Ditch your Disgusting Dish-soap Dispenser why Doncha?

For someone who is such a goof, I’ve always been pretty mature.  Like my mother Betty says, “I have good common sense“.  Which I personally think is an awful thing for a mother to say to her daughter.  Why not just say “You’re a great, big, bore dear and I often wish I’d given birth to something more fun, like a circus“.

But it’s true.  I have always exhibited a healthy amount of caution and care.

As a child I dutifully buckled up my seatbelt – even before it was required by law.  Betty thought this was hilarious.

I never once handed my homework in late.   Betty thought this was good.

I once stole an antique apothecary bottle from my highschool science class just because I liked it.  Betty’s just finding this out right now and I’m pretty sure she’s running to test her blood pressure and jamming her eyeballs back into their sockets.

Who’s boring now?  Not me.  I’m a rebel.  A scallywag!  Thinkin’ of joining the circus!

It’s the one and only time I can remember doing something “bad”.  I’m pretty sure I’ve done a LOT of bad things, but this is the one I choose to remember.

I had no idea what I was going to use this bottle for, I just knew I had to have it.  Now, I’m not promoting theft here … but I have to say … I’m really glad I stole that bottle.  I use it every single day and every time I use it it makes  me happy.

Because you see, I became a grown up 12 years ago when I moved into this house and that bottle has been on my kitchen counter every day since.

It’s my dish soap dispenser.  There’s something realllyyy satisfying about improving the little things around you that you use every single day.  So if you’re looking for a new dish soap dispenser I’ve gathered up a few fun options for you …

Vintage Glass Pop Bottle!


Random Empty Bottle

This one originally held scented oil for room fragrance (the kind that has the sticks sticking out of it)


Science Beaker!


And the um … Apothecary Bottle.

price unknown. ahem.


Because I use a nice looking dish soap dispenser I can leave it on the counter all the time.  I don’t feel like I have to hide it under the kitchen sink with the rest of my ugly things like bottles of bleach, scrubby pads and the necklace I bought at a craft sale that seemed “cute” at the time.

Don’t do dishes?  I don’t blame you!  Use your bottles for hand soap, vinegar or oil.  (hand soap is pretty thick so you may have to water it down a little if you don’t have a HUGE spout on your stopper)

Speaking of which, the key to this working is finding the proper stoppers for the top of each bottle, so when I’m out at the Dollar Store or wherever and see cheap spouts/stoppers I buy them on the off chance it’ll fit one of my bottles.

The stoppers made out of cork are great because you can actually sand them down with a bit of sandpaper to make it smaller.  If the cork still seems a tiny bit too tight, just soak it in some water to get it more pliable and rub a little soap around the outside of it.  That should make it easier to push in the neck of the bottle.

So during your travels to flea markets, antique sales or even the grocery store keep your eyes peeled for interesting glass bottles.  For the record, it’s probably best to stay away from highschool science rooms.

Hey! Follow me on Twitter why doncha?


  1. sandy says:

    I am blessed to find this site. I have collected some wine bottles and kept in basement thinking that Iwill use them some time. Basically, I wanted to empty the oil from plastic cans, since I want to avoid plastic at home as much as possible. I went so many times to stores to buy dish washing soap bottle.It looked steel from outside but I realised there is a plastic bottle inside. Can someone help me to tell where can I find glass bottle for dish liquid soap

  2. Carrie says:

    I also use a bottle with a spout for our dish soap in the kitchen. I’m a chemistry teacher and I’m telling about you “borrowing”…lol. The one bottle you have above labelled beaker is actually an Erlenmeyer Flask and the your apothecary bottle is one that we often use for storing acids when changing the molarity. I have some of those bottles in my classroom, but never use them. Maybe I’ll use them for soap in my classroom lab!

    • Karen says:

      Carrie – I can’t be bothered to run into the kitchen to look but I think it’s Nitric Acid isn’t it? The apothecary bottle I mean. I still have the stopper for it too! And I can’t pronounce Erlenmeyer so I’m gonna stick with beaker. :) ~ karen

  3. Melissa says:

    Me too!I will definitely keep following. And I am actually a decent speller… so here’s my correction – coop*

  4. Melissa says:

    I just came across your blog. Oh dear we think quite a bit a like!

    I hold onto the wine bottles that are purchased for special occasions (anniversaries and such)and use then in much the same manner for soaps, candle holders, etc. I like the cork pours as the plastic ones tend to keep breaking over time…where’d you purchase them?

    ps..I love the chicken coup!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Melissa. I actually found the cork top ones at my local dollar store. They were attached to a different bottle, so i bought the whole bottle for $1, and used the cork spout. Glad you found my site! ~ karen

  5. Anne says:

    Where does one find the stoppers?

    • Karen says:

      Anne – I found most of mine at the Dollar Store. They either sell them separately, or sometimes I’ll buy a bottle just for the stopper! ~ karen

  6. clustres says:

    I’ve always used a bottle for a soap dispenser (via Martha Stewart years and years ago) but you have given me new ideas! Thanks!

  7. Elise says:

    I love this idea! I read this post on Friday, and on Saturday I found an old Dr.Pepper 10-2-4 bottle under the house! I got so excited and thought of you! I think it’s from the 20s. I’m now in the process of getting the mud and stink of a thousand raccoon carcasses out of it. =)

  8. Kathryn says:

    I’ve been using a plastic Honey Bear squeeze bottle for my dish soap for years and it works great.

  9. kasia says:

    I’m a high school science teacher…. hmm…. I think there are some of these lying around not being used…. Looks great, love the Acid on it!

