To help you out, we have put together a convenient and useful buying guide, which will assist you during the purchasing process. It contains guidance and details on everything you need to know regarding various aspects of automatic soap dispensers, which will ensure that you are well-aware of what to look for, and well-informed enough to make the right decision and select the best, most suitable automatic soap dispenser.
An automatic soap dispenser is ideal for anyone who is particular about cleanliness – soap bars and manual soap dispensers aren’t always the best idea, as they can carry germs and lead to the spread of the common cold, and other viruses.
However, the purchasing process is not entirely simple – whether you end up confused owing to the wide array of available products, or are unaware of which factors to look for, if you jump into the fray uninformed and unguided, chances are you’ll end up with a substandard product that will waste both your money and energy. Knowing what the product actually is and what it does, the benefits of an automatic soap dispenser (so you can be aware of the uses to which you can put it), the differences between an automatic and manual soap dispenser, and the key factors you need to consider when selecting an automatic soap dispenser – these are all important.
What is an Automatic Soap Dispenser?
An automatic soap dispenser (also known as a touchless/touch-free soap dispenser or a motion-activated dispenser) is the ideal tool for maintaining health and hygiene in the most sanitary manner possible, and without any extra effort or fuss. Manual soap dispensers and soap bars tend to be less hygienic (since they have to be touched directly, they may contribute to the spread of germs and diseases), but an automatic soap dispenser allows for hand washing minus the need to touch any surface, consequently reducing the risk of spreading germs and infections.
At the heart of every automatic soap dispenser is an infrared motion-sensing technology – this in-built sensor detects your hand every time you place it underneath the valve, and dispenses an amount of liquid soap (or whatever you choose to fill the dispenser with). Some refillable foam soap dispensers come with volume settings, which allow users to adjust the amount of liquid soap that is dispensed at each use. Overall, the entire process is quicker and more efficient than it is with manual dispensers.
Automatic soap dispensers also come with other, additional features such as lights which indicate that the dispenser is turned on and functional, and clear containers so you can easily check on the soap level, etc. Some touch free soap dispensers are battery operated, while some need to be plugged into an electrical socket (however, you can always turn them off when they are not required for extended periods of time, to save energy).
An automatic dispenser is incredibly convenient and has multiple uses. They can be filled with liquids other than soap (however, always read the manual and confirm with the manufacturer, to determine which types of liquid your automatic dispenser is compatible with). They can be filled with soap, dishwashing detergent, shampoo, hand sanitizer, or lotion, etc. and placed in all sorts of locations, such as the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and even in commercial settings like offices, restaurants, schools, hospitals, etc.
The Benefits of an Automatic Soap Dispenser
Cleanliness is a defining feature of modern times, and improved hygiene, more sanitary conditions, and cleaner ways of living have led to the elimination of various types of diseases which plagued populations in the past, causing serious damage and even death.
Soap sensor dispensers are now growing in popularity and their usage is gradually becoming more widespread, not only in commercial settings, but also in homes. This is because of their ability to make living simpler and more efficient, by making basic tasks such as hand washing, meal prepping, and grooming a breeze. Here are some of the multiple benefits automatic soap dispensers offer:
Touchless and hygienic
Thanks to their touchless/touch-free features, motion activated soap dispensers offer superior hygiene. Hand washing is one of the best ways to increase immunity and protect against illnesses, but with soap bars and regular soap dispensers, you need to touch the bar/pump with your dirty hands, which in turn have been touched by other dirty hands before yours. This leads to the spread of bacteria, germs, and illnesses, and can be disastrous in situations like flu season. Automatic dispensers are motion-activated, and do not require you to touch anything – you simply hold your hand under them, the soap is dispensed, and you can use it to wash your hands clean. In addition they can also be highly useful in the kitchen, to prevent cross-contamination, e.g. if you’re handling chicken or other types of raw meat.
Great for kids
Auto hand soap dispenser have a certain “fun” and “magic” element to them and when combined with the novelty of it all, they become an exciting and novel activity for kids to try out. Since it is fun to use, children use it more often, and in the process it encourages regular hand washing, ensuring that children stay germ-free and protected from all sorts of illnesses. An automatic soap dispenser can be a great way to keep your kids healthy and ensure they wash their hands frequently and willingly.
