This study performed a bacteriological analysis of the liquid soap in dispensers that health professionals use for hand washing. This exploratory, cross-sectional study was developed at the hospitalization units of a medium-sized hospital in Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil. Data were collected between May and July 2007. Fifty-nine liquid soap dispensers were analyzed, of which 33 contained the following microorganisms: Burkholderia cepacia (14), Pseudomonas putidas (9), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (3), Klebsiella pneumoniae (3), Enterobacter clocae (2), and Pseudomonas luteola (2). The units with the largest number of contaminated samples were the surgical (n=7) and the dermatological clinics (n=4). Contamination was also found in an original flask of the same lot of liquid soap used to fill up the dispensers. In conclusion, there is a need to regulate and control the quality of these products in the production lines as well as during use in hospital services, mainly because they are used to prevent hospital infection.