The Great Soap Dish Dilemma

I’m taking a break from expensive and time consuming projects, but there are smaller things I should be doing. My roommate has been away for 3 weeks and I promised her that stuff would happen while she was gone. I didn’t follow through. Some of this is dependent on the Irishman, who also promised to help me and didn’t follow through, but the bathroom’s lack of towel bars and other storage items is all on me. The toilet paper sits on the radiator, which doesn’t bother me. Towels hang on the side of this temporary storage cart, which I’m also fine with except that guests never find them.


It’s in the bathtub thatthings get ugly. All I have is a bar of soap, a bottle of shampoo (usually large and inexpensive), and a scrub brush. My roommate has 2 additional bottles. And then I use a clean wash cloth every time I shower and with no place to hang them I let them sit in a nasty pile until laundry day.


My roommate said she’d like to see all of that stuff go away. Her tone was gentle but that didn’t imply that I was welcome to slack off. But I did, mainly because my search left me disappointed. I want fixtures that are as plain and sleek as possible in shiny chrome at the dry end of the tub away from the shower head. And there’s a slim chance that I’d want storage for just a wee bit more in case someone more high maintenance ever lives here.

Chris suggested a magnetic soap dish like he used in his house, and this idea sounded fantastic. But there’s a problem. There’s a very limited selection of these, and the most sensible ones have a very traditional look that’s wrong for my bathroom. Everything else is either very high end and imported from Europe or looks as cheap as it is. But I could get one from Zack Scala with a look I liked – for about 50 bucks.

Scala Magnetic Soap Holder

That’s not super cheap but I figured it would be okay and I should get it. But then I was thinking of the other stuff I want that would be on the same wall. It’s one thing to cheat and use cheaper fixtures across the room, but here wouldn’t it look stupid? But getting them to match would cost like $300! And even after spending all that money will it look any good?

And I went back to the alternative, finding a different manufacturer whose product is close enough. But they’re all chrome when this soap dish is polished stainless steel. Polished stainless steel that looks like chrome is apparently not a thing in the US.

I thought when I was planning this project out that marble shelves would stick out like a sore thumb and thought I should get glass. But then I wondered about safety if I broke it. So I considered getting wire shelves. No need for a soap dish that way. But I couldn’t find anything I liked and decided that the risk of breaking a glass shelf (that I like) is pretty small anyway, right? But that takes me back to where I have to order expensive things online and decide if I’m going to hold my nose and spend hundreds of dollars or try to mix different styles of fixtures that I’m buying sight unseen.

So then I decided to ignore the house and wash up to do something fun. And I threw another washcloth on the pile.


8 thoughts on “The Great Soap Dish Dilemma

  1. Christine Harris

    Am I being tres gauche by suggesting the kind of shower caddy that hangs on the shower head fixture?


  2. Mary Elizabeth

    Niches for soap and bottles are something you should have thought of when you were installing the tile. 🙂 But since you didn’t, here is the best and most permanent solution for you–any one of the Simple Human shower caddies that stick to the wall tile or are on a tension rod. Five years ago, DH and I bought the tension rod one for our 1959 bath that had no niches. (I’m remembering that nobody used “product” in 1959–just one bar of soap in a plastic soap dish and a glass bottle of shampoo, which baby brother frequently broke, leaving glass shards all over the bottom of the tub for him to cut his feet and little baby butt on.) So besides mine, here are the rave reviews. And if you go the tension rod route, do not go cheap, but stick with Simple Human. Study the online reviews of other products, which spring out of place at awkward moments. Good reviews of Simple Human below.


    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      I did plan for niches, and the stud spacing in the long wall on the side of the bathtub has funny stud spacing to accommodate them. I decided not to put them in because my tiles are irregular and have prominent grout joints and the only way to do the niches attractively would be to line the edges of the niche precisely with the joints and back-miter the edges of the tiles. And the short wall opposite the spigot would be a less obtrusive place for them, but because it’s a solid brick party wall I couldn’t have anything recessed into it. One of my potential contractors told me he prefers the looks of shelving mounted on the surface of the wall and I decided on that instead.


      1. Mary Elizabeth

        Chad, I do remember you talking about that, now that you mention it. And I will say since we have gone the caddy route I think it is easier to keep the shower tiles clean of mold and the like. I have timed myself, and it takes 50-60 seconds to wipe down the wet tiles after a shower. It’s much easier with plain flat walls than with my old tub enclosure, which had all kinds of neat places for water, 8-legged critters, algae and other deep-sea plants to hide.


  3. Tonya

    Scrubbies actually get you cleaner than a washcloth, so if you want to say goodbye to the washcloth pile the scrubbies air dry after each shower:) Something like these.
    or like this

    If you want to stick with the washcloth one of these bars would work. I’m guessing your wash cloth would be dry by the next morning so it could go in the laundry basket instead of the pile in the shower. With it being double if it didn’t dry by the next morning it would be by the second morning and you just rotate the less dry washcloth to the back and the newly used one in the front, if that makes sense.

    The storage systems that Amy and Mary mentioned would work great. I used to have one of the corner ones and not sure what I would’ve done without it. That would totally solve the shampoo, soap, etc. dilemma.

    As far as the big towel dilemma I just bought an over the door towel rack and it works great. Plus since it come away from the door the towels would dry faster.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s