· Bright Ideas · This Simple Hack Will Keep Your Soap Dispenser Full For Months

This Simple Hack Will Keep Your Soap Dispenser Full For Months

Soap Dispenser Hack

Today’s tip is quick and easy. Almost TOO quick and easy! I was debating back and forth about devoting an entire blog post to explaining this tip, but I was so excited about how well it worked that I decided to go ahead and post about it anyways. :-) I can’t help but get excited when I discover a solution to a problem that has been grinding on my nerves! This particular problem had to do with the built-in dish soap pump that came with my kitchen faucet.

Soap Dispenser Hack

When I got this faucet for my kitchen sink a year or so ago, I loved the idea of having a built-in soap dispenser! But in reality, the soap reservoir doesn’t actually hold very much soap in it to begin with, which means I found myself having to refill it quite often. And the process of refilling the soap isn’t very fun. I have to get on the floor to reach way back under the sink to snag the reservoir, then replace it once I’ve filled it. I had actually stopped refilling it for a while, just because it had been getting on my nerves!

But a week or so ago, I had one of those blinding “AHA!” moments. I thought to myself… rather than repeatedly filling up the small soap reservoir, why don’t I just tweak it so that the soap pump draws from a much larger source of soap? Armed with my idea and the soap pump from my sink, I headed to the hardware store to gather my supplies. And after I was finished, my soap dispenser idea worked like a dream.

Here’s how you can do it yourself:

Soap Dispenser Hack

Built-In Soap Dispenser Hack

You’ll need:

First, you’ll have to determine what size of vinyl tubing will fit your particular soap dispenser. I ended up just taking my soap dispenser pump with me to the hardware store, to ensure I found a perfect fit. The tubing that fit my pump is 1/4″ in diameter.

Remove the sturdy plastic tube attached to the soap pump, and slide it into one end of your clear vinyl tubing. Make sure it fits snugly so it won’t come loose and leak soap everywhere!

Soap Dispenser Hack

Feed the soap tube down through the soap dispenser hole at your sink.

Soap Dispenser Hack

Then, connect the pump mechanism back onto the original sturdy plastic tube.

Soap Dispenser Hack

Take the other end of the vinyl tubing and feed it into the opening of your large bottle of dish soap. Make sure the end of the tubing rests against the bottom of the bottle, so you’ll be able to use it all without adjusting the tubing.

If your tubing is a bit long, just trim the extra length off with a pair of scissors. I ended up using about a yard of tubing, so maybe buy 4 or 5 feet, just in case. (The kind I bought at the hardware store was only $.50 per foot, so buying extra definitely won’t break the bank!)

And that’s all there is to it! I’m very much looking forward to all the weeks ahead of me that won’t involve refilling the soap dispenser. :-)

Update: I have now been using this system for over two years and it continues to work like a dream! :-)

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Bright Ideas

  • Jillee, We did this using a kit, but otherwise, just as you did, but we could not keep the soap flowing over time. My husband built a small platform to place the soap container on and lessen the distance, but that did not help, either. I don’t know if the trick to create negative pressure, as M King, suggested, with finger over the spout when the pump rises back up would work, as we did not try that. After 6 months or so, my husband dismantled the setup and we returned to the small bottle filled from the top…

  • We bought a tube and pump kit using the exact concept as Jillee, but the suction doesn’t hold, or goes through periods where soap doesn’t remain in the tube and it requires tons of pumping to get a little soap.

    Jillee, any idea why you don’t have this issue and Angie and I do?? We will have to give up on the wonderful large soap container and long tube if we can’t figure this out.

    BTW, we previously always filled from the top, but almost always had a real soap cleanup issue after refilling…

  • I figured this out years ago and love it! We have better things to do than to be refilling soap dispensers!!!
    Here’s another one that I’m working on now:
    The bolts that hold the toilet tank onto the base are “supposed” to be brass, but they corrode and literally melt in just a few years. What irks me the most is that the rust stains from the decomposing bolts stain the toilet bowl! Then we try and remove with all sorts of horrible and unescessary chemicals. Bad.
    I am replacing these bolts, again, and am going to try and seal them with silicone as a waterproof seal. Wish me luck!!!

  • Anyone- I have a question. a plumber removed out my air thing that sat on top of my sink by the faucet after he replaced my disposal. He asked did I just want a cover for the whole or he had a used soap dispenser in the truck. I choose the dispenser, he placed and filled it. I really like it, however I tried to refill it and tried to removed the bottle, I could get it to unscrew but could not remove it, so I tried to turn the top piece sitting on the sink, the collar turned, where it was stationary after he played it, then i got the pump out, so now the collar is loose, I cannot tighten it, the bottle underneath is loose, I cannot tighten it, I don’t want to add liquid in the pump fearing the bottles heaviness and being loose would cause a mess.
    what can I do now- just try to remove the entire thing and replace with a new one?

    I’m using it for hand soap, not dish soap.


