Method Foaming Soap Dispenser


Foaming soap hack

Method foaming soap dispensers are inexpensive, reliable, and refillable. The soaps are widely available from retailers like Target. Method’s 300ml reservoir has a stable base and is larger than most foamers. The reservoir is transparent: if you have multiple dispensers, you can use the color of the soaps to tell them apart. I’ve used the Method foamers for over five years. I use them for hand soap, in the shower (soap and shampoo) and for hand-washing dishes. Foam soap cleans eyeglasses astonishingly well.

Foaming soap dispensers work by extruding the foam through the precisely-aligned pump mechanism. The foamers can be refilled; the trick is to dilute the soap the right amount. If the soap is too dilute, the foam will be wet and runny. If the soap is over-concentrated, the pump will be difficult to press. Foaming soap is white because the soap’s surfactant has no color. If you see color in the foam some soap is getting pushed through the extruder without foaming. This damages the foaming mechanism — use less soap! The foamers will eventually wear out but well-treated ones will work for at least a couple of years.

Lotions will not foam. The wonderful soaps from Burt’s Bees will not foam (I’m not quite sure why). Other than that, virtually any liquid soap or shampoo will foam. Method’s soaps use sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) as their surfactant. I’m not fond of SLS; I prefer soaps made with saponified natural oils.

Foaming soap is a simple and effective green technology. The foam provides an optimal ratio of soap and water for cleaning. You can completely wash before turning on the tap for rinsing. It’s good for sponge baths or camping when you have limited access to water. Foam uses the soap far more efficiently: you will be using a fraction of the soap from your pre-foam days. Less soap also means fewer chemicals for the wastewater treatment facility to remove.

-- Phil Earnhardt 01/28/11