SHOP BY DEPARTMENT
Houzz Logo Print
sabigabatini

Soap dispensers in the countertop: Yay/Nay?

sabigabatini
last month

I've never had a soap dispenser built into a countertop. In theory it is a fabulous invention. In practice, I wonder if the extra hole in the counter would bother me. I like super uncluttered. At the same time, now that I'm putting in a new countertop and can do whatever I want anew, I'm revisiting the thought.


Also - I recently saw THESE touchless sensor pumps (powered by a built-in ion battery), and I think it looks fantastic plus minimalistic design. Anyone have this kind of thing? Plus, if I decide to switch to soap-clutter-free I could always just put it away for a while. They come in all different sizes and finishes:


https://www.simplehuman.com/collections/sensor-pumps

__________________


Versus, THIS in a countertop hole:



How about y'all?



Comments (58)

  • M Miller
    last month
    last modified: last month

    “Will they extend just the right length for practical use and no drips on the edge of the counter”

    The specs including the spout length are provided on the manufacturers’ websites. So you can compare the spout lengths. I’ve had a Grohe and a Hansgrohe dispenser in two previous homes. I currently have an Elkay. Have never had an issue with drips on edge of counter. I would still discuss with your counter fabricator in advance where the holes will be.

    “Will they tend to shoot the soap out too horizontally, missing your hand or pot or dish.”

    No.

    “Will I hate having another feature drilled into my beautiful new sleek countertops!”

    How many things are you having at your sink? If it’s a bridge faucet (3 holes), and hot water dispenser (1), and air switch (1) and hand lotion dispenser (1), and a soap dispenser (we’ve actually seen all that on this forum a number of times), then yes, I’d get rid of some of those holes - though I’d keep the soap dispenser. This question is really personal preference that only you can answer.

    “It was a pain in a rear to fill and screw the dispenser back in.”

    Every soap dispenser I’ve had has the pump simply lift up from the top, you pour in the soap, and drop the pump back in. No screwing in. That commenter may be talking about the dispensers from the ’90s that you used to have to fill from underneath the sink. Those are long gone.

    If you don’t like them, that’s fine, it’s your kitchen. I just wanted to get the facts correct about them.

    sabigabatini thanked M Miller
  • Buehl
    last month

    Generally, items made for industry are designed to take more abuse and break down less, so I wouldn't count on a residential one being better.

    I agree with M. Miller. We have two - one at each sink. We've had ours since 2008 and they still work fine.

    Clogging...

    Either use thinner soap or dilute thicker ones.

    We initially had the issue with the dial hand soap, but by diluting it with water it fixed the issue.

    Filling...

    Ours fill from the top. Lift the pump out, fill the bottle, put the pump back. No "screwing it back on".

    We also have a Never-MT that I use at one of the sinks. You attach it to a large-warehouse size bottle of soap that sits on the bottom of the cabinet and switch it out one a year or so when it finally runs out.

    Aim...

    Ours also has a downward spout and we have no issues with them shooting out horizontally.


    sabigabatini thanked Buehl
  • Related Discussions

    replace with matching water faucet/soap dispenser now?

    Q

    Comments (7)
    Taggie: hahahaa. Yes, I think he would notice, because he would be the one installing them. âÂÂswitch the top part in for the stainless one and not mention a word about it. Don't know how observant your DH is, but mine would never notice itâ But you know, the water filter faucet is starting to leak a little (wink wink wink)â¦especially when I bang it w/ my big metal pan!!! Hahahaa Breezygirl: oh, IâÂÂm way past year 2012 birthday and anniversary already. My 4 girlfriends and I are heading to South Beach for our birthday celebration next month. For our anniversary, I got my beloved Vitamix Blender (oh how romantic). Christmas 2013 present = IâÂÂm getting the Blum Servo for the hands-free trash pullout. As for the handles: funny you mentioned it. Our friend came to help install them this morning. He didnâÂÂt have enough time to do them all, but he strategically did not do any of the uppers so that he didnâÂÂt have to fight me on installing them horizontally. I didn't mention that I hate wasting stuff. Yes, I can Freecycle them, but...still wasteful. thanks, Amanda
    ...See More

    Soap dispenser, yay or nay?

