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Blog/Opinion: The Secret Weapon to Winning at Germ Warfare in the Home - Automatic Soap Dispensers

HHI is all about making homes as healthy as possible. A good way to win the fight against unhealthy homes is to incorporate preventative measures. Generally speaking, the cleaner the home, the safer and healthier it is. Yet, why do many still get sick even though dust and dirt is removed quickly and thoroughly? In a word - germs! In many cases, the spread of harmful germs happens by transference. Germs located in one area - be it work, school, or other places - hitch a ride on human hands and are transferred to surfaces and people in our home. That is why when one family member gets sick, it doesn't take long before often everybody gets a turn at being sick. How can the spread of germs be prevented? One way is by regular hand washing.


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Why not Use the Old-Fashioned Bar of Soap?


The standard bar of soap works great. However, have you noticed how messy an area is after the hand washing is done? The bar of soap is messy; soap and sudsy water end up on and around the faucet, countertop, even on the floor. Using an automatic dispenser can help keep dirty hands over the sink, minimizing potential messes and making sink and countertop cleanup easier - while reducing the spread of germs. In this context, we took a look at a battery-operated touch-free soap dispenser.



This product - the simplehuman Automatic Liquid Soap/Lotion Dispenser - is elegantly designed and engineered to provide simple, no touch, automatic dispensing of a liquid soap or lotion.



  • Brushed nickel finish - elegant and modern in appearance;
  • Silicone valve - helps prevent drips and clogs;
  • High-efficiency pump mechanism - provides quick and precisely measured dispensing of soap;
  • Quality Sensor - sensor is very sensitive, so no "waving" hand under sensor or hitting the unit is necessary to get it to work properly;
  • +/- Buttons - easy-to-use buttons allow user to control how much soap is dispensed; also used for manual dispensing and turning off the unit;
  • LED indicator - lights up green when sensor is active; turns red when batteries are low and when turned off;
  • Capacity - 13 fluid ounces;
  • Clear Soap Chamber - indicates when a refill is needed;
  • Wide Fill Top - makes filling and refilling fast, easy, and mess-free.

How to Use


This product is intended for countertops. It is not recommended by the manufacturer for use in a shower.


1. Initial setup: The first thing to do is insert 4 "AA" batteries.

2. Next, fill the soap chamber with your preferred liquid soap or lotion (see note).


Note: This product is designed for regular liquid soap, NOT soap for foam dispensers. Also, avoid soaps with exfoliants (gritty substances) or beads. The manufacturer does offer several type of soaps including moisturizing liquid soap, fragrance free, antibacterial, or a pack of all three.


3. Place your hand under the sensor, hold down the "+" button until soap comes out. Adjust the amount dispensed by pressing the "+/-" buttons (see tip). After that, it’s all automatic, as in “Place hand underneath - get soap."


Tip: If the soap doesn't flow, lightly flick the valve opening to release any trapped air.


4. Scrub hands together, rinse under water.

5. To clean the unit: Turn off the unit by pressing the "-" button until the LED turns red. Wipe pump with a damp cloth - do not submerge in water


Who Will Benefit?

  • In general, anyone with dirty hands;
  • Anyone wanting to have an auto-dispenser for soap and/or lotion;
  • Anyone who enjoys automated technology that makes life easier;
  • Germ-a-phobes and those not wanting to touch things others have touched;
  • Anyone challenged by fragrances and other chemical sensitivities and who want the freedom to choose their own scented, non-scented, or hypoallergenic products;
  • Children who have mastered the art of getting dirty and are stubborn and hate washing their hands; because this product may actually make hand washing fun.


  • Design - My first impression is that it's quite pleasing to the eye and would look great in any bathroom or kitchen. The 13 ounce size of the soap reservoir means I'm not constantly refilling every week; I like that!
  • Cost - It sells for $45 on and on the website.
  • Value - When asked if they would go back to manual press dispensers or the old-fashioned bar of soap, the test family I spoke to were quite resolute on keeping this product. They said, "the convenience is well worth the expense."
  • Durability - The test family would not let me try a drop test. But when holding the product in my hands, it does feel sturdy and well put together. It does not look like a cheaply made product.
Overall Thoughts

Does just as it was intended to do: automatically dispense soap or lotion with virtually no mess - while curtailing the spread of germs. It is easy to set up, easy to use, and overall a nice, well put together product.


Hand washing is the key to minimizing the spread of germs. Choosing an automatic soap dispenser can make hand washing quick, simple, with less mess to clean up - making the home a safer and healthier place.



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HHI is committed to accuracy of content and correcting information that is incomplete or inaccurate. With our broad scope of coverage of healthful indoor environments, and desire to rapidly publish info to benefit the community, mistakes are inevitable. HHI has established an error correction policy to welcome corrections or enhancements to our information. Please help us improve the quality of our content by contacting with corrections or suggestions for improvement. Each contact will receive a respectful reply.

The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.


While an effort is made to ensure the quality of the content and credibility of sources listed on this site, HHI provides no warranty - expressed or implied - and assumes no legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed on or in conjunction with the site. The views and opinions of the authors or originators expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of HHI: its principals, executives, Board members, advisors or affiliates.

(Note: The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of The Healthy House Institute, LLC.)

The Secret Weapon to Winning at Germ Warfare in the Home - Automatic Soap Dispensers:  Created on October 8th, 2012.  Last Modified on October 11th, 2012

About Robert Shindeldecker

Robert (Bob) Shindeldecker is owner and operator of a successful janitorial services company.  He has more than 21 years of professional experience in using a wide range of cleaning products, equipment, and techniques.

He specializes in both green eco-friendly and hospital grade products; and is well versed in OSHA requirements, as well as other safety and health issues. He is also experienced in carpet and upholstery cleaning, floor care, and window restoration.


A native to the Boise, Idaho area, he also writes part-time for The Housekeeping Channel (HC) and The Healthy House Institute (HHI).


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