Saturday, May 10, 2014

Hand Soap or Lotion Plunger that Won't Pop Up

If you buy a bottle of hand soap, lotion, or other pump dispenser item, sometimes the plunger dispenser is locked down so it won't accidentally squirt while being transported.

To unlock the plunger, hold the bottle and twist the plunger counterclockwise until it pops up.

Occasionally, the plunger will rotate but not pop up. To remedy this, unscrew the plunger from the bottle and remove it. Wipe the soap or lotion off the stem. Grasp the stem in one hand and the plunger in the other hand and twist it counterclockwise.

This remedy is a bit messy, but it's simple.


  1. Perfect. I had tried this on my own, but apparently wasn't getting a good enough grip. Silly and simple, but thanks!

  2. Thanks for your tip. Worked great.

  3. I noticed the plunger rotated independently from the cap. So to clarify or add to your initial direction
    ....Grasp the stem in one hand and the plunger BODY ( under the cap) in the other hand and twist it counterclockwise. I used a channel lock plier to get a good grip.

    Saved me a trip back to the store for a refund.

    1. Thanks for this tip using pliers to hold the plunger body ... worked perfectly! Never had this problem before so was fuitlessly twisting anti-clockwise.

  4. Good grief ... I had to research how to get the stupid lotion bottle open! Thank you very much for clear instructions.

  5. Had to use pliers to hold the stem but it worked - thank you!! :)

  6. Thank You! Worked great. (It's hard to grip wet, but I dried it with a towel and popped right up.)

  7. Got a bottle of Amlactin Alpha-Hydroxy Therapy. The pump was threaded into a collar. But the collar just spun around when I tried to unscrew the pump. By tightening the main cap, I put more friction on the collar/cap joint. This allowed to build up the amount of force needed to unscrew the pump head. No pliers needed in my case. Thanks for useful information.

  8. Wow, that tip worked perfectly! Thank you so simple. I’m kicking myself for thinking of this myself.