In a world where we are launching cars and other vehicles that can drive themselves, why can’t anyone create a pump for soap, shampoo, hand cream, and other gooey stuff that will keep working until the bottle is actually empty?

I’ve been a very good sport about paying huge amounts of money for fancy creams to deal with rashes. Soaps free of anything that might be remotely allergenic to use for my body and for the washing of clothing. The “good” dish soap that is safe the environment and is supposed to outlast all the other soaps but never does.

I have — for example — a soap dispenser for the Dawn in the kitchen. Why? Because Garry is a firm believer that more of whatever goop it is is always better than less. Thus he uses twice as much toothpaste as I do and ten times more kitchen soap. I figured if I put it in a dispenser, he’d get tired of pumping it out a lot faster than he would if he were to have his hands on the entire half-gallon container.

Today, though, he couldn’t get anything to come out. I opened it and it was more than half full, so I figured — as usual — it was all gunked up with soap. So I rinsed everything out with hot water, then found a pokey pointy thing to clear out the pump in the front, then washed the entire pump container which was all sticky and gooey.

After which, it worked. I commented that if we can replace human beings in production plants with AI devices, why can’t someone make a soap or hand cream pump that doesn’t clog up? Or, for that matter, a dispenser for packing tape that doesn’t stick to everything except the package you are trying to get ready for shipping?

Kitchen jar opener

If we can make so many complicated things that will ultimately make most people unemployable, why can’t we make the simple things work? Make child-proof drug dispensers that don’t require a wrench, lockpick, and hand-ax to open?

How about one of those zip pull envelopes that works? How about a “push here to open” place on a box that will actually open the pasta or whatever it is supposed to open rather than simply caving in the entire container?

I keep knives, scissors, and small wrenches in my night table and that’s just to open up sealed pill containers.Β  I have special implements to open the tops of jars and bottles. Even with all of these items conveniently at hand, sometimes, I can’t get them open and Garry can’t get them open either. Maybe Owen could, but he’s not here. Usually punching a hole in the jar’s lid works because it breaks the seal. But then you have a jar with a hole in the top.

Very expensive shampoo dispenser

I’m really tired of throwing away half a container of expensive goop because no one can get it out of the container. It is aggravating and a big waste of money. I want someone to FIX the problem.

My favorite innovation? Amazon charges you extra to get a package that a normal person can open without special tools.

29 thoughts on “SOME STUFF NEEDS INVENTING – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. I have found Method products, which I buy for cleaning, pump or squirt all the way to the bottom. Everyone else needs to get on board. I agree with your frustration. Taking the pump off and turning a bottle of shampoo, lotion, etc. over to finish the remains is plain annoying! I try to buy products that squeeze out or the cap just unscrews when they are available.


  2. It’s deliberate: the manufacturers, save money on not producing a more-expensive pump that would last as long as the contents while also make more profit by selling you content you can never get to.

    But they did not reckon with my dear old Mum… she takes a breadknife or a box-cutter knife (the heavy duty ones!) and slices through the pack , just above the level of the gunk then digs out or squeezes what is left out of the container. She leaves a thin strip of plastic so the 2 halves of the bottle can remain standing like a full bottle if there is more than 1 serving inside. A similar technique is used for the plastic toothpaste tubes… no paste is left behind! ( I think she may have been a marine in a former life??) πŸ™‚

    I have a design for an air-pressurised dispenser you pump once or twice to create internal pressure, then a separate button at the container base opens a small nozzle at the centre of a cone shaped bottom letting a small amount of the content out.
    Because the air pressure builds up at the top of the container the pressure pushes all the contents down to the bottom so no content is lost and is all pushed down and out through the base.

    Here in Aus they use a similar style, but non-pressurised container, for honey and you are not left with any honey sticking to the bottom because that is where gravity drags all the stick honey down to – it even works in cold weather when the honey is more the texture of molasses or woodglue.

    Can you imagine ANY company paying me for using such a design??

    Neither can !. 😦


  3. I think Ben Elton refers to this as being invented by the ‘Ministry of Crap Design’. Why is it we can put a man on the Moon but can’t get the tea from my teapot into my cup without spilling half of it over the table? I fully agree with all you say – we regularly do the impossible, but are total crap at anything simple… I’m beginning to wonder if it’s done on purpose…

    In regards to getting a lid off a jar by jabbing a knife into it to break the seal – I do that all the time. However what I do to re-seal it is to stick a piece of tape over the hole πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John has not mastered the fine art of flipping open the top on the dish soap and therefore usually just breaks it off. This assures us of having the top filled with gunk when half of the soap is still in the bottle. Having spent many years in the shipping business, do not even start me up on those tape dispensers.


