That's Not An Installation Defect Under The Kitchen Sink; It's The Work Of A Genius.

Home Inspector with Structure Tech Home Inspections

One of my least favorite chores in the kitchen has always been re-filling the built-in hand soap dispenser at my kitchen sink.  Through years of extensive research in to this matter, I've discovered that I'm not alone.  Approximately 57.3% of soap dispensers in the Twin Cities metro area remain unfilled; sitting next to the empty soap dispensers, I often find unsightly store-bought bottles of hand soap.

I have many reasons to not refill my soap dispenser.

For one, they're difficult to access.  Mine is so tough to get at that I need to lay on my back under the kitchen sink just to unscrew it.

They're difficult to fill.  Why are the openings so damn small?!  The photo below shows what used to happen to me every time I would try to fill my dispenser.  I've tried a funnel, but this doesn't work either - the soap is too thick.

Soap won't pour

Another problem is getting the dispenser screwed back in place under the counter - it's very difficult to see under there.  I actually installed a fluorescent light inside my kitchen cabinet to help with this chore.

Finally, this is a grueling task that demands action about once a month.  If I only had to do it once a year, that would be fine, but we wash our hands in the kitchen more than anywhere else in the house, and the tiny container doesn't hold much soap.


While inspecting a home in Minneapolis last year, I came across an unusual container for the hand soap dispenser while looking under the kitchen sink.  Instead of having a tiny 8 oz container screwed to the dispenser, there was a long tube dropping down in to a Costco-sized container of hand soap.

hand soap container
For a split-second I figured the owner had broken their soap container, but I quickly realized that this was no accident, my friends.  This was a stroke of genius.

No more refilling the soap container.

No more running out of soap every month.

No more back-breaking acrobatics while reaching under the sink trying to unscrew the soap container.

No more tears of anguish and frustration trying to pour liquid hand soap in to a 3/8" hole.

You too can do this.  Just pick up three feet of 1/4" plastic tubing, cut it to length, and replace the little plastic tube coming out of your soap dispenser with this long tube.  Now drop it in to a huge container of hand soap.  That's it, that's all.  The Home Depot by my house sells a twenty-five foot roll of this plastic tubing for under three dollars. Many hardware stores sell this stuff by the foot, and you can even cut it to length with a pair of scissors.

Polyethylene Tubing

Now just sit back and marvel at your tricked-out hand soap dispenser.




Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. D B 10/12/2010 12:55 AM
  2. Stanton Homes 10/12/2010 03:43 AM
  3. Lori Fishkind 10/12/2010 03:56 AM
  4. Cheryl Ritchie 10/12/2010 11:55 AM
  5. Roger Johnson 10/13/2010 05:38 AM
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Ken Gramley
Cary, NC

Reuben, this is awesome.  I hope you win the challenge!!

Oct 14, 2010 04:23 AM #110
Charlotte Stilwell
Century 21 Hardee Team Realty - Magnolia, TX

We hated it so much we got rid of ours and installed a push button for the garbage disposal!!  Love that even more.  Now we don't have to curse the builders of the house for putting the switch for the disposal across the counter where you drip ick all over the place going to turn it on.  And by "we", I mean ME and by "builder", I mean my husband and I!


Best.  Invention.  Ever. 


However, the soap solution is exactly what you said - a stroke of genius!!!  (Real men of genius........except I bet it was a woman who figured that one out!!)

Oct 14, 2010 04:49 AM #111
Long and Foster Real Estate Services Inc - Potomac, MD

I put chocolate syrup in our soap dispenser when we first got it. The kids loved it, of course! Then, I read on the can that the syrup needed to be refrigerated after opening.  Anyway, for those who have given up on their soap dispenser, forget the soap..... there is always ketchup or mustard!

Oct 14, 2010 05:26 AM #112
Linda Lemiere-Zile
Home and Garden Staging & Redesign - Longview, WA

Great idea!  Thanks for sharing!!

