Firstly, I am so stoked with the foaming pump bottles I’ve found! More details here. They are made from PET plastic (and safe to use with essential oils when properly diluted – as all of the TILP foaming recipes are!), they have a lifespan of at least 2 years when used correctly, and the foam they dispense is thick and luscious!

I sold thousands and thousands of these bottles when our online store was operating, and only have I ever had half-a-dozen issues arise. Occasionally a bottle will be faulty, I can’t deny that. BUT, most often, they just need some maintenance, and users need guidance.

If you happen to be one of those with a sticking or ineffective pump, read on for some helpful tips.

Follow the recipe

These foaming pumps work by mixing liquid-thin soap (I use castile soap) and air, and turning it into foam. Always follow the correct dilution rates as suggested in my recipes. Note that using extra castile soap will not produce a thicker foam, it will only clog your mechanism faster, causing it to ‘stick’.

Don’t use your pump under running water or overfill bottles

If water gets into the air chamber it may cause the pump to fail.

Don’t seal the bottle too tightly

This may affect performance, and you’ll start seeing the actual bottle creating suction. Loosen lid and continue using.

Keep your pump active

If you don’t use your foaming pump frequently enough, any soap trapped in the mechanism can dry and cause the pump to stick or fail.

Try flushing the pump in fresh water

Just remove the pump top and place in a glass of water. Keep pressing until clear water is being dispersed. Then try again with your bottle.

Don’t use additives beyond TILP recipe suggestions

There is a little mesh screen inside your pump that allows the soap and air to mix, creating foam. These holes are so super tiny, and they can clog easily. Therefore, adding thickeners, glitter, micas, powdered colouring etc, will cause your mechanism to fail.

Try turning the bottle upside down and pumping.

I’ve heard some manufacturers recommend this.

As a last resort, pull the pump apart and clean (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU DON’T DO THIS!)

In my 5 years using foaming pump bottles I have NEVER had to do this. But if you insist, go for it. Note that it takes some force, and will come apart into about 6 pieces, and it’s not easy to put back together. I advise taking multiple photos to assist you during reassembly. Please only pull your pump mechanism apart if you’re comfortable in doing so, and confident you can put it back together. TILP takes no responsibility for pumps that are damaged due to manual tampering.
Good luck and happy foaming!

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author, Advocate & Founder

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 30,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her latest, award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website The Inspired Little Pot.


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