    • Karen says:

      Hah! Ahahhahahah. Oh, that’s good. It’d make me feel so much better if you were to steal them! I do recommend the Nitric Acid. It’s served me well. And I’ve even managed to keep track of the original glass stopper that came with it since highschool. Shocking. – karen!

  10. pam says:

    I tried this for awhile but soap kept running down the sides of the bottle until it became impossibly slick and I dropped it and it broke in the sink. :( How to avoid this fate? Don’t tell me “rinse it now and again” because I have to wash my dishwashing liquid too? oy. Looking for answers. Easy answers that involve litle to no effort. Thank you in advance :)

    • Karen says:

      Hah! Well, every now and then we have to put in a little effort! However, I’m not sure why you have this problem. If I had to venture a guess I’d say it has to do with your spout. I’d try a different one and see if that solves your problem. I imagine it will. But going out to find a new spout will involve … get ready for it … some effort. Sorry. :( Maybe you could combine the trip with eating chocolate chip cookies or something to make it seem like more fun.

  11. JennyM says:

    I think soap in a nitric acid bottle is awesome. Do you ever have any chemists that come over and are hesitant to use it?

  12. I recently saved a Olive Oil bottle from Shoppers for the same purpose. Just haven’t gotten around to filling it and leaving it on my counter.

  13. Alisha says:

    I went down to my favorite coffee shop and asked them to keep the glass bottles that the syrup flavoring comes in. They gave me six in total and I filled them with balsalmic vinegar, olive oil and made a citrus olive oil in a third. This would work for a soap dispenser too! Although they’re quite tall and that would be a lot of soap, if you have a large counter/sink area, it would be totally cute. I left the original labels but you can peel them off and get creative with decoupage!

  14. Laurie says:

    thanks both for sharing the food coloring tip, awesome. and it doesn’t ever stain or leave a streak anywhere?
    I put hand soap and the super strong dish soap in matching cute pump bottles and now guests can’t tell what is what.
    What’s that you say, guests shouldn’t be doing your dishes? phsaw.

  15. Lesley McKinney says:

    I love these new ideas! I use a syrup dispenser… diner style.

  16. deborahinps says:

    Yeah! Now I can get rid of the brushed nickel dispenser that looked oh so lovely sitting atop my kitchen sink snuggled right up against the brushed nickel faucet… right up until it started to leave big ole rust marks on my white sink! Tried putting clear nail polish on the bottom…that worked for about a day :(
    So, what high school did you attend Karen? You know in case I want to visit one day? LOL!

  17. Rebecca says:

    I bought some hand cream in a glass bottle at a dollar store years ago, and I’ve been using it for dish soap ever since. It even came with a nice plain black pump and it still makes me happy all the time (I’m easily amused!)
    My only fear is that one day it will break since I’m crazy clumsy. I wish I’d bought twenty of them.

  18. Devin says:

    I’m so happy you posted about this, because I have been looking for the perfect soap dispenser for months now. I was contemplating making my own out of a mason jar, but a vintage soda bottle would go even better with my kitchen! (And there’s only so many mason jars you can have around the house before before people start questioning your abundant use of jam)

    Thanks for the tip!

  19. Sarah says:

    Another cute soap dispenser option is a syrup bottle, like the kind they have at diners. Credit to my sister for thinking of that one.

  20. Use Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap and you can use it for washing dishes, hands, fruits and veggies–everything!! One pretty bottle of soap with many uses.

    • Maggie Pitts says:

      I do the same! It’s even great on your hair. I mix it half and half with water, and use a bottle with one of those insta-foam-producing pumps. Works like a charm. Smells wonderful.

  21. I did this too after seeing a Martha Stewart article about putting your dish soap in a glass bottle. I have mostly re-used squarish, clear glass bottles that originally held organic oil – they already came with a plastic pouring plug that keeps stuff from coming out too quickly. I have also re-used an Absolut vodka bottle for hand lotion (it fit a pump I had from some other bottle.)

    Wish I had your beaker! That is cool.

  22. DzynByJules says:

    I’m a big fan of this idea too Karen! Any time I can swap out store bought containers to transform everyday items into functional beauty, I’m there! All my laundry soaps are now in fun little bottles, and you should see the huge jar of cereal sitting on my breakfast nook table! So pretty, and so accessible! Thanks for sharing your “hot” bottle idea with us, wait… is that a siren I hear???

  23. Marian says:

    I love those little spouts! Once I find some I’ll be doing this for my dish soap and olive oil. I already put my hand soap into a little bottle that once health Korean blackberry wine (yumm) and just screwed the pump from the 99 cent plastic soap dispenser into the top. If you can find a glass bottle with a screw top and a pump the same size you’re golden!

  24. Pati says:

    I love that bottle…you *ahem* borrowed from school!! I have been using a generic square oil/vinegar bottle for years. I love having it handy, the only thing is the spout it comes out sooo s l o w. We call the the zen of dish soap…..”om”.(I do add water most times)
    Oh I have also been know to add a bit a food coloring to the soap to make it a nicer color…works :)
    Great post!

    • Karen says:

      Pati! That’s hilarious because I added a tiny bit of food colouring to the “pop bottle” soap. It was already orange, just not as dark as I wanted for the picture. I added maybe 2 drops of red and 1 drop of yellow. I probably should have added that as a tip in the post! ~ karen

      • Jenna says:

        My mom uses two different colours when she fills her soap bottle…she has a pump on the top of it, I believe, so they don’t mix as much if she had to tip it to pour the soap out. The current colours are orange on the bottom and light pink on top, but she has previously had yellow and purple and green layers in one bottle. They look really nice!

  25. Shannon says:

    I luuurve the apothecary bottle.

    I am currently collecting mismatched china & old mason jars for the wedding but I am going to keep an eye out for pretty bottles now too.

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