Antique Soap Saver: Styles, Identification, Value

antique soap savers

It is possible that an old soap saver you discover in your attic is made of weird wire mesh and has a lengthy handle. These were cleaning equipment for the frugal housewife, even though they resembled some form of cooking utensil in some ways.

Unexpectedly, a lot of collectors hunt for oddball things. There are currently three main versions that were previously offered on the US market, but you may also locate a few extra models from other nations.

Soap savers are common in flea markets and antique stores, and some are extremely valuable to collectors.

In this article, we will discover about antique soap savers, their value and identification.

What is Soap Saver?

A soap saver, as the name implies, is a bathroom device that helps your soap bars last longer. Soap savers maintain the condition of your soap bars by raising them off the ground, as opposed to leaving them on a bathroom ledge where they never completely dry.

Options for soap savers include soap dishes, lifting pads, and drawstring bags. But to avoid wasting time, we’ll concentrate solely on the last one – soap saver bags.

How Do Soap Savers Use?

A tool known as a soap saver has a very specific yet very cost-effective use. There is frequently a small sliver of soap left behind after using the entire bar. Throwing away the final piece of soap was viewed as a waste back when soap was more expensive or took longer to create than it does today. To get the most cleaning power from that tiny piece of soap, you may instead use a soap saver.

Housewives used to put small pieces of old soap in the basket to store for laundry day. They might swirl the soap saver in the water and use all of the soap when washing the clothing in a wringer washer or by hand. It’s not unusual to discover some slivers of soap that are several decades old within an ancient soap saver.

History of Antique Soap Savers

The soap saver, often called a soap shaker or a soap cage.

This is not a new concept; soap shakers were popular and widely used starting in the 1920s, but they fell out of favor when plastic bottles and liquid detergent became more convenient.

Early to mid-20th century saw the widespread use of soap savers, which peaked in the 1920s during the Great Depression. After decades of use, this clever but basic invention became obsolete with the advent of liquid detergent, powdered soap, and plastic bottles.

It was essentially a long-handled wire-metal mesh box. It had a clasp, lock ring, and squeeze-to-open features that made both opening and closing the box simple and straightforward.

The first plan was to build a box big enough to hold regular bar soap. But before using them to wash clothing, the majority of housewives used them to store soap remnants that were too little to be used as hand soap.

The women sealed the box tightly, clutching the handle, and shaking it violently in a pail of hot water. Soap would dissolve in the water, making it ready for washing and cleaning.

Antique Soap Saver Styles

Vintage soap savers were useful objects with a common basic design, but the manufacturers gave them different looks.

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Even though there are currently three primary varieties of this product, certain local manufacturers historically adhered to their own visions of how each model should look. As a result, simple designs are available in a variety of forms, patterns, and sizes.

Although soap savers were created in a variety of patterns and styles, they were all made with the same basic design. Because it enables them to curate a presentation, collectors like learning about various styles.

  • Reckitts Wire Soap Saver from 1930 to 1950

Reckitts Wire Soap Saver from 1930 to 1950
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This classy Reckitts dispenser was fashioned from a bent piece of strong, black wire that had eight rings on either side. These two pieces opened when the 21-inch (54-cm) long handle was squeezed, allowing the addition of leftover soap. An unused Reckitts’ block that was wrapped in white fabric was included in the original packing.

  • Australian Wire Soap Saver from 1940 to 1960

Australian Wire Soap Saver from 1940 to 1960
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From 1940 to 1960, an unidentified manufacturer in Australia created this wire soap saver. Most likely built by hand, it consisted of two wires joined at one end to make two spherical frames.

A piece with netting wire filing both frames is 4 inches (10 cm) long. They make a box that is 0.8 inches (2 cm) deep to store leftover soap.

  • Round Basket Soap Savers

Round Basket Soap Savers
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ers offer another choice for displaying a little vintage charm, albeit they are a little less common than those with rectangular motifs. Some of these designs include a clasp, but most of them have a handle that must be squeezed to open. There are a few that, in addition, can rotate while submerged, but these are less frequent.

There are a few additional items you might find when looking for soap savers, even though they are primarily mesh baskets for keeping soap slivers to be utilized in washing.

