Last Updated on October 24, 2023
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I grew up in a working class home that gradually elevated to middle class during the course of my childhood. My wife had the same experience, and when we first got married we were a firmly lower-middle class home. For both of us, our sensibilities still reflect both our childhoods and our early marriage: we tend to be frugal (that’s why we shop at Aldi), and certain things that would be just a normal thing for some people feel more like an extravagance for us.
I won’t lie — “electric soap dispenser” sounds a little extravagant to me. In my head, it screams fancy, like the kind of thing you might see in a nice restaurant bathroom or in an upscale home … but not in an everyday house. I can’t think of any circumstances where I would go out and buy such a device for my household.
Leave it to Aldi to get me to change my mind. Unfortunately, I wish I’d stayed away.
The Ambiano Touchless Electric Soap Dispenser (Product Code: 710362) is, no surprise, an Aldi Find. That means it’s only in stores for a short time. Each store gets a single shipment, and once it’s sold out, it won’t be back for a while … if at all. At post time, this was the first time we’d seen this particular item at Aldi, so it’s anyone’s guess whether it’s a one-and-done or if it will return. Aldi does not offer online ordering for products if they’re not in stock at your local store.
We paid $12.99 for the dispenser. That’s on the bottom end of prices for similar touchless electric soap dispensers on Amazon.
According to the packaging, this is a sensor-controlled dispenser, powered by four AAA batteries, which are included. It has an adjustable dispensing volume and, when triggered, releases a dense foam. It is marketed as being suitable for either foam liquid soap or diluted standard liquid soap. It has an 8.45-fluid ounce capacity.
The dispenser also comes with a three-year warranty, serviced by Protel, a common warranty service provider.
It’s a good idea to read the manual before doing anything. It’s not an overly complex device, but there are some useful tips it gives for assembly, cleaning, and use. For instance, the instructions recommend running water through the device before filling it with soap and water. The instructions also list the proportions of soap and water to add to the container.
I put it together, inserted the batteries, filled it with lukewarm water to clean it, powered it on and … it wouldn’t dispense. I put my hand under it — nothing. I had my wife and daughter put their hands under it — also nothing. We tried moving our hands under the sensor, keeping them still under the sensor — nothing. No sound, no evidence that it was pulling air or water out of the container.
I double- and triple-checked to make sure everything was attached the way it was supposed to be, and still, nothing. Power isn’t an issue, since the power light turns green as the manual indicates, but it just. Won’t. Work. Either the sensor isn’t reading, or the motor isn’t working.
We had some hopes that this little dispenser might offer a cool way to put out soap, but ours is dead on arrival. It draws power — the green power light shows as much — but it doesn’t operate. We tried over and over to get it to work, but no matter where we put our hands, no liquid came through. We don’t know if it’s the sensor or the motor, but it doesn’t matter, as either way the dispenser doesn’t dispense. This will be going back to the store.