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With the new coronavirus running amok, it’s never been more important to frequently clean your hands. Though hand sanitizer is a decent alternative to soap and water, it isn’t as reliable.
It’s less effective against certain types of germs and there’s evidence that grease and grime can prevent it from working at all.
Hygiene isn’t the only reason to prefer sinks over sanitizer. Hand sanitizer won’t free your hands of potato chip grease or other impurities.
Since outdoor activities tend to be messy, it’s strange that outdoor sinks are rare — I hope this will change! I’ve compiled this list to help you choose the best outdoor sink for your lifestyle.
For the average person, I recommend Zhihuitong’s portable hand sink as the best outdoor wash station. It’s the most portable model on this list — it’s easy to transport when fully assembled and it requires no electrical outlet or hose faucet. And because it’s powered by a foot pump, you can use it hands-free.
In A Rush? Check Our Comparison Table
Let’s take a quick glance at the products we will talk about here.
My Best Outdoor Wash Station Reviews:
Portable Outdoor Hand Sink By Zhihuitong – Most Portable
- Made of sturdy HDPE plastic
- Large, 24-liter water tank
- Foot pump delivers 180 milliliters of water per step
- Weighs only 14.33 pounds
- Liquid soap dispenser holds 3 liters
There’s a lot to love about this portable hand washing station by Zhihuitong.
First of all, it’s easy to set up — it comes pre-assembled, it’s made of lightweight (yet durable) HDPE, and it rolls on two wheels, so you can have your sink up and running immediately.
You don’t need any electricity to use this sink. Simply lather up your hands with liquid soap from the integrated dispenser, step on the foot pump, and deliver 180 milliliters of fresh water to your hands with every step. This hands-free operation leaves your hands extra clean.
If you don’t enjoy air-drying your hands, leave a fresh towel on the stainless steel towel holder.
This sink’s water tank can hold 24 liters, enough to accommodate a large number of people. One Amazon commenter wrote that it served 32 campers for four days!
Of course, the wastewater has to go somewhere — use the flexible drainage hose to direct wastewater away from your feet.
This model is great for short-term events with a large number of people, but it’s not ideal for one or two people to use every day. If you’re a gardener, keep reading for better options.
- Requires no electricity or outdoor faucet
- Can be assembled or disassembled without tools
- Easy to transport
- Good for any outdoor activity
- Water can go bad if left in tank for too long
- Some customers say the foot pump is hard to push
- Tank capacity may be larger than you need
- Has to be set up each time you use it
Folding Table With Sink By Organized Fishing – Best For Food Preparation
- 44.75 x 23.5-inch table can be used as a workspace or buffet counter
- Stands 36.5-inches tall
- Weighs 22 pounds
- Faucet attaches to garden hose
- Legs fold for storage and transportation
Organized Fishing designed this 36.5-inch tall table and sink for filleting freshly-caught fish, but don’t let that stop you from using it however you want. It could just as easily be a garden work station or a food prep counter for your next barbecue.
That’s the main advantage of this model is its 44.75 by 23.5-inch table, which is made of food-grade plastic and features an embedded 24-inch measuring “tape”.
This outdoor wash station requires an outdoor faucet and hose to use. It comes with a plastic drainage tube, which the seller recommends draining into a 5-gallon bucket.
Unfortunately, this model does NOT come preassembled and customers have complained that they have to assemble and disassemble it with each use.
Also, the faucet doesn’t fold down, so you may have to remove it before storing the table in your garage. The sink is 2-inches deep, which is fine for washing hands but might be too shallow for washing dishes.
Don’t forget that this is an outdoor table, which means you’ll be sitting at it for a while. If you want to use your table for an outdoor party, you could be stuck in the sun for hours. It’s a good idea to get a pop-up canopy so you can have shade wherever you go.
If you want to make this table a part of an outdoor kitchen, however, it may be better to build a permanent pavilion. Read my article on pavilion ideas to get some inspiration!
- Great workspace for messy activities
- When not used for water, the sink can be used as storage space
- Food-grade plastic top features integrated measuring tape
- Water from hose faucet is always fresh
- Simple assembly
- Faucet doesn’t fold down
- Can only be used where there is an outdoor faucet or hose
- Large table can be difficult to transport
- Has to be assembled and disassembled with each use
Portable Sink With Hot Water By Florida Portable Sinks – Most Hygienic
- Has three tanks for cold water, hot water, and wastewater
- Weighs 84 pounds
- Measures 18 x 30 x 42 inches
- Requires a 110-volt outlet
- Cabinet made from injection-molded polypropylene
This hand washing station is particularly good for workplaces since it’s designed to meet most health department requirements. Its stainless steel sink is approved by the National Sanitation Foundation and its cabinet is made of germ-resistant polypropylene.
