Simple Solutions

Soap Dispenser Filling Tip

By: Joe Truini
Feeding tube into liquid soap container.

Feeding tubing from soap dispenser into liquid soap container.

Built-in soap dispensers mounted next to a kitchen or bathroom sink are great, but refilling the small pint size bottle can be a hassle. Here’s how to solve the problem:

  1. Buy a 2’ to 3’ piece of clear, flexible tubing that fits tightly over the tube on your soap dispenser (usually 1/4″ inside diameter tubing).
  2. Push the tubing down over the soap dispenser tube 1/2″ or more.
  3. Feed the tubing through the soap dispenser hole in the sink.
  4. Run the tubing into a large container of liquid soap or dishwashing liquid.
  5. Pump the soap dispenser repeatedly until the soap comes out.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Video Transcript

Joe Truini: One of the most useful accessories you can add to a kitchen sink is a pump soap dispenser. The problem is you have to refill them constantly because the bottle attached to the pump is only about a pint sized bottle.

And so it’s empty, and you have to refill it. Now, how do you fill these easily? Well, there is no way. Either you have to remove the bottle, fill it with a larger bottle of soap. Or you have to remove the pump, and try pouring it down there. But then you can’t see when the bottle’s full, and it has a tendency to overflow onto the sink.

So here’s the solution. Go out to a hardware store or a home center, and buy a length of flexible, clear tubing—this is about a quarter-inch diameter. And what we’re going to do is extend the tube on the pump. So just stick the fill tube from the pump onto the tubing—just wedge it on maybe a half-inch or so.

And now take the other end of the tubing, feed it down through the hole in the sink, put the pump back, and now reach under there and find the opposite end. Now what you can do is take it and just put it right into an economy size jug of liquid soap—put it right through the top, all the way down there. And now just start pumping.

Now it might take a few minutes for the soap to come out, but with that giant jug down there, you’ll only have to refill this maybe once every couple of months. Maybe not even that often.

And now once the tube is filled with a couple of quick pumps the soap is coming right out. And now there’s one less excuse for not doing the dishes.


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17 Comments on “Soap Dispenser Filling Tip”

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  • Janie Lynn Says:
    March 10th, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Had not thought of this! The original bottle broke off and didnt want to order another as it was going to be just as flimsy. Even bought a shampoo bottle that some other site suggested but didn’t fit. Awesome! Thanks!!

  • PD Gupta Says:
    February 22nd, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Very good demonstration of solving a very common problem for many home owners. I will try this trick later this afternoon. I hope it will work for me. Currently I have been using DAWN liquid soap in my kitchen. The soap formula is very thick. This may take a longer time for initial pumping. If necessary, I will also try to dilute DAWN with water and make the formula less viscous for easy pumping. If this method works, I don’t have to buy a bottle immediately to replace my broken one under the sink now. Thank you!

  • Judy Says:
    January 18th, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    I was so excited about this. Read all the comments and proceeded making certain NO AIR could get in to the top where the dispenser met the tube AND at the bottom where the tube when into the jug. Trust me, no air getting in. Tried and tried to prime it but could not get the liquid to dispense. Maybe mine is too airtight??? Don’t know but oh so disappointed.

  • Matt Says:
    October 16th, 2017 at 12:40 am

    Put a check valve in the suction tube and no more loss of prime!

  • Pat Says:
    September 23rd, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Great tip, only he left out a very important step!!! The tube going into the large bottle MUST be sealed at the top of the bottle which is under the sink. I sealed it with plumbing putty. Duck tape did not work. Can’t believe this step wasn’t included in the tip!!! It just doesn’t work otherwise.

  • Mercedes Says:
    August 26th, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    My Husband and I just finished installing this trick on our 2 kitchen sinks. In one of them, we had the problem of not enough pressure for the soap to get to the top. We were going to use duck tape with a hole to seal it, but by pure chance, there was another plastic bottle ready to be recycled which had a top exactly the size of the soap bottle, and a hole because it was used to pour. The hole was a little smaller than the tube, but by warming the head of a screwdriver on the stove, we were able to make it bigger and to the exact size. That really worked. We repeated it on the second sink, and voila! Now we have bottles of soap the industrial size supplying both sinks for quite a long time.

