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Portable hand washing stations Vs hand sanitiser – the pros and cons

01 March 2022

The events of the last two years have brought into sharp relief the importance of scrupulous handwashing regimes, with many of us now carrying hand sanitiser at all times. But how effective are hand sanitisers compared to soap and water? This helpful guide has all the answers.

Handwashing is an important way to reduce the risk of spreading viral infections between people, and in addition to traditional soap and water methods, the pandemic has seen a rise in the use of alcohol-based hand sanitising gels and liquids.

How do hand sanitisers and soap work?

On a basic level, alcohol-based hand sanitiser kills germs on hands, whereas soap and water removes the germs from hands.

The pros and cons of hand sanitiser

Providing the alcohol content of the hand sanitiser is a minimum of 60%, nearly all germs will be killed. However the sanitiser will not remove germs and is not as effective as soap and water where dirt and grime need to be removed. While hand sanitisers can be helpful for people on the go, they should not be used instead of soap and water exclusively. Further, the alcohol content may prevent some people from using them on religious grounds.

The pros and cons of handwashing

The government advice throughout the pandemic has been to use soap and water for handwashing wherever this is possible. This is because not only germs but also dirt and grime will be removed effectively, providing the correct technique is used. This means that handwashing with soap and water is the most effective method in a variety of settings including outdoors, food preparation, and visiting the elderly or vulnerable. However, in settings without access to soap and water, sanitiser is good to have in reserve.

The benefits of a portable hand washing station

Hiring a portable hand wash station is particularly beneficial in densely populated environments with multiple users, for example in schools or prisons where the supply of additional facilities can supplement existing amenities. They can also be used where there is no access to fixed plumbing.

Where to use a portable hand washing station

Portable hand washing stations can be used anywhere but are of particular benefit in the workplace, in schools, shops, care homes, and prisons, as well as in industrial settings and on building sites.

Features of a portable hand wash station form Fortis Hire

Our portable hand wash stations are the perfect solution for anywhere without access to fixed plumbing, or where additional facilities are needed. Each station has an 83-litre freshwater capacity and a 90-litre grey (waste) water capacity, enabling a single unit to provide approximately 350 uses without the need to be refilled. In addition, our units are operated by a hands-free foot pump which reduces the risk of cross contamination and the spread of disease. Our modern and innovative stations each have two sinks, with two soap dispensers containing 1.8 litres of soap and four paper towel dispensers with 1000 paper towels. Integral lift handles enable the units to be easily positioned or moved. 

How to hire a portable hand washing station

Hiring a portable hand washing station from Fortis Hire couldn’t be simpler. Our expert and friendly team is waiting to help you and will answer any questions you may have, to ensure you find the correct solution for your needs. Simply call us on 01525 643850 or email us at for a no obligation quote.


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