Using Less Soap in the Lysol No-Touch Hand Soap Dispenser
The Lysol No-Touch Hand Soap System is possibly the most affordable automatic hand soap dispenser on the market, but unfortunately it requires expensive soap refills and does not offer any adjustments to increase or decrease the amount of soap dispensed.
What is the "right amount" of soap? Certainly the amount of soap needed to clean up after handling raw meat is not required for everyday use. Although some users of the Lysol No-Touch are satisfied with the amount of soap dispensed, others feel that this automatic soap pump is just washing their dollars down the drain.
Read this article to learn what one consumer is doing to limit the amount of expensive Lysol Healthy Touch soap dispensed with each hand washing.
A simple way to reduce soap dispensed from the Lysol Dispenser
- Remove the dispenser casing
- Remove the soap intake nozzle
- Remove and flip around the orange valve in the intake nozzle
The soap dispensed is now roughly half the usual amount! This works because with the intake valve flipped it no longer acts entirely as a one way valve, and during dipsensing, some of the soap goes back into the bottle rather than to the exit nozzle.
Thanks to downunder for this tip!
Options for Reducing Lysol Hand Soap Waste
When considering how to save money and reduce waste with the Lysol No-Touch Hand Soap System, everything boils down to reducing the amount of soap dispensed and extending the life of the Lysol Healthy Touch refill containers.
Without any controls provided to manage soap usage, the following options were devised:
- Water down the soap
- Circuitry/mechanical modification to pump half as much soap
- Add something to pump reservoir to reduce the volume available for soap
Trial and Error
Watering down the soap
After learning how to open the refill canister, I attempted to use a diluted solution of Lysol Healthy Touch soap. With most of the soap emptied into a second container, water was added and gently stirred into the soap. While a mixture of about 1/3 water was too runny and therefore unsatisfactory for dispensing, adding more soap created a mixture which was well-balanced - not as thick as the original soap but thick enough to use.
After removing the
refill and batteries and using all the soap remaining in the system to
prevent spills the dispenser can be opened by removing a series of
screws in the base of the unit. While the Lysol No-Touch is very
well-designed, much caution was required to avoid damaging the device.
The dispenser uses a small motor with a series of plastic gears to drive a plunger. The plunger pulls soap out of the bottle and pushes it to the dispenser. While it may be possible to replace the offset gear that produces the plunging motion in order to reduce the motion of the plunger (and volume of soap pumped), it would be difficult to find the proper parts and to make any such modifications without damaging the gear system. Financial and time investment into any such maintenance certainly exceeds the value of reducing or increasing the amount of soap dispensed.
Soap reservoir volume
Although less effective, the final option is to add something to the soap plunger reservoir which would occupy some volume in place of soap. Such a material could not prevent the plunger from moving to its normal extents to avoid locking up over causing excessive strain on the plastic gears. Adding anything which impedes the plunger action will reduce the longevity of the automatic hand soap dispenser and the thin plastic gears or plunger may break easily.
A Working Solution
After investigating the inner workings of the Lysol No-Touch Hand Soap System I reassembled the device so that the mechanical assembly was screwed into the base but left the gray plastic liner detached from the battery compartments, allowing it to be easily removed as needed. After some confusion I noted that the red light will blink continuously if the unit is not properly assembled due to a misalignment of the sensor. This causes problems with the device's calibration which is performed when the device is turned on as a baseline for detecting motion.
I cut a synthetic sponge to the exact diameter of the plunger reservoir and after numerous attempts was able to find the proper amount of sponge that would dispense soap but not cause the gears to lock up. The system is designed intelligently so that when the gears lock up, the dispensing stops and remains disabled until the device is turned off.
Since the sponge resists the flow of soap, it was necessary to move some of the Lysol Healthy Touch soap to a second container for storage so that water could be added to thin the soap.
The sponge reduces the amount of soap dispensed by about 25%, still ample soap for washing hands with a
second dispensing available for greasy hands. This amount is also
easier to rinse off once I am done washing my hands.
Is it worth the effort?
The operating cost of the Lysol No-Touch Hand Soap System is roughly $39 per year if you use it 4 times daily. After watering down the soap and reducing the amount of soap dispensed you will save about 50% which reduces the annual cost to $20, still double the cost of standard Softsoap.
Unfortunately, any monetary savings from using less soap may be mitigated by the time investment to find a balance of soap to water and sponge to plunger, the potential of irreparably damaging the device, and the likely shortened life of the dispenser.
However, if you are concerned about the amount of soap dispensed due to the difficulty of rinsing it all off, this may be a solution. Otherwise you may prefer a higher priced automatic soap dispenser which offers soap adjustment switches and a refillable soap canister.
Use Appropriate Caution
If you have purchased the Lysol No-Touch Hand Soap System, be sure to remove the paper lining from inside the packaging and read all of the instructions and warnings before operating the device. Batteries should be removed whenever the soap dispenser is not set up for standard use to prevent any electrical damage or personal injury. Using the device other than as directed may void any warranties, cause irreparable damage, and shorten the life of the dispenser.
The author is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or otherwise associated with the manufacturer of this product. The machine pictured above was purchased from Rite Aid pharmacy.
Poly sponge photo courtesy of LeoSynapse.
Lysol® is a registered trademark of Reckitt Benckiser Group. Softsoap® is a registered trademark of Minetonka, Inc. Corporation.