  • I just did this and it works amazing!!! The tubing I bought was coiled up and I couldn’t get the end to stay down in the bottom of the bottle so I used a bbq skewer wrapped with press-n-seal to straighten and keep the tip of the tube in the bottom of the bottle. I always used to fill the bottle from the top using the funnel that came with the dispenser but it was a pain, needed filling every other week and always overflowed because I couldn’t tell when it was full. This is much better!

  • This is genius. I hated my soap dispenser because it is so difficult to fill. W
    hen we built our new home I said no dispenser. The builder put one in anyway – twice – and I gave up and said I would keep it because the granite is beautiful. This is the answer to my prayers! Thank you !

  • I did this after I saw your post on this last year,I am so happy with the way this works. Thank you so much for all your tips,and passing them along. Eileen

  • I would never have thought of this but it’s a great idea. We had the same level of annoyance with having to grub around under the sink to remove the bottle to refill it, before we finally realized we could just take off the pump from the top (as pictured above) and pour the soap in from the top. No climbing under the sink required!

    • I would drill a hole in the larger bottles cap and push the tubing thru it . Replace the cap on bottle and push the tube to bottom of bottle. Just in case the bottle gets knocked over.

  • OMIGOSH!!! What a terrific idea!! I, too, agonize when my dispenser draws air because it’s out of soap…again! I’m so excited to try this. I’m so grateful you shared this incredible hack! Woohoo! :)

  • I have a glass bottle that I saved from Bath & Body works aromatherapy lotion that I fill up with handsoap and I turn it upside down in the top of the reservoir so I do not have to crawl under my dirty sink. Lol. The previous owners let grime and dirt build up underneath. It gets quite smelly. Anyway maybe for different post. The bottle I use is pretty close to the same size as the soap hopper so it works well.

  • With a lot of the concentrated liquid dish soaps on the market today, most of them last for weeks & filling from the top is no problem. It does not take long to establish the amount your dispenser can hold so you measure & pour it in.

    • My problem doing mine this way is the endless bubbles that keep closing up the top. When popped, I can continue. I’ve had soap everywhere because of those blasted bubbles and it doesn’t matter how slow I pour the soap. I’m tickled about putting a hose on the pump and a Costco sized bottle on the other.

      • This is the problem I have. It takes me forever to fill from the top because of the bubbles, then the soap spills all over .

      • I too have the same problem. Then you are forever trying to wash away the soap that spills over. I may have to try this idea out and what a great idea it is too!

      • I took the dispenser bottle out and measured the ounces that it held, and them when I needed to refill I put that much in a measureing cup . Then I used the measureing cup in my dishpan.

      • You can prevent the overflow air bubble from forming with a Bendy Straw. Bend the short section at a right angle to the long end of the straw. Place the short end of the straw in the opening of the pump on top of your sink and pour your liquid soap over it. This will allow the air to escape from the bottle without causing it to overflow. You can then throw away the straw or just rinse out the soap and save it for the next time you need it.

  • We tried this idea a while ago and could not get the soap to pump up the tubing. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix this? We have the same soap dispenser type setup that can be filled in the reservoir or through the top. Thanks.

    • If you are just having counter tops installed you may want to consider installing two soap dispensers, one for dish soap and one for hand soap.

    • You probably need to create negative pressure to get the initial suction moving the soap through. Pump it down and then put your finger over the opening while it lifts back up. Do this several times to get the soap moving through the tube.

  • I’ll have to share this idea with my husband, though he has started filling the soap dispenser from the top, as suggested above. Using a funnel has made the job easier, but using a larger container of soap from which to draw sounds like a real winner to me! We use liquid hand soap instead of liquid dish soap. We buy it at Sam’s and it lasts a long time.

  • Great idea. I might do this. But just a quick tip on filling the reservoir without reaching under the sink and taking it off and screwing it back on. Just take out the pump and fill from the top using a funnel. Quicker and easier than climbing in the under sink cabinet.

    • Tamara is right. To stretch my soap & to help make refilling easier I took an empty “normal” size liquid dish soap (Dawn) bottle and mix 25-30% water with soap. Add water first then swirl a bit. When it is time to refill I can lift up the pump and squirt diluted soap straight in.

  • I “lost” my soap dispenser when we upgraded our water system. It’s now a mini-facet for purified water. HOWEVER, if I did still have it, I would be at Home Depot tomorrow getting the tubing! I too used to fill my from the top but more often then I would have liked. Going to share this tip with friends/family that have the dispenser. What I would also do if I had the dispenser would be to wrap where the tubing and bottle connect with plastic wrap. That would keep out and dirt and what not and hopefully contain (or slow down) leaks if the bottle gets knocked around. You were right to dedicate a post to this topic. Love the other ideas suggested.

  • I’m thinking to put the Dawn bottle at a slight angle under the sink, place the tubing end in the low side, and you shouldn’t have too much left in the plastic bottle – just a $$ saving thought. Could use a sponge, a cloth or a wooden wedge. Nothing that would stain if it got wet. What’s you think?