    Q

    Comments (29)
    I have a soap dispenser but I fill it with Dawn. I used clear Dawn because the blue Dawn left drips down my white sink. I still have Bath & Body Works soap next to the sink with a bottle of Jergen's both sitting on a cork circle. I had a soap dispenser at my old house too and did the same thing. Loved it. The picture I attached is actually of the island, but you can see the 4 piece faucet at the sink (sprayer, faucet, water on/off, soap dispenser), with my soap and lotion on the cork next to it. This has worked well for almost 3 years.
    ...See More

    Need help/input fixing a countertop faucet hole issue

    Q

    Comments (11)
    I like your set up oldbat2be. Thanks for the picture. It helps to see other placements. I think we want the faucet in the center, because the sink is so wide. We actually haven't even been able to try out this current set up because when we installed the Karbon the threads on the cold water supply got stripped (or maybe were already stripped) so Build.com is sending a replacement. I want to wait and see how it feels to use before making any decisions. But we do like the idea of soap dispenser, so if we can fix the problem we would like to. I really wish I had spent some time thinking about this BEFORE instead of after. :-) Unfortunately it's been too many things going on and too many decisions. My brain (and body) feel a bit fried right now!
    ...See More

    Yay or Nay on matching soap dispenser?

    Q

    Comments (21)
    There's also another option to mrspete's 3 options listed above. #4 - leave a small bottle of dish soap in the sink. That's what I do. But I do have a more-or-less flat-bottomed sink with a grid. The bottle sits in the corner so it doesn't clutter (or ruin) the counter. And for the record, I do #3 at my prep sink which really isn't a big deal for the amount of times I use dish soap at the prep sink. Hand soap for both sinks are under the sink in pump dispensers - easy enough to open door, grab a squirt, close door.
    ...See More
  • Sammie J
    last month

    I miss mine in our new house! Never had it clog, also used a Never-MT and loved being able to buy a large bottle of soap that lasted a long time.


    Bought a Simple Human - it works fine, but it is very sensitive (ex: a pot of steaming pasta being poured in the sink sets it off, a towel passed under it by accident sets it off, etc.) It is now happily housed in our powder room.

    sabigabatini thanked Sammie J
  • Wildcat Blue
    last month

    I had one for 13 years in one of the houses I lived in. Loved it! Never had any issues with it in all the years I lived there.

  • kculbers
    last month

    When I had my kitchen renovated a few years ago, I had the soap dispenser (that came with my faucet) installed. I never have put any dish soap in it. I keep my Palmolive bottle on my counter.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    last month

    No soap bottles on your countertop please. They're ugly and trap soap and moisture; a deadly mix for stone and estone. Don't even think about putting a mat under for protection please:




    sabigabatini thanked Joseph Corlett, LLC
  • M B
    last month

    I have one, like it and use it every time
    I want to wash dishes or my hands. I’ve filled it once every 6 months. Not a chore!

    sabigabatini thanked M B
  • Fori
    last month

    I've liked them in the past. I never experienced thick soap clogging but they are super easy to pull the spouty thing out and clean.


    I don't have one now because the guy drilling holes in my counter was taking sooooooooooooooo long I didn't want to be bothered waiting for another hole. So that's how passionate I am about them. They are good. But not necessary enough to care much either way.

  • mxk3 z5b_MI
    last month

    Yay all the way. Unobstrusive, and no gunked-up container on the counter.

  • spindle22
    last month

    We love our simple human touchless. Our first one lasted about 10 years. Just replaced it about 6 months ago. The new one is super easy to fill and adjusts the amount of soap depending on the proximity of your hand.

  • tlynn1960
    last month

    I have a simplehuman sensor soap dispenser for hand soap in the kitchen. It's rechargable. Mine's an older version perhaps several years old. If it ever dies, I'd replace it pronto.

    sabigabatini thanked tlynn1960
  • Rs S
    last month

    Soap dispenser built in hands down! Fill from the top. No mess, no clutter and so easy. Been okay 6 years. Not expensive to change if need be.

  • sabigabatini
    Original Author
    last month

    Here's another question, what does everyone fill their soap dispenser with - hand soap, dish soap, or a soap that is gentle enough for hands AND will clean dishes? Honestly if I decide to get one installed, I'll be using it for hand soap! I wash my hands a LOT, and I don't hand wash my dishes as often (they go in the dishwasher unless it's something fragile or large). I'd look for a soap that can do both safely, I know they're out there :-D

  • M B
    last month

    I use blue dawn as hand soap and dish soap.

