Ever since I was a kid working in restaurants, I’ve loved wall-mounted soap dispensers. From a UX perspective, I consider them an almost perfect design: You can clearly see when they need to be refilled, refilling them is easy, and the button is easy to press with knuckles or the back of your hand when your fingers are covered in messy stuff.
They take a little work to mount, particularly if you’re drilling through tile, and I wouldn’t recommend the double-stick tape they often come with. But once installed, a well-built unit works great.
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The problem is, I can’t find a well-built unit anymore. I deeply regret leaving two units behind in my New York apartment as they worked flawlessly. Every replacement I’ve bought since, has leaked. It is incredibly frustrating to find liquid soap all over your sink or countertop in the morning, the dispenser above dead empty. Every single unit you see for sale on Amazon, even the ones with 4.5-star review averages, leaks. Click on the one-star reviews to read the tales of woe.
I was intrigued to see there is an alternative form factor that is guaranteed to be leak-proof–because the nozzle is on top.
This is designed specifically for sponge applications, i.e. doing dishes:
OXO makes a slightly fancier version:
There are two things I don’t like about this design approach. The first is that loading it looks like a minor hassle. With the wall-mounted, you pop the cap off and fill, you don’t have to unscrew anything.
The second is that this design lives on the countertop (space is scarce on mine). If I can think of a stable-enough way to wall-mount this, without the constant pressing tearing it off of the wall, I may give one of these a go.