I recently agreed to review simplehuman‘s sensor pump, a touch-free soap or hand sanitizer dispenser. I was a bit skeptical about an automatic hand soap dispenser. I envisioned it being set off by other stray items on the counter. In fact, when I mentioned it to a friend, she complained about her (non-simplehuman) dispenser and how it would go off when it detected movement from across the room.
Admittedly, the sensor pump and I didn’t get off to a great start. I rarely read directions if I can help it, so I took the pump out of the packaging added batteries and soap and placed my hand under the sensor. Whir whir. Nothing. OK, so the soap needs a few tries to get through the hose, right? Whir whir, whir whir. Still nothing. I kept trying as my husband watched with doubt. We were beginning to suspect that it just didn’t work.
The directions were there for a reason. First they directed me to prime the pump by holding down the “+” button. The pump has a “+/-” button that allows you to adjust the amount of soap that comes out. As it turns out, holding down the plus button causes a continuous stream of soap to come out. If it’s working. So I tried it. And tried it. And tried again. More whirring, but still no soap. Oh, but the directions weren’t done yet. Next step was to poke a pin into the hole in the dispenser to open it up. I hunted down a pin (a push pin, technically, but who’s keeping track?) and poked it into the hole.
I placed my hand under the sensor and – SOAP! It worked! So now YOU don’t need to read the directions because I’ve given you all of the important information.
My worries about the simplehuman sensor pump were unfounded. It has an IR transmitter under the spout and a receiver part way down on the base. It dispenses soap when the path between them is broken. The path lies close enough to the body of the dispenser, and high enough off the surface it is on to make it less difficult to accidentally trigger.
The only real con about the dispenser is that it is battery powered (I know, it has to be powered by something) and if the batteries run out, no soap for you! You’ll also have to replace the batteries with a reservoir full of soap. It’s relatively small detail, but there you have it. We haven’t had the dispenser long enough to have a positive or negative vibe on the battery power, but I’ll certainly report back if we have any issues with that.
The simplehuman sensor pump we received looks great in our kitchen. It has a brushed nickel surface and an acrylic reservoir that holds 14 fl oz of soap or hand sanitizer. It has a small footprint (less than 6 inches long and roughly 3 inches wide), which is great if you don’t have a lot of real estate to work with. It requires 4 AA batteries, which are not included, and which are accessed through a panel on the bottom of the dispenser. That requires a Phillips-head screwdriver to open.
Disclosure: We received the simplehuman sensor pump for review purposes and the company is sponsoring an additional product giveaway. There was no promise of a positive review and the opinions in this post are my own.