Ten years ago, I walked into my friend's kitchen and noticed that she was using an oil dispenser to hold her dish soap. I don't remember where she got the idea, but I remember that she did it for aesthetic reasons. She wanted to be able to leave her dish soap out, but thought that leaving it in the original soap bottle detracted from her beautifully decorated kitchen. I thought it would be a nice touch in my kitchen even though I had placed more emphasis on function over style.
I used my oil bottle without giving it much thought, until our last move when it arrived in several pieces. I tossed it, thinking pretending at prettiness is quite ridiculous. My daughter runs an emergency center for avian victims of feline assault in my kitchen. My sons use it as an art studio. And my kitchen doubles as a greenhouse 6 months out of the year.
After a few months of using soap directly from the bottle, I noticed we were going through dish soap at least twice as fast as before. That is when I realized that the oil dispenser slowed the rate of flow from the bottle, so we used half as much soap. I felt justified when I went to World Market and bought the above pictured oil dispenser, which was on sale for $3.00. It is not elegant, but it is much more attractive than a Dawn bottle sitting on the counter, and it paid for itself in just a couple of months.