  5. I’m with you on this, Marilyn! There are so many really useful things out there that are just waiting to come into existence, efficient soap dispensers among them. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have thrown away more expensive conditioners, creams, soaps than I have bought and it infuriates me that with all the “advances” we seem to be able to make, why can’t we make a dispenser that dispenses all the way to the bottom? If you are going to charge me $30 to make my hair shiny, should I get all the stuff? I’ve tried putting water in the bottle and shaking it (better than nothing), shaking it until my arm is asleep … and cursing furiously. Nothing works. I want a dispense that WORKS πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know what you mean. I’ve taken to standing bottles and containers upside down for days so the stuff inside moves towards the top before cutting the top off, but I know it depends on what the container is made from. I’ve been told that this is where the profit lies for the manufacturers – the fact that we can’t access all the product so we have to go out and buy a new one. It is, indeed, infuriating. πŸ˜€


          • This is true. Over here, with some of the bottles with pumps on top you can unscrew the lid, so I can imagine how it must be infuriating if yours are sealed so you can’t get into it at all. That’s ridiculous.


  6. I’ve purchased THREE big containers of different types of soap or shampoo in the past six months. I buy the big ones because, theoretically, they last longer. Yeah. If you can’t get the %$#@ pump to work AT ALL, what good is it? I now know why the really large container of shampoo for a wee price was reduced so drastically. I defy anyone to get that %$@# thing to work at all. My solution? To scour the bargain bins at the local dollar store and find some empty plastic containers that have screw top lids or even the snap type. Pour shampoo into that and voila! You’re using ALL the shampoo (in increments) and the built in fail from those nasty manufacturers is foiled. Ha! Take THAT! πŸ˜›


    • And that’s if the dispenser top works at all. I have learned to never toss away the old, but functional, top because if the new one snaps on opening, at least I’m not left with 32 ounces of worthless gunk. It really is extremely aggravating and EXPENSIVE. But yours is a pretty good idea. The problem is getting the stuff from one container with a narrow lid into another container with an equally narrow lid. And don’t tell me about funnels. THEY get all gunked up too!


    • And the weird thing is that all these expensive companies use the same crappy tops. If they are going to charge us so much money, they can do better. Put everything in a squeeze container so we can roll it like toothpaste. That’s what they are doing with ketchup, by the way. Finally!


  7. Have you ever noticed the sardine tin? It frustrates you to get the last bit out. The same with all those pump bottles. They want you to throw away the last bit. I stick to bars of soap and when they get small I stick the old one unto the new bar of soap. It’s a bit like licking the bowl clean.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The shampoo I use has a lid that will not come off with anything short of a prybar or dynamite. It was designed for that very purpose since they don’t want us to be able to get the last remnants out of the bottom of the bottle that will not come through the squirt hole (For someone like me, probably another week’s worth of hair washing)… instead forcing us to buy a new bottle. There must be billions of gallons of shampoo that goes unused each year because it’s trapped in the bottom of bottles due to containers that are deliberately sabotaged by the manufacturers. It’s a crime, I tell you…


    • That’s my point. If they can make AI to replace human workers and cars that drive themselves, why can’t they make a pump bottle that does the job? Or a dotted “press here” thingie that doesn’t collapse the carton? I already know: BRING SHARP OBJECTS. I can’t even get that stupid inner seal off the bottle without a small sharp knife. And then, Amazon has the gall to charge me an extra dollar for the privilege of opening the box without a toolbox!


  9. I am so with you on this one. It annoys the heck out of me that the stupid dispensers always gum up before you get to the end of the product. If they can’t make one that works couldn’t they at least sell replacement pumps and sprays so you don’t have to waste a perfectly good bottle? I find that it happens even with empty spray bottles. I even bought glass bottles hoping they would be better quality but they still have the same crappy pumps.
    I keep meaning to buy a jar opener but rather than punch a hole in them what I usually do is turn them upside down and insert a flat screwdriver or an old knife between lid and jar. It releases the pressure and then I can open the jar. I might try standing a lid in hot water for a few minutes and I usually wrap a tea towel around anything I am having trouble twisting off.


    • I spent $60 on a double size bottle of REALLY EXPENSIVE shampoo for my breakable, falling out hair. I got less than halfway through the big bottle that should have lasted me a full year and it wouldn’t pump. At all. I took the pump out, washed it, cleaned it AND IT STILL WOULDN’T WORK. It was the last time I tried buying “the big one to save money” because essentially, the little one and the big one? You get the same amount of stuff. The rest goes into the trash. And you really CAN’T get it out of the bottle. All gummy and gooey and sticky.


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