4 Reasons Soap Dispensers Are So Expensive (Explained)


Soap dispensers can be made out of either plastic, glass, wood, or metal. And considering its size and simplicity, you might be wondering what makes soap dispensers so expensive. 

The value placed on a soap dispenser can be grouped into two broad categories of technology involved and the materials used in the making. 

In this article, we take an in-depth look at 4 reasons soap dispensers are so expensive and whether the price tag is justified. 

1, Soap Dispensers Require Special Technology

The price per unit volume for a soap dispenser may seem unjustified to many buyers. How can something that small and basic have such an inflated price tag? Well, the answer lies in the technology involved in ensuring that soap dispensers are operational. 

Below are mechanisms of operation for soap dispensers:

Manual Dispensers

For manual soap dispensers, the operation mechanism involves a user pressing a lever connected to a small pump. The pump dispenses the liquid, foam, or hand sanitizer from a storage container. 

For manual dispensers, you can select either the push button or the pedal one. 

Automatic Dispensers

The mechanism of automatic soap dispensers varies slightly from the manual one. 

Here, the user’s hand is placed under the nozzle and before the sensor. 

The sensor picks up the signal and triggers the pump to dispense a premeasured amount of soap through the nozzle. 

Listed below are three types of sensors used in automatic hand dispensers:


Photosensors in an automatic soap dispenser work by emitting infrared light towards a sensor. If the light is interrupted, the sensor triggers the pump to dispense the soap.

Radar-Based Sensor

Radar-based sensors use an echo-like mode of operation to detect obstacles (in this case, a human hand). 

An antenna emits an infrared wave that bounces back when a human hand is placed below the nozzle. 

The sensor receives the reflected signal and then triggers the soap dispenser pump.

 Passive Infrared Sensor

Infrared sensors detect heat that is emitted by the human hand to activate the pump. 

They are calibrated to detect only heat energies that fall within the human temperature range.

2, Soap Dispensers Are Made From Expensive Materials

Soap dispensers that fall in the luxury grouping are more expensive than other soap dispensers. They are hand-made with precision to achieve what would otherwise be considered perfect products. 

The mechanisms of operation are still similar to cheaper soap dispensers, but with these more expensive ones, you can be assured of better service and longevity.

Another dimension to justify the price tag of these soap dispensers is the material used in their making. 

In addition to plastic, some dispensers are made of brass and/or glass with a gold or chrome finishing. One kilogram of gold is valued at a market price of roughly $58,000 – a price that is not cheap by any means. 

3, The Cheaper Versions Fail

The flawless operation of soap dispensers involves several different parts that must work in perfect synchrony. 

The challenge that arises with this is that a failure of one part renders the dispenser useless. A clogged tube or a malfunctioning sensor will make you instantly regret your choice to buy the dispenser. 

Since it’s challenging to repair a dispenser at home, most individuals prefer to buy tested durable dispensers.

Some of the problems you may encounter with cheap soap dispensers:

  • Dripping from the spout. It can pretty much mess your table or even waste a lot of soap.
  • Soap leaking out as a result of weak or faulty seals.
  • Weak batteries that need to be recharged or replaced often.
  • Breakage of the weak plastic housing.
  • Clogging of the pump or tube
  • Detergent leaking out and short-circuiting the electronics. 

Cheap dispensers priced at lower than $20 usually suffer from one or all of the issues listed at one point of their lifespan. 

Genuine soap dispenser companies know this and invest massive sums of money in research and development, hence justifying their dispenser’s high price. 

4, Branding

The price of a soap dispenser, just like any other home item, is affected by the public perception of the brand. 

Certain brands are more expensive than others, yet they both offer the same service. 

For example, Nameek’s soap dispensers are generally more expensive than other brands such as Cleanflow. 

It’s the case as Nameek’s has built a reputation as a good brand, whereas Cleanflow is yet to achieve such popularity. 

Apart from the brand name, you need to understand that soap dispensers differ according to materials used, usage, durability, design, functionality, maintenance, ease of installation, and reliability when shopping for soap dispensers. 

All the above factors contribute towards the value a soap dispenser is allocated. You should buy the soap dispenser based more on its quality and reliability over its branding. 

Don’t we all have that particular brand we always purchase but know a cheaper and even better alternative exists? The same case applies to soap dispensers.

Features That Influence The Pricing And Choice Of Soap Dispensers

The Technology Used

Manual soap dispensers are generally cheaper as compared to the automatic ones in the same features bracket. 

Foam or spray soap dispensers create a larger volume of soap for a small dispense. This advantage, while lowering the effective maintenance cost of the dispenser, gives it a higher price tag.

Maintenance costs/ Materials used 

Buyers prefer high-quality soap dispensers that require less maintenance. The downside is that they are usually made of steel, glass, or brass materials that are more costly than glass. 

Most cheap soap dispensers are made of cheap plastics, which are known to fail when stressed. 

Disposable pump soap dispensers are made up of recycled plastics, making them cheaper.

Can It Be Connected To The Existing Plumbing System?

Before choosing a soap dispenser, you must have a clear picture in mind of what its purpose is. 

Some dispensers, such as the shower-mounted pump soap dispensers and the sink-mounted dispensers, take up more space, unlike hand-held soap dispensers. 

Such dispensers have to be connected to a water supply, making them more expensive for a home setting but very effective for a business environment or school.

Brand Name

Soap dispensers are expensive and shouldn’t be subjected to trial and error. 

I’d recommend that you always go for your trusted brand unless you’re advised otherwise. Soap dispensers from companies such as Jasai, Secura, and Gladpure offer the best value for money. 

Dornbracht, Fontana, and Bore are some of the best soap dispensers in the market, but at a price that may seem excessive to many. 

The Takeaway

In terms of functionality, all soap dispensers work the same. 

Always go for the one that suits your purpose for purchasing it best while being pocket-friendly. 

Different soap dispensers work best in different settings, whatever might not work for you might work for someone else. 

Do your research first before purchasing a soap dispenser.