But for the average consumer, the coolest thing about this model is that it offers hot water from its 2.5-gallon water heater. Cold water comes from its 6-gallon freshwater tank — simply turn the knob for your preferred water temperature.
Additionally, this wash station resembles an ordinary indoor sink, making it the most classy-looking product in this review. By the way, if you’re trying to make your backyard more stylish, you may enjoy my article on this topic.
You need a 110-volt power outlet for this wash station, but you don’t need a drain hose. Instead, you can empty the 7.5-gallon wastewater tank when it gets full.
This wash station comes fully assembled.
For most commercial addresses, the cost of delivery is included in the regular price. But be aware that Florida Portable Sinks charges extra to deliver this product to residential, rural, and certain metro addresses, such as NYC and Seattle.
- Meets health department requirements for most workplaces
- Offers hot and cold water
- Safe to use indoors or outdoors
- Looks like an ordinary sink
- Cheaper than installing new plumbing
- Heavy and bulky
- Can only be used near a power outlet
- Most expensive on this list
- Residential buyers pay extra for delivery
Outdoor Garden Sink With Hose Holder By BrylaneHome – Most Multifunctional
- Measures 21.25-inches long x 17.5-inches wide x 22-inches tall
- Weighs 5.72 pounds
- Made of polypropylene/polyethylene plastic
- Features a storage compartment, sliding cover/workspace, and hose reel
- Requires an outdoor faucet and hose
If you love to spend hours working in your garden or yard, you might like this wash station by BrylaneHome. This product offers much more than its hose-powered sink.
Its storage compartment is great for gloves, hand tools, seed packets, and other small gardening items. Its sliding cover not only protects the sink but can double as a workstation, perfect for holding seedlings as you transfer them to garden beds.
This wash station also features a hose reel, hose not included. But just so you know, customers have complained that this product isn’t compatible with a standard ⅝-inch diameter hose and it’s not clear what hose size is appropriate.
Apparently, it also doesn’t come with a drainage hose and customers have complained that the included instructions only have pictures.
Though this model is designed to be mounted to a wall, you’ll have to get your own mounting hardware. And because it’s made out of plastic, it will last longer if you put it in a shady spot.
- Great for gardeners
- Doesn’t touch the ground
- Only has to be set up once
- No tanks
- Elegant appearance
- Doesn’t come with mounting hardware
- Customers say it’s incompatible with a standard-sized hose
- Instructions unclear and don’t say what size parts to buy separately
- Designed to be left outside, where sunlight could degrade the plastic
- Can only work near a hose faucet
Hose-Based RSI-S1 Sink By Riverstone Industries – Best Budget Option
- Measures 16.9 x 16.1 x 16.4 inches
- Weighs 4 pounds
- Mounts to wall
- Requires an outdoor faucet and hose
- Features a built-in soap area and hose nozzle holder
Like the previous list item, this model by Riverstone Industries is also hose-based and mounts to a wall.
Though it looks less elegant, has no storage compartment, and lacks a sliding cover, this model is more user-friendly than the previous one. It comes with mounting hardware, a drainage hose (about 3-feet long), a hose nozzle holder, and a built-in bar soap holder.
Though you have to buy a hose and nozzle separately, this product is compatible with a standard garden hose and can hold one up to 100 feet in length.
It’s a good idea to put this washing station in a shady spot because, like the previous model, this one’s made of plastic.
- Includes drainage hose and mounting hardware
- Can hold a hose up to 100-feet long
- Only has to be set up once
- No tanks
- Most affordable option on this list
- Can only be used near an outdoor faucet
- Designed to be left outside, where sunlight could degrade the plastic
- Less versatile than the BrylaneHome model
- Nozzle holder can’t be adjusted downward
Things To Consider Before Buying A Wash Station
What’s Included In A Good Outdoor Hand Washing Station?
No matter what kind of hand washing station you get, it should have a source of clean water, a basin with a drain, some way to get rid of wastewater, and a place for soap. Besides these basics, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all hand washing station.
