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How to Start a Soap Pump Dispenser

By Anna Roberts ; Updated April 17, 2017

Liquid soap contained in a bottle with a pump dispenser is a very common product in both homes and places of business. Their main appeal is convenience. Bar soap can be messy because once it is used it stays moist and becomes gooey and sticky. It can also be unappealing because everyone is touching the same bar and it starts looking dirty over time. With a pump dispenser, the only hand contact is at the top of the pump. A simple pressing motion normally dispenses the soap, but the first time you use it you may need to take an extra step to get it started. Bottles with pump dispensers are usually shipped with the pump in a closed position to prevent accidental discharge of the product.

  1. Unwrap any plastic packaging from the soap dispenser. There will often be a piece of clear plastic wrap surrounding the entire bottle, including the pump.

  2. Look on the top of the pump to see if there is an arrow there. Usually, there will be a circular arrow pointing in the direction to open the pump for the first time. If there is no arrow, just guess.

  3. Pull the nozzle of the pump to one side to see if it unlocks. If not, press the pump down while turning. This releases the pump for the first time.

  4. Press the pump. If no soap dispenses, pump it two or three more times. Sometimes, there is air in the hose to the pump and it takes a few pumps to start the soap.

  5. The pump can sometimes be closed again by compressing it all the way down and then turning it all the way to one side. This is a great feature for traveling or for safely storing the bottle without fear of spilling.

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