How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer Dispenser

3 hand sanitizer dispenser designs

Need a dispenser for the hand sanitizer you have purchased for your company? While some companies are buying automatic, non-contact hand sanitizer dispensers, more industrious operations management might engage internal resources to build their own. Especially if you have engineers in the company that like these kinds of projects.

In this article, we review how to make three different designs that let you create DIY dispensers, that you can add to your PPE kit

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Hacktuber Non-contact Hand Sanitizer Dispenser

The first one we are going to look at comes from HackTuber on Youtube. This hand sanitizer dispenser is easy to make and budget-friendly. It requires materials that many companies might have on hand (eg. wood) and a few parts you may need to purchase (e.g. infrared sensor) that can be acquired for a few dollars.

Overall, it the build is straightforward, not very labor-intensive, and is doable for someone with minimal experience with tools and electronics. 

Figure 1. 1 – Non-Contact Homemade Hand Sanitizer Video

What you’ll need: 

  • Infrared red sensor with 5V relay
  • DC Motor 
  • Wood  
  • Glue
  • Tools
  • Hand sanitizer with a built-in pump

How to make it:

Figure 1. 2
Figure 1. 3
  • Attach a piece of wood to the DC motor. This will rotate. 
  • Create a wood base that will hold the sanitizer in place securely. 
    • Cut 3 rectangles – 2 small ones (to secure the bottle) and one larger one (as the base). 
    • Glue the smaller rectangles to the larger rectangle. 
Figure 1. 4
  • Cut another thin rectangle and attach the DC motor to it. Attach it to the base. 
    • Make sure the wood attached to the DC motor will be close enough to hit the dispenser pump of the hand sanitizer bottle. 
  • Secure all the pieces with glue and connect the motor to a power source. 
Use the Hand Sanitizer Dispenser by hovering your hand over it
Figure 1. 5
  • How to use: 
    •  Hover hand over the sensor. The sensor will power the motor and the wood attached to the motor will hit the pump and dispense hand sanitizer.

Mini Gear Hand Sanitizer Dispenser 

The next automatic hand sanitizer dispenser comes from Mini Gear on Youtube. This dispenser is a little more complicated and labor-intensive than the first one. However, many of the equipment needed can be found in your home (ex. cardboard) or are cheap to purchase (ex. 9V battery). Additionally, it can be made mostly or completely by hand and does not require the use of tools like a hand drill or a screwdriver. Overall, it is fairly straightforward and doable for someone at a beginner to intermediate skill level.  

What you need: 

  • Cardboard 
  •  9v battery and wire connector 
  • Air-bump DC motor 
  • Popsicle stick 
  • BBQ bamboo stick (skewer) 
  •  Fishing Wire 
  • Rubber Band 
  • Syringe Tubing 
  • Plastic Bottle 

How to make this project: 

