Supporting Frontline Defenders Through Innovation

Elkay launches Soapwell™ a mobile hand washing unit. 

DOWNERS GROVE, IL (May 8, 2020) - As the global pandemic, COVID-19 continues to affect all areas of the world, there is an ever-increasing need to protect the safety of our essential workers. Elkay Manufacturing, a global stainless sink and faucet manufacturer, saw an opportunity to use their expertise to support these heroes on the frontlines.

With the company’s 100-year history, they have seen crises before and have been there to assist – today’s needs are no different. Focusing on one of their key values, “Our strength is in our people,” Elkay went to work developing a mobile handwashing station to be used as a portable option for touchless handwashing.

Within a week, the first unit was designed and produced in the Elkay Commercial Systems manufacturing plant in Spokane, WA, home of Elkay's commercial division’s stainless steel furniture manufacturing. The mobile unit, branded Soapwell™, is completely hands-free and offers sensor-activated soap and hand towel dispensers with on-demand hot water, which the CDC recommends as one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Soapwell is a universal unit that can adapt to any indoor or outdoor environment. 

“The team collaborated very quickly on a mobile concept that offered touchless features,” Mike Shell, General Manager of Elkay Commercial Systems North America, said, “and after several conversations, we decided to just go for it with plans to donate the first several units produced.”

City Councilor for the City of Brockton, MA, Jack Lally, assisted Elkay in placing Soapwell units in facilities that require visitors to wash their hands before entering, to help reduce the spread of the virus. These locations include senior living centers, hospitals, health centers, and fire and emergency departments throughout Brockton, Massachusetts one of the hardest hit areas in the nation; in all, ten different locations in the Brockton area received a total of 17 donated Soapwell units.  

“The Brockton Emergency Management Agency would like to thank Councilor Jack Lally and Elkay for their generous donation of two new mobile hands-free sinks. These sinks will help us in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” The Brockton Emergency Management Agency posted on their Facebook page.

Shell mentions, “I’m very proud of our team. Soapwell wasn’t even a concept a month ago, and today it’s helping those that are most at risk. These first responders need our help and deserve our unyielding support and I can’t think of a better way to help them stay safe and healthy while they fight to keep us safe and healthy. Many people think of warriors as wearing camouflage uniforms and combat boots but the warriors we celebrate during this crisis are wearing police uniforms, firefighter uniforms, and nursing scrubs. We all owe them a debt of gratitude and we are extremely honored to support them!”

“On behalf of Signature Healthcare, thank you very much for your involvement, and for making it possible, for the donation of the Touchless Handwashing Stations, from Elkay! We are so appreciative of this generous and much-needed donation,” noted Signature Healthcare, Brockton, MA.

For over a century, Elkay has continued to launch new products, designs, and innovations, and serves as a thought leader in an array of different industries. Elkay is proud to be supporting essential workers in their continued efforts toward the eradication of this global pandemic.



Elkay® Manufacturing has been making innovative plumbing products and providing exceptional customer care since 1920. The family-owned company entered the plumbing business by manufacturing quality residential butler and pantry sinks. Today, the company has grown to include faucets, foodservice fixtures, water delivery products, custom sinks, sink tops, and commercial architectural millwork. To learn more, visit 



For over 20 years, the world’s most recognized brands and chains have trusted their commercial kitchen needs to Elkay Commercial Systems, a division of Elkay Manufacturing. They provide engineering, global sourcing, and manufacturing solutions to chain restaurants, education markets, convenience stores, grocery stores, entertainment venues, commercial and hospitality businesses. Elkay Commercial Systems is a global leader in stainless steel furniture, water delivery solutions, and rethermalizers. For more information, visit



Soapwell™ is an entirely hands-free wash station that universally adapts to any environment, anywhere. With touchless soap, water, and towel dispensers, this mobile unit is transforming the future of cleanliness. For more information, visit  

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