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A guide to hand and pump dispensers: which is right for your needs?

Many businesses have had to invest in hand and pump dispensers since COVID safety measures were introduced and many decisions have been made at speed, with safety in mind. But choosing the right hand and pump dispensers can save you money, improve cleaning efficiency and help you to make sure that soap and sanitizer are always in good supply for staff and customers. Here is a guide to what to consider when purchasing these items…

Choice 1: What kind of product do you wish to dispense?

We have a wide range of dispensers for all kinds of products ranging from PPE such as disposable gloves and aprons, to wet wipes to sunscreens as well as dispensers and pumps for soaps, sanitisers and cleaning products. Click here to see our full range of dispensers

When it comes to hand hygiene, however, your main choices are:

Foam soap or sanitizer

Liquid soap

Liquid sanitiser

Moisturising lotion

In general, while foaming dispensers are widely considered to be more cost-effective because you need less soap or sanitiser to wash your hands, some studies show that liquid products are more effective at cleaning hands, for the same reason.

We have a range available, including this refillable liquid soap dispenser which comes in 400ml or 900ml capacity.

Choice 2: location: surface or wall mount

Considering the location of the dispenser will impact how effective it is and how often it is used. If it’s not right in front of people in a place where they can instinctively find it, they miss a vital opportunity to clean their hands.

Wall mounted dispensers can be put at a convenient height and close to sinks or entrances.

Portable ones can obviously be moved around to suit different environments or times of day. We have some excellent free standing dispensers too, which can be operated by foot pedal and placed in useful. Call our team on 01726 74264 or email for more details.

Choice 3: Volume

The amount of product a dispenser can hold will depend partly on the product but also on the location and traffic through the area in which it is located.

Smaller 1 litre dispensers are often good for hand washing or bathroom areas which are lower in traffic or where space is limited.

For example, this Deb Hand Sanitiser dispenser is designed to hold one-litre cartridges of the alcohol-based, hypoallergenic InstantFOAM hand wash.

It’s well designed to be easy to clean and simple to use, and the dispenser button is Biocote-protected - a silver-based antimicrobial agent that inhibits the growth of a broad spectrum of bacteria and moulds.

You might wish to use a different dispenser or a pump for areas where there is going to be a lot of product used regularly.

You can buy Pelican pumps which dispense standard amounts for a wide range of tubs and drums. This pelican pump, for example, can be screwed onto 20litre tubs and dispenses 30cc of product, making it helpful for dispensing cleaning products or for ensuring that there is plenty of hand sanitizer or soap available for very busy areas.

Choice 4: manual or sensor dispenser or a pump

Sensor or automatic dispensers have become very popular because the motion sensors in this equipment mean that users do not have to physically touch the dispenser, which reduces cross-contamination. The dispensers are usually battery-operated, meaning they are easy to install.

Another benefit is that the dispensers release a standard amount of product, increasing efficiency and helping to control the amount used.

The drawbacks are that batteries can run out and issues with the sensor can mean that sometimes users cannot get soap or sanitizer when they need it. Generally, however, the dispensers will run for months and offer a good experience for users.

Also, of course, it’s not always apparent that a dispenser is automatic, so some users may end up touching it anyway.

Manual dispensers are simple to use, they generally involve the users pushing a button with the heel of their hand to catch the soap or sanitiser, and once again, a standardised amount of product is released per user -- although it is more likely the user will push the dispenser more than once to get more product.

A key benefit is there is no need to use or change batteries so these are easier to maintain.

If you want a portable way to dispense hand hygiene products, pumps are a good option. They are very simple to use and reduce waste of product with standardised portions and can be cleaned easily and moved or carried around for convenience.

As always, you can contact our sales team for advice and information about which solutions are best for your needs. Call us on 01726 74264 or email


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