Reader suggestion: Install a soap dispenser in your sink

Reader J. Todd sent us the following suggestion:

Here’s a great uncluttering tip for the kitchen. When my wife and I moved into our first house together, we had a plastic hand soap dispenser and a bottle of dish soap sitting next to our kitchen sink’s faucet. It was a messy and unattractive solution. I noticed that there was a covered cutout to the right of the faucet for a spray hose or a soap dispenser. I removed the cover and installed a basic chrome soap dispenser that mounts in the hole (similar to this one) We keep it filled with concentrated, hand-friendly dish soap. Now, whenever we need to hand-wash dishes, we pump soap directly into the sink. Whenever we need to wash out hands, we just use a tiny amount (since it’s concentrated). No mess and no clutter.

Thank you for such a terrific suggestion, J. Todd! We do the exact same thing in our kitchen (as you can see in the photo accompanying this article), and it works extremely well because our faucet doubles as a spray hose.

31 Comments for “Reader suggestion: Install a soap dispenser in your sink”

  1. posted by missy on

    it’s a great idea and keeps the gunk from building up due to spillage and wet containers sitting out on the sink. we found a reducing connector to hook up to the bottom of the pump and ran a longer hose that reach down to the floor of the sink. Then we fed that into one of the large, “surplus” concentrated handsoap containers from costco… it takes months before we run out.

  2. posted by Kristin on

    We just moved into a new house and have one of these. We use a dish soap that I adore the smell of and use it as hand soap at the sink all the time. We’ll be doing this. Thanks for the tip!!

  3. posted by Red on

    This would solve so many issues we have in our small apartment! Someday when we own a property, this is exactly what I want put in! Thank you for the fresh idea for my “dream” kitchen.

  4. posted by Erin at Unclutterer on

    @missy — That’s an incredible idea to put the elongated hose! Thank you!!

  5. posted by The Queen on

    That’s one of the BEST ideas I’ve heard all week.

  6. posted by Carolyn on

    Please give us a how-to on the hose rig! Refilling our dispenser is really a hassle; it’s hard to get the plastic bottle screwed in right while you’re crouching and reaching around blindly under the sink. The house thingy sounds like the way to go!

  7. posted by Carolyn on

    Er, that should say “hose thingy.” Sorry.

  8. posted by quench on

    That ‘covered cutout to the right of the faucet for a spray hose’ should be used for a under-sink water filter!

  9. posted by Gray on

    Carolyn, i don’t know about your dispenser, but most of the new ones i have seen let you lift the top off and fill them from with top, without having to crawl around underneath. hope this helps!

  10. posted by Larry on

    After knocking the spout off of the dispenser for the second time while washing pots, I took mine out and put the button back in. Not worth the hassle. If you think refilling the reervoir is inconvenient, try replacing the whole thing on a regular basis.

  11. posted by karen on

    i’m an anomoly. i really hate those soap dispenser thingies. i like dishwashing soap & don’t mind having it on the back of the sink near the backsplash. i get the small bottles (i have the squatty body sunlight in my kitchen right now). i have a little two-bowl dish and the dish soap bottle goes in one half & a small round dish scrubber fits neatly in the other. i have a sink saddle where i keep my dish sponge. everything is convenient and i think it looks swell.

  12. posted by Serene and Not Herd on

    I have heard that these things either don’t pump well or get really gummed up and gross. But then I can’t imagine so many positive responses here. I definitely have to look into this option, since I installed an intergrated-hose faucet, and have a blank spot just waiting for one of these.

  13. posted by Raymond on

    When we had new countertops put into our bathrooms I had holes cut for soap dispensers, and Moen sold ones that matched the faucets. It’s even nicer in the bathroom than in the kitchen. . .

  14. posted by Rhoda on

    I have one of these soap dispensers in my kitchen sink and love it. I do not find it a problem to refill it from the top about every week. I like it so much better than having the bottle setting on the sink. It the pump gets a little sluggest I just soak it in water and pump clear water through it a few times and then it works great again

  15. posted by Dana on

    I have a soap dispenser on my kitchen sink which I loved until it ran out of soap this past time and I cannot get it to come out again… and it is really frustrating!!
    I’ve tried everything I can to get it to come out and it is not pumping the soap, any suggestions.

  16. posted by Melinda on

    I keep having the same problem with the pump stopping working even after I clean it out. I already replace the pump part a couple of times and have had to buy a whole new setup just to get the pump part. suggestions please? Also my spray hose works erratically you have to hold it a certain way and most of the time it just doesn’t work at all. Do I need an air gap on the sink? I don’t have a dishwasher. any ideas??

  17. posted by Roseann on

    Where can one purchase a replacement plastic bottle for the soap pump?

