How to Install a Soap Dish on a Tile Wall

Installing a soap dish on a tile wall is a relatively simple home improvement project that can add function and style to your bathroom. With some basic tools and materials, you can securely mount a soap dish to provide convenient storage for bars of soap. Learning proper installation techniques will ensure your soap dish stays safely and securely on the wall.

Selecting a Soap Dish

When choosing a soap dish, consider the size, style, and material that best suits your bathroom. Here are some tips for selecting the right soap dish:

  • Size – Measure the area where you want to install the soap dish and choose a size that will fit appropriately. Standard sizes range from about 4-6 inches wide but larger or smaller options are available.
  • Style – Soap dishes come in open and closed designs. Open allows water drainage while closed hides the soap bar. Choose based on your preference.
  • Material – Common materials include metal, ceramic, glass, and plastic. Consider durability and bathroom aesthetics when choosing materials.
  • Color/Finish – Select a color and finish that complements your bathroom décor. Polished chrome, brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, and matte black are popular finishes.
  • Mounting Type – Choose a self-adhesive, suction cup, or screw-mounted soap dish based on your installation location and preference.

Once you select the ideal soap dish, make sure you have the necessary mounting hardware if it is not included.

Gather the Required Materials

Installing a soap dish on tile requires just a few simple materials:

  • Soap dish
  • Drill and drill bits (for screw mounted soap dishes)
  • Screws (for screw mounted soap dishes)
  • Silicone adhesive (for self-adhesive soap dishes)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Rag
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Safety glasses and gloves

Make sure to use screws designed for tile if installing a screw-mounted soap dish. Self-adhesive soap dishes will include silicone adhesive but you may need to purchase this separately. Have all materials ready before starting installation.

Choose an Installation Location

Decide on the optimal spot to install your soap dish before prepping the installation area:

  • Near the sink is most convenient for accessing soap when washing hands.
  • Consider placing it near shower or bath if using soap for bathing.
  • Install at average eye level for best accessibility.
  • Check that the area is free from grout lines or seams which can prevent proper mounting.
  • Ensure the tile area is smooth, clean, and dry.

Mark the desired placement with a pencil. Measure to confirm soap dish will fit properly.

Prepare the Tile Surface

Preparing the tile surface is an important first step:

  • Clean the installation area with rubbing alcohol to remove any dirt, grease, or soap residue.
  • Let the tile dry completely after cleaning.
  • Use painter’s tape to mark the edges where the soap dish will go.
  • Take safety precautions like wearing gloves and glasses.

Proper prep work ensures the soap dish adheres securely to the tile.

Mount a Self-Adhesive Soap Dish

For self-adhesive soap dishes, follow these steps:

  • Remove backing paper from silicone adhesive.
  • Firmly press soap dish into place within tape outlines.
  • Apply even pressure for 30-60 seconds to ensure strong adhesion.
  • Use level to double check soap dish is straight.
  • Allow adhesive to cure fully for at least 24 hours before use.
  • Check that soap dish feels completely secure after curing time.
  • Follow manufacturer instructions for silicone adhesive usage and cure times.

The high-bond silicone ensures a waterproof, permanent mount for the soap dish.

Install a Screw-Mounted Soap Dish

For screw-mounted soap dishes, follow these steps:

  • Use a pencil to mark the screw holes based on the soap dish design.
  • Pilot holes using a ceramic drill bit and drill.
  • Pilot holes should be slightly narrower than screw width.
  • Insert wall anchors or plugs if needed for extra support.
  • Carefully screw soap dish in place by hand or using a screwdriver.
  • Avoid overtightening screws.
  • Use level to confirm soap dish is even on wall.
  • Apply silicone sealant around edges for waterproofing.

Screws provide a sturdy mounting option but take care not to crack tile when drilling.

Helpful Installation Tips

Follow these tips for a smooth installation process:

  • Use painter’s tape to prevent surface damage from tools.
  • Wipe away any adhesive residue immediately with rubbing alcohol.
  • Fill any drill holes in grout lines with matching caulk.
  • Take your time and carefully follow all product instructions.
  • Use level frequently to check for proper alignment.
  • Have someone help hold soap dish in place while mounting.
  • Make any adjustments promptly before adhesive fully cures.
  • Seal around soap dish edges with waterproof silicone.

Proper techniques and care will result in a professional-looking installation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about installing soap dishes on tile walls:

What type of drill bit should be used on tile?

Use a carbide-tipped masonry or ceramic drill bit designed for drilling through tile. Take care not to apply too much pressure and crack the tile.

What kind of screws should be used?

Opt for self-tapping masonry screws or screws specifically made for mounting to tile or ceramic surfaces.

Should any additional waterproofing be used?

Applying a silicone sealant around the edges of the mounted soap dish provides additional waterproofing.

How do I remove old soap dish adhesive residue?

Chemical adhesive removers or scrubbing with steel wool can help remove old silicone residue. Avoid abrasive cleaners which may scratch tile.

What if my tile wall is uneven?

Use silicone adhesive for a flexible bond if the tile has slight unevenness. Shim any major gaps with thin plastic spacers before mounting.

Where should soap dish be placed in the shower?

Install soap dishes for shower use on the wall opposite the shower head, where it won’t be in direct water flow.

How long does silicone adhesive take to fully cure?

Complete curing time is generally 24-48 hours. Avoid use until the silicone has completely cured to reach maximum strength.


Installing a soap dish on a tile wall boosts the functionality, storage, and aesthetics in your bathroom. With the right materials and proper techniques, you can securely mount a soap dish to keep your tile wall looking beautiful. Carefully follow all product instructions and take your time. Measure twice and drill once to ensure proper placement. Soon you will be able to enjoy the convenience of your newly installed soap dish.

How to Clean a Soap Dish

Even though soap dishes provide a handy place to store your bar soap and allow excess water to drain, they still require regular cleaning to prevent bacteria buildup. Learning proper techniques for cleaning your soap dish helps maintain hygiene and prevent slime and residue from accumulating.

Here are some simple steps for keeping your soap dish sparkling clean:

Wash With Hot Water

  • Remove the soap from the dish and set aside.
  • Rinse the entire soap dish with hot water from your tap.
  • Hot water helps dissolve and wash away soap scum and residue.
  • Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently scrub the dish if needed.
  • Rinse away any soap or cleaner residue thoroughly after washing.

Use a Mild Soap