Body soaps, shampoo bars, face soap… our bathroom has turned solid which is a great thing.
But soaps require soap dishes to avoid mucking up your sink or your shower! And it turns out to be a very difficult task to find a good soap dish. Who knew!?! I certainly didn’t.
So here I am, telling you about my not so successful adventure to find the perfect soap dishes, which is something I never thought I would do!
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What are the criteria for a perfect soap dish?
Well, in my humble opinion a soap dish should do a few, very simple things:
A soap dish should hold your soap and allow it to dry without mucking your sink. It therefore needs to have 2 parts, a tray on which the soap goes and an open container to put the tray in and which will receive the water and soap residue.
A soap dish should be easy to clean. A soap that gets used several times a day will leave a lot of residue and the soap dish will therefore needs to be drained regularly.
A soap dish should keep your soap in perfect condition.
In my opinion, this isn’t too much to ask! But guess what… There are plenty of soap dishes out there which do not qualify!
The 4 examples below do not qualify. If you wonder why, read on!
The soap dishes I bought that failed
The first soap dish I bough which failed the test is the dark brown on the picture below. This one I got at my regular organic shop. It didn’t have a tray but from what I had seen, my shampoo bar wasn’t too soft and didn’t seem to drain extensively after I used it. Plus I use it only a few times a week, not several times a day, so it has plenty of time to dry entirely between use.
Indeed I thought this would work, but it turned out to be a small disaster! When putting a wet soap on it, the wood absorbs the water and ends up staining the soap. It’s quite disgusting!
At the moment, I use it for my face soap because I just rub a little pad on top of the soap and do not get the whole thing wet, just the top. This saves the tray. It will only work for so long and I’m not sure what I will do when the soap will become very slim. We shall see.
So I bought a second similar soap dish, because I really like how simple they look, but in a light colored wood this time. That was another organic shop and I thought I was so smart! And hooray, no stain on the soap this time… Oh wait… what’s that… yuck! … after a while the wood became greenish and moldy looking! Yep, another fail!
The ceramic soap dish with a bamboo soap holder
In my quest to go solid, I had also bought a ceramic soap dish with a bamboo soap holder for my kitchen. This turned out to be the best soap dish of the 3 I bought!
This one was used for sometimes in the kitchen but is now in the bathroom. It turns out that the bamboo doesn’t mold (some people seem to have such an issue though) and doesn’t stain the soaps and seems durable as I have been using it for a couple months now. The ceramic is easy to clean and all I can only say that now all is well!
Other tips to select dish soaps
As you now understand, a 2 part dish soap is really the key to make your soap last longer and not have soap residue everywhere.
But here are a couple addition recommendations:
No self draining dishes! They will leak on your sink or in your shower and leave soap muck.
Ceramic, stainless steel, enamel… these are all good options. Obviously no plastic.
Natural stone dishes look amazing but they usually do not have a raised soap holder. It is doubtful that your soap will dry well. It could work for a soap you do not use often, not the one you use several times a day.
Voila! Now you know everything you didn’t know you needed to know about soap dishes!! OK, maybe not everything, but it should still save you from buying the wrong ones, like I did.
If you have other tips, share in the comments below.
The other issue when going solid?
There is another issue when going solid in the bathroom: your body soap and shampoo bar may look identical! Yes in our bathroom, they get mixed up a lot. I don’t want to wash my hair with my body soap but it probably happened more than once already.
For now, we live in a temporary apartment so I’m not going to sort this problem just yet. But I do intend to find soap dishes I can label, one way or another. We shall see how this goes in potentially another installment on this fascinating topic!