Handmade soap storage and care

Storing your handmade soap

natural soap, soap care, soap storage

How to care for your soap?

The first thing you need to know about homemade handmade soap is that it needs to breathe. This is important to help the soap cure – the longer it cures the harder the bar will get. It will stay hard so long as it is not sitting in water or in an area that it will attract moisture.

All natural soap must breathe

So you’ve bought some handmade soap! Congratulation! You will never go back to store bought…

Soap Dishes to keep your soap out of water

Now here are some tips to prevent your soap from dissolving in the shower or to deteriorate on the shelf.

    • Store soaps that are not in use in a covered container that allows air circulation, and in a cool, dry location. A shoe box will work well for this. I put holes in the boxes so the soap can breathe well.
    • If you prefer to store your soaps in plastic, be sure to add ventilation to the container to allow the soaps to breathe. I personally would not use plastic tubs. Handmade natural soaps are high in natural glycerin and vegetable oils; non-ventilated storage may result in a “weepy” soap bar.

  • Keep your stored soaps out of direct sunlight, as natural ingredient colors may fade. The sun can also warm the soap causing it to sweat if it gets to warm.
  • If storing several soaps, keep similar scents together. Over time bars that are stored together will take on other scents. They are usually fine once the are taken into the shower or bath and splashed with some water to get ot the scent underneath.
  • Use a soap dish with slots so the soap can dry between uses. This is pretty important. Remember that soap that sits in water will absorb that water and get mushy.

With proper storage and in-use care, you’ll get the most of your handmade natural soap! and your bars will last a long time.


These inexpensive soap dishes are great for the shower. They have little nubs that raise the dish from the shower shelf and holes that will allow the water to run down off the soap.

InterDesign Plastic Bar Soap Holder for Bathroom Shower – Set of 3, Clear

Here is a really great idea for making your own soap dish like the one shown below – using rocks

soap dish



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16 Responses to Handmade soap storage and care

  1. AnxietyPanda says:

    I have always wondered what to do about my handmade soap that seemed to disappear so quickly. Thank you so much for your tips! It makes sense that the soap needs to breathe and be stored in a dry place. I’m thinking of trying to make my own soap. Can I add essential oils? Will that also cause a “weepy” soap?

    • Tes says:

      Hi, some handmade soap will disappear quickly some because of the oil combinations used and some because of improper storage or use.  You can certainly add essential oils to your soap, they will not cause it to weep.  You may want to have a look at this page when deciding what to add for scent Scenting soap


    Ok. I didn’t know soaps could take on the scents of others when stored together. But I had some difficulties trying to use soap dishes. This one you are recommending on your website, does it have some sort of a collector underneath? My experience with these soap dishes is that I always have to do some clean up of the bathroom after use, since the wet soap will continue to spill underneath, leaving traces all over. 

    I had to find an alternative, a small plastic container, which really solved the problem completely, as my wet soap will not soil my soap stand anymore. But it would be more fashionable using a soap dish with a collector under, than using a plastic container. Do you have a recommendation for this type of soap dish?

    • Tes says:

      Hi, when I use this soap by the sink I put the soap drainer into a soap dish to collect any moisture.  If soap is made well and is cured long enough you will not get any soap slime if the water drains off.

  3. Victor says:

    I haven’t bought any handmade soap bars but I’ve seen quite a bit of them and I’m gravitating towards buying one. Now I know that I can’t just let it sit in my shower when I do buy one. I like the idea of the soap dish because it can still sit in my shower but because of the holes the water won’t stay on the actual soap. 

    • Tes says:

      Hi Victor, handmade soap is so nice, you’ll never go back to that store bought stuff lol.  I use the dish shown on this post and it works very well in the shower or sitting by the sink in a soap dish.

  4. Cheryl Kohan says:

    I love handmade soaps so this post was especially good. I love giving homemade soaps as gifts.

    I know what you mean about needing air circulation. Nothing worse than ruining a lovely bar of homemade soap by letting it get mushy! I try to keep mine elevated on a breathable surface like those that you’ve mentioned.

    I’m going to look at some of the recipes you’ve posted, too. So many of these would make great small gifts, too. I’ll let you know if I have a chance to try some of them. Thanks!

  5. Lakesha M Malone says:

    Never thought about the fact,  soap needs to breathe. And must be stored properly, in a dry place.  Thank you for the information. I wonder if it needs to be stored in a dry place and should be washed off thoroughly before each use, I easily wondering if soap develops mold on it if not stored properly?  Also,  van a soap cause skin ailments if its not properly used or stored? 

      Homemade soaps feel better on the skin,  like a natural application compared to shower gels,  even better than Oil of Olay products.  I love all natural homemade, handmade  products. Lakesha 

    • Tes says:

      I have never seen soap develop mold, I think it would be very unlikely although some soaps if not stored properly or have been made with too much of one oil or the other can go rancid. You will see orange spots on the soap if this has happened and sometimes it will be a little sticky to the touch.

      Homemade soap does feel wonderful on the skin and can help with many skin ailments. I don’t think incorrect storage would cause skin irritation. It still has the same good oils in it.

  6. tim says:

    Handmade soap is just an incredible discover if you’ve never tired it.  I went back to it last year and there is no comparison to store bought.  Another example of how we forfeit quality for convenience.

    I remember as a boy when my grandmother would make her hand made soap.  She made a big deal when it was time to use the lye…and it scared me to death.  I thought if I got to close to the process my face my melt off.  I guess she just wanted us to respect the chemical reaction going on.  I remember taking bath with that soap as a youngster and they were bug white bars…I mean huge!  

    When, on the rare occasion, I got my mouth washed out with soap I remember how unpleasant it was due to the strength.

    I’m glad both parenting tactics and soap making has change since then.

    • Tes says:

      Thanks for sharing your soap story with your Grandmother, some of those soaps were lye heavy back then and the bars were a little harsh.  Thankfully we have learned a lot since then.  As for the lye, I can see that.  My grandkids are not allowed anywhere near the soap room when I’m mixing the lye.

  7. Zed says:

    I really like to use handmade and/or homemade soaps … For many reasons … 

    First of all, they have “character” … well, most of them …

    And the main reason: as you said, usually they contain natural glycerin and vegetable oils, and I’m firmly convinced that they are more “healthy” than the vast majority of all those scientifically developed super-branded soaps.

    And now I’ve learned that they need to breathe … Thanks!

    • Tes says:

      Your right handmade soaps are better than most of the super-branded soaps on the market.  The natural glycerin in handmade soap adds so much moisture where as most soap bars bought in the grocery store contain little to none as it has been removed and sold as a byproduct.

  8. William says:

    The article, “Handmade soap storage and care,” is really an eyeopener for me. I did not know that soap needs to breath. However, your explanation of the importance of soap to breath makes sense to me. Compared to stored bought soap, homemade soap with it’s natural glycerin and vegetable oils is actually a gem. 

    I also find your 5 tips to prevent soap from dissolving in the shower or to deteriorate on the shelf in particular helpful.  

    In future I personally will bear in particular the following tips of yours in mind, namely store my unused soap in a covered container that has openings so the soap can breath, don’t store similar scents together, use a soap dish with slots to enable soap to dry between uses and keep stored soap out of direct sunlight.

    From now on my soap bars will definitely last longer. Thank you Tess for your valuable information.  

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