How To Remove Rust From Soap Dispenser?

Soap cases can be messy, hence refillable soap dispensers are more sanitary than the previous ones. However, air and water can form rust on dispensers and reduce the benefits of this item. Now the question is – how to remove rust from soap dispenser?

To remove rust from the soap dispenser, using baking soda paste or a vinegar solution can be an effective way. You can apply either with a cloth or dip the rusty dispenser with either ingredient for a few minutes. Don’t forget to wear gloves before work.

In this article, you will learn the rust removal process of soap dispensers, including both of the basin and washer. So keep reading till the end.

How To Remove Rust From Soap Dispenser?
How To Remove Rust From Soap Dispenser?

How do you clean a rusty soap dispenser?

If there is soap inside the dispenser, evacuate it. Then fill it with hot water and liquid dish soap and shake it. The solution inside will loosen the dirt, grime, bacteria, etc.

Evacuate the dirty water, refill the dispenser with clean water, shake, and rinse. Now focus on removing the stain, rust, and bad odor outside.

If it is a mason jar soap dispenser, use white vinegar to clean it. Dip a soft cloth in vinegar and rub every part of the dispenser with it. Rinse the dispenser in warm soapy water and dry it thoroughly.

If the dispenser is made of stainless steel, you can use vinegar and dishwashing liquid for cleaning.

Wipe the stainless steel soap dispenser with a vinegar- or dish soap-saturated soft cloth. After 5-10 minutes, rinse it with normal water.

How To Remove Rust From Soap Dispenser?
How do you clean a rusty soap dispenser?

How to remove rust from stainless steel soap dispenser?

Use baking soda or oxalic acid to cure rusty stainless steel soap dispensers. These are considered the fastest rust-removers.

As a mild abrasive, baking soda will clean rust without damaging the metal. However, for cast-iron soap dispensers, baking soda may not work as intended. You should use oxalic acid then to dissolve rust and its stain.

Below are the methods of removing rust from stainless steel soap dispensers.

Using baking soda for small rust spots

  • Take equal parts of baking soda and water and then mix them together.
  • Apply the baking soda paste on the rusted surface with a clean, dry, and soft cloth. 
  • Rinse well.
  • Damp a paper towel and wipe the affected area gently with it.

Using baking soda for large rust spot

  • Rinse the larger rusted area to remove dirt and debris.
  • Immediately after dampening, coat the entire rust with a generous amount of baking soda.
  • Let the soda sit for 30 minutes. You may need to wait 1 hour if the rust is too heavy, but not more than that.
  • Use a soft bristle brush to scrub the soda.
  • Rinse in normal water.
  • Gently dry the surface with a paper towel.

Using oxalic acid-based cleaner

  • Pour a generous amount of oxalic acid-based cleaner on the rust.
  • Damp a soft sponge slightly and rub the cleaner with it.
  • Let the cleaner sit for 1 minute on the affected area.
  • Rinse with fresh, normal water. If the rust stain persists, rinse it with warm water and repeat the process if necessary.
  • Dry the area gently with a towel.

How to clean soap dispenser in washing machine?

Use warm water or vinegar to clean the soap dispenser in the washing machine. Learn how to use them from the below sections.

Warm water and brush

First, carefully remove the soap dispenser drawer from the washer.  Detach its detachable elements.

Second, soak the dispenser in warm water unless the residue almost comes off it. No need to soak if the residue is not too stubborn.

Third, take a stiff nylon, bottle-cleaner, or an old toothbrush and scrub the soap dispenser drawer. Clean the drawer housing as well. Avoid any kind of abrasive scrubber.

If there is a wax-like residue of fabric softener, remove it first before soaking the drawer. Use a wooden or plastic spatula to gently scrape it off.

Fourth, rinse the drawer under running water and air-dry it thoroughly. Reassemble all the parts

Fifth, before placing the dispenser in the machine, clean the drawer housing with a damp cloth. Now replace the drawer in the machine.

White vinegar

To clean the machine soap dispenser, use vinegar in the load or soak a cloth in it to wipe.

For the first method, pour white vinegar in the soap dispenser and run a hot washing cycle.

Running the washer with vinegar is better than wiping it down with a vinegar-saturated cloth. Make sure that while you are running the washer, it remains empty.

How to prevent rust on soap dispenser?

How to prevent rust on soap dispenser?

Regular cleaning and careful maintenance can prevent rust on the soap dispenser. However, maintenance may vary a little according to the metal of the dispenser.

The easiest thing you can do is to use a soap dispenser made of high-quality, rust-proof material. In addition, minimize moisture as much as possible around your metal steel soap dispenser. Make sure the place where the dispenser is sitting is dry as well.

To make your stainless steel soap dispenser rust-proof, clean it regularly. Make a solution of warm water and a mild soap and a damp soft cloth with it.

Wipe the dispenser thoroughly to remove fingerprints, smudges, and dirt. Damp another cloth in fresh water and wipe the dispenser again. Finally, wipe the leftover water or droplets with a dry, fresh cloth or an absorbent paper towel.

Since water causes surface rust on stainless steel, make sure to dry the collar nuts, mounting box, O-rings, pump, and screws well.

In addition, don’t use any abrasive cleaner and/or scrubber on stainless steel soap dispensers. It will destroy the protective coating and help to form rust.

Compared to stainless steel soap dispensers, mason jar soap dispensers are more prone to rust. So you need to work more to make them rust-free.

Paint the metal components of the mason jar soap dispenser with water-resistant paint, pure resin, resin glue, or Rustoleum. You can wax them with raw beeswax too.

These products will hinder oxidation and moisture on the mason jar. As an alternative, use nail polish to prevent rust development.

  • First, remove the existing rust with white vinegar and an abrasive scrubber. Clean the dispenser with warm soapy water.
    Next, fill a spray bottle with nail polish and spray generously on the dispenser, especially on the lid and ring.


Does vinegar remove rust from stainless steel?

Yes, it does. Vinegar has acetic acid which acts as a mild corrosive cleaner. Make sure the vinegar you intend to use is white and distilled. You can either apply it directly using a vinegar-saturated cloth. Or, dip the rusted object in vinegar for a few minutes.

Is baking soda or vinegar better for rust?

Actually, both are good for removing rust. If you use them separately on rust, you may not have 100% cleaning effect but they will chip away the major portion. However, don’t combine them together to treat tarnish. The acid of vinegar will cancel the alkalinity of baking soda out. The combination will form a neutral solution which is useless for rust.

Do soap dispensers get moldy?

Yes, they do. Refillable liquid soap dispensers get moldy when used for a long time. Oxidation causes bacteria to grow and when it happens, dispensers start to accumulate a patina color.

Why does my shower caddy always rust?

When your shower caddy is constantly exposed to air, hard water, and soap scum, it becomes rusty and stained. To remove this, seal the caddy with boat was or water-repellent car wax or apply spray paint on it. 

Can bacteria grow in liquid soap pump containers?

Yes, they can. Bacteria from fecal matters, airborne germs, foreign objects, etc. can grow and contaminate the liquid soap inside the container. Compared to household liquid soap pump containers, the ones from public bathrooms are more prone to bacteria attack.


This is all about answering the question ‘how to remove rust from soap dispenser’. No matter from which metal your soap dispenser is made from, you should maintain it carefully.

Always put this item in a place where it is convenient to use as well as no oxidation happens. Clean it regularly to prevent green or black stuff coming out of soap dispenser. And take other protective measures to increase the dispenser’s life span.

You can also read difference between foaming soap dispenser and regular soap dispenser.

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