Mad About . . .

Five of the Best Soap Dishes

12th March 2020
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Well you know…it just seemed like it might be useful. So I just thought I’d put it out there. UPATE: Do read through to the comments for links to soap leaves (brilliant when you’re out and about and travelling) and floating soap as well as an organisation making environmentally friendly soap (plastic and paraben free) with a workforce that is 80 per cent disabled. It’s Beco (BEtter COnsidered) if you haven’t got time to get that far.

provendi wall-mounted soap from garden trading

provendi wall-mounted soap from garden trading

I have to say the one above is my favourite of all. I remember an elderly cousin having one of these in the downstairs cloakroom when I was a child and I thought it was the most exciting thing ever. While we’re on the subject, I also had a hunt around the question of soap passing germs and found this article which says that studies have found that soap doesn’t pass on germs – although obviously no-one knows about the currrent batch.

draining soap dish from etsy

draining soap dish from etsy

I have been buying more soap dishes after the last year anyway as we gradually make the switch from liquid soap to solid bars and one thing I have realised is that, where possible, you need a dish with a bit of a drainer. One of mine is a flat dish and the soap does sort of stick to it. But it’s a pretty dish and it’s by my basin in the en suite bathroom so I don’t use it quite as much as I might if it was in the downstairs loo.

pink mineral soap dish from john lewis and partners

pink mineral soap dish from john lewis & partners

The other thing I was looking for is whether liquid soaps (often in plastic bottles) are more hygienic than solid bars. I found this, which admittedly is by a solid soap manufacturer so I pass it on but do read it and understand the point of view of the writer. I think I would happily use a bar of soap at home but I’m not sure I would want to in a public place.

sustainable ash wood soap dish from future kept

sustainable ash wood soap dish from future kept

So the next question is do you buy glass bottles to decant liquid soap into? And if so does that mean you are buying fewer large plastic containers of soap rather than lots of smaller ones? I don’t know the answers but I have given you a selection of pretty soap dishes to look at.

draining concrete soap dish via etsy

draining concrete soap dish via etsy

Or is it time to bring back soap on a rope?


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  • Lorraine Matthews 13th March 2020 at 12:49 pm

    The rectangular soap dish pad from the All Natural Soap Co is made from coir so 100% biodegradable and solves the drainage problem – no more soggy soap bars.

  • Kate 12th March 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Publicly – no. At home – only soap bars! 🙂

  • Anna Noble 12th March 2020 at 12:51 pm

    A bar of soap when used to wash your hands where ever you are, is unbeatable for killing germs and always has been according to a good friend who is a Prof. of Infectious Diseases. Well washed hands with a bar of soap at home or in public toilets, it’s all the same, it’s safe. That is why when the young went travelling I always bought them soap (nicely perfumed for the girls) that was kept in a container.
    Too do no harm as per your campaign Kate, may I point out some lovely soap I like to use available from Boots, Sainsbury Waitrose etc. BECO Organic Soap Bar Honey Blossom 100g
    Triple Milled Organic Soap. 97% organic Hypoallergenic Paraben and SLS free. Totally vegan and cruelty-free

    The bars are 100% recyclable on the outside, 100% biodegradable on the inside and their triple milled magic means they’re made to last longer.
    Plus every hand-cut bar provides real jobs for people in the UK who are visually impaired, disabled or disadvantaged.
    If every household put BECO in their bathroom we’d be able to create 45,000 jobs for people with disabilities? Come join the movement @BECO.UK”.

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 12th March 2020 at 1:03 pm

      Here is a link to Beco (which stands for BEtter COnsidered).It looks like a wonderful organisation.

  • Denise Pitchford 12th March 2020 at 12:46 pm

    My mum used to carry soap leaves to use on hols & outings which were very exciting also but not seen these in years. Also black floating soap in Spain was a thing of wonder.
    Love this article Kate x

  • Renaud 12th March 2020 at 10:10 am

    At home I almost exclusively use soap bars: for my body, my hands and even my hair. My next step would be to find solid dishwashing soap. But I agree with you to say that it’s best to stick to liquid soap in public spaces.
    Anyway, thank you for this lovely selection of soap dishes. The concrete one from Etsy looks fab!

    Have a lovely day.


    • Sophie 15th March 2020 at 1:18 pm

      I swear by the marseille olive oil soap to wash dishes. It lasts ages!

  • monica 12th March 2020 at 9:54 am

    I made the switch to bar soap a long time ago. Seemed like the common sense thing to do, less waste, less plastic and all…I do however, confess to having a liquid soap pump in the guest bathroom. Mostly because of the tiny size of the basin.

  • Caroline Rodger 12th March 2020 at 8:16 am

    One of the easiest things to do is but some foaming pump bottles. Get a large bottle of Castile soap. Fill the container with one quarter to one third of soap. Top up with water and add essential oils to fragrance if desired. This way you use so many less bottles. The Castile soap can be used for all sorts of cleaning.

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 12th March 2020 at 10:13 am

      That’s a good idea. I’ve put a link to a piece about castile soap here.

  • Andrew Dunning 12th March 2020 at 7:05 am

    A cafe near a client project in SW London has one of those soap bars on the wall. I’m always a little wary of it if honest – at home it’s great I think, just publicly you don’t know who else used it 😏

    Sales of all sorts of soap must have rocketed recently!

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