Soap Magic is an automatic dispenser that uses an infrared sensor to dispense liquid soap when you place your hand beneath it. It has a built-in light and an optional chime that sounds when it's been pressed, and it runs on four AAA batteries, which are included. There are two versions: the free-standing Soap Magic and the Soap Magic Ultra, a wall-mountable soap dispenser that's equipped with a drip tray. The ad suggests these dispensers can be used for dish detergent, hand soap, antibacterial cleaners, workshop hand cleaners, shampoo and conditioner. However, several reviewers note a discrepancy in the product's instructions, which say that Soap Magic is not recommended for thick soaps (including those that contain granules), runny soaps, foaming soaps or lotions.
Soap Magic earns very mixed reviews: Some reviewers say it works well, while others complain that it drips or dispenses liquid unevenly. We found helpful reviews conducted by several news stations throughout the country. At KPLC (Lake Charles, La.), reporter Jeff Jumper tests Soap Magic with a variety of soaps. Performance depends largely on the liquid's viscosity -- it can't be too thin or too thick -- but it works well with most soaps and hand sanitizers.
Some owners reviewing Soap Magic at Amazon.com report quality-control or durability problems, as well as inconsistent amounts being dispensed. The latter is also a problem noted by reporter Daphne Munro at KNXV-TV (Phoenix), who used Soap Magic for a week. Munro also reports problems with the sensor, saying she had to move her hand around for a while before the soap came out.
On the contrary, Soap Magic is well received in tests conducted by KLRT (Little Rock, Ark.) and WXIA-TV (Atlanta, Ga.). Both reviewers praise Soap Magic as easy to assemble and convenient to use. A volunteer tester for WVEC (Hampton Roads, Va.) is very impressed with Soap Magic Ultra after trying it out in her kitchen.
1. KPLC (Lake Charles, La.)
In this video review, reporter Jeff Jumper tests the regular Soap Magic dispenser with four liquids: two hand soaps, a hand sanitizer and two dish detergents. If the liquid is too thin or thick, it doesn't work well, he says, but it works fine with a liquid of medium viscosity. He found it worked fine with hand soaps and hand sanitizers, but he says the dish soap was "unusually thin" and Soap Magic "would pump dish liquid and spurt air intermittently." Drawbacks include some dripping and uneven dispensing. It's easy to add liquid, but you have to pump out the remaining liquid if you want to change soaps.
Review: Soap Magic, Jeff Jumper, 2010
About a dozen owners give Soap Magic mostly negative reviews, rating it lower than some other automatic soap dispensers sold here. One owner notes that if you don't use Soap Magic for half an hour or so, gravity pulls the soap down out of the spout so it takes three or four hand waves to get it to work. Others report problems with the amount dispensed or with premature breakdown.
Review: Idea Village Soap Magic -- White, Contributors to Amazon.com
3. KNXV (Phoenix, Ariz.)
After trying the Soap Magic dispenser for a week, reporter Daphne Munro is largely disappointed. She says the sensor doesn't work very well; she had to wave her hands around for a while before the soap came out. When it finally did release, there was barely enough soap to wash her hands. Munro gives the Soap Magic a thumbs-down, saying "it's not worth the cash."
Review: We Put the Soap Magic Soap Dispenser to the Test, Daphne Munro, Oct. 14, 2010
4. KLRT (Little Rock, Ark.)
Reporter Jeremy Baker tries out Soap Magic and says it works fine for the most part. He's particularly impressed with the easy setup, but he does note one flaw. Despite this issue, he stills deems Soap Magic a deal.
Review: Deal or Dud: Soap Magic, Jeremy Baker, May 6, 2010
5. WXIA (Atlanta, Ga.)
Jyl Andrews, a preschool teacher and "self-described germaphobe" tests Soap Magic for WXIA's news program. She says it's easy to use and works well.
Review: Try It Review: Soap Magic Hands-Free Dispenser, Karyn Greer, March 18, 2010
6. WVEC (Hampton Roads, Va.)
Viewer Kelsey Clayton tests the Soap Magic Ultra for this brief video review. She concludes that it works very well and is very useful in the kitchen, especially for washing hands when working with raw meat or eggs.
Review: Does It Work -- Soap Magic Ultra, Sandra Parker, March 2, 2010