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What Is A Soap Saver? (Hint: It’s Worth It!)

If you’re shelling out for nice soap, you want it to last—so what is a soap saver? And how is it going to “save” your bar soap?

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What Does A Soap Saver Do?

A soap saver is the superhero of the bathroom. It maximizes the lifespan of your soap city citizens, keeping each of your bars happy and dry.

In all seriousness, most soap savers simply look like regular plastic- or fiber-based soap dishes you can use to store bar soap when you’re not using it. But they do a lot more than keep your soap off the counter.

They’re specifically designed as an uneven, ridged surface so that your soap gets as much airflow as possible. This helps your bar soap dry faster, which in turn helps it last longer and leave behind less residue.

In turn, your soap will also lose that slimy texture that it tends to build up when left out on the counter.

Lots of soap savers even help with drainage, and they make soap scum cleanup significantly faster. If you find yourself always cleaning soap residue off the counter because your roommate leaves behind a drippy mess (*cough* Josh *cough*), a soap saver is an easy way to combat that problem.

How Do You Use A Soap Saver?

A soap saver does all the heavy lifting for you. All you really need to do is take it out of the package and add soap.

If you’re using a saver in the shower, place it somewhere away from the water stream. This will help keep it dry, per its intended use. This is less of a concern if you’re placing it on the sink counter—doubtful that it will get too wet there.

Also, if you’re using a plastic soap saver, take note as to whether it has an open or closed bottom. If it’s open and might let suds drip through to the counter, you should put a paper towel underneath it to catch the suds. This should not be the case for most soap savers.

Within the realm of soap savers, you’ll probably find a lot of “soap bags.” These are a bit different; they’re shower alternatives to loofahs. Most are knit drawstring bags that simply hold your soap and work like a scrubber for your skin.

How Do I Clean My Soap Saver?

Even if it’s not technically your turn to clean the bathroom  (looking at you, Josh), soap savers make cleanup super easy.

Your soap saver should have caught any soap residue buildup, so all you really need to do is run it under some hot water. It might be slippery, so hold it carefully. If it’s been a few weeks, and the buildup is stubborn, you can use your least favorite roommate’s toothbrush to scrub away the suds. Consider patting it dry before you put your soap back onto it.

As for shower soap bags, just rinse them after each use and hang them to dry. They’re even easier to keep clean than plastic soap dishes.

That’s all there is to it! Adding a cleaner would be redundant, so no need to get out the Clorox wipes.

If any soap residue builds up on the counter around the soap saver, same process: rinse with water, pat dry with paper towels. 

For more stubborn soap stains (which shouldn’t be an issue if you’re using a saver and rinsing it regularly), you might need some heavier acidic cleaning products to break down the scum.

Are Soap Savers Worth It?

If you’re using bar soap, then yes. 

The most immediate benefit is the fact that you won’t have to put your bar soap directly on the sink counter. (Seriously Josh? It’s disgusting. Look, it has a hair in it. You’re going to wash your hands with that?) It’s one of those small details that tends to impress guests.

But, beyond that, soap savers maximize your soap’s lifespan, saving you money in the long run. They also tend to keep the bathroom area cleaner. Soap scum buildup isn’t necessarily terrible, but it’s difficult to clean, and the residue makes everything slippery.

A soap saver drastically reduces soap residue, and it also tends to catch any residue that does build up. Plus, using a soap saver in the shower can keep your bar away from the stream, AND it will minimize slippage.

What Is A Soap Sock?

A soap sock, also known as a soap bag, is like the superhero uniform of the soap saver world. It looks like a little mesh baggie, quite nondescript, but when it comes to soap longevity and skin benefits, it packs a powerful punch.

The first thing you’ll probably notice when you use a soap soak is how quickly it helps your soap lather. It’s similar to a loofah in its foaming abilities, but the fact that it’s not plastic, and has a longer lifespan, makes it much more environment- and people-friendly.

A soap sock’s mesh also works as a gentle exfoliant, so you don’t have to find any inconvenient DIY methods to rub away dead skin. (I used to keep a baggie of baking soda in my shower, but I had to stop when I realized that guests and roommates were mistaking it for a crack stash.)

Soap sock users also enjoy the fact that it eliminates soap waste. Rather than throwing out bars once they get small and punny, the soap sock lets you add a new bar to the bag.

And, as a surprise bonus feature, lots of soap socks are compostable.

Can You Keep Soap In A Plastic Bag?

No! Noooo!! Don’t do that!

Unless your bar is perfectly dry, and you simply need to transport it from one shower to another, don’t try to store it in a plastic bag.

If savers are the superheroes of the soap world, then plastic bags are the villains. They trap innocent bars of soap, and cut off their airflow until the soap starts to…turn. 

In a sinister, zombie-like transformation, your bar will start to reek, grow oilier by the minute, and eat your clearly labeled leftovers out of the shared household fridge. (Yeah Josh, must’ve been the oily, scummy zombie soap, huh? Nobody else here would stoop that low, right?)

You’ll do so much better with a soap saver or a soap bag. Even just leaving your soap out in the open is better than zip locking it.

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.