Updated: Aug 31, 2021
An entire blog on soap dish? Is it important enough to garner an article on its own? Well for a small soap-maker making bar soaps to save our planet, very important. As a good soap dish is instrumental to help extend the use of every bar of soap, especially a good bar of handmade cold process soap.
Why so? Cos unlike commercial bars, cold process soaps soften and melt if allowed to soak in a pool of water. Which often happens on soap dishes that have no (til today we don’t understand why), few or small drainage holes.
So the #1 rule to enjoy every bar of cold process soaps longer is less water - during use and also allowing it to completely dry out before the next shower.
Precious oils and ingredients go into every bar so for a bar to melt into bubble water is a horrendous thought for me. Which explains my long list of requirements to check off when I hunt for a good soap dish.
What are these requirements of a good soap dish?
Enough explained, this is the non-negotiable requirement. Period.
Firm hold yet with limited contact with soap. Easy to remove soap from dish even when it is stuck
When I place the soap back on the dish, the last thing I want to sweat about is it not sitting well or having the possibility of sliding off.
Yet if the entire bar comes into contact with a concave soap dish that hugs the bar, there will come a time when the bar gets smaller and softer, when it will start to stick to the dish and be hard to pull out in a whole piece without force or damage.
With sufficient surface not touching the soap dish, this not only allows the bar to air dry when not in use, it gives us room to nudge or manoeuvre the soap should it get stuck to the dish.
Ease of Cleaning
Over time, it’s inevitable that some soap mush gets left behind on the dish. So it’s a good practice after every bar to give the dish a good wash and even better, some sun tanning before the next bar if your dish is made of bamboo.
With complicated designs and grooves, washing is likely a tedious mission if you want to get to every nook and cranny. Some parts may be hard to wash even with a toothbrush. So the tip is, find soap dish with simple lines and wide gaps that you can easily reach with a brush or your fingers.
Surprisingly, this criteria is quite a challenge to meet when we first started our hunt for our dream soap dish.
We love bamboo as a sustainable material. However being natural, it’s easy for mould to form especially if your bathroom is damp and doesn’t get much sun.
Plastic is on the contrary, a longer lasting material. However despite scouring high and low for a good plastic design that fits the requirements above, we have not found one.
Similar to our take on fashion, we don’t believe in 52 seasons in a year. We believe designs that are clean and classy can withstand the test of time and look good in almost all bathrooms.
So how well do the soap dishes in @mynakedbar store fit the criteria above? Let us share our honest thoughts.
@mynakedbar Bamboo Soap Dish
Many of you will be familiar with this carbonised bamboo soap dish that we had been offering in our store for a while.
With four wide gaps of 9cm*0.7cm, the soap bars get all the drainage they require and have access to air even from below the dish.
Good Drainage - 5/5
This dish has a slight tapered design with wide horizontal bars that secure the bars with just enough contact. Secure enough even for our bars to do yoga. When soaps get stuck, there's room to use a blunt object to nudge the soaps from under the dish.
Firm hold with limited contact - 5/5
With simple lines and wide gap, there’s minimal surfaces to clean and grooves are easily accessible with just a few strokes using a used toothbrush.
Ease of cleaning - 4/5
Being a natural material, this dish is susceptible to mildew and mould. The good news is, as it is made of carbonised bamboo, it is much more resistant to mildew and mould and lasts longer than a natural bamboo soap dish. However, proper care is still required since it is a natural material.
Durability - 3/5
It was love at first sight for us for this soap dish because of its simple lines and natural colour. It matches different bathroom designs, whether zen or contemporary and all soaps look equally good on it.
Versatile Design - 5/5
@mynakedbar Avant Garde Silicone Soap Dish
The hunt for a second soap dish was triggered by our desire to find a longer lasting one that works equally well as our carbonised bamboo dish. We were at the brink of designing our own when we chanced upon this design by PropsAndPop which ticks almost every single requirement on our design list.
I pondered on it for a while and decided to write to the creator of the soap dish. I explained our cause and why I was on a hunt for a longer lasting dish that can hopefully cut waste. To be honest, my hopes weren't high. No creator would want their designs sold by another, but they are so far away that it doesn't make sense for me to order from them to sell in our store.
You probably guessed it. They said yes! I was really touched by their generosity for giving us permission to sell their design. Cos I honestly wasn't confident I can design something that is functionally and aesthetically more superior than what they had made. Grateful is the word.
I decided to name this silicone dish Avant Garde. Cos it defies what we expect of a regular soap dish - flat, often with rounded silhouettes, and with drainage holes. At one glance, some may not even realise what it is used for.
This dish has no drainage hole. However there's generous tapered grooves with a slope that allows water from the bar to flow down.
Good Drainage - 5/5
Despite being angled, there is a nice foothold which sits the bar securely on the dish. Even though there is no contact with air through the grooves behind, these grooves are wide enough for us to insert three fingers to gently nudge the bar out should it get stuck to the dish.
Firm hold with limited contact - 5/5
With no 'through groove', this dish is even easier to clean with no nooks or crannies to reach.
Ease of Cleaning - 5/5
It's no new news that silicone is a lasting material which may outlast not just bamboo but even plastic. So we are really happy to check this box.
Durability - 5/5
On the design front, we absolutely love it cos it's really sleek and the angle actually does a good job of showcasing the bar. However we know this is probably a design that may not fit into every single bathroom.
Our first launch comes with 5 muted colours and we hope you'd find a colour that you like.
Versatile Design - 4/5
Launching soon on my naked bar online store.