  18. posted by Lenore on

    I want to install a soap dispenser on my kitchen sink. How do I disconnect the vegetable sprayer hose under the sink?

  19. posted by Sandra on

    Roseann, did you ever figure out where to buy a replacement plastic bottle? I went to Home Depot and all they had were the complete units for almost $30.

  20. posted by Darius on

    I’ve come to realize that my soap dispenser is not the only one that stopped working suddenly, which led me to search for a remedy on the web (no help). I’d already tried soaking it and had no problem running clear water thru it; just not soap. I finally removed the lower “straw” portion of the pump and dipped the bottom of the remaining assembly into liquid soap. I pumped until soap started to come out as intended and then reattached the “straw”. Holy Moses, it worked!!!

    Note that the “straw” was in excellent shape and fit snuggly into the pump assembly. The problem just may be that sometimes if you run completely out of soap you may have to “prime” the pump.

  21. posted by Chris on

    Thanks for the idea! I got and put in a dispenser because of reading this, and it’s great!

  22. posted by Pat on

    I, too, am looking for a replacement bottle. Did anyone have luck finding one ?

  23. posted by tip b on

    I needed a new bottle for a dispenser and found that some of the small plastic hair spray bottles work perfect. Hope this helps.

  24. posted by lancine on

    I had a hole cut into our new granite countertops for the soap dispencer. For some reason, after about a month the thing stopped pumping the soap. I replaced it, and it happened a second time. I was so frustrated, I took out the stupid thing. However, removing it left a hole in my counter! I have now replaced the soap dispencer with a hot water spout. The best thing I ever did!

  25. posted by Pat on

    Clogged Kitchen Soap Dispenser / Kitchen Soap Dispenser not working?

    I HAD the same problem and I could not find any answers on Google? I had been screwing around with my dispenser for the past couple of weeks or so, pumping it profusely or soaking it in hot water, etc, almost every time I was at my kitchen sink…Nothing Worked ?

    I just figured out A SOLUTION, that worked for me. I used a thin gauge wire (18 Gauge Aluminum) and pushed it through the round opening in metal part of the dispenser (the round hole where the soap should come out). In any case, I pushed the wire in gently until I got the wire to the angle or neck of the dispenser, as I did not want to damage any of the internal parts of the pump, which are plastic. Again, I pushed it in gently until it would go no further and then I pulled it out. I then put the entire pump assembly in a sink full of hot water and then pumped and primed it…Alas…IT NOW WORKS.

    Again, I’d say use a thin, soft piece of wire, so as not to damage the internal components of the pump. Also, many of these dispensers are angled, so the thinner/softer wire will allow you to snake through any angles.

    FYI…While the wire is what finally got the dispenser working for me, it’s important to not that I had soaked the pump in hot water, for some time before I thought of the wire trick. With that in mind, if your pump is clogged, I’d suggest soaking it in hot water to soften up any gummed up soap and then try using the wire…It worked for me!!!

  26. posted by Erin on

    When we moved into our house almost 4 years ago there was a soap pump installed in the kitchen sink but no bottle. I tried Home Depot but they said they do not sell the bottles. It has driven me nuts all this time to have a bottle of soap on the counter next to a soap pump that I could not use. I just tried my hairspray bottle and it fit!! Now I just have to hurry up and finish using my hairspray so I can put soap in there. Thanks so much!!

  27. posted by richard lib on

    yes try to fine a replacement bottle, mine cracked after 2 yrs, no-one sells bottles only complete units. big rip-off

  28. posted by Anthony R on

    How can i keep my pump primed?
    Each time I go to use it, I need to pump it about 10-12 times until soap starts coming out, then next use same thing again. it has gotten so annoying. I see suggestions for clogged pumps but what causes pumps to constantly lose the soap?
    Thanks in advance

  29. posted by John on

    I saw they have replacement bottles for sale on Amazon. They are about $8-$10 with shipping, kinda pricey just for a plastic bottle. You might want to try dollar stores for cheap plastic bottles and see if the opening is about the same size. I think they tend to be about 3/8″, coarse threads.

  30. posted by Hank on

    Our kitchen soap dispenser used to clog and had to be pumped a dozen times to get any soap. After a number of experiments, I tried using Dish Washing Foam and cut the liquid with about 50% with water. Results: The pump works great! And even watered down, there is more than enough soap for the dishes. The soap and water mixes quite freely and I have had no problem with the soap settling or separating in the dispenser.

  31. posted by David woodhouse on

    We have a Franke kitchen worktop soap dispenser which has been fine but lately it as begun oozing soap from beneath the kneck of the tap and onto the worktop. It still dispenses liquid from the actual head of the tap as normal but also from the kneck. We assumed it was perhaps blocked in some way but we have cleaned this thoroughly with hot water and it is not the case it seems.

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