We all know about the importance of handwashing in preventing the spread of germs. Many homeowners are looking to replacing their manually operated pump soap dispensers with a touch-free automatic one. So, how much do automatic soap dispensers cost, and what are the best options to buy one for your home? We've done the research, and we have the answers for you!
Prices of automatic soap dispensers range from $10 to $80. Most fall within the range of $20 to $50. Five top-quality dispensers on the market range in price from $29.99 to $49.99. In general, spending a little more money to purchase a high-quality dispenser pays off in the long run with increased longevity and better functionality.
In this article, we'll look at the price range of specific types of automatic soap dispensers. We'll also explain how they work and how much soap various models dispense. We'll also discuss in detail the five best automatic soap dispensers on the market. Keep reading to learn more!
The Cost Of An Automatic Soap Dispenser
Automatic soap dispensers for household use range in price from $10 to $80 or more. Our review of the available options found a small number of models priced under $20, the vast majority between $20 and $50, and a few stickered at more than $50.
Automatic Soap Dispenser Common Problems
We synthesized data from manufacturers' specs, customer comments, and expert reviews and garnered the following insights:
- The most common problems with automatic soap dispensers include:
- clogging of the tube and pump
- dripping from the spout, causing a mess on the countertop
- soap leaking out due to faulty seals
- breakage of cheap plastic housing
- inconvenient/messy refills
- need to replace batteries often
- water getting into electronics and ruining them
- Models priced below $20 invariably suffer from at least three (and usually more) of these issues.
- The best models are in the $30 - $50 price range
- Those priced above $50 are high-quality, but you can find the same quality and reliability, without all the extra bells and whistles, for less money
How Does An Automatic Soap Dispenser Work?
At its simplest, an automatic soap dispenser includes four elements:
- A source of power (usually store-bought batteries or a built-in rechargeable battery)
- A reservoir of liquid soap
- A pump connected to a tube that has one end in the soap and the other connected to a dispensing nozzle
- An electronic sensor that tells the machine when to dispense soap
Each model incorporates one of the following types of electronic sensors: radar-based (activated by motion), photoelectric (activated by your hand breaking a beam of light), or passive infrared (activated by the body heat emitted by your hands).
Although each type of sensor works a little bit differently, the end result is the same: you stick your hand in front of the sensor, and it responds by activating the pump, which then dispenses a specific amount of soap into your hand.
Dispensers of foaming soap work essentially the same way as those for liquid soap, except that there is an additional valve in the foaming dispenser which forces air into the soap, causing it to emerge as a foamy lather. The reservoir of a foaming soap dispenser contains liquid soap diluted by water, making it much thinner than traditional liquid soap and allowing it to take on a foamy consistency when mixed with air.
How Much Soap Does A Soap Dispenser Dispense?
The amount of soap ejected in a single pump varies depending on the type of dispenser. Below, we've listed the typical volume of soap for each category of soap dispenser (both manual and automatic):
- Disposable manual liquid soap dispensers: 2 mL
- Disposable manual foaming soap dispensers: 1.5 mL
- Refillable manual liquid soap dispensers: 1 mL
- Refillable manual foaming soap dispensers: 1 mL
- Automatic liquid soap dispensers: 0.9 mL
- Automatic foaming soap dispensers: 0.7 mL
Many automatic soap dispensers intended for household use have adjustable dispensing systems that can be set to eject from 0.1 to 4.5 mL.
Numerous studies have shown that most people do not use enough soap when washing their hands. To effectively eliminate 90% or more of the germs on your hands, you should completely lather the fronts and backs of your hands, as well as between the fingers.
Then, scrub for at least 20 seconds, and rinse them thoroughly with running water. Health experts recommend that to get enough lather for effective handwashing, the average adult should use 2.5 mL of soap (about 1/2 teaspoon).
What Are The Best Automatic Soap Dispensers?
All of the dispensers in this group are highly rated by experts and users alike. None of them experience any of the four major complaints about automatic soap dispensers: clogging, dripping, leaking, and breakage.
Three of the five rely on disposable batteries, two are not waterproof, and two lack adjustable dispenser settings; however, these inconveniences are minor in comparison with the durability, versatility, and consistently high performance of each model.
Best Overall: Simplehuman Touch-Free Rechargeable
This simple-looking dispenser has it all: convenience, ease of use, durability, and energy-efficiency. Made of stainless steel and with clog-free silicone valves and tubing, it is designed to last. Despite its relatively small footprint (4.4" deep x 2.8" wide x 6.8" high), it holds 265 mL (9 oz) of liquid hand soap or dish soap.
This model saves you money in a couple of ways. First, it's rechargeable, so you never have to replace batteries; a single charge lasts about three months.
Second, it dispenses a variable amount of soap, depending on how close your hands are to the sensor. If you need just a little soap, place your hands close to the sensor and spout; if you need a lot, just hold your hands a bit lower, and the Simplehuman will dispense more.
The only drawback to this high-quality, innovative machine is that it requires a funnel to refill the soap reservoir. However, even this task is made easier by the flip-up lid and funnel-contoured refill opening. The unit is IP67-rated (waterproof), so it can be washed in the sink with no worries about shorting out its electronic components.
Best For Kitchen: Secura Touchless Invisible Touch V-470
Another overall outstanding choice is the Secura Touchless V-470. This model boasts a huge soap reservoir of 500 mL (17 oz) and a top-mounted dial that allows you to control the amount of soap dispensed, making the V-470 ideal for use in the kitchen.
With a footprint of 6" deep x 3.3" wide x 8.7" high, the V-470 can be placed on the countertop or mounted on the wall. It uses four AA batteries. This unit is not waterproof: it can be wiped clean with a damp rag but should not be immersed in water.
Best For Foam: LAOPAO Foaming Dispenser
If you prefer foam to liquid soap, the LAOPAO Touch-Free foaming soap dispenser is a great choice. At 3.94" deep x 3.94" wide x 8.66" high, it holds 240 mL (just over 8 oz) of foaming soap.
It is constructed of sturdy plastic with a stainless steel dispenser nozzle, fluid level indicator window, and a convenient slide-out soap reservoir. The LAOPAO Touch-Free features two settings (0.6 mL and 1.0 mL) and dispenses foam in 0.2 seconds. The downsides: it requires batteries (three AA), and it is not waterproof.
Most Versatile: Umbra Otto
The Umbra Otto can accommodate hand soap, dish soap, and body wash; its sleek design and matte-nickel finish make it a stylish addition to any room in the house. It has a small footprint (3.5" deep x 4.5" wide x 10" high) with a relatively large 255 mL (8 oz) soap reservoir and can sit on the countertop or be mounted on the wall.
Helpful features include a fluid level indicator window, a large top-load opening for easy refilling, and 0.2-second dispensing. The Umbra Otto runs on 4 AAA batteries; it is completely waterproof, so it can be washed in the sink.
Most Stylish: PAOPOW
If you're looking for a sturdy, reliable touch-free soap dispenser that doesn't look like some postmodern stainless steel robot, look no farther than PAOPOW's graceful, curved bamboo dispenser.
It holds a generous 300 mL (10.15 oz) of dish soap, hand soap, or lotion. This model uses four AAA batteries; unlike most other automatic soap dispensers, it can accommodate rechargeable or lithium-ion batteries. It is completely waterproof. The PAOPOW bamboo dispenser is exclusively for countertop use, rather than wall-mount.
Adding an automatic soap dispenser to your bathroom or kitchen can make an important difference in keeping you and your family healthy and germ-free. Before you go, be sure to check out these other guides that might be of interest: