Tuesday, August 4, 2015

DIY Aromatic Cedar Wood Soap Dish/Keeper

My husband and I have really been enjoying making our own soap this last year.

With all the love and care that we put into our soap, we felt that the bars were being wasted in the shower with not fully drying off. So after some research we wanted to make some soap dishes for in the shower and by the sink. We choose aromatic cedar wood to make the dishes out of. 

The benefits of cedar wood as soap keepers is that cedar contains several natural antimicrobial properties and it resists moisture while drying quicklyA soap dish with drainage is essential in keeping your handmade soaps dry and long lasting. In addition is smells amazing!!!!

We wanted the soap dishes to hold a standard size soap bar. I came up with two different sizes I like for two types of locations. The first I sized to fit in the shower (4.5 in by 3 in by 1 in) and the second for next to a sink for hand washing (4.5 in by 3.5 in by 1 in). See diagram below.

Also you can see in the diagram me trying to decided what type of cut I wanted on the top of the dish, whether length wise or width wise. In the final we choose the width cuts not only for looks but for ease of cutting that many grooves. 

The Process

We started out by cutting to size a long board of cedar to 4.5 inches. To cut the grooves we used table saw and cut each at 3/4 in for the entire length of the wood and then cut with midersaw at 3 in increments. We then went back to the table saw and cut two grooves 1 in from both edges. Note: when cutting the grooves we made sure that the blade went half way through the piece of wood, about 0.5 in. This way there is small holes in the dish for drainage.

Once all the cutting was done I then went and sanded all edges and surfaces to create a smooth surface. I recruited my little helper.

We tried out the dishes for a couple of days. We loved the smell, the look, and the quick drying features of the soap dish. But soon discovered the soap would stick to the dish making it hard to take off and use. 

After some research we decided to coat the top and sides in a beeswax cream. Especially sense we have an abundance of beeswax from our beehives.

The recipe

2 tablespoons beeswax
6 tablespoons olive oil 

Melt beeswax in glass jar in a pot of boiling water. Once melted add olive oil. Remelt both together and then remove from water and allow to cool and harden. 

I then took the harden wax and rubbed with rag on the top and side of the dish. I wanted the grooves and bottom to remain un waxed to allow the cedar wood properties to still manifest itself. Allow to dry before use.  

It really brought out the color of the wood.
Left bottom unfinished. 


  1. I am hoping the same best effort from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing skills has inspired me.
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  2. I love this design. It is simple and functional. I do have one question though. Would you have to re-apply your wax-olive oil mixture to the surface of the dish? and if so, how often?

    Thanks for your awesome post!

    1. i found that with the heat of the shower that that oil does need to be reapplied at least every other month. Thanks for visiting!! sorry for late response we have moved the month of sept and are just beginning to get resettled.

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