Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about our automated handwashing systems and boot scrubbers.

About Hand Washing

Our company has been doing manual handwashing for years, and we’ve never had a problem. Why should we change? What are the benefits of automating?
What is the difference between resident and transient bacteria? And what should my facility be concerned with?
My employees are complaining about cold-water handwashes. What can be done?
How do I persuade people to change their habits?
We use gloves. Why does my company need CleanTech?
I use instant hand sanitizers. Why do I need CleanTech?
What about the fingertips? It doesn’t seem to me that a “non-friction” wash can really clean under the fingertips.
What hand drying methods are recommended?


About Our Products

Which model is best for me?
Can I try a system before I purchase one?
Can I purchase one for my home?
What does the system require from my facility?
Where is placement/location of the automated hand sink equipment most common?
Can I go to my preferred supplier or distributor to purchase your systems and/or solutions?
Do you have a local representative for service?


About CleanTech Handwashing Systems

What makes CleanTech better than a sink or no-touch hand sink?
How does CleanTech encourage people to wash more frequently?
Can we shorten the 12-second cycle time?
Can you retrofit a resetting usage counter so we can reset the counter at shift change?
We have no hot water at the site. How important is hot water to the performance of the machine? Any suggestions?
I notice you have a manual faucet as an option on the new CleanTech 400. Why? And how does it work?
It seems that this CleanTech cycle takes a lot longer than a manual hand wash? Why should we invest in something that takes longer?
The CleanTech 400 model doesn’t have the “self-clean” feature that the CleanTech 2000S model has. How do I clean my CleanTech unit?
We need a “stand alone” unit for special events and locations where there is no water. How can we make the CleanTech system work for us?
We really need a handwashing station, but it would cost too much to plumb water to where we want to install CleanTech. Any suggestions?
Your clinical studies show a 99.98% reduction in transient pathogens; however, when we ran a simple GlowGerm test in my sanitation class, the black light still illuminated GlowGerm on the hands of my students after a CleanTech handwash. Why?


About Our Soaps and Solutions

What is Ultra-Pure Hand Soap?
What is Self-Clean A-1 and why is it used in the system?


About Meritech

Who are your competitors?
Who do I contact for questions and help?


 

About Hand Washing

Our company has been doing manual handwashing for years, and we’ve never had a problem. Why should we change? What are the benefits of automating?
 
A good manual handwash is effective at reducing hand bacteria counts, no doubt. However, the manual handwash method cannot be guaranteed to be consistent from person to person and day-to-day, otherwise this would be a good alternative. Manual handwashing is inherently variable. Important aspects of the handwash, such as amount of soap, amount of water, coverage of the hand (fingernails, fingertips, between the fingers, wrist, etc.), and duration of the wash vary from wash to wash. By automating the process, these aspects are closely controlled and each person gets a high-quality handwash independent of the human variability factor. If you have had no problems in the past, then statistically you are overdue for a problem. CleanTech will standardize each hand wash and guarantee clean hands. Meritech has performed an independent study which demonstrates that our technology-based approach to hand hygiene, with a 12 second cycle, is equivalent to a full 1 minute wash (30 seconds of lathering, 30 seconds of rinsing).

Back to Top


What is the difference between resident and transient bacteria? And what should my facility be concerned with?
 
Resident flora are those organisms that are always on the skin of our hands, that live in the layers of our skin, and that are responsible for keeping our skin alive and healthy. In fact, they are even beneficial to good health. Resident flora, naturally occurring organisms, do not cause disease. Transient bacteria, viruses and spores can and do cause illness, disease and even death in extreme cases. They are not normal hand flora. They are picked up onto the hands from some contaminated source (doorknobs, viscera, utensils, etc.), and then the hands serve as a vector for disease, a transportation method for those pathogens to contaminate another surface, or another person. CleanTech systems eliminate 99.98% of many of the transient pathogens on the hands in 12 seconds.

Back to Top


My employees are complaining about cold-water handwashes. What can be done?
 
The effectiveness of our CleanTech systems does not rely on water temperature, however, cold water can cause compliance problems simply because it is uncomfortable. Using the CleanTech system is a satisfying experience and motivates people to wash their hands if the water is at a comfortable temperature. If the unit is located far from the hot water source, or if the hot water line runs through a refrigerated room, a booster heater can be installed near the unit. Some State and County Health Departments also have a handwash water temp requirement that you should be aware of and Meritech can assist in getting your system up to temp. Please contact Meritech for specific application recommendations.

