Have you by any chance looked through your attic and discovered a mysterious wire mesh object that has a long handle?
it’s very likely that this item just might be an antique soap saver. Although they appear a bit like some type of kitchen utensil, these soap savers were really cleaning devices for any frugal housewife.
In this article, we talk about the different styles of the antique soap saver and how to determine what the one in your possession is worth.
Places you’re likely to find soap savers at are antique shops and flea markets and some of them are even of really high value to collectors who would be willing to pay a lot for it.
What is an Antique Soap Saver and How Does It Work?
All soap savers have a very frugal and very specific purpose. Whenever you make us of a bar of soap, there is usually a little sliver remaining. Nowadays, you would probably throw that out; however, when soap was more expensive or took a lot of time to make, throwing out that final sliver was viewed as being wasteful.
Instead of throwing it away, you could make use of a soap saver to obtain every final bit of cleaning quality out of that small piece of soap. Housewives would place little bits of almost-finished soap into the basket to keep it for laundry day.
Whenever they laundered the clothes by hand or in a wringer washer, they could turn the soap saver round and round in the water, getting every final bit of the soap out of it. It’s very common to locate an antique soap saver which still has a few slivers of soap several decades old.
Antique Soap Saver Styles
All soap savers were made with the same fundamental design; however, they were made in a myriad of patterns and styles. Collectors like discovering different styles because it helps them curate a display.
1. Rectangular Basket With Wire Clasp
Some soap savers come with a rectangular basket to keep the little bits of soap. The basket is manufactured from wire mesh, along with a sliding wire clasp which lets you close and open the basket. These often have a wire or wooden handle, usually not up to a foot long.
2. Squeeze-to-Open Soap Savers
Some types of soap savers possess a design which permits one-handed operation. You begin by pressing the wire handles together, so the tension can open the basket and you are able to place soap inside. Due to the fact that there’s no clasp, the above may have been a more practical option which prevented the soap saver from opening when placed in the washing bowl.
3. Round Basket Soap Savers
A bit rarer than the ones with rectangular designs, round soap savers provide another option of flauntin a little vintage charm. These designs often have a handle which needs to be squeezed to open; however, some of them possess a clasp. A couple have the extra feature of being able to rotate in the water, though these are not as common.
Even though soap savers are essentially the mesh baskets for keeping soap slivers to be used in washing, there are a few other devices you may come across when searching for them.
There is a particular brand of antique washboard known as the “Soap Saver.” A few individuals also refer to soap baskets for keeping bars of soap close to the bathtub or sink a “soap saver basket.” These objects are really soap dishes, and not soap savers.
How Much Antique Soap Savers Are Worth?
Although not many people know about their existence, soap savers are a very affordable object to possess. You can easily purchase them for less than $20 online or at flea markets and antique stores.
How The State Affects Value
Due to the fact that soap savers are not widely used nowadays, their value is found to the extent that they can be used as display pieces. The state or condition that they’re in therefore, impacts the value a little; however, most collectors also prefer a patina on the metal.
A little chipping paint and tarnish do not take away from the value. If there are any problems with the structure of the soap saver, or if it is worn in such a way that it is no longer attractive, this may detract from the value.Restoration and repair can also detract from the value..
If you have discovered a soap saver in your attic or are thinking of purchasing one, the most efficient way of finding out what it’s real value is would be to compare it to recently sold or auctioned items in a similar condition and style.
Ensure that you do not compare it with things which are still up for sale. This is because as long as it remains in their possession, sellers can ask any price for it. What is a lot more beneficial in helping you determine the value of your soap saver is the sold price.
There are a few examples below.
A soap saver shaped in the rectangular basket style went for around $25 on eBay. It was in excellent condition.
It had not been previously repaired and the metal featured a good patina.
In 2020, a soap saver, round, and in an excellent state went for around $20. It had a very nice patina and made for a very good display piece.
A tension handle soap saver was also purchased for around $10. It was still in top condition. And the mesh and handles had no breakage. The tension feature was also still working fine.
If you would like to add an antique feel to your interior decor, then a soap saver is a very nice and affordable option. Antique soap savers are really fun to collect, and they make for great display pieces. Just imagine them hanging on the wall in your laundry room, bathroom or kitchen.
They also make for good conversation starters.
Antique soap savers make for great display pieces and good conversation starters in your home.
To make sure that you buy the right collectibles as a collector, you will need to be informed about their functions, properties, styles and value. And that is what we have discussed in this article.
We have done thorough research to provide you with all the information you will need to make the best decisions as a collector.