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There is a soap dispenser on our kitchen sink that matches the faucet. About four months ago it quit dispensing and it’s taken this long to get the replacement pump (Price Pfister sent it to the wrong address three times, with each time resulting in about an hour on hold). On that dispenser is a Never-MT (never empty, get it? I didn’t), a very cool, simple, and cheap device that allows you to pump out of a Costco-sized soap bottle instead of the little bottle that comes with the dispenser. Good thing, because the stock dispenser bottle doesn’t fit our toddler bathtub farmhouse sink, and because the person who washes most of the dishes around here uses a good half-cup of soap per wash session. The device is a couple of lengths of tubing with a check valve between them. The check valve is the key, as I discovered when I thought I could save four bucks by just using a long length of tubing. Further evidence that the reason I got through high school physics (the only girl in the class) was the chocolate cakes I baked in exchange for, um, assistance in the class.

I’ve kept all the tubing, the bottle-top adapter (a lid with a hole in it), and all the soap that’s inside the tubing in a zip-lock bag for the last four months because it can take a while to prime the pump to get the soap all the way through the three feet of tubing and out the dispenser pump. This slimy mess has been sitting in a basket in the kitchen all that time, waiting until the replacement pump arrived. For four months we’ve been looking at that goopy mess, but it was worth it because having the tubing already full of soap makes putting it all back together again infinitely easier.

I announce that we need to put the soap dispenser back together tonight. Ten minutes later, Captain OCD shows me a sparkling clean Never-MT with every last drop of soap painstakingly blown out and washed down the drain: “Here you go. All cleaned up.”