A soap saver sack (also known as a soap cozy or soap pouch) is a small drawstring sack designed to hold a bar of soap.
You can get knit or crochet soap savers made with cotton yarn, or fabric soap pouches made from flannel or sisal, but they all do the same job.
They act as a soap cozy to keep remants of soap together and to hang up your soap in the shower and then to dry when you've finished washing.
Why should I use bar soap instead of liquid soap?
In recent years, there's been a lot of fuss about using soap bars (solid soap) instead of liquid soap in bottles. So what's that all about?
A lot of people are - very rightly - concerned about the amount of plastic waste we generate in our bathrooms and kitchens, much of which is not recyclable, or not easily recyclable. It makes sense to stop using plastic bottles filled with liquid soap - hand wash, shower gel, bubble bath, shampoo - and turn back to soap that comes in bars, sold either loose or in much more eco-friendly packaging such as cardboard boxes or paper bags. Much less packaging and much more sustainable and easily recyclable packaging, and most importantly no plastic!
Even shampoo comes in bar form these days, and is available from an ever-increasing variety of places, both online, in local refill shops and even in major supermarkets. It may seem odd to those of us brought up on liquid shampoo in a bottle, but actually bar shampoo works just as well for most people. And personally I love it. Not only does it come with virtually no packaging waste, but it lasts for ages too!
You may have to try a few different kinds of shampoo bars before you find the one for you, but I lucked out as I love the first one I ever tried - the soak and float shampoo bar from Lush. I tried it because I have dandruff (I was always a Head and Shoulders girl before!) and it certainly works great on my dandruff, but I also adore its delicious rose scent too. Some people don't like Lush because their soaps use sulfates, and there probably are more earth-friendly shampoos available elsewhere, but I love this one so much I don't want to change!
Having said that, I do also suffer from static hair and was recommended the Ethique range as being good for dealing with that. I have recently tried their St Clements shampoo bar because I have oily hair and while I don't like the scent of that nearly as much as the Lush one, it certainly seems to clean my hair just as well and I think it may be helping with the static as well.
One thing you might find when you start washing your hair with shampoo bars instead of liquid shampoo is that your hair ends up feeling sticky. This is easily solved with a cider vinegar rinse. I use an old 500ml cider vinegar bottle into which I pour a couple of tablespoons of cider vinegar before my shower; I then fill this up to around 300mls (the top of the label!) with warm shower water and pour it over my hair, leave for a couple of minutes while I wash other bits of me, and then rinse it out. (Originally I tried this with a 300ml bottle but it froths up a lot as you add the water so it's easier to use a bigger bottle to accommodate the froth!)
Anyway, this rinse leaves my hair lovely and shiny and, weirdly, still smelling of the shampoo and not of vinegar - in case you're worried about that!
Why should I use a soap saver bag with my soap bar?
There are all sorts of reasons why soap saver bags are a great idea for using with your bar soap.
The biggest benefit of all is that a soap saver pouch lets you hang your soap up. You can also do this with soap on a rope, but a soap sack keeps working right until you've used up the very last bit of your soap bar.
Why would you want to hang your soap up?
So you don't lose it in the shower or bath. You can hang it safely on a hook or over a tap, and it'll be right there when you want it!
So it can dry out after use. Bar soap is much nicer to use and much more hygenic if it can air out and dry between uses, and hanging a soap saver bag up between uses lets this happen. (Just don't leave it in the shower if there are other people using your shower, or it'll get all wet again!)
What are the other benefits of using a soap saver sack?
Ever been frustrated by your bar of soap slipping out of your fingers when wet? Well, a soap saver bag is much easier to grip and makes soap slipping away from you a thing of the past.
A soap cozy is especially useful once your soap bar dwindles into one of those tiny slivers of soap that you really can't keep a grip on! Just bung those soap remnants into a soap pouch and you can keep on using your soap right until the very end. You can also save up all your slivers of soap and put them all in a soap saver sack together, then once they're wet just squish them together and bingo! You have a new bar of soap.
A soap bar contained within a soap saver holder is also much better for scrubbing the dirt off your skin. The ridged texture of the fabric is great for exfoliating, so with a soap saver scrubby you get your soap and scrubability all in one!
Apart from that, they're so pretty! So much more pleasing to look at than a plain old bar of soap - don't you think?
How to use a soap saver sack
Simple. Just take your soap bar or shampoo bar out of the box or bag it came in and slip it inside a soap sack. Then take it with you into the shower or bath, hang it up (out of the flow of water if possible to avoid wasting it) and use it to soap and scrub as required. Then take it out of the shower and hang it up to dry - hanging from the bath taps is a really useful place to leave it.
Or you can hang your soap saver pouch near your sink for easy hand washing.
What kinds of soap saver bag are there?
You can find soap saver containers made out of all sorts of things, from delicate muslin to soft but scrubby flannel or towelling fabric to really exfoliating sisal!
But as a knitter I must admit I'm rather partial to knitted soap saver pouches! Knitted with cotton, a soap cozy is soft but still scrubby, and they can come in so many beautiful colours.
You can go neutral for that classic eco-friendly bathroom aesthetic with unbleached, undyed, organic cotton soap saver bag.
Or you can go bold with soap pouches in all the colours of the rainbow!
You can even knit your own...
Check out my Soap Saver Sacks page for the full range of hand knitted soap savers at WombleKnits, along with my easy knitting pattern and eco knit kit.
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Got questions about soap saver bags and how to use them? Just ask them in the comments below. I'm always happy to help, if I can!