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How much sanitizer do I need to buy for my classroom?

If you’re looking to equip your classroom(s) with hand sanitizer, you’re right -- sanitizer can be a convenient and quick alternative to keep hand hygiene in the classroom routine. One of your first questions might be, how much hand sanitizer do I need to buy?

Last updated:

September 17, 2021

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How much sanitizer do I need to buy for my classroom?

Public health guidelines tell us that regular handwashing with soap is the best thing we can do -- and encourage children to do -- to prevent the spread of germs. However, without an option for handwashing immediately available in the classroom, it is too easy to let key handwashing moments during the school day slide - after someone sneezes or coughs, after frequent face mask adjustments, or before and after snack time.

If you’re looking to equip your classroom(s) with hand sanitizer, you’re right -- sanitizer can be a convenient and quick alternative to keep hand hygiene in the classroom routine. One of your first questions might be, how much hand sanitizer do I need to buy? We did some quick calculations.

  • 1 liter of liquid hand sanitizer yields approximately 300 sprays/squeezes (about a “coin-size” amount if using gel, very roughly about 3 ml)
  • If each student uses the hand sanitizers at least 6 times in a day, and assuming an average class size of 20, the whole class sprays 120 times in a day
  • This means that a liter of hand sanitizer would last about two to three days for a class of 20 students

Let’s say the school is open for 21 days in a month excluding weekends. This might mean that you need 7 to 10.5 liters (roughly 2 to 2.5 gallons) of hand sanitizer a month for a class of 20 kids. 

Our estimate here puts sanitizer use per student at about 18 ml per day. Some calculations assume much higher use, and therefore calculate a much larger amount of sanitizer needed over a month. For example, when 20 students over 21 days on light daily use are inputted into this calculator, the resulting recommendation is over 22 liters, roughly a liter per student per month.


Anything else I need to think about? Besides cost? 

Yes! When we think about a classroom without a sink already built in, we tend to skip over the first part of official guidance for handwashing -- that handwashing with soap is preferred. It’s preferred because handwashing with soap removes all germs, cuts grease and washes away dirt. Besides, if the handwashing station is set up well, kids can do it unsupervised, unlike when they’re asked to use sanitizer with alcohol and chemicals. 

Building a traditional sink is cumbersome and expensive, and involves an actual construction project. Next-generation sinks are stand-alone sinks with a built-in water tank. So no need for plumbing and minimal need for setup. The idea is that you can have both hand sanitizer and handwashing options in each classroom. 

If you need to buy sanitizer straight away, we will let you get on with that. But if you would like to learn about setting up a practical, cost-efficent hand hygiene station in the classroom, please contact us below. We’re a team of hygiene and behavior change experts 100% focused on putting handwashing within reach. 

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