Out of interest, I'm looking for the word describing the usual cap of detergent for manual dish-washing. It consists of two parts which can be moved relatively to each other in vertical orientation so that pull up opens the bottle and pushing down closes it. The bottle is then turned upside-down and the detergent can be dosed.

A soap dispenser [for liquid soap] is different from what I'm searching since it requires a push (usually vertical) to press out the next portion.

That being said, I'm only speculating that a specific word for it exists. I'd use dish-washing detergent cap if I'd be force to make a choice.

I stumbled over this before asking a question on chemistry.SE about the condensation rate of detergent in a bottle with such a cap, i.e. an example sentence is "What would be an appropriate estimate for the condensation rate of dish-washing detergent in a bottle closed with a X" (I'll clarify the context in the chemistry.SE question, of course). I'm aware that it's not necessary to know the word to ask the question there.

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    It's "What do you call [something]" not "how", see Hot Licks droll comment above.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 28, 2018 at 22:58
  • @Mari-LouA Ahhh... now I get it (and feel like I should have gotten it without the explanation :)). However [english.stackexchange.com/search?q=How+to+call] shows that the popping up existing question easily tempt people to use this expression (when typing the title). I suggest to enforce this in review. May 28, 2018 at 23:02
  • Quote from Seinfeld: "He uncoagulated the top of the dishwashing liquid." May 29, 2018 at 5:23
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    If it matters, this cap style is not limited to dish liquid. It also appears on beverages, chocolate syrup, I-can't-believe-anyone-else-doesn't-believe-it's-not-butter, condiments, glues, and much more.
    – cobaltduck
    May 29, 2018 at 11:55

4 Answers 4


enter image description here

According to numerous sources, a cap of this design is a push pull cap, without a hyphen.

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    I bet 'pull cap' would be understood too without the push part.
    – Tom22
    May 28, 2018 at 23:49
  • @Tom22 but ambiguous with the non-replaceable variety e.g. finn-korkki.com/en May 29, 2018 at 13:12
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    To be clear to non-native speakers, no native speaker actual says this, this is only a technical term used by plastic bottle manufacturers. To everyday speakers wanting to refer to it, it is simply a 'cap'. In the OPs technical chemical situation, 'push pull cap' is probably very appropriate.
    – Mitch
    May 29, 2018 at 13:43

Also called a sports cap. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bottle_cap

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    While correct in the most common usage of these caps, calling it that on a bottle of detergent would be somewhat confusing and/or misleading :)
    – IanF1
    May 28, 2018 at 20:26

That is often called a spout, though that is not the most precise terminology.

At WEIGHTPACK, Inc. we engineer and manufacture innovative packaging solutions. Our specialized system for inserting spigots and overcaps or pour spouts into laundry detergent bottles, is an example of a standard base system engineered to meet a specific need. The spigot inserter utilizes a two turret system to first orient and insert the spigot into the detergent container, and then place the measuring cap over the spigot before sending the empty bottle to the filling and capping line. A one turret system is also available for inserting pour spouts into detergent bottles.

From a thrift site:

I removed the plastic pour spout by using a butter knife and a dishtowel. You will need the towel because the spout is slippery. Push the edge of the spout up with the knife until it is completely off of the bottle. Turn the bottle upside down into a cup and let it all drain out overnight. The result was over 1/2 cup of detergent. It was enough to do one more load.

soft pack of dish detergent with spout in corner

"plastic pull spout"

  • Are you sure this is referring to the same thing? I always thought the "spout" was the lip that stuck out on a laundry detergent bottle (or other container where you're pouring out liquid usually in a slightly larger volume) vs the type of top being described here for liquid dish soap where you are usually squeezing out maybe a few drops or a single squirt. May 29, 2018 at 18:47
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    As I said it's not precisely correct terminology but it is widely used. There are lots of websites with pictures of pull top caps that call them spouts.
    – arp
    May 29, 2018 at 19:19
  • But the two examples you use seem to specifically be talking about the actual spout (the lip that sticks out) since laundry detergent doesn't usually come with a pull top, but does often come with a spout. May 29, 2018 at 21:48
  • Added two images of exactly the kind of pull cap the OP described being marketed as "spout"
    – arp
    May 29, 2018 at 22:09
  • These seem to be using the term generically, not specifically to mean this particular design. A push pull cap is a type of spout. Also note that the second image says "pull spout", so that word is in there.
    – Barmar
    Jun 4, 2018 at 21:15

Generally call it push / pull cap

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    That's KarlG's answer. May 29, 2018 at 13:02

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