My pump soap dispensers are a repository for bacteria. The Lysol® people say so. They should know. They’re all about germs.

They also have a solution. Touting “a revolutionary way to stop the spread of bacteria,” Reckitt Benckiser – the manufacturers of Lysol® brand products – has introduced a battery-powered, hands-free, liquid-soap dispenser to the consumer market.

Their grab line for the No-Touch™ Hand Soap System is a manual soap pump can harbour hundreds of bacteria which can be spread from surface to surface, person to person. They say their hands-free pump will end this threat. We don’t have to touch our soap dispensers ever again.

I was struck speechless. All these years, I’ve been pumping soap, then spreading the germs I contracted from my soap pump. I’m so sorry.

Okay. I’m over it.

Are they nuts? As if I never wash my hands immediately after dispensing hand soap.

The gizmo is pretty basic. You stick a hand at the sensor and soap comes out. The 4 AA-battery powered pump doesn’t have a reservoir. It requires Lysol® brand liquid soap in a proprietary container that fits into the dispenser’s cradle. The soap comes in 2 healthy-sounding scents: “Hydrating Cucumber Splash” and “Cleansing Green Tea & Ginger™.” (In the U.S., there’s also “Refreshing Grapefruit Essence™,” but only in the refill format, not in a starter kit.)

Since disinfecting is the Lysol® niche, it’s antibacterial soap.


Health Canada says that regular soap and water is the way to go for effective hand washing. Antibacterial soaps “destroy good bacteria as well as bad and can add to the problem of antibacterial resistance.” (See Clinical Infectious Diseases, August 2007, “Consumer Antibacterial Soaps: Effective or Just Risky?” for study results.)

I was amused by the Canadian Lysol® web site, which offers a PDF hand-washing poster for kids. It’s cute. The gist of its story is you should wash your hands to clean the germs off of them. Among its colourful graphics is a photo of a manual soap pump filled with Clean & Smooth® brand antibacterial liquid hand soap (A Reckitt Benckiser product available in the U.S.).













As for my soap pumps, maybe I just give ’em a swipe with a Lysol® Disinfecting Wipe. That should take care of 99.9% of the problem.

(And my tap handles, too.)

I’m forever,