Back to Top


How do I persuade people to change their habits?
 
Compliance monitoring will identify a problem. Performance feedback (providing employees with feedback, such as performance reports, on whether or not they are washing their hands) will motivate employees to wash. Meritech can provide full training programs for any industry, including ways to talk about hand hygiene, ways to encourage more hand washing and ways to monitor compliance in order to know when remedial training is needed.

Back to Top


We use gloves. Why does my company need CleanTech?
 
Because of the high risk of cross contamination! In a study by BioScience Laboratories that tested randomly selected vinyl food grade gloves, 80 percent were found to have pre-existing punctures or tears. In addition, the use of gloves creates the perfect environment for the breeding colonies of pathogens on the hands. When handwashing was performed prior to gloving, no significant microbial growth was observed. In another study, hands that were initially inoculated with E. coli before donning gloves were determined to have significant counts on the outside surface of the gloves after use – this is known as cross contamination and it is why there are many industries that actually discourage glove use. For those companies that do use gloves, the CDC recommends washing before gloving due to the rapid growth of bacteria on gloved hands, and due to the risk of punctures and tears during use. When hands are washed effectively prior to wearing gloves, the risk of cross contamination is reduced but the key is that the manual wash needs to be effective. Only a Meritech CleanTech system can guarantee an effective wash prior to gloving.

Back to Top


I use instant hand sanitizers. Why do I need CleanTech?
 
Alcohol gel is not the answer to the problem of poor hand hygiene and should be used ONLY when manual washing or a Meritech system is not readily available (this is the position of the FDA)! Instant hand sanitizers are not an acceptable method for handwashing in any food applications (production or food service). The reason is that hand sanitizers are rarely used correctly, and if they are, the contact time should be 20 to 30 seconds total, to be effective against many pathogens. Sanitizers are NOT healthy for the skin and actually damage the skin to the point it is easier for many pathogens to colonize in the cracks of dried and dead skin. Most importantly, alcohol gel sanitizers are not effective against many pathogens and the use of alcohol gel can actually promote the spread of disease by creating a false sense of security and discouraging effective handwashing. Norovirus on cruise lines are a great example – the CDC has clearly stated that alcohol gel does not kill or remove norovirus and cruise lines are being required to encourage more regular or CleanTech automated handwashing. When instant hand sanitizers are used in ANY application, people are misled to believe that they are cleaning their hands; therefore they lessen their trips to a sink with soap and water. This false sense of security actually increases cross contamination and infection rates.

Back to Top


What about the fingertips? It doesn’t seem to me that a “non-friction” wash can really clean under the fingertips.
CleanTech systems have four nozzles shooting straight up from the bottom of each cylinder that are designed to wash and sanitize under the fingernails. Also, fingernails should be kept trimmed at all times.

Back to Top


What hand drying methods are recommended?
 
Paper towels are the most sanitary means of drying hands. Studies have shown that the use of high quality paper towels increases the effectiveness of the wash and promotes better skin health. Many Meritech customers, however, are adopting hand dryers to eliminate the waste of paper towels, and Meritech sells several dryers which we have tested and have found to present the lowest risk of cross contamination with the highest level of effectiveness and the best cost. Call us for information on these dryer options.

Back to Top


 

About Our Products

Which model is best for me?
 
We know most people try to avoid talking to sales people, but in this case it is so important to contact us. Our sales engineers have a short list of questions we would ask about your application to advise you of the best model for your specific needs. We want to make sure you get the best fit for your investment so we all look great in the end. So please give us a call: (800) 932-7707.

Back to Top


Can I try a system before I purchase one?
 
It is possible to trial our systems, depending on your application. We do occasionally allow for 30-day trials of our systems. Contact a Sales Manager for more information at (800) 932-7707.

Back to Top


Can I purchase one for my home?
 
Meritech does not sell into the home market yet, but it is in our plans for the future so keep your eyes on us!

Back to Top


What does the system require from my facility?
 
Please refer to each model’s spec sheet for details. All systems require the same plumbing as a standard sink; hot & cold water supply and a drain, and 110V power outlet. Note that our systems do not heat the water. The hot water is supplied by the facility and then the system will automatically blend the hot and cold to about 105ºF. If there is a hot water supply problem, a booster heater is recommended and Meritech engineers can help you with specifications for a booster heater.

Back to Top


Where is placement/location of the automated hand sink equipment most common?
 
