should be understood as a trend driver that is very definitely having an impact on all other trends right now, including those featured here.”

However that may be, the corona pandemic has taken the importance of hygiene to a new level – as was confirmed by the microbiologist Dr Peter Arens in his function as Senior Consultant Hygiene Manager at Schell: “That’s very noticeable. Sales of electronic fittings have increased several times over. The connection is obvious: even when there’s no pandemic, it doesn’t make sense to use the basin mixer to wash your hands thoroughly after going to the toilet and then touch the contaminated lever again afterwards.”

Pop up my Bathroom Magazin | Hygiene: Together with our guests, we’ll be focus­ing on hygiene, tak­ing a look at the sec­tor’s prod­uct port­fo­lio and reflect­ing on how its util­i­sa­tion in both pub­lic and pri­vate set­tings has devel­oped. Plus, we’ll be explain­ing how impor­tant mod­ern bath­room prod­ucts like the shower toi­let can be for per­sonal hygiene.

But the issue of drinking water quality is very much in focus too, especially in pandemic times, because when plumbing systems aren’t used – in offices that are deserted for weeks on end, for example – it can result in an increased build-up of bacteria and subsequently lead to severe disease. To counteract that, explained Peter Arens, the water needs to be changed every three days. Wischmann asked his guests what technical options are available if that can’t be done manually. “In terms of planning and installation, the industry can take care of that via good, sensible products,” said Dirk Engelhardt, Regional Sales Director Technology at Geberit. “And I believe the trades and bathroom planners can do the same. It’s the building operators I’m not sure about – regardless of whether they’re professional or private,” Engelhardt admitted. That’s why it’s so important to raise awareness among operators – and the trades can help in that respect too.

Hygiene in the bathroom also means personal hygiene. In response to the host’s provocative question as to whether Germans attach more importance to the cleanliness of their toilets than to that of their backsides, since rimless toilets have become increasingly popular in recent years, but shower toilets less so, Engelhardt replied: “It’s a combination of different things.” He pointed to current toilet cleaning habits, the higher price of shower toilets and the sensitive issue of intimate hygiene, which many planners and tradespeople used to find embarrassing. But, he added, it’s evident that selling shower toilets is becoming increasingly attractive for the trades and that customers’ own experiences with shower toilets – when travelling in Asia, for instance – is also strengthening demand. Ultimately, Dirk Engelhardt was optimistic: “We’re not where we want to be yet, but we’re on the right track.”

Pop up my Bathroom Magazin zum Thema Hygiene auf der ISH digital 2021

Had an exciting discussion with his guests: VDS managing director Jens J. Wischmann.

And last but not least, hygiene also plays an important role in the Living Bathroom, one of the three trends proclaimed by the Pop up my Bathroom forum: “With Living Bathroom, we want to enhance the quality of the time people spend in their bathrooms. We’re spending longer in the bathroom, so we might want a rug in there, for instance. That obviously means making sure the rug is washable and is replaced a bit more often than the usual 10 or 15 years,” observed Frank A. Reinhardt, owner of FAR.consulting. On the whole, added the trend researcher, bathroom equipment – even in private homes – has become more hygienic per se thanks to dirt-repellent and antibacterial finishes. But he believes electrification has the greatest role to play when it comes to creating hygiene-promoting conditions, even in a cosy private bathroom: “In the meantime, the products and innovations that are already available on the market mean it’s possible to create an entirely touchless private bathroom, which is a huge bonus in terms of hygiene.”

That ranges from sensor-controlled toilet lids, touchless taps and contact-free flush plates all the way to electronic soap dispensers. A family of four that washes its hands an average of 50 times a day can save a considerable amount of water and optimise routines. “That’s an interesting basis for planning a bathroom, as well as for architects and fitters when they bring this aspect into their consultations with customers,” said Reinhardt.

All the pro­grammes can be viewed in full length on our new YouTube channel.

Further information:

The hygiene wave in the bath­room is com­ing: There’s more demand for hygiene in the bath­room than ever before. The bath­room sec­tor’s smart solu­tions for grow­ing hygiene require­ments are a major theme at the ISH dig­i­tal 2021 too.