Picture of How to Refill a foaming hand-soap container
P6100188 (Custom).JPG
This is a method to expand the lifespan of your foaming liquid hand soap (and container).

The foaming hand soap containers in question have a little disclaimer on them stating not to refill them with regular hand soap or they will clog. This is indeed true, however I've noticed a lot of people either throwing away the empty plastic container (what a waste!) or refilling it with regular hand soap, after which they just don't work.

The process is incredibly simple - the foaming pump works because it injects a bunch of air into a small amount of soap as it pumps. Most hand soap is too viscous to accept this air, and it just causes problems. Solution? Make a solution! Water down the soap!
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Choose a soap

Picture of Choose a soap
P6100184 (Custom).JPG
I went with whatever we had around - apple body wash. It's hard to make out in the picture, because of the colour - but I've filled the pump container with about 1/5th soap, then fill to about an inch from the top with water (to prevent overflow when the pump is inserted)

Tip: Add the water slowly, so as to not agitate the soap too much - if it mixes while you're adding water, you will have a hard time getting it to fill without overflowing with suds everywhere.

Step 2: Agitate

Picture of Agitate
This is up to you - freedom for the masses:

Agitate slowly, or violently, however you prefer. Just mix until all the soap is 'dissolved'.

Step 3: You're finished!

Picture of You're finished!

Now you're on to using less soap, and wasting less plastic!

Behind the scenes: Soap itself doesn't really clean your hands. Soap merely makes most dirt more happy to mix with water than it is to stick to your hands. Hence why this product is so great. You can start with the foam (already 4:1 mixed with water) and do most of the hand cleaning with that, then simply use a LITTLE tap water to rinse off. Water savings too!

Downside - its more work. Alternately, you could prepare some watered-down hand-soap in a spare 4L jug, and keep that handy to refill your pumps.

gk16513 years ago
I've often wondered how this could be done. I love the foamy soap and not wasting the bottles. Yay!
bmohr3 years ago
Very nice. I've tried this in the past, but never seemed to get the ratio right. Now with the extra knowledge, it's time to try again. A tip on the agitation. Sometimes I would put a marble or ball bearing in the bottom of the container to help with the mixing. I guess a small shell or two might even work better.

frollard (author)  bmohr3 years ago
Great tips -- the trick is it can't be too viscous; so less is more!
Great instructable, but "more work"? Really? It would be harder for me to find somewhere to store a 4L container.

Pour, fill, shake, done. Twenty seconds, max. I'd probably take more time walking down the aisle to get a new dispenser. ;)
frollard (author)  FooGlacticon5 years ago
Comparing the options of putting a little soap in a container and some water then shaking, to just buying a new one...yeah its 'more' - marginally. :D

MichaelW6 years ago
It works! Thanks.
frollard (author)  MichaelW6 years ago
You're welcome, glad you gained from it!