  • jaja06
    last month

    I used to think they were just another thing to break and get dirty, but my SO insisted on installing one when we moved in here 8 years ago. We just (almost) finished remodeling, and it wasn’t even a question to put one at each sink (cleanup, prep, and coffee station!) I love having them instead of a nasty bottle. I use Palmolive in them all, so that we can use the soap for either dishes or hands.

  • M Miller
    last month

    As I mentioned above, Seventh Generation dish soap. I like the Free & Clear version. You can get it at Target and other places. It‘s gentle enough for hand washing. It’s literally clear; i.e. not blue or green like some dish soaps, those colors bug me.

  • sabigabatini
    Original Author
    last month

    I'm getting convinced to cross over to the world of soap dispenser in the countertop. Thanks for all the input. Love this site. :)

  • Buehl
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Hand soap by cleanup sink and dish detergent by prep sink. (Never-MT at prep sink.)

    The only reason we put hand soap at the cleanup sink (at my husband's request) is b/c we have a two-bowl sink and my husband thought it would be easier if the dish detergent could be squirted in both sinks. Since he does most of the cleanup, I deferred to him there. However, my preference would be dish soap at both.

    We keep the dish detergent on a glass platter/plate with three small ball feet.

    (If things change, we can always put dish detergent with a Never-MT there.)

  • vinmarks
    last month

    We have in counter soap dispensers at both prep sink and cleanup sink with Never MT on both. Never had clogs or shooting soap.

  • btydrvn
    last month

    I also like to bring the soap to the pan…some of my pans are heavy or too big to comfortably angle under a fixed soap dispenser..especially things like cookie sheets or even the big grill from our stovetop….lastly if it has to be re-filled in place that turns out to be mess to clean up after…we do vacation rentals and have experienced all kinds of the built -ins…which is why i opted for the separate dispenser ..we get the pretty ones from Home Goods or Costco …throw away when empty…

  • Mrs Pete
    last month

    I have a built-in soap dispenser, and I can describe it as "like but don't love". Details:

    - Mine has never clogged. I only use Dawn Original.

    - Mine does not leak. If yours does, you can get a replacement from Amazon for less than $20; I'm pretty sure the holes are all a standard size.

    - I wish I had the Never MT. Refilling the small container is a pain; the biggest issue is that I can't see when it's approaching full, and I always spill some soap out on the counter. I hate being wasteful.

    - My biggest issue is that I can't choose to squirt a big squirt or a little touch. I always get the same sized squirt.

    - If I hit the push-pump too hard, the squirt of soap has some momentum behind it and sometimes splashes on my clothes. This NEVER happens when I'm wearing pajamas and hanging out at home all day.

    - I like that it minimizes things around my sink and keeps things a little neater looking.

    sabigabatini thanked Mrs Pete
  • Jennifer K
    last month

    Built-in soap dispenser? No. They are a pain to re-fill, a pain to clean around and (at least the ones I've met) prone to failure. And, at some time in the future when you decide to update your taps, you'll need to find a matching replacement built-in soap dispenser. Oof!


    Pretty, movable soap dispenser on the counter? Yes. Easy to clean around and easily replaceable if it breaks.

    sabigabatini thanked Jennifer K
  • Nancy Hebert
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I have a built-in soap dispenser in my kitchen and it's never worked properly. So no, on that one. As for touchless sensor anything - they never turn on fast enough to suit me. I always end up turning the silly things off accidently while they're still trying to turn on. If it's not instant I don't want it. I keep my hand/dish soap (I use Grove, Method, etc. natural dish soaps that are gentle on hands) in a decorative glass pump dispenser on the counter. Easy to clean, easy on the eyes.

  • sabigabatini
    Original Author
    last month

    Hoo boy. Decisions decisions.

  • jaja06
    last month

    I do agree there is a bit of adjustment in that you might have to put your soap on the rag or sponge and then bring it to the pan, for those heavy awkward pans mentioned. I really don’t think being able to find a matching replacement is an issue. They’re so popular now. Every faucet I looked at had the option to buy it as a bundle with the matching soap dispenser. Do make sure you get one that is long enough and/or make sure they don’t drill the holes too far back. I didn’t end up getting a NeverMT, but keep in mind that it’s an option if you run into a situation where the soap bottle can’t fit directly under the hole, so you know there is no need to panic!

    sabigabatini thanked jaja06
  • functionthenlook
    last month

    As with any other products there are good models and there are bad models. You should buy what functions and performs well per reviews. Buying for looks should not be the foremost on deciding which to buy. I have a feeling that most failed soap dispensers were bought just by how they look and not how they preform.