  • Luba Mir Says:
    July 22nd, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    I have the same problem with a kitchen soap dispenser. It doesn’t pump liquid up the tube despite I made a good seal on the both ends.
    Professional, please answer our questions:
    1. Is the thickness of the fluid important?
    2. Is the power of the soap dispensers different and should I buy a new?
    If yes, which one, please not expensive, I already spent money on this one.
    I think all of the people who have a problem with pumping soap up to dispenser
    Will appreciate your professional advise. Thank you!

  • Fiona Says:
    July 18th, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    For those who are having trouble getting the soap up the tube or getting it to stay, it’s probably because there’s not enough/no pressure to keep the pump primed or to get the detergent up the tubing. The fix is to make sure there’s a tight fit at BOTH sends of the tubing: Where it connects to the soap dispenser tube AND at the opening to the large bottle. To get a tight fit at the large opening of the bottle, try this: Pack plumber’s putty tightly around the top of the bottle then make hole big enough to insert the tube (you want to make sure the tube is completely open–no putty blocking it). Finish it off by packing the putty right around the tubing where it enter the bottle. The goal is to make sure NO AIR can get around where the tube enters the bottle, or anywhere into the bottle. You could do the same thing using duct tape or masking tape. What you want to end up with is a tight seal.

  • Tre Says:
    June 24th, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    In search of a solution for my soap dispenser issue, I found your info.
    I have done the tube and soap jug athing but cannot get the pump to prime. After pumping more than 300 times, the soap only gets about 1/2 way up the tub. I have tried siphoning the soap up to almost the top and quickly attached the pump, pumping about 100 times more and the soap just runs back down into the jug.

  • Auntie Doni Says:
    February 22nd, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Sorry Joe, but this DID NOT WORK.
    I pumped and pumped and pumped for a full FIVE MINUTES (my husband timed me, btw, he knew this wouldn’t work and asked me why I was wasting my time).
    I’m glad that it was only a $3 investment for the tubing and not more than that.

  • Taz Says:
    January 8th, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Having the same issues as Clara. Soap drains out of the tube every time. Have to pump several times, a while to get it to work again.

  • Claire Says:
    September 13th, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    OMGosh, you are a genius! I just finished contorting my entire body into the under sink area to replace the soap in the dispenser and put it back in. It took a long board, 2 pillows and a lots of patience getting it screwed in.
    I thought to myself there has to be a better way.
    And here it is! Wish I had seen this first, but I am sure my neck will recover… LOL. Thank you so much!

  • Clara Nelson Says:
    September 2nd, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    My sink dispenser has worked great, now all of a sudden after each use the soap drains completely out of the clear tube and I have to pump and pump and pump some more to get the soap back up thru the tube. I have taken the top a part and cleaned it nothing helps.

  • Cathy Says:
    July 21st, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Woohoo!! What a super tip! Was searching the Net for a tip on how to figure out when the plastic bottle below is full .. the only way I know is when its over flowing on the kitchen sink top.. a lot gets wasted each time. What a great tip you’ve shared. Thank you so much

  • andy Says:
    February 19th, 2015 at 10:39 am

    I had the same experience as Suzie R

  • Suzie Riedesel Says:
    August 14th, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I have done this pumped the dispenser till my arm is ready to fall off, nothing ? the hose fits tight on the dispenser. any help?

  • Joy Says:
    August 12th, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    This is a fantastic tip. The cabinet underneath my sink is filled to overflowing and it is a royal pain to take it all out to get to the bottle. If I fill the dispenser from the top, I make a huge mess and I end up washing away large amounts of the soap. I will go out tomorrow and purchase my tubing. Thanks so much for the tip. I can’t remember when I’ve seen a tip that is this useful.

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Soap Dispenser Filling Tip