The platonic ideal of soap dispensers
August 1, 2014 2:39 PM   Subscribe

My hand soap dispensers suck.

For years I used disposable hand soap dispensers--those single use bottles of hand soap you can buy. Usually I would buy one, then refill it until it started to get too grungy or worn out, then start over.

Then I decided to be a grown-up and bought a couple of nice decorative soap dispensers, one for the bathroom and one for the kitchen. The problem? I have since bought at least six replacement soap dispensers because the nice looking ones all break! These are the two I am using these days. They are both Umbra. The red one leaks and leaves a growing gross puddle of gunk on the counter. The green one is a foaming pump and it has recently stopped foaming or pumping at all. The problem with previous ones usually had to do with the pump part pooping out.

Help me find a durable hand soap dispenser. I'd rather not spend a fortune, but durability is the most important factor here, more important than looks or price. I have no preference for foaming or non-foaming.
posted by looli to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I can't get to your link, and I'm afraid I may be recommending one you already use, since this is from Umbra as well, but I've been using this one for a couple of years and really like it. It replaced a heavy duty one (porcelain and stainless) that got really yucky all the time.
posted by janey47 at 2:43 PM on August 1, 2014

I have had really good luck with the glass dispensers from Pier 1. After about 5 years of everyday use the chrome has started to chip a bit, but it's not that noticeable and the functionality is still perfect.
posted by Mchelly at 3:10 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Muji has great dispensers in a range of sizes and colors. I have and like the plastic ones, but they also have porcelain versions.
posted by snaw at 3:12 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you like a modern look, I've had good luck with these ones for foaming soaps. Mine have help up well over the past couple of years and I've also seen them at my gym getting some pretty good use, so they seem to take a beating.
posted by karbonokapi at 3:17 PM on August 1, 2014

I feel your pain. I finally settled on the Cuisipro foaming soap dispensers, which Amazon tells me I ordered almost exactly 2 years ago, and so far they have not broken, which makes them better than any soap dispenser I've owned before. I would be surprised if they lasted more than 5 years, but they're not too expensive so I'm pretty happy with them.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 3:22 PM on August 1, 2014

Awesome Etsy has some very wonderful options for you.
posted by bearwife at 3:46 PM on August 1, 2014

I have this automatic soap dispenser. Yes, it's slightly pricier ($35, though BB&B often have 20% off coupons), but if you use the right type of soap (don't put dish soap in it), it will last forever and it will make sure you don't use too much soap. It's clean. Operation is easy. And I've had one for years.
posted by ethidda at 3:46 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

I use this one from Muji. It's pretty solid. Also under $5. I use the clear plastic ones, but they also had decent looking white porcalin ones.

And um, on preview someone else recommended it already.
posted by larthegreat at 3:53 PM on August 1, 2014

I'm third-ing the ones from Muji. I brought back some foaming soap containers from a trip and they've been used daily for four years without any trouble.
posted by Miss Matheson at 3:55 PM on August 1, 2014

i use some glass ones from target. no problems. your problem may also be the type of soap you're using. i use the liquid dr. bronners and that gunks up the spout more than any other soap i've used, but i deal with it because i like the soap.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 7:49 PM on August 1, 2014

I had the same problem. I would buy OK ones from Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, or some such place for $15 or so, and they would never last long. I ended up buying an overpriced one from Restoration Hardware for some $50 I think. They said they would replace it if it broke. And it really wasn't overpriced, because several years later, I still have it, and I would have gone through many of the $15 ones by now.

I recommend ponying up and buying something that's well made, and ask about return policies.
posted by Leontine at 7:56 PM on August 1, 2014

I have the same automatic soap dispenser that ethidda has and I really like it. I use a slightly watered down Caldrea hand soap in it and it works just fine- it's a matter of the right consistency. I love that since it don't touch it, it doesn't get grungy.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 1:14 AM on August 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

We've had this one from IKEA for probably six months and it works great.
posted by cnc at 10:00 AM on August 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

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