Another great advantage of automatic soap dispensers is that they can save you money. Many soap dispensers come with the added feature of volume control, which allows you to adjust the amount of soap that is dispensed during each use – this means only the exact amount required is dispensed, and there are no spills or drips, resulting in zero wastage. Economical use of soap means a little soap goes a long way, saving you money. Foam dispensers are even more economical, since they require you to dilute the soap with water, making a bottle of liquid soap even more long-lasting.
In addition to reducing soap wastage, automatic soap dispensers are also great for saving energy. While some models need to be plugged into an electrical socket, most are battery-operated. All you need to insert into the unit are the required amount of AAA batteries (usually four), and the soap dispenser can run for up to a year. In addition, to amp up the energy-saving, you can disconnect the automatic soap dispenser if you do not plan to use it for extended periods of time – e.g. when you are going on a trip, or even when you go to bed at night.
Convenient and easy to use
Thanks to its touch-free mechanism, automatic soap dispensers are incredibly easy to use. Hand washing requires zero effort if you’re using this product. All you have to do is place your hand under it, receive the dispensed soap, lather, and wash your hands. They are convenient, and easy to operate, and owing to this they may even encourage more regular hand washing.
Soap dispensers and soap dishes can often create messes. Soapy water pools inside and around a soap dish are not uncommon, and manual soap dispensers cause regular spills and drips, creating a wet and slimy puddle around the dispenser, which can leave unsightly stains on surfaces such as marble and takes ages to clean. However, with an automatic soap dispenser, you don’t have to worry about any of that. These units contain the soap inside and dispense the exact amount required only when your hand is placed directly underneath the valve. In addition, most models have sealed valves, which offer double the protection against spills.
In addition to their functionality, automatic soap dispensers are incredibly attractive and eye-catching. While plastic models look nice enough if they are made of good-quality, high-grade material, stainless steel and brushed nickel units are highly visually appealing, and serve as gorgeous additions to the décor of any home. Their sleek, modern, and elegant look can elevate any space, and they look far better than cheap and flimsy brand name plastic liquid soap bottles or used soap bars sitting in dishes. Some automatic soap dispensers are designed for countertop use, while others can be mounted on the wall to keep them out of the way, as per your preference and the location.
Automatic soap dispensers are also incredibly versatile. In addition to being used with liquid soap and/or foam soap, some models can also be used to dispense liquids such as dishwashing soap, mouthwash, shampoo, hand sanitizer, and even lotions (however, not all automatic dispensers are compatible with certain liquids, so consult the manual before usage).
Automatic vs. Manual Soap Dispensers
While both types store and dispense liquid soap, there are numerous differences between the two, and in many ways, automatic soap dispensers emerge as the clear winner and the best soap dispenser.
Manual soap dispensers come with a pump which needs to be pressed in order to release the soap. These pumps need to be touched every time you require soap, leading to hygiene concerns. Automatic soap dispensers, on the other hand, are entirely touchless – this means zero change of contamination and the spreading of germs, making it a far superior, and more sanitary option. In addition, automatic dispensers are far easier and more convenient to use than their manual counterparts.
With manual soap dispensers, the amount of soap released takes time to emerge from the nozzle, and the amount dispensed is not controlled, leading to trailing and spills, which create messes and causes wastage. With automatic soap dispensers, however, the soap is dispensed immediately in seconds, and you can determine the exact amount of liquid that is to be released each time the device is used. There are zero messes, and with automatic dispensers, your liquid soap will last longer. In addition, a lot of automatic models come with internal mechanisms which resolve the issue of clogging by themselves, as opposed to manual dispensers which need to be taken apart and cleaned out before they can be used again.
In the aesthetic department, automatic soap dispensers win yet again. Manual soap dispensers are generally cheap plastic bottles with pumps that start to malfunction after some time. Brand-name bottles are thrown away when they are empty, although higher-quality manual soap dispensers can also be purchased and refilled every time they are empty. However, automatic soap dispensers have a sleek, polished and futuristic look which is immediately eye-catching and impressive, and adds to the décor of the home. The lack of any visible pump or mechanism adds to their minimalistic appeal.
While manual soap dispensers may not require batteries and may, in some cases, be easier to move around to different locations as compared to the automatic ones, eventually, the significant benefits of automatic soap dispensers outweigh those offered by manual dispensers. So, when it comes to a soap dispenser automatic is the way to go.