  • PRO
    Norwood Architects
    last month

    I fall into the yes category.

  • Maureen
    last month
    last modified: last month

    As you mentioned, comes down to personal preference. I never considered one, as we like to wash our hands with other than dish detergent. I always purchase a large bottle of Scottish Fine Soap Au Lait (love) from Homesense and store under sink with the dish soap; so convenient. In regards to clutter, I actually like the look of a matching set and to me, doesn't feel like clutter.


    sabigabatini thanked Maureen
  • sabigabatini
    Original Author
    last month

    @Maureen I like those, ty

  • rkj1189
    last month

    I had built in countertop soap dispenser prior to redoing kitchen with new countertop, decided not to put in built in, after a week of not having it, couldn’t stand having bulky dish/hand soap bottle and not being able to put soap into sink or on dishes or sponge with quick pump, had countertop workers come back and install built in, will never go without one, it holds a lot of soap so don’t have to refill that often.

  • teamaltese
    last month

    You have to crawl under the sink to refill. No thanks!

  • functionthenlook
    last month

    teamaltese,, you don't have to crawl under the sink to refill. Mine refills from the top. You just pull up the pump part and fill. It is just like filling a sit on counter soap dispenser.

  • vinmarks
    last month

    NeverMT solves the refilling issues. We buy the big bottles of Dawn dish soap from Costco. I've lived in my house 4 1/2 years and changed out the bottle for cleanup sink once so far. I haven't changed out the bottle under the prep sink yet.

  • M Miller
    last month

    “at some time in the future when you decide to update your taps, you'll need to find a matching replacement built-in soap dispenser. Oof!”

    If you have to replace your faucet for some reason, the faucet manufacturers make matching soap dispensers - just like when you were buying the original one. It is not challenging to find a replacement soap dispenser when you buy a replacement faucet. Also the lines of a soap dispenser are so simple, you don’t even need to buy the same brand as your faucet. I have a Grohe faucet and an Elkay soap dispenser and they look a pair.

    ”You have to crawl under the sink to refill. No thanks!”

    They haven’t made that style for decades. You fill from the top.

  • sabigabatini
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    What if the spout of the soap dispenser doesn’t reach far enough into the sink to adequately avoid drips from it on the edge or inside side of the sink? Then the soap dispenser would not be able to be placed in alignment with the faucet which would look bad no? Hopefully soap dispensers are designed to be long enough for this to not occur but who knows

  • functionthenlook
    last month

    Mine from the center of where it is attached to the sink to were the soap comes out is 3 3/4 inches on mine . Plenty of room for it to hang over the sink. I've never had mine drip. You can swivel the spout away from the sink if you choose. When my counter was put in the fabricator required that I have the faucet, sprayer and soap dispenser bought before they started the fabrication.

    At my camp is an older SS rimmed sink. It fit perfectly on it also.

    sabigabatini thanked functionthenlook
  • SeattleMCM
    last month

    What if the spout of the soap dispenser doesn’t reach far enough into the sink to adequately avoid drips from it on the edge or inside side of the sink?

    That's a problem, and also people are still going to be using them with drippy or dirty hands, so you still have to clean under and around the nozzle anyway. You will have to occasionally scrub the base with a brush -- mold will grow in the tiny groove where it connects to the sink.

    I have a pretty dispenser from Target. It's easy to pick up and rinse under the tap, no brushes required.


    sabigabatini thanked SeattleMCM
  • M Miller
    last month
    last modified: last month

    What if the spout of the soap dispenser doesn’t reach far enough into the sink to adequately avoid drips from it on the edge or inside side of the sink?

    Repeating what I said earlier. You can check the spout length on the manufacturers' websites. The Elkay that I have has a spout length of 4-3/8". Some are shorter. But 3-1/2" length is plenty. I've never had one drip, and I've had three different ones over 20+ years.

    That's a problem, and also people are still going to be using them with drippy or dirty hands, so you still have to clean under and around the nozzle anyway. You will have to occasionally scrub the base with a brush -- mold will grow in the tiny groove where it connects to the sink.

    Nope. Oh for goodness sakes, people will use them with drippy or dirty hands - just like when they use the kitchen faucet. it's the same thing, not some special extra condition. I have never - truly never - had to scrub the base with a brush. I have never, I swear to you, had "mold grow in the tiny groove". Not for the dispenser, not for the faucet. With regard to cleaning, it's the same as when you clean your faucet, so whatever cleaning you do for your faucet, you do for the dispenser, nothing extra. If you don't like a soap dispenser, that's fine, it's your kitchen. The fear mongering is unnecessary.