CleanTech systems should be located at the entrances to critical areas such as food packing areas, or any facility that processes cooked or ready-to-eat product. In addition, units should be placed inside critical areas or between cooked and raw facilities where cross-contamination is a concern. The standard configuration of CleanTech systems allows placement anywhere a conventional sink will go — where there is both water and drainage access. Meritech engineers can assist you in determining where to place CleanTech Automated handwash stations and can work with architects and process engineers regarding the design/layout of new production facilities and areas.

Back to Top


Can I go to my preferred supplier or distributor to purchase your systems and/or solutions?
 
This is possible but Meritech will need to establish your supplier as one of our preferred distribution partners, which usually involves a meeting and some training. We encourage you to inquire with us first. Meritech usually sells equipment direct to the end user, however in some cases we understand that the customer may want to go through a preferred supplier and we can usually accommodate that request.

Back to Top


Do you have a local representative for service?
 
Meritech has Regional Account Managers throughout the U.S. These Account Managers are trained to perform service and are available on short notice. Call Meritech for service requests and technical assistance. (800) 932-7707 or (303) 790-4670

Back to Top


 

About CleanTech Handwashing Systems

What makes CleanTech better than a sink or no-touch hand sink?
 
CleanTech shines in three areas. Standardization: The consistent wash technique, and accurate solutions delivery of the CleanTech system has been clinically proved to be more effective than a manual hand wash.
Efficacy: The CleanTech system removes transient microorganisms on the hands by 99.98%.
Compliance: Employees are encouraged to wash hands by the sheer nature of the CleanTech system, including the ease of operation and comfort and the skin friendly conditioning that is included in the wash. In addition, CleanTech monitors compliance by counting washes.

Back to Top


How does CleanTech encourage people to wash more frequently?
 
The twenty rotating spray nozzles in each cylinder provide a stimulating and pleasurable sensation on the hands, we often hear how fun it is and the unit is easy to use. With a good compliance monitoring program and the use of the counter, wash frequency can be increased by performance feedback to the employees. Also, our soap is specially formulated to be effective but to also be gentle on the skin — with added emollients, and good skin health — encourages more handwashing! And it only takes up to 12-seconds to wash the hands.

Back to Top


Can we shorten the 12-second cycle time?
 
The standard factory cycle length setting is 12 seconds, and is recommended for most applications. However, the cycle length is programmable from 6 to 20 seconds and can either be preset to customer specifications or changed in the field. The effectiveness of CleanTech can only be guaranteed at cycle lengths of 12 seconds or more.

Back to Top


Can you retrofit a resetting usage counter so we can reset the counter at shift change?
 
Yes. We can retrofit any model of our CleanTech Handwashing Systems with a resettable counter that is either a preset timing method or manual method. Contact Meritech for more details.

Back to Top


We have no hot water at the site. How important is hot water to the performance of the machine? Any suggestions?
 
Hot water is not required for bacteria reduction – cold water works very well; however, employees may try to avoid using the CleanTech if the water is always cold. So, for the best compliance rates, Meritech recommends 105ºF water temperature. The best solution is a boost water heater (size dependent on use of system). Be cautious of instant water heaters as they usually restrict flow quite a bit. Many health departments and state food codes have a water temperature requirement (even though temperature has no impact at all on the effectiveness of the wash; it is just for comfort to encourage more washing); these food codes also state that Meritech’s automated handwash stations should be used per manufacturer’s recommended settings, which includes a 12 second cycle time and approximately 105ºF water.

Back to Top


I notice you have a manual faucet as an option on the new CleanTech 400. Why? And how does it work?
 
The no-touch faucet option on the CleanTech 400 is intended to fulfill two requirements. In cases where the hands are heavily soiled, the faucet can be used as a pre-rinse. In some healthcare settings, a surgical scrub up to the elbows may be required at the beginning of each shift. And finally, the CleanTech Systems are accepted in the Food Code, however if there is heavy debris, the faucet may be required by your health department (foodservice applications only) unless there is another manual handwash sink within a reasonable distance. You should consult with your local health department on this requirement or a Meritech representative can assist you in communicating with your health department regarding the requirements of your regulations.

Back to Top


It seems that this CleanTech cycle takes a lot longer than a manual hand wash? Why should we invest in something that takes longer?
 
Some people complete a manual hand wash that is far too brief to be effective, or they simply don’t wash at all. This should not be the basis for comparison to the CleanTech system. Ten to twelve seconds is required to get the soap onto the hands and then rinsed off again. Achieving 99.98% pathogen reduction requires this short amount of time. The CDC recommends a 30 second manual wash, that includes at least 20 seconds of lathering along with a pre-rinse and a full potable water post-wash rinse. CleanTech actually saves you time!

