How to Take Apart a Soap Dispenser Pump

Soap dispensers allow you to have liquid soap available to wash your hands with. Liquid soap is dispersed when you push down on the top of the dispenser, and this is much more hygienic than picking up a bar of soap that has been handled by previous dirty hands.

The soap dispensers are easy to use, they are decorative, and they allow children to get measured amounts of soap so they save you time, and often they save you money.

From time to time you need to clean your soap dispenser. Cleaning the unit stops it from becoming clogged by hardened amounts of the soap you keep in it. Cleaning also sanitizes the device and removes any germs or bacteria that might be lurking on the exterior portion.

Taking a Soap Dispenser Apart

To properly clean a soap dispenser, or to troubleshoot one you are going to need to take the dispenser apart.


Disable the dispenser by unscrewing the pump part. Some dispensers have pumps that simply screw onto the container and others are held in place by a small screw. 


Pull the nozzle out of the container bottle. The nozzle on the less expensive units is likely to be attached to the pump head.


You need to have some strength to pull the ring off of the dispenser. Soap has gathered up around the ring. It is a sticky mess. You will likely need to hold the unit with one hand and use a cloth over your hand to keep the ring from slipping as you try to work it free.


To release the middle portion of the dispenser just keep tugging at it and wiggling it until it comes apart. 

Be careful because at the bottom of the soap container there is going to be a ball bearing. That ball bearing plays a vital role in making the device function properly. Do NOT lose the ball bearing.

Cleaning the Pump Components

You are going to need to soak the pump components in order to soften that soap that is on them. You can add a tablespoon of bleach to your water in order to sanitize the unit.

Soak the pieces and occasionally check them to see if the goop on them has softened enough to be wiped away with a soft cloth. This could take a long time, depending on the soap you used, and how long the soap has been in the dispenser. 

Once the dispenser has been cleaned, and rinsed, you need to reassemble it.


Make sure that ball bearing is in the bottom section of the holding container. 


Put the middle section back in place, line it up properly, and twist to make the components go together.

Go ahead and put some liquid soap in your dispenser.


Put the ring that held the nozzle down in the soap over the nozzle at one end, and then slide both components onto the holding unit.


Put the nozzle back into the end of the pump. Try to depress the pump and make soap come out.

This will require you to pump the head of the pump several times so soap can be transferred out of the holder and into the nozzle straw. Then it has to be worked up through the straw so it can be released by the head of the pump.

Be patient it will happen.

More: Best Kitchen Soap Dispenser

Final Thoughts

If you have inexpensive soap dispensers that either came with the liquid soap already in them, or cost less than three dollars, you are probably better off throwing the old dispenser away and buying a new one. These less expensive units are actually designed to be discarded and not to be refilled or reused for a long period of time.

If one of the inexpensive units needs cleaning before it is empty you can hold the device under warm running tap water to soften build-up. Keep rinsing and wiping at the unit with a soft cloth until all of the old soap is removed.

You can keep your dispenser functioning properly by wiping it down and keeping the excess soap wiped away from the pump-head.

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