When you press down on the pump, many tiny parts must work together to deliver soap into your hand. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at how lotion pumps work and troubleshoot common issues that can occur with them.

A lotion bottle closure, fitting, or cap is typically identified by two measurements: neck opening and threading size. Those dimensions are usually reported with a hyphen or forward slash separator, such as 24/410.

Broken or Clogged Pump Mechanism

A common issue with soap or lotion dispensers is that the pump seems locked and stuck. The soap bottle may have run out in these cases, but it could also be a more severe problem, such as a clogged or broken pump mechanism.

To solve this, first, check that the pump’s suction line is not sucking air. It should be clear and free of blockages. This issue can also be caused by too much thermal overload (overload protectors). It can be prevented by ensuring that the motor’s voltage matches that of the power supply or checking the voltameter to ensure the pump is not drawing more than allowed.

Another issue is a damaged diaphragm, which can cause a drop in both flow and pressure. To prevent this, inspecting and repairing the diaphragm regularly is essential. It is also recommended that a pulsation dampener be installed to reduce stresses on the pump and pipework during operation.

Air Bubbles

Occasionally, lotion pumps for bottles may become blocked with air bubbles. These can be caused by several factors, including mismatching the pump with a bottle not designed for it or using a soap with a viscosity that doesn’t work well with the pump mechanism. You can try a few things to unblock your lotion pump, from soaking the mechanism in hot water to tapping it on a hard surface to remove air pockets and ensuring it’s properly attached to the bottle.

The most common part of a lotion pump is the actuator – the top piece that pushes down to dispense the lotion from the bottle. Actuators are often made from rigid polypropylene plastic and can feature a ribbed or smooth side. They are also paired with a closure – the component that screws onto the neck finish of your bottle. Some closures are adorned with a sleek metal overshell for a high-end look.

Jammed Pump

The dip tube stretches into the liquid bottle and can get clogged or kinked. It can prevent the pump from working correctly. The solution is simple: Unwind the plunger from the reservoir tube and rinse off the bottle using hot water. Then, screw the dispenser back on once you’re sure all clogs have been cleared.

The housing, which holds the other pump components in place, can also get clogged with residue or become damaged over time. It is also essential that this component is appropriately sized for the bottle it’s paired with. If the pump is too large, it can cause the bottle opening to be too small, leading to a lack of airflow and other problems. Following these troubleshooting tips, you can keep your bottle’s pump functional and ensure customers are satisfied with their purchase.

Bottle Damage

There are several reasons why a lotion pump might not be dispensed, including clogging, air pockets, or a disconnected tube. You can try unclogging the pump mechanism, thinning the lotion, using it correctly, or replacing it to resolve these problems.

The plastic tube connecting to the pump will often curl up or get stuck inside the nozzle. It can be fixed by cutting a one-foot length of 1/8-inch plastic tubing from a hardware store and pushing it over the tube.

Depending on the style of your bottle, you may want to consider a clear pump housing that allows the spring to be visible or a colored housing that doesn’t interfere with the color of your lotion, shampoo, or hand soap. Also, keep in mind that the closure (which screws onto the neck finish of the bottle) is made from a variety of materials, including PP or LDPE. The closure can be finished with a shiny metal overshell for a high-end, elegant look.