Home Feature news Dish soap dispensing sponge gadget from Amazon actually works pretty well

Dish soap dispensing sponge gadget from Amazon actually works pretty well

This was a confusing review to write. The thing I set out to review worked, as advertised. I’d even call this dish-soap dispensing sponge holder — one of many similar, popular items available online — surprisingly good at its job.

All you do is press down on the caddy and soap shoots up into a sponge, a nifty little trick. Excess water drains into a little well, keeping things neat. All in all, it worked.

So why was writing this review confusing? I was left thinking I’m not sure I’d ever buy this thing. And that’s saying a lot since it only cost 10 bucks.

This thing delivered on its promises.
Credit: screenshot: amazon

I reviewed this version of the dish soap dispensing sponge holder because it was cheap, an Amazon choice, and seemingly pretty popular. It’s made by a company called Trendy Union, a brand with a number of different items on Amazon.

The promise of the sponge caddy is that saves time and space. You push down, get the soap, bam, you’re washing dishes faster than ever. Using the caddy for a couple of weeks, I found myself developing new muscle memory, pushing down, washing dishes, refilling with a push. When the dishes were done, the sponge stayed on the caddy.

And again, in short: the soap-dispenser caddy combo works. Each pump dispenses what I’d roughly describe as the proper amount — about a nickel-sized glob of dish soap. It was enough to wash dishes but not so much you felt wasteful. I also appreciated how easy it was to fill up the caddy. It came with a handy, collapsible, rubber funnel, which made the process a cinch. You unscrewed the pump mechanism and filled up, pretty much like any other dispenser.

Why is it labeled? Anybody's guess.

Why is it labeled? Anybody’s guess.
Credit: mashable

I also found the well for excess water to work…well. As the sponge dried out, the soapy, kind of dirty water would seep into a well, in between the soap container and the top of the caddy. All you had to do was pop the top off the caddy and turn it over and the water would dump out into the sink. No water seeped into the soap and no soap accidentally came out of the caddy.

Again: everything worked well. For a $10 Amazon item, I was actually pretty surprised that it wasn’t a flimsy hunk of plastic crap. It wasn’t the best looking thing in the world. Hilariously, the words “soap pump” is written on this particular version of a soap-dispensing caddy, but I’m sure you could get an unlabeled version somewhere.

Overall, I much prefer the look of a regular soap dispenser and caddy of some sort. But some people might like it, or at least put up with it in the name of saving time and space. That’s some of the promise of this caddy. It’s supposed to be convenient and save space.

But did this really save any time? Think about it. Most people store dish soap in a typical dispenser with a nozzle. All you do is press down and you have soap on the sponge. That is the…exact same motion as the soap pump/caddy. There is no real added ease-of-use benefit. The only argument that might carry some water is that it’s neater, since it doesn’t really allow for soap to leak like a traditional dispenser. But I did not find it be some magical thing keeping the kitchen neat.

“But,” you might say, “The caddy, soap dispenser combo saves space because it morphs two items into one.” To which I say, sure, but it actually does not really save space, which is an important feature for me since I live in a NYC apartment with limited counter space. Let me explain.

Consider a normal sink set up. Typically you’d have a normal soap dispenser and something to hold a sponge. That’s been my set-up for years. So yes, in theory, this dispenser/caddy turns those two items into one.

But consider something else. How often do you wash your hands in the kitchen? You answer should be often. While cooking I am constantly using the soap to get my hands clean, either to prevent cross-contamination while cooking meat, or to cleanse before touching food, or to remove food waste from my hands.

Guess what you need to do all that? A regular old soap dispenser. If you’re like many folks, you have a good brand of kitchen soap that can wash dishes, cleanse your hands, and, you know, perform other cleaning tasks here and there.

My set up during this test: an empty small  sponge caddy, one soap dispenser, and a soap dispensing caddy. The jar to the far right holds my coffee, in case you're curious.

My set up during this test: an empty small  sponge caddy, one soap dispenser, and a soap dispensing caddy. The jar to the far right holds my coffee, in case you’re curious.
Credit: mashable

All of sudden, you are saving no space at all. You cannot remove the normal soap dispenser from the kitchen. So now you have an oversized caddy and a typical soap dispenser, both of which you have to monitor and keep filled. That’s added time fooling around with two things when one thing can do the job of both.

A good gadget provides a solution to a problem. The soap dispensing caddy feels like a solution in search of a problem that doesn’t exist.

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