While some facilities are converting to touchless restroom dispensers, other building occupants are not replacing their dispensers. Instead, they opt for manual soap dispensers. These can make maintenance easier for janitorial staff, which does not have to worry about replacing batteries, as touch-free fixtures require.

Manual dispensers typically carry liquid soaps, which are dispensed through a one-hand push or pull mechanism, in the case of a wall-mount unit. Counter-mount units are in the form of a pump that either pushes in or down.

Users should be able to collect the soap in the hand that is helping to dispense the soap; despite the dispenser being a touch-point, proper handwashing eliminates cross-contamination concerns. However, janitorial staff need to ensure the device, particularly the dispensing handle and surrounding area that are vulnerable to contaminants, is cleaned and disinfected regularly.