Back to Top


We just invested in the new CleanTech 400 model. It doesn’t have the “self-clean” feature that the CleanTech 2000S model has. How do I clean my CleanTech unit?
 
The CleanTech 400 can be cleaned and sanitized the same as any piece of food processing equipment. The CleanTech 400 is made of durable, chemical-resistant, water-resistant materials. Therefore, you may use whatever cleaning solutions you are currently using as a hard surface disinfectant to clean the outside of the unit and use the same solutions in a spray bottle to spray down the cylinders. Meritech provides a User Manual with every machine, which includes a section on cleaning and maintenance. Meritech Service Engineers can also help you in developing your cleaning and maintenance procedures.

Back to Top


We need a “stand alone” unit for special events and locations where there is no water. How can we make the CleanTech system work for us?
 
At this time, Meritech does not offer a fully self-contained system, as it requires fresh water, drain area and water pressure. Some of our systems, the ones mounted into tables with casters, are a bit easier to move from connection to connection.

Back to Top


We really need a handwashing station, but it would cost too much to plumb water to where we want to install CleanTech. Any suggestions?
 
CleanTech units require the same service hook ups as a clothes washer, i.e., hot and cold 3/4 inch garden hose connections, a 1-1/2 inch drain, and 110 – 230 VAC power. The unit can drain directly onto the floor, if so desired. You can set your system up with a sump pump system to drain to a remote location. The potable water hot and cold supply lines should be 3/8″ diameter minimum with a flow capacity of 5 gpm at 40 psi each. These lines are common and inexpensive to install.

Back to Top


Your clinical studies show a 99.98% reduction in transient pathogens; however, when we ran a simple GlowGerm test in my sanitation class, the black light still illuminated GlowGerm on the hands of my students after a CleanTech handwash. Why?
 
GlowGerm is an oil-based product designed for use as a teaching aid. The common misconception is that GlowGerm represents bacteria or biohazards. It doesn’t. It is a teaching aid as a “surface indicator”; i.e., “where have I missed?” GlowGerm and other heavy oils do not come off easily without a surfactant. It is more accurate to test viable bacteria with the “glove juice test”, rather than simply illuminate residual oil-based product with a black light. Meritech also uses ATP testing which measures total proteins on the skin as a good proxy for transient pathogen removal. We will happily give you with the names of companies that provide ATP test equipment so that you can perform your own testing.

Back to Top


 

About Our Soap Solutions

What is Ultra-Pure Hand Soap?
 
Our special formulated, proprietary Ultra-Pure hand soap is a very mild twin quaternary ammonium antimicrobial product that was developed specifically for use in our systems. We have removed all fragrances, dyes and alcohol and we have added skin conditioners. The UP is specifically designed and tested to be the only hand soap allowed and warranted in the CleanTech Handwashing Systems. CAUTION: OTHER HAND SOAPS WILL BREAK OUR CLEANTECH AUTOMATED HAND WASH SYSTEMS AND USE OF OTHER SOAPS WILL VOID YOUR 5-YEAR WARRANTY.

Back to Top


What is Self-Clean A-1 and why is it used in the system?
 
Self-Clean A-1 is a high-strength quaternary ammonium chloride cleaning agent that is automatically dispensed to prevent colonization in the systems and to inhibit the development of biofilms in your drain lines. It also extends the service life of the cylinders by controlling the buildup of mineral deposits. It is rated as an A-1 hard surface cleaner, for 2000S and 4000S models only. Please refer to MSDS tab for safety details.

Back to Top


About Meritech

Who are your competitors?
 
Meritech is the only manufacturer in the world that produces fully automated, touch free hand wash systems – the CleanTech Systems. Our technology is protected by dozens of patents and can only be purchased directly from Meritech or through Meritech authorized distribution partners. The only competitor we have is an old fashioned manual sink, which just isn’t getting peoples’ hands clean and everyone knows it. No one washes correctly at a manual sink… And don’t get us started talking about how bad alcohol gel is.

Back to Top


Who do I contact for questions and help?
 
You can contact a Sales or Customer Service representative at Meritech’s home office in Golden, Colorado. A knowledgeable customer service staff and technical service staff is available between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Mountain time at (800)-932-7707 (Within U.S.) and (303)-790-4670 (Outside U.S.).

Back to Top