Knoxville father-daughter team invent hand-washing tool in light of coronavirus pandemic

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)– A father and daughter’s bright idea can help everyone wash their hands for at least 20 seconds: the SinkBlink20.

Jon Huber and his 12-year-old daughter Sophia kept hearing commercials and news outlets saying how one way to fight COVID-19 was to wash your hands for 20 seconds.

Sophia thought about the flashing toothbrushes from when she was younger, the ones that light up after you’ve finished brushing your teeth for two minutes.

“A sink could have like a device that blinks for 20 seconds to symbolize how long you’re supposed to wash your hands,” Sohpia said.

Jon, being an engineer, knew he could make something like that. After a couple of prototypes, the duo created SinkBlink20.

“When you turn it on, it’s powered by the movement of water, so you’ll never put a battery in here and it’s going to work,” Jon said. “We put a two-year warranty on the product and it should last a lot longer than that.”

Jon said the SinkBlink20 starts blinking slowly for the first 15 seconds, and blinks faster for the last five seconds so you know you’re almost done.

“It has a circuit board inside of (the SinkBlink20) that maintains the timing, so it knows how long that 15 seconds and that 5 seconds is,” he said.

While Jon said it’s a great way for kids to know how long to wash their hands for, he’s also heard from adults who said it was useful for them too.

“We’ve heard that from some adults who were counting and realized with the SinkBlink that they were shorting themselves five, six seconds because they thought they were doing it right, singing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice, and so then they realized that the SinkBlink was kind of still blinking at them and it hadn’t been long enough yet,” Huber said.

The invention does have a patent pending.

It can be used with any sink, but some sinks might need an adapter.

The father/daughter team had their first school installation just recently, so when school starts Sophia will be able to show her Episcopal School of Knoxville classmates what she and her father did over the summer.

You can find more information on the SinkBlink20 at

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