How to Fix a Soap Dispenser Pump

Written by jamie conrad
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How to Fix a Soap Dispenser Pump
Keep your soap dispenser clog-free. (modern design soap dispenser image by Christopher Meder from

Nothing is worse than having soil-covered, paint-covered or food-covered hands, reaching for the soap dispenser, then nothing comes out. Or, just as bad, the soap squirts out in some strange direction and misses your hand completely. If this happens to you, you probably have a clogged soap dispenser pump. The good news is that it is easily fixed, and you'll have your soap back in no time.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Sink and water
  • Bleach
  • Pipe cleaner

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  1. 1

    Fill your sink with warm water, and add 1 tsp bleach to the water (to sanitise your pump).

  2. 2

    Remove the pump from the dispenser (usually they screw on and off of the main dispenser).

  3. 3

    Place the pump into the warm water and allow it to soak for 15 minutes.

  4. 4

    Drain the sink.

  5. 5

    Turn on the faucet and allow the warm water to run. Hold the pump under the water for a minute or two.

  6. 6

    Push the nozzle of the pump several times while holding the pump under the running water. The goal is to purge any old soap from the pump until clear water squirts out.

  7. 7

    Insert a pipe cleaner into the clear tubing of the pump to clear away any clogs that the water did not clear away. Then repeat Step 6.

  8. 8

    Place the pump back onto the main soap dispenser and use as you normally would.

Tips and warnings

  • Consider emptying any old soap from your dispenser and refilling it with new soap in case old soap was the cause of the problem.
  • Since you cleaned and sanitised the pump, you may want to wipe off the dispenser itself with a damp cloth to clean it as well. After all, nobody washes their hands because they're clean--those soap dispensers pick up a lot of grime in their line of work.
  • Montly maintenence of your dispenser (following the steps in this article) is a good way to keep your dispenser working properly.

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