The Experiment

Last week we asked a great, domestic tube manufacturer and supplier for tube prices to compare with bottles. 

The results are in: You can have hand sanitizer in tubes with caps from a single supplier, in continuous supply, that also have a printed label, and come with applied metallic safety seal for significantly less than bottles with only 6 – 8 weeks lead-time.

Tube Prices

The prices we received were for tubes with pre-applied caps and metallic, induction, pre-applied, safety seals and 4-color print from a single supplier.  The prices we received are below:


Tube Vol.(fl.oz.


$ per 25K Ordered

$ per 100K Ordered


1″ x 3.5″




1 3/8″ x 3.75″




1 3/8″ x 5 1/16″




1.5″ x 5 7/16




2″ x 5.5″




2″ x 6 13/16″



Tube Specifications

The specifications on these tubes were the following:


Tube Type


Tube Length

+/- 1/16″

Outer Layer Blend


Outer Color


Head Color


Cap Style


Cap Color



4-Color Offset


Matte Coating

Safety Seal


Bottle Pricing

We also purchased an 8 fl.oz. Boston round bottle in June and 4 fl.oz. sharp-shoulder with disk-top cap in March for some of our customers.  Note: the pricing for the bottles is at all volume purchases.  The pricing came in at:


8 oz. Clear Boston Round Bottle 24-410 $0.21991 4 oz. Sharp Shoulder LPDE Bottle 24-410 $0.19413
Bottle Shipping $0.02 Bottle Shipping $0.02
Black Saddle Pump Locking $0.245 White PP 24-410 Flip Cap $0.06
Pump Shipping $0.03 Cap Shipping $0.02
Labels $0.13538 Labels $0.12
Labels Shipping $0.01 Labels Shipping $0.01
Total per Unit: $0.6603 Total per Unit: $0.4241
The Comparison

The differences between bottles and tubes are stark:


8 fl.oz. Bottle 8 fl.oz. Tube 4 fl.oz Bottle 4 fl.oz. Tube
Suppliers: 3 1 3 1
Components: $.60029 $.35 $.37413 $.30
Shipping: $.06 $.03 $.05 $.03
Totals: $0.6603 $0.38 $0.42413 $0.33
Percent Difference: / -42% / -22.19%
Are you able to find better pricing?

Even if you are successfully finding better pricing for bottles, you are probably purchasing the cap or pump separately and you are having these bottles either screen-printed or you are paying a manufacturer to print sticky labels.  Only after all the packaging arrives, usually from separate suppliers, BPI Labs must setup a long line of machines to load bottles, fill them, apply a cap, maybe apply a label, apply a screen code, and then feed them onto a collection table where they are boxed.  Our tubing machine does all of this by itself, which significantly reduces your cost of manufacturing hand sanitizer.

If you can have all the packaging you’d want, from a single source, not including case or master pack, for the same price as bottles or for less, then why use bottles that come with the extra supply-chain hassle and manufacturing costs?  Bottles not only make less economic sense, but you can read here the many other reasons that tubes make more sense than bottles to fill with hand sanitizer.  Speaking of bottles, has anyone got a lead on some available sources for us?  Asking for a friend.

Size Availability

The tube sizes you can purchase include those in the table above, but given a large enough order and lead-time we could have custom parts purchased to fit many different size tubes into our new Norden tube filling machine. BPI Labs will have the first Norden tube machine customized with additional safety features to make hand sanitizer in tubes a safe and efficient process.

Updated Conclusion

While prices have changed since this article was written, which was during the height of the 2020 pandemic, tubes have been perennially cheaper to manufacture.  To manufacture your tubed product, BPI Labs sets up a single machine instead of a line of machines, and you’ll see this difference in your bottom line.  Working with a single supplier and using the simpler tube components means you can’t have manufactured product for less.  Hopefully, this article provides enough reason for you to contact us and find out if hand sanitizer in tubes makes sense for your market and brand.

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