Oct 14, 2010 06:40 AM #113
Rhonda Thibault
Well, I've always done this the easy way, and I tell it to all my friends and clients. They are always amazed at how simple this is. Just pull the soap pump up out of the sink, place the plastic nozzle on the bottle of soap into the opening, and squeeze the bottle until you think you have enough in the receptacle. Slip the pump back into place, and voila! You're good to go in about one minute, with no strain, no mess, and no fuss! I apologize if this solution was already mentioned, but I couldn't take the time to read all of the remarks you received. Quite a few!
Oct 14, 2010 06:54 AM #114
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

And to think that I still use a bar of soap. There’s just something comforting about a bar of soap in my hands rather than a little squirt of goo. ☺☻☻☺

Oct 14, 2010 12:38 PM #115
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

Marte - you got it.  Quick and dirty clean.

Valerie - exactly.  

Diane - thanks.

Peter - I'm totally with you, but I can't convince my wife.

Ken - thanks, me too :)

Charlotte - you're funny.  I can't stop chuckling.  You're right, it certainly could have been a woman that originally came up with this idea.  I'll never know.

Elizabeth - great idea with the chocolate syrup, but I've gotta warn you: I'm pretty sure ketchup and mustard need to be refrigerated after they've been opened too ;)

Linda - thanks for reading.

Rhonda - I don't blame you, there are a lot of comments here.  Your method works well for dish soap, but hand soap just ends up looking like the hand soap in my first photo.

Russel - I'll bet you prefer holding a newspaper than reading news online too, right?

Oct 14, 2010 02:27 PM #116
Bill Buettner
Keller Williams Greater Columbus - New Albany, OH
Your Real Estate Connection

Dude! your brilliant!! thanx!

Oct 15, 2010 03:33 PM #117
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

I will leave the comment from Mr. Ray alone:)

Splendid concept, Reuben.  This is something I may have to do in my own little abode.

Oct 16, 2010 12:22 PM #118
Kathy Schowe
California Lifestyle Realty - La Quinta, CA
La Quinta, California 760-333-8886

I guess I am not an auto soap girl... I never even knew there was a problem like this to be solved.  I just have the williams/sonoma soap container... and replace it when it runs out.  Hmmm.  Must be behind the times!  Kathy

Oct 16, 2010 06:07 PM #119
Lizette Fitzpatrick
Lizette Realty - Richmond KY - Lexington, KY
Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes

Good job! See how easy it is to blog about anything under the sink?? Maybe get extra points!!!! Yippee!

Oct 17, 2010 03:24 PM #120
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

Bill - thanks.

Jason - I thought the same thing to myself about Mr. Ray's comment ;)

Kathy - Oh yes, it's an epidemic.

Lizette - thanks, that's what I'm after with this one!  Have fun reading the entries.

Oct 17, 2010 11:05 PM #121
Rachel Purser
Prudential American Realty Center - Pickerington, Ohio - Pickerington, OH
SFR e-certified

This is definately a "why didnt i think of that first moment".

Oct 21, 2010 04:29 AM #122
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Obviously she didn't get a permit. That soap dispenser is supposed to be strapped to the cabinet with plumbers' tape!

Oct 27, 2010 06:22 PM #123
Lynn Cromer
ReMax Advance Realty - Miami, FL

I did the soap dispenser like you did! It's great! Thanks for the idea and the great blog!

Oct 31, 2010 10:47 AM #124
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

Rachel - ditto.

Tigard - good eye!  Just imagine what could happen during an earthquake.

Lynn - I'm glad it worked for you.  A quick and easy project to save lots of time in the future.

Oct 31, 2010 02:35 PM #125

Help!  My undercounter mount dispensers always stop working because of the spring mechanism.  The tubings are clear, but that part of the dispenser is clearly broken.  Any ideas of sites/places that sell a variety of sizes???

Mar 05, 2011 10:09 AM #126
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.
Mar 05, 2011 10:54 PM #127

FYI.........Bring your dispenser with you to the store.  I had to go back for 3/8".  The 1/4" was too small.  With a little help from the salesman at the hardware store who snipped the tip of the hose for me, we were able to ease it in to the dispenser.  I also had to prime the pump over 200 times......but it works!!  Somehow, my dispenser bottle disappeared over 3 years ago, and I never replaced it.  When I saw this on FB, I had to give it a try.  Thank you!

Nov 30, 2012 07:08 AM #128

I forgot to add my tip.........If you have a smaller/tall bottle that you are afraid may spill, just stick it into a round container.  The round container keeps it from tipping over.

Dec 01, 2012 03:53 AM #129
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