Figure 2.1
Cut 2 holes into the top of the bottle large enough for the syringe tubes
Figure 2.2
  • Cut 2 holes into the top of the bottle large enough for the syringe tubes and feed the tubing through each hole. Glue in place.
  • Create the dispensing mechanism (Figure 2.2):
    • Attach one piece of the syringe tubing to the Air Bump DC Motor 
    • Connect the wires to the motor and wire connecter
    • Attach one set of wires to the battery and the others to two metal strips. 
Figure 2.3
Figure 2.4
  • Use both of the 22 cm x 15 cm cardboard pieces and cut a rectangular piece out of each.
Figure 2.5
Assemble dispenser components
Figure 2.6
  • Take both of the 10 cm x 16 cm cardboard pieces
    • Place one of them between the 22 cm x 15 cm pieces to attach them.
    • Place the other piece in the rectangular space cut out in the previous step. 
Assembly of dispenser frame
Figure 2.7
Figure 2.8
Figure 2.9
dispenser assembly
Figure 2.10
glue DIY dispenser assembly
Figure 2.11
Figure 2.12
  • Get the 14.5 cm x 9 cm piece, and cut out a 6.3 cm x 7 cm rectangle from one side of it 
    • Glue popsicle sticks to the piece of cardboard. (Picture 2)
    • Glue one fo the metal strips to the end of the piece of cardboard and the other the dispenser base. Secure in place. (Picture 3-6). 
Figure 2.13
Figure 2.14
  • Glue 2 small wood pieces to the inside of the 10 cm x 16 cm rectangle. Above the 14.5 cm x 9 cm rectangle, you secured in the previous step. 
  • Loop an elastic around those small sticks and the ones on the 12.5 cm x 9 cm piece 
6 cm popsicle stick with one round edge and one straight edge
Figure 2.15
Figure 2.16
Figure 2.17
Figure 2.18
Figure 2.19
Figure 2.20
  • Create the mechanism for the top of the dispenser: 
    • Start with a 6 cm popsicle stick with one round edge and one straight edge. Make a hole on the rounded side. (Picture 2.15).
    • Glue a semi-circle wood piece on top of the rounded edge. Cut two thin, wood pieces and flue to each side of the 6 cm base. (As shown in picture 2.16). 
    • Cut a smaller rectangle and glue it on top of the thin wood pieces on the side of the 6 cm base. (Picture 2.17). 
      • Note: there should be a space between the base and this piece. 
    • Glue a small piece of wood on top of the edge of the base. (Picture 2.18). 
    • Cut a 4.5 cm piece of wood. Glue a small rectangular piece of wood on one edge. (Picture 2.19).
      • Note: this should fit in the space between the base and the rectangle wood piece glued on top of it.  
    • Loop an elastic around the small piece of wood on the 4.5 cm piece and the one on the edge of the base. (Picture 2.20). 
Figure 2.21
Figure 2.22
Figure 2.23
Figure 2.24
  • Add this mechanism to the hand sanitizer dispenser base: 
    • Cut a 10 cm x 7 cm cardboard piece and round one of the edges. Cut a small hole into this edge. (Picture 2.21).
    • Line up that hole with the hole on the 6cm popsicle part created in the previous step. Glue it to the cardboard and then glue that cardboard piece to the dispenser base. (Picture 2.22)
  • Attach another popsicle piece below that on the 10 cm x 16.5 cm piece of cardboard (Picture 4). 
Figure 2.25
Figure 2.26
  • Loop fishing wire from the lever mechanism on the bottom to the dispenser mechanism on the top. (Picture 2.26).  
    • Note: Hitting the bottom lever should move the dispenser mechanism at the top. 
Figure 2.27
Figure 2.28
Figure 2.29
  • Attach two small pieces of cardboard on both sides of the top dispenser mechanism (Figure 2.28)
    • Place the motor and battery on opposite sides of these cardboard pieces (Figure 2.29).
    • Loop the syringe tubing through the hole in the dispenser mechanism (Figure 2.29). 
  • Finish the dispenser: 
Figure 2.30
  •  Glue the 10 cm x 22 cm / 3.9 inch x 8.6 inch piece of cardboard to the back of the hand sanitizer dispenser.
Figure 2.31
Figure 2.32
  • Cut a semi-circle out of the 14.5 cm x 10 cm / 5.7 inch x 3.9 inch piece of cardboard. 
    • Attach a small piece of cardboard (facing upwards) on top of that. Glue to the. dispenser base. Note: This is the opening to add hand sanitizer to the bottle. 
Figure 2.33
Decorate the Hand Sanitizer Dispenser
Figure 2.34
  • Attach the 11 x 5.8 cm / 4.3 inch x 2.3 inch cardboard to the top. 
  • Decorate dispenser as desired. 
Figure 2.35
  • Fill the bottle with hand sanitizer and use. 
    • Hit the level on the bottom of the dispenser and hand sanitizer will come out of the syringe tubing at the top. 