Furthermore, this round soap saver come in two types:

  • Round Basket Soap Saver Type 1

Though more uncommon than those with rectangular wire baskets made of light metal, round basket soap savers appear better. It first appeared in the early 20th century and was a necessary item that could be saved by using leftover soap from the pre-wash program.

The majority of the time, it had a handle that you squeezed to open, but occasionally you’ll find a unique variant with a clasp. The rarest kind can rotate in the water, but you’re not likely to find it on the market right now. This common spherical soap saver currently costs $15.

  • Round Basket Soap Saver Type 2

The uncommon metal mesh design on this 11-inch (28-cm) long antique primitive soap saver allowed for opening and closing by applying pressure to the handle’s center. It was rather uncommon, but the average price of a piece that infrequently showed up on the market is $19.

  • Squeeze-to-Open Soap Savers

Squeeze-to-Open Soap Savers

Because of how they were made, certain soap savers can be used with just one hand. The basket opens when the wire handles are compressed together, allowing soap to be placed within. These might have been a better option because there is no clasp to stop the soap saver from opening unintentionally in the laundry tub or a machine.

  • Rectangular Basket with Wire Clasp

Rectangular Basket with Wire Clasp

Some soap savers come with a rectangular basket to hold the little soap chunks. The basket includes a sliding wire closure that lets you open and close it, and it is made of wire mesh. These generally feature a brief handle, which is usually made of wire or wood.

  • Wooden Handle Square Basket Soap Saver

Wooden Handle Square Basket Soap Saver
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This vintage soap saver was created in California during the Great Depression, a time when women used soap to the last scrap in an effort to save money. This made this aluminum object precious in every household.

Advantages of Antique Soap Saver

In contrast to lifting pads and soap dishes, which only serve one purpose for instance to keep the soap bar dry, soap savers are special because they serve numerous purposes.

  • Keep Your Bar Dry

By elevating your bar off the floor, soap savers extend the life of your bar. The majority of soap saver bags come with a rope attached so that you may hang them to dry after use on your bathroom faucet or shower caddy.

  • Preserve Your Soap Crumbs

They help you preserve every last bit of your bar, which is the first and maybe most obvious benefit. Simply place the soap sliver and your new bar of soap into the bag when your old bar of soap is too small to handle. Everything is utilized because eventually it will transform into the old bar.

  • Gently Exfoliate

Some soap saver bags, like our sisal soap saver bag, also function as gentle skin exfoliators. Because sisal from the agave plant is used in its production, it has a naturally gritty texture that exfoliates the skin without causing any harm. Just place the bar into the bag, secure the drawstring, and lather up.

  • Make your soap bars less slippery

Our sisal soap saver bag is great if you’re tired of dropping your slippery bar in the shower. This organic soap saver bag will help you always maintain a firm hold on your bar thanks to its gripping texture.

  • Soap Savers are usually eco-friendly

Their condition will have an effect on their value as usual. When using an old item as decor, it makes sense that an appealing appearance is required. As a result, corroded, bent, and broken things won’t make for visually appealing display pieces.

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On the other hand, the majority of collectors appreciate the patina on antique metal items and are likely to look for those with soap residue stuck in the wire mesh eyelets.

The cost of soap savers will increase in the absence of desirable partial tarnish and flaking due to structural problems, a textured appearance, potential repair work, and replacements.

  • The soap saver is a fashionable and useful product

This piece was both aesthetically pleasing and useful to hang in the washroom. Housewives could prevent unsightly soap scum from building up on worktops and sink tops by keeping little soap particles in a box. Thus, less frequent and needless bathroom sink cleaning was required.

Identification of Antique soap savers

To identify your antique soap saver, keep in mind that although they are essentially mesh baskets for gathering soap slivers for use in laundry, soap savers can also be a variety of different items. The “Soap Saver” is the name of a particular brand of vintage washboard. As a “soap saver basket,” some people also refer to soap baskets that are used to carry soap bars close to the sink or bathtub. Actually, these are soap dishes, not soap saves.

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How can I Find Value of my Antique Soap Savers?

On the surface, soap savers seem like a strange type of collection. However, they are historical artifacts that are reasonably priced that you can display on the bathroom wall to remember your grandparents’ way of life.

Most types cost between $10 and $30 and can be found online, at thrift shops, and in antique shops. A single unique type of various items has occasionally only ever been seen online.