What’s The Best Wash Station For Me?
The best option for you mainly depends on what type of lifestyle you want it to accommodate.
If you’re a camper, you should probably go with a standalone model that doesn’t need electricity or a hose. But if you want a sink for frequent yard work, portability is far less important than convenience.
You’d be better off with a stationary model that connects to a hose, rather than a tank.
Your Drainage System Is Important!
With an indoor sink, plumbing takes care of wastewater. With an outdoor sink, you have to decide on a drainage method.
If your wastewater can be safely poured onto the ground, a drainage hose is all your sink needs. Make sure, however, that your soap is environmentally friendly.
A fancier version of this disposal method is a greywater drain field, which drains the water underground. To make your own, follow the instructions in this video:
There are a number of reasons why a sink might need a container for its wastewater. If it’s located near a power outlet, for example, keeping water contained is crucial for your safety.
Now, there are two main types of water containers mentioned in this article: tanks and buckets.
Tanks are difficult to clean, so only choose a tank-based drainage system if your wastewater won’t be filthy. Organized Fishing probably recommends using a 5-gallon bucket because their product is designed for filleting fish, which can make the wastewater a smelly, bloody biohazard.
Don’t Drink From Your Sink (Unless It’s Designed For That)
Keep in mind that a handwashing station isn’t necessarily safe to drink from. None of the models in this outdoor wash station review are designed for that purpose.
If your station will get its water from a hose, think twice before taking a sip! Outdoor hoses can harbor bacteria, mold, toxic chemicals, and even small animals.
Also, not all the brands use a material that is drinking water safe. An example of a drinking water safe hose is water hoses made by Flexilla.
As for water tanks, they can be safe to drink from if they’re free of algae, NSF-approved, and connect to a filtration system. But unless you intend to live off the grid long-term, it’s probably not worth the trouble or cost to find a sink with this kind of tank.
If you want a sink for your outdoor kitchen, you probably want it to do everything an indoor kitchen sink can do.
If you want to make sweet tea with water from your outdoor sink, you should have a professional plumber connect it to your home’s water pipes. It may be expensive, but your health and peace of mind will be worth it.
Tanks Can Be Dangerous!
What’s the use of washing your hands with water that’s full of germs? In general, you shouldn’t get a tank-based wash station if you’ll leave it outside for long periods of time.
However, if you only want to get the dirt off your hands, an opaque tank or rain barrel is fine.
Just make sure you wash your hands under a regular sink before eating or touching your face.
FAQ About Outdoor Handwashing Stations
What Is Needed At A Handwashing Station?
Every handwashing station needs a source of clean water, a sink basin, and a wastewater disposal system. The water doesn’t need to be of drinking quality, so it can come from a storage tank, a garden hose, or even a rain barrel. And of course, don’t forget the soap!
How To Wash Hands Properly?
To wash your hands properly, begin by wetting your hands with clean, running water. Then, lather EVERY part of your hands with soap, even between your fingers. The CDC says to scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds before rinsing them off.
Are Hands Sterile After Washing?
What’s The Best Outdoor Wash Station After Zhihuitong’s?
I’ve chosen Zhihuitong’s portable hand sink as the best outdoor wash station because it’s highly portable, it requires no electricity or hose, and you can use it hands-free. This makes it highly versatile and hygienic.
But two other models deserve honorable mentions:
In second place, I’ve chosen the Portable Sink With Hot Water by Florida Portable Sinks . In fact, if it wasn’t so difficult to transport, expensive, and dependent on electricity, I would have chosen it as my pick for first place.
This model is the best for fighting germs. It’s the only product in my review that offers hot water and it meets most workplace safety requirements.
In third place, I picked the Hose-based RSI-S1 Sink by Riverstone Industries . Though the similar BrylaneHome model has more features than the Riverstone Industries model, it has too many customer complaints to win third place.
Unlike BrylaneHome’s sink, the hose-based RSI-S1 sink is compatible with a standard-sized hose and it comes with mounting hardware and a drainage tube.
What this sink lacks in portability, it makes up for the inconvenience. Tank-based models require you to fill them with fresh water and dump out wastewater. This sink is hose-powered and simply dumps the wastewater on the ground.
Hope you liked my best outdoor wash station reviews! Let me know what you think in the comments!
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Last update on 2021-01-15 at 12:59 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API