What to Consider When Purchasing an Automatic Soap Dispenser
As discussed previously, purchasing an automatic soap dispenser on a whim is never a great idea. There are multiple factors that need to be considered and many aspects that need to be checked before you hand your money over. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when you are trying to select an automatic soap dispenser:
What is the capacity?
When considering a particular automatic soap dispenser, it is essential to take its capacity into account. The capacity determines how much liquid soap (or your liquid of choice) it can hold. This, in turn, determines how long you can go without having to refill the container – generally, the longer you can go without having to replenish the soap supply in the dispenser (ideally a week, at least), the better.
In addition, capacity should be determined by where you plan to place the dispenser and how many people will be using it. If you are placing it in a location where it will not be used much, or the number of people who will be using it is low, opt for moderate capacity; never go for low capacity, as this option does not offer value for money or convenience in the long-term. However, if you’re going to place it in a place where a lot of hand washing takes place, or there are many people who will be using it, opt for larger capacity dispensers. For use in commercial areas, go for large capacity dispensers, as a default.
Which material is it made of?
The material a soap dispenser is made of is also an incredibly important factor to consider. ABS plastic, stainless steel, chrome, and brushed nickel are all good choices, as they are sturdy and durable. Bronze and brass are fancier options, and while ceramic is also available, it might not always be a good choice (especially if you plan to place it on a precarious counter-top or have lots of little kids), and it can easily be knocked down and shatter. For metal options, meanwhile, look for fingerprint and smudge-resistant varieties, and these are easier to clean and maintain.
The material is also a significant consideration because it has aesthetic implications – the design of the automatic soap dispenser needs to be visually appealing and fit in with the décor of your house. If you have a minimalist and elegant set-up, the last thing you need is a cheap, flimsy plastic soap dispenser sitting in the room like an eyesore.
In relation to the material, also ensure that the unit is completely waterproof – if the unit is exposed to damp, wetness, or soap, it may lead to rust and corrosion and even cause the dispenser to stop working entirely.
Where do you plan to place it?
The location where you plan to place the automatic soap dispenser should also have a bearing on your choice. Some models are built for countertop use, while some can be mounted on the wall. Take into consideration factors such as the size of your counter/sink – if it is on the small size, opt for a smaller-sized dispenser. If you want to keep the dispenser up and out of the way, consider investing in a mountable one. However, keep in mind that some dispensers will require you to drill a hole you’re your wall if you want to mount them – if this is something you are unwilling to do, select a free-standing model instead.
Can the volume dispensed be adjusted?
Some automatic soap dispensers release pre-fixed amounts of soap – however, others allow users to adjust the volume and speed of the soap that is dispensed. This is a useful feature, as it allows you to control the amount of soap that is used, and the immediacy with which it is dispensed. In the long run, this can reduce wastage and save you money.
What types of soap is it compatible with?
As a rule, no exfoliating liquid soaps/microbead-containing soaps should be added to an automatic soap dispenser, as these cannot easily be pumped upwards and outwards, and are likely to clog up the mechanism. However, generally most models will be compatible with all kinds of liquid soap brands. Some may not work with foam soap, and others might allow you to use them for hand sanitizer, shampoo, and other liquids. Determine what use you plan to put the dispenser to, and what types of liquid you plan to put in it. Then, select a model which can accommodate your requirements.
What type of power source does it require?
Some automatic dispensers, such as an electric soap dispenser, need to be plugged into a power source, while some require charging, and others are battery-powered. Your choice of soap dispenser should depend on which type of power source is most convenient for you to supply. Battery-operated models are the easiest to use and maintain; however, ultimately, it depends on personal preference and your specific requirements.
What other features does it have?
Check to see if the automatic dispenser comes with additional features that you might need/want. Some have clear refill containers, so users can easily check the level of the soap and determine when it is time for a refill. Others come with warranties and special deals that might appeal to you. Certain models have indicator lights, to let you know when the unit is working smoothly and when it might be experiencing problems, etc.
Our automatic soap dispenser buying guide provides you everything you need to know in one place. Filled with all the right information and expert guidance, it is designed to ensure that you are fully equipped to select and purchase the best, most suitable automatic soap dispenser for your needs.