What is a Soap Dish?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2019
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A soap dish is just what it sounds like – a dish for holding soap. It is kept near the bathroom sink for hand washing. The types of soap dishes vary widely and you can find everything from an inexpensive piece of plastic to a fancy designer soap dish. Although soap dishes can be almost any shape and style, many are designed in a tray shape so that soapy suds don't overflow as much they would if the dish was flat without an edge around it.

A soap dish is usually made to hold single bars of soap, but you could also use it for several small guest soaps. Liquid soap must be used in a soap dispenser rather than a dish. Most tub and shower surrounds have built-in soap dishes. A soap dish can be plastic, glass, ceramic, metal, wood or any combination of these.

Plastic soap dishes are usually the most inexpensive as well as the most informal looking. This choice is great for kids and all sorts of colorful animal-shaped and other fun soap dishes are sold today to help encourage children to wash their hands. Some plastic soap dishes have a removable mesh liner to separate the top and bottom of the dish to keep down the amount of watery soap build up.


Glass soap dishes are typically made from tempered glass and are often wall mounted. These can add a really elegant look to a bathroom and a glass wall mounted soap dish is also a practical choice as this type usually cleans easily and saves counter space. Typically the glass types of soap dishes consist of a small glass plate attached to a metal fitting that goes into the wall. The fitting may be hidden or it may be a stylish such as a piece of polished chrome, nickel or brass.

The wooden type of soap dish often has holes drilled in the bottom of it to prevent a build up of excess moisture. Wooden soap dishes may add a spa look to a bathroom. Ceramic and metal may be combine with glass or wood in designer soap dishes and some of these are footed, or pedestal types. A soap dish may be sold as part of a set that often includes a lotion dispenser and a tooth brush holder cup.


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Post 3

Though body washes and liquid soaps have made the soap dish less useful, I still think a tasteful wooden, glass or ceramic soap dish can be a nice and inexpensive way to give a bathroom a little touch of individuality.

Post 2

Does anyone use bar soap and soap dishes anymore? The dishes are a hassle to keep clean because as the soap melts away it without fail gets clumped up in the dish and it gets gross. Also, bar soap is the perfect item for spreading bacteria. I suggest you do like most people have already done and get rid of the bathroom soap dishes.

Actually, my dermatologist told be for stop using the bar soap when I was in high school because she thought it was probably the source of a breakout I had at the time. Go with the liquid soap. It is more hygienic and less messy.

Post 1

I think the possibility of our home running out of soap dishes is highly unlikely--not in the next 100 years or so anyway. When I was a kid in school we made ashtrays. Well, ashtrays are no longer politically correct items for kids to make in art classes, so our home is overflowing with a wide variety of ceramic and clay soap dishes.

They are in various designs, colors and shapes. Some of the dishes are supposed to look like certain animals. Let's just say that I have a difficult time recalling which animals even when I am looking at the dishes. However, I love them all, and that's why I use them without hesitation, even in the guest bathroom. I will never buy another soap dish.

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