It’s interesting to note that rarity won’t significantly change their price; you will probably just need to offer a few dollars more for a single exceptional piece. You can still think of antique soap saver models as lovely and collectible even though you probably won’t use them.

Their worth will be impacted by their condition as usual. It seems sense that an attractive appearance is needed when employing an old item as decor. Thus, damaged, warped, and rusted objects won’t make attractive display pieces.

The majority of collectors, on the other hand, value the patina on vintage metal objects and are likely to seek out any with remnants of soap lodged in the eyelets of wire mesh.

Contrary to desired partial tarnish and flaking, structural issues, a textured look, and potential repair or replacements will raise the cost of soap savers.

Let’s find here how Value is affected by Condition

The value of soap savers today is in their use as decorative items because they are no longer commonly used. Value can be somewhat influenced by condition, although patina on the metal also appeals to collectors. It is not less valuable because of any tarnish or paint chipping. If there are structural problems with the soap saver or if it is damaged in an unappealing manner, its value could decrease. Value can also be affected by repairs and restoration.

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Therefore, the best method for determining the worth of a soap saver, whether you already own one or are considering buying one, is to compare recently sold items of the same kind and condition. Avoid making comparisons with items that are still up for grabs because the asking price can vary widely. Value can be determined considerably more accurately using the actual sold price.

Here are the few examples:

  • A soap saver that was circular, in perfect condition, and sold in 2020 for about $20. It formed a wonderful display piece and had a lovely patina.
  • On eBay, a soap saver with a rectangular basket form sold for about $25. It was in fantastic shape. The metal had an excellent patina and had not previously been restored.
  • Additionally, a very good condition tension handle soap saver offered for around $10. The handles and mesh were intact, and the tension feature continued to function well.

List of few antique soaps savers sold at eBay, etsy and other auction sites

  • Vintage metal wire soap saver sudser antique old sold for $9.99

Vintage metal wire soap saver sudser antique old sold for $9.99
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  • Antique Primitive Wire Soap Saver Agitator sold for $7.50

Antique Primitive Wire Soap Saver Agitator sold for $7.50
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  • Primitive Antique Tin Wire Wireware Soap Saver sold for $12.99

Primitive Antique Tin Wire Wireware Soap Saver sold for $12.99

  • Antique soap saver worth between $5 – $100

Antique soap saver worth between $5 - $100
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  • Antique washboard. Soap Saver with blue enamel worth $20 – $30

Antique washboard. Soap Saver with blue enamel worth $20 - $30
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  • 1920s Soap Saver worth between $30 – $40

1920s Soap Saver worth between $30 - $40
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Where to Buy these Antique Soap Savers Online?

Searching online is your best option if you need to find one immediately. Consider the following sites:

e-Bay – The Antique soap savers of your dreams can be easily found on eBay, one of the greatest sites to find beautiful Antique collectibles. It’s also ideal if you’re considering selling because they provide a very user-friendly e-commerce feature and can reach a sizable global audience.

Etsy – Since people frequently discover these different Vintage soap savers in their grandparents’ homes across the world. Hence, internet marketplaces like Etsy are among the greatest places to find a ton of these pieces on sale.

Other Auction Sites – Anywhere in the world, there are auction houses, and each one is unique in terms of the type of goods it specialized in, the price range, the types of people it serves, and the way it does business. Liveactioneers and other auction sites where you can find your vintage items.

Bottom Line

In today’s times, soap savers are no longer useful, but many antique collectors choose to use them as decorative accents in their homes.

These classy and inexpensive antique collectibles can be hung on the wall of the bathroom or laundry room. To make sure the soap saver you have found is a true antique, there are a few things you should verify before buying. In your home, antique soap savers are wonderful discussion pieces and show items.

Hence, a soap saver is a lovely and cost-effective alternative if you want to give your interior decor an antique atmosphere. Having an impressive collection of vintage soap savers is a lot of fun. Imagine them hanging from the walls of your laundry room, bathroom, or kitchen.

Additionally, they are useful as startup collectibles. 

As a collector, you must be aware of the uses, qualities, aesthetics, and values of the items you choose to purchase. And that is what this article has covered.

We have done extensive research to give you all the knowledge you require to make the best decisions.

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