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Soap ‘Tainers — colorful, vintage, NOS soap dishes that hide your soap

Every once in a while I pop over the deabath.com website, because those folks always are digging up interesting vintage bathroom treasures from the deep dark recesses of California and other western state warehouses. Sure enough, right there to greet me on the homepage were these very happy New Old Stock (NOS) “Soap ‘Tainers” in a rainbow of happy midcentury pastel colors, as well as black, white and gray. John at deabath (which has been a longtime advertiser here) tells me, “We found two full cases and a part of another in a defunct warehouse in Fresno”.

These were made by Radson Engineering Corp., of Decatur, Illinois. John says that they are made from plastic. I think he told me they are pretty heavy duty, though (confirm if you want to buy one.) It’s great to see the box graphics — they give you a sense of their size, pretty big.

I actually talked to John on the phone about these. I think he told me that the soap sits on a little platform. You turn the rotor knobby thingie and the platform moves down to deliver the soap to you. When you are done washing your hands, the soap goes back on its platform and your knobbie it back up into its hiding place.

Yes, it all seems like a lot of work to keep your soap out in hiding. But, what a wonderful oddity to add to our archive.

And, you can add this woddity to your bathroom, if you move fast: I count a total of 26 Soap ‘Tainers currently available, in a variety of colors, they are $49 each.

Link: Soap ‘Tainers at deabath.com. 

  1. hannah says:

    I LOVED that powdered soap! Public places had it into the 80s I think. It DID leave your hands really soft, and I loved that stuff. <3

    It would be so much fun to have one of those. Thanks for listing the link, CC!!

  2. Lauryn says:

    I love the wonderful locally made soaps I buy, so I’ve no need to hide them … but if I did, these would be an awfully pretty way to do it!! And that powdered soap is SO much better than the liquid hand soaps that are every where today. They are so harsh and so drying and so awful! More proof that the old fashioned way is so often the better way.

  3. Diane L says:

    Here’s the sad part…I remember these in some of the old haunts I frequented when along with my folks when I was a child. Yes…we HAD to come along..no staying at home. Think of all I would have missed. Grated soap.

  4. Jason says:

    I took it to be that this held more than 1 bar of soap and you turned it to get a new bar out when needed??? I could see it in dorms or public bathrooms if it gives out a new bar when needed.

    As for the powdered soap dispensers – my experience with these was at Disney World – I loved the stuff. It did make your hands soft.

    I used to work there and I assume we used them because they were easier to clean up the drips – I don’t know. We had them until the early 2000s I believe. My understanding was that after Anthrax attacks and scares around the country they decided to remove them since it was a powder and they felt it could pose a risk.

  5. pam kueber says:

    I bought one — and it just arrived. I have to play with it more. But: I think you are right!

  6. Karen says:

    I received mine today. There’s a metal “claw” that holds the soap up inside the ‘tainer, turn the handle and the claw opens up to release the soap.

  7. Guy Simpler says:

    QUESTION: Does anyone remember hand soap that was dispensed as extremely thin “sheets” (maybe 1″ wide by 2″ long), dry, in public restrooms, usually high end hotels, etc. I recall them in, maybe, the Palmer House in Chicago, or in athletic clubs.

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