    If creating fear is the goal, just look at @Joseph Corlett, LLC's post above that warns what can happen to a counter when soapy trays and bottles are left on them.

  • Rita Jackson
    last month

    You do not crawl under sink to refill, I fill from the top, no difference than refilling a stand alone bottle, built in takes up way less countertop footprint , make sure spout opening reaches sink

  • RedRyder
    last month

    I’ve had one in the last two houses and wouldn’t want a bottle of dish soap on the counter again. As for the soap dripping in the countertop, your installer will need to see the item and they will make the hole in the right place.

    Our installed dispensers always refilled from the top. Using the flashlight in my iPhone, I keep checking to make sure I don’t overfill and end up with gobs of soap on the countertop. To me, that’s less of a hassle than having the soap bottle visible.

    Yes, you’re limited to the size of the squirt built into the dispenser, but I think that’s a silly reason to avoid a convenience.

    sabigabatini thanked RedRyder
  • blueskysunnyday
    last month

    I have a Simple Human touchkess hand soap dispenser that has lasted over 8 years and I LOVE it. Because I also have the Tap Master, I don’t have to touch anything with raw-chickeny hands in order to wash the germs off. Just put my hand under the hand soap dispenser and tap the water on with my foot.

    In my new kitchen, I’m doing the same Simple Human/Tap Master combo at the prep sink, plus the knee-push-open trash can so I can really avoid spreading germs while prepping. For the clean up sink, I’m doing the in-counter pump for dish soap. I mostly apply my dish soap to my cleaning implement (instead of the dish) and if I want to fill something with water to soak, I’ll just put the soap on my dish brush and hold it under the running water while filling the item.

  • SeattleMCM
    last month

    @M Miller looks like i hit a nerve, LOL.

    I think it completely depends on how dry it is where you live then. The cap you screw over the top of a soap dispenser is pretty tight, but not perfectly water tight. In Seattle, mold grows in spots like that, even if I wipe it down once a day. It's not something I really care to argue about, I'm just putting that advice out there for anyone who happens to live in a mold-prone climate. 🤷

  • salex
    last month

    I have two sinks with different soap configurations. The cleanup (bigger) sink has an in-counter soap dispenser with a hose running to an industrial-sized bottle of dish soap. The countertop fabricator asked me where I wanted the holes for my faucet and soap dispenser, so I made sure the spout extended over the sink. I'd do this again in a second.

    My prep/beverage sink (smaller of the two) has a SimpleHuman battery-powered motion-sensor pump. The first model failed within a few months. After a lot of somewhat frustrating back-and-forth with customer service - including a required video showing that the pump stopped working (how do you show absence of action - and why????) - they finally replaced it with a new one. It's a decent solution, as long as it lasts. I kind of wish I had an in-counter dispenser on that sink but I didn't have the undercounter space.

  • Snaggy
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Don't see the point of them


  • Linda Case
    last month

    I ran a long tube from the pump down to the huge Dawn bottle and you’re done for months.

  • thisisnotadrill
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Did exactlly what @Linda Case did. I used the default in-counter dispenser that came with my faucet set, and it broke a few times over the years. Replacements kept breaking. I ended up replacing it with a long tube to the huge dawn bottle (and it has a mechanism to keep the pump primed with soap at all times) and i've never been happier. run out of soap? replace the bottle easy peasy. no .more crawling under the counter to unscrew some flimsy container that keeps breaking. to each their own.

    sabigabatini thanked thisisnotadrill
  • RoyHobbs
    last month

    I like the simple low profile of a soap dispenser much better than a separate bottle. I’ve never had soap dispenser break. The one we have now is about 10 years old and works just like the day it was installed.

    sabigabatini thanked RoyHobbs
  • mainenell
    last month

    I love my in counter dispenser with the neverMT hose for hand soap. Dish soap goes under the sink. I can’t imagine how many pumps it would take to get enough soap out of the dispenser to wash dishes. Maybe it is just my dispenser, but it gives a piddling amount per pump (what we don’t like about it.)

  • M B
    last month

    3 pumps is the perfect amount of dish soap :-)

Sponsored
King Construction Company LLC
Average rating: 5 out of 5 stars8 Reviews
Loudoun County, VA Custom Builder for Equestrian Facilities