FAQ + Care Instructions



We have answers to our most frequently asked questions.

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Have an issue and need a fix? View our collection of best troubleshooting tips for soap pumps and foaming soap pump

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Keeping your soap pump clean is important. Find our best tips on how to clean and care for your soap dispenser.

See our Cleaning + Care Instructions

    Why do Soap Pumps Clog?

    If your soap dispenser pump is clogged there are a couple of reasons why this may occur.

    Soap Type - Clogging can occur from a high amount of glycerin in soap; Glycerin based liquid soap tends to clog soap dispenser pumps. If you find that your natural soap is glycerin based which can cause clogging, we do recommend trying an olive oil base liquid soap or thinning your soap slightly by adding a bit of water.

    Infrequent Use - Another culprit of clogging is infrequent use of the soap pump. When soap or lotion sits inside the pump for a period of time it can dry, making it difficult to pump.

    Please see our Troubleshooting Tips for more information.


    Why is my pump accumulating a “green” patina color?

    Simply put.. oxidation. We have found that if cleaned frequently, the patina will subside. Additionally, a great trick is to rub the patina areas lightly with very small amount of Vaseline or beeswax. This will help to prevent air from reaching the surface.


    What about Rust?

    Rust typically occurs when the finish has worn and the raw metal is exposed to air and liquid. There are two common reasons why the finish may wear + occur in two common places ;

    1 ) Sitting soap/lotion on the exit point of the pump. When soap sits on or in the exit point (where the soap/lotion exit the pump) the soap/lotion can break down the finish and over time begin to expose the raw metal beneath.

    To help prevent this from occurring, you want to periodically clean your pump. If you are finding that the soap is continuously building up around the tip, we recommend thinning the soap, trying a different brand with less glycerin or cleaning more frequently.

    One solution is simply rubbing a dab of Vaseline or beeswax around the tip of the exit point for further protection. Vaseline or beeswax has been a great solution for rust and hard water build up.

    2 ) Another area is the touch point of the pump. This is wherever you use your finger/hand to push the pump. Over time , and like with most finishes, touching and rubbing will eventually wear on the finish.

    If you find that your pump is rusting in other areas, you may want to examine your pump closely for any sitting soap or sitting water areas that may be causing the issue.

    In many cases, rust can be cleaned off by simply gently scrubbing the area with a non-scratch scouring pad or stay-clean scrub sponge.

    If you are experiencing rusting within the pump ; flushing with white vinegar + warm water is recommended.


    Can hard water cause damage to my pump?

    The simply answer is yes. Although not a common issue with Rail19 pumps, hard water can cause issues to the finish, and erode the metal beneath. By definition hard water is formed when water percolates through deposits of limestone and chalk which are largely made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates. If you are adding water to your soap and have hard water ; simply use distilled water instead. Additionally, you will want to dry any water from the pump if it is coming in contact with your hard water.


    Can I use dish washing liquid in my dispenser?

    Yes, and no.

    Concentrated soaps such as Dawn and Palmolive (and the like) can damage your pump quickly. Because dish soaps are very concentrated they tend to clog deep inside the pump and create a solid blockage. Over time, the dish washing soap will find another way out and damage the pump by breaking through other paths within the pump ; like the neck of the pump. The strain of pumping concentrated soaps can also seize the pump. Some dish soaps also have harsher chemicals that may lead to corrosion of the metal and finish. Additionally, sticking, dripping and clogging may occur with some dish soaps.

    It is recommended that thinning your concentrated dish soap considerably or using a dish soap that is watery thin, or contains natural ingredients that are less chemically reactive and concentrated, renders the best results.

    Foaming Dish Soap + DIY Foaming Dish Soap - the same rules apply as above. If you find that your foaming dish soap is clogging your foaming pump, simply clean your pump and dilute (distilled water) your soap to remedy the issue.


    What is "Soap Piling"?

    Soap piling is when the soap dries inside or on the outer parts of the pump ; and "piles" by forming a mountain of dried soap and expands from its original liquid form. This is common with concentrated dish soaps ; but can happen with some lotions and hand soaps. You may see this occur most commonly on the outer spouts of dish soap bottles like dawn or Palmolive. Soap piling can cause significant damage to a soap pump by clogging the innards and damaging the spring action within. Keeping your pump free of concentrated soaps, and regular cleaning is recommended to extend the life of your pump.


    Why do Soap Pumps Drip?

    Depending on soap type, dripping can possibly happen when soap is concentrated, thick, or is glycerin based. Thicker soaps tend to sit at the top of the pump (rather than going back down) and will force itself out of the top at times. Please see our Troubleshooting Tips for solutions and more information.


    Why is my soap spraying or "shooting" out?

    Soap (or lotion) shooting is typically because the soap is drying inside the pump causing a cork effect. When the soap is released by use, the pressure causes a "shooting" spray. Please see our Troubleshooting Tips for solutions and more information.


    How long will my pump last?

    There are many factors when determining how long your pump will last. Care + Use are most important when extending the life of your pump. How often you clean your pump, what soap or lotion you use, if you have hard water, and how frequently your pump is used are the most common reasons for wear + tear. In our experience, our pumps can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years before a replacement may be needed.

    We find the typical pump found elsewhere may have a lifespan of about 1/2 that. We take great pride in our products and welcome you to contact us should you find that your pump is defective. Within 60 days of the purchase date, we will replace your pump against manufacturer's defects only.


    Are Rail19 Soap Dispensers Dishwasher Safe?

    Yes + No. While our pumps are not dishwasher safe, the glass base is. Unless otherwise noted, our glass bases are top shelf dishwasher safe. Additionally, please do not use harsh chemicals or cleaners to clean your pump.


    Do you have Care Instructions + Cleaning Instructions?

    Yes. It is important to clean and care for your product to extend the life of your pump. Please see our Cleaning Guide for cleaning instructions + care tips.

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