Mr. Innovative Arduino Hand Sanitizer Dispenser

The final DIY hand sanitizer dispenser comes from Mr. Innovative on Youtube. This one is the most complicated, labor-intensive, and expensive design.

The mechanism and circuit are more complicated, which leaves more room for error, if not done correctly. Overall, it is the most advanced dispenser we looked at for this article. Fro an engineer, it would be an interesting project. It is suitable for someone with an intermediate or advanced skill level. 

 What you’ll need: 

  • Hand sanitizer with built-in pump 
  • Wood 
  • Tools (e.g. sander)
  • Stepper motor 
  • Arduino (open source microcontroller kit)
  • Ultrasonic sensor 
  • Metal inserts
  •  Metal rods 
  • Circuit board base
  • Power source 
  • Thin pieces of pliable metal
  • Paper  

How to make 

Measure the wood base fro the hand sanitizer dispenser
Figure 3.1
  • Measure the wood needed for the hand sanitizer dispenser (see Figure 3.1). 
    • Cut four rectangles – one large one; one about half the length of the first one; two about half the length the second rectangle
    • Smooth the edges with a sander.  
Create a drill diagram
Figure 3.2
  • Create a drill diagram and glue it to both of the smaller rectangles (Figure 3.2). 
Drill five small holes and one large hole into the rectangles,
Figure 3.3
  • Next, drill five small holes and one large hole into the rectangles, based on the diagram (Figure 3.3). 
    • Secure/screw the motor into the rectangle.
create the hand sanitizer dispenser base
Figure 3.4
  •  Create the hand sanitizer dispenser base (Figure 3.4): 
    • Place the medium-sized piece of wood on the bottom and the longer piece of wood perpendicular to it. 
    • Put the motor/wood piece (made in the previous step) on top of the medium-sized piece of wood, resting against the longer piece of wood. 
    • Secure with screws. 
Secure top of dispenser with screws
Figure 3.5
  • Round the corners of the second small rectangle. Secure this the top of the dispenser base. 
Metal insert in base of dispenser
Figure 3.6
  • After that, cut out an additional small rectangle (smaller than the previous ones). Next, drill small holes into it (with one hole slightly bigger than the other). 
    •  Add a metal insert into the larger hole 
    • Round the corners. 
Figure 3.7
Attach metal rodes
Figure 3.8
  • Attach the metal rods (Figure 3.8): 
    • Add a metal insert to the large hole on the rectangle at the top of the dispenser. Feed the metal rod with ridges from the top of the dispenser to the motor base at the bottom. 
    •  Do the same thing with the second metal rod. 
      •  Note: The smaller rectangle will move up and down when rods are rotated. 
Figure 3.9
  • Create the circuit base (Figure 3.9): 
    • Cut out the circuit base. 
    • Drill holes and secure Arduino parts to it. 
    • Add screws to the corners of the base, so it can rest securely in the dispenser.
dispenser sensor mechanism
Figure 3.10
  • Next, make the sensor mechanism (Figure 3.10): 
    • Cut out a rectangle of small, pliable metal and drill 3 holes into it.
      • Two large holes (for the sensors) and one smaller hole (for the switch).
    • Secure the sensors and switch. 
Finished Arduino Hand Sanitizer Dispenser
Figure 3.11
  • Finish the dispenser: 
    • Connect the circuit, sensors, and the motor to a power source. Secure on to the dispenser base.
    • Place a hand sanitizer bottle on to the dispenser. 
  • How to use: 
    • Move your hands over sensors and the mechanism will move and press down on the dispenser pump. 

Final notes about these hand sanitizer dispensers: 

These three hand sanitizer dispensers differ on materials, price, and difficulty level. The ones made by Mini Gear and Hacktuber would be more suited to those will minimum experience with tools or electrical equipment. Whereas, the one made by Mr. Innovative would be better for someone with greater experiences with those things. Nonetheless, they are all straight forward and effective DIY Hand sanitizer dispensers for you to make. 

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