  • I have to check out filling the dispenser from the top….I was never again going to have to empty my cabinet underneath , crawl halfway into the cabinet, and unscrew the container, fill it and then try to screw it back on. So thankful for the tip. We recently remodeled and got a new sink with a soap dispenser so this is new to me

  • Do you have any suggestions for getting the soap up through the tube? Our old dispenser nozzle broke and we have had difficulty since getting the liquid soap to come out of the new one. I think there might be an air bubble or something. The new one came with the long tubing to fit into a large bottle of soap and a standard bottle and straw. The straw was too short and we can’t get the soap to come all the way up when using the tubing.

  • Like the others I always fill from the top…easy peasy; however, I did find a larger container that I was able to easily screw in place of the original container. Even though loading from the top is easy enough I was still glad to have the larger dispenser capacity. I lucked out and my pump almost reached to the very bottom of the new container. Having the shorter pump actually came in pretty handy a couple of times when life got chaotic and I ran out of dish soap without noticing. I was able to quickly unscrew the container and use what the pump couldn’t reach at the bottom until I could get to the store and buy more soap. Although Jillie’s tubing idea is a genius hack I personally know that having an open container would end up in a mess like the previous comment.

    Enjoyed insta-hot for many a year until I moved out of state to an area with horrid water. Until there was a mega whole house filtration system installed it couldn’t be used for any food and beverage prep. Later down the line a small problem occurred and suffice to say after seeing the interior of where the water is stored I uninstalled it. Although slightly less convenient I much prefer to use an electric kettle that I can control the quality of the water that goes in/comes out of it and that I can sterilize the vessel. The electricity bill went down a few $ a month after uninstalling the insta-hot too!

    • Contain yourself – the main focus is on creating a larger vessel to dispense the soap without having to refill it endlessly. Thanks Jillee!

    • I’ve tried refilling from the top but the small opening means i keep getting air bubbles, etc that slow down the process greatly, very frustrating.

      • Try using a funnel to load the soap from the top. You can pour the soap into the funnel up to the top and walk awaye and do something else. When you come back, repeat the process. You have to go a little slower once the dispenser is close to full. Just saves you from having to stand and pour the soap in slowly.

      • yeah, that is what i do too, i just fill from the top and it works fine if you pour slow. I know a lot of people think you have to go under the sink, but you really don’t need to.

  • For those of of you who don’t mind refilling every few weeks if it weren’t so hard, there is no need to get down on the floor and unscrew the bottle to refill. Just take the pump out and fill your bottle from the top.

  • We did this with a new build project. You do have to be careful that no one lifts the top of the soap dispenser to check it out and accidentally lift the tubing out of the large dispenser down below. This happened to us. It was in a guest bathroom, so not used every day. Unfortunately, the soapy tubing sat on the vanity base for too long and actually grew mold. It ruined a drawer and was a mess to get fully cleaned up. Great idea when used properly.

  • I’d rather take it out and use the opening for an instant hot dispenser. I love my instant hot! I use it several times every single day.

  • My hubby and I are laughing out loud! This is definitely a pet peeve of both of ours – especially since he insists we use clear dishwashing soap for some unknown reason – and every time I fill the container, I manage to overfill and waste a few tablespoons or more of the detergent! This solves the problem – but I think I’m going to put a piece of velcro on the bottom of the cabinet floor and underneath the bottle so that it doesn’t tip over in case someone accidentally shoves something into the cabinet.

  • WOW! You are amazing!! What a FANTASTIC Idea!! I’m with ya on the refilling of that reservoir!! I get frustrated with it ALL THE TIME!! I’m going to HD today to get my tube! Thank you for sharing this and everything you do!! YOU are AWESOME!!

  • Years ago I bought a product called never-m-t. It did the same thing but has a valve to prevent backup. Works great. Put it in every sink in my house. Hand soap in the bathroom and dish soap in the kitchen. BTW, now if you buy a soap dispenser at the big box stores they come with plastic tubing.

  • I am always impressed by the great ideas and solutions offered here. I have one of these soap dispensers too and use it all the time for hand washing in the kitchen. As someone else commented, I fill mine easily from the top but it would be nice to have a larger reservoir. Thank you for the great tips!


  • Great Idea Just make sure that the New tube doesn’t Kink.. or soap cant get through… and the bottle doesn’t accidentally get knocked over under the sink

  • Now that’s clever! I have the same kind of soap pump, but I refill mine from the top; under the sink is a big plastic bottle that connects to it. Everybody seems to wash their hands in the kitchen sink, and it’s super wasteful, using Dawn for hand washing. What I did was use that pump for hand soap. I got a separate container that foams up whatever is in it, and I use that for dishwashing. You’d be amazed at the amount of money you can save with a pump that foams, esp. when it’s expensive hand soap or dishwashing soap. I have a smaller bottle of Dawn than the one in this picture. I use it every day, and it has lasted almost a YEAR!

    • Our kitchen worktop is Quartz, so it would be hugely expensive to drill a hole in it just for a soap dispenser. But I do have a spare decent-looking foam-pump bottle which I can use at the kitchen sink. These also do a great job with shampoo.

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