How to Choose a Portable Sink for Your School


The Covid-19 pandemic has underscored the need for students to have access to hand washing sinks. Over the past few months, we have been sending more sinks to schools as some prepare to reopen in the fall. In addition to the information included in this blog, we've created a free PDF guide that you can print and share with your staff to learn more about portable sinks and how they can be used in a school setting. 

What is a portable sink?

A portable sink is a self contained sink unit that does not use traditional plumbing. It operates using a fresh water and waste water tank that are inside the cabinet underneath the sink. Most units we sell have a pump and heater that run on electricity for warm water so the sink will need to be plugged into an outlet. 

Here is an image of the inside of one of our child height sinks:


As you can see, the tanks are connected with tubing that is easy to connect and change when the tanks are full. The waste water tank is usually larger than the fresh water tank so you change it when the fresh water tank is empty. We sell extra tanks and fill kits to make it easy to change and move tanks and allow you to have an extra set on hand. Many of our sinks will allow you to get 30 or more 20 second hand washings on a full tank. 

What Sink Height Should I Order?

We have sinks categorized in two height options: child height and adult height. The child height sinks will have a counter height of 20"-26" and the adult height sinks typically have a 36"-38" counter height. For preschools, we recommend a child height sink. There is a toddler height 20" sink but most are 26"-28". You can purchase a step stool for classrooms with very young children that works well with the 26"-28"H sinks. We also offer a changing table that has a built in sink on the side for those preschool classrooms that still have children with diapers. 

For elementary classrooms, the child height will be the best fit for the younger grades and the upper grades can use an adult height sink with a step stool to make sure all students are able to access it.

High School students should be able to easily use an adult height sink and you can purchase an optional step stool as needed. 


Choosing sink materials

Portable hand washing sinks come in many different styles. The basins can be made of stainless steel or ABA plastic and the counter tops an be made with laminate, stainless steel or ABA plastic. Our classroom sink basins are made with either ABA plastic or Stainless Steel. Cabinet bases can have an aluminum or steel frame with melamine, laminate, wood or plastic sides. The best selling self-contained sinks for schools are the ABS and Stainless steel basins with melamine or specialized birch cabinets created for school use. We recommend checking with your local codes so you choose approved materials. If you call us, we can recommend the best sink for your needs.

Below you will see a photos of 2 of our classroom sinks. The white Lil' Premier ABS sink by Ozark River Manufacturing and the Clean Hands Helper 38" sink by Jonti-Craft with black ABS counter and stainless steel basin.



Choose where you will be placing the sink

We have sinks that are created specifically for outdoor use so we suggest purchasing a nature/outdoor sink for an outdoor classroom or garden since they are created with materials that are better suited for outdoor use. For sinks that will be used in a classroom, consider the amount of students who need access. We offer sinks with more than one sink basin  like the Double Basin Lil' Deluxe sink pictured below. If space is an issue, we can help with compact solutions. If they will be used within a classroom temporarily, all units are on locking casters so they can be stored when not in use.


We also carry specialty sinks for specific high school classes. These include a lab table with attached portable sink, a culinary cart with portable sink attached to a cooking unit and a portable sink with emergency eye wash for chemistry classrooms.

Special Needs Sinks

The gooseneck faucets on most sinks we sell are ADA compliant but we also sell a wheelchair accessible sink. The Wheelchair Accessible Sink is also available in toddler size. 

Choosing accessories for your portable sink

As mentioned above, we have a variety of accessories that make use and care of the sink easier. Step stools will be helpful when the portable hand washing sink is used for students varying ages. Fill kits include specialized tubing and a small roller cart to help you move and refill water tanks. We also offer a hands free automatic sensor that you can attach to the faucet so it turns on with a sensor instead of having students touch the handle. The accessory we recommend the most is an extra set of tanks so that you can have a filled fresh water tank and extra waste water tank on hand to quickly change the sink as needed.

Keeping Schools Safe

We are dedicated to helping you find hand washing solutions for your school so students have adequate access to hand washing sinks in order to lessen the spread of infections. We can help you find the best sink for your school's needs and budget. We accept purchase orders and offer volume discounts.

Download our free sinks for schools info sheet!

Contact us with any questions you have about portable sinks.

 All Portable Sinks - Making Clean-Up Easier!

All Portable Sinks, A Brentpoint Company