Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Getting Myself Into A Lather

Be Warned – Rant Coming Up!

dettol no touch

“Your hands may come into contact with millions of germs every day. But have you ever thought about those germs ending up on your soap pump? The Dettol No-Touch Hand Wash System eliminates the need to touch a soap pump ever again.”

So runs the Tv ad for this new product. It costs around £10 for the initial kit, then a further £3 for refills [plus 4 AA batteries every so often] That seems quite a lot of money to me –and not very green’ either.

But the cost is not the thing that is annoying me – it is the reasoning behind the advert…

“Ooh look, my little boy is about to touch that old soap pump – and the last person to use it was my husband who had very dirty hands! Stop immediately, child! You may get germs on your fingers! Use this new pump instead, which dispenses soap without you touching it – so you won’t pick up any of that nasty harmful bacteria”

Erm – look, surely the reason** little Joe is reaching for the soap pump is because he is about to wash his hands. So he already knows his hands have germs on them.  Furthermore, the next action he takes will be to use that soap to wash his hands – thus removing the germs.

Are you telling me that in the few seconds between touching grimy soap pump and reaching the tap, those extra ‘soap pump’ germs will multiply ten thousand fold and give him some vile life-threatening plague?

Or are those clever people at Dettol just playing on the guilt feelings of mothers, who worry they are exposing their families to extra risks? And making lots of money out of it! Or am I just cynical?

[**I am aware that some folk, ever since Lady Macbeth, are obsessive about handwashing, and theymay have different reasons for using the soap. But it is not fair to worry them still more with this product]

I like this Aldi product – 69p and it comes in three colours!

aldi handwash

So don’t try and sell me a ‘No-touch pump’ – it just won’t wash!


  1. This type of thing gets my goat for another reason. There is a base assumption that "germs" - aka bacteria - are all bad, which is patently nonsense.

    Is it just me or is it the case that as we have become increasingly clean, and correspondingly unwilling to allow our children to come into contact with good old-fashioned dirt, the incidence of allergies has spiralled?

  2. MadDad said exactly the same thing last night!!

  3. Can't see the point at all... next they'll be selling a 'no touch' tap and a 'no touch' towel and 'no touch' everything else.


  4. So true, in so many ways!

    The purpose of a lot of advertising is to convince us that we want things we never knew we wanted. Thus they invent new fears, new body odours, new ways to feel ashamed of ourselves and our lives, in order to sell new products. Cynical but true.

    In France I can get new little 'pockets' of soap to refill my metal dispensers, thus avoiding all that plastic - are the pocket refills available in the UK?

  5. I agree with Radical Believer! We need to bump up against humanity MORE not less and if I get some germs in the community restroom, I highly doubt it's from the soap pump. Why is it that kids who don't worry about germs rarely get sick? Hmmmmm.

  6. We often say it too.
    I saw the advertisement and thought much the same as you Ang.
    Clever to frighten people, so they rush off and buy yet another expensive item that isnt really essential.

  7. Never mind that - what do you do after you have washed the soap off your hands? Turn the tap off! That would be the same tap that you just turned on with your dirty hands....
    And what do you then dry your hands on???

  8. Exactly what I thought, totally faulty reasoning. I'm going to wash my hands anyway so what if the pump has a germ or two.

    I love those 'wave' toilets that flush without having to touch the chain/handle. But then, horror of horrors, you have to touch the lock on the toilet door, and then a tap, and then the door handle! It's all too much.

    There were some trains that had automated toilet doors that you didn't need to touch in order to lock and unlock; but my experience of minding my own business in the toilet and then the door suddenly inexplicably opening was too traumatic.

    I'm already stressed out enough by my 'intelligent' 'sensor' washing machine that does things I didn't ask it to do because its sensors decided that my washing doesn't need spinning or needs a shorter spin than I had set it for!

    Ok I'm waffling now...

  9. Totally agree with what every one else has already said so well!! If we keep kids and ourselves in such a sterile environment we'll never build up the antibodies needed to fight the germs! Some things are simply carried too far!

  10. Thanks for all the comments - pleased to discover that I am not alone in feeling like this! It seems many of you are foaming at the mouth in the matter of liquid soap!!


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