The Tippy Tap is a simple, hygenic device to wash hands with soap & water.

It is hygienic

The hands-free design means bacteria is not transferred between users.

It saves water

It uses only 30 ml to wash hands thorougly with soap.

It is low cost

It can be made with local, salvaged materials.

There is no waste

Water from the tippy tap goes back into the ground or to water nearby plants.

It is simple

Children can and do build it easily.

It promotes handwashing

Children and teachers spread handwashing and tippy taps throughout their community.

The tippy tap is a hands free way to wash your hands that is especially appropriate for rural areas where there is no running water. It is operated by a foot lever and thus reduces the chance for bacteria transmission as the user touches only the soap. It uses only 40 millilitres of water to wash your hands versus 500 millilitres using a mug. Additionally, the used “waste” water can go to plants or back into the water table.

While the tippy tap is a great technology, it is just that – a technology. It is important to recognise that there is a difference between great technology and adoption of the technology. However, it is a great tool that can help kick start the conversation about hand washing with soap and help increase this behaviour. And it does so in a fun and easy manner that is especially appealing to children.

The first ‘official’ tippy tap was built in the eighties by Dr. Jim Watt in Zimbabwe using a gourd. Since then, many variations have come into existence depending on local materials and aesthetics.

For more information about how to use the tippy tap as part of hand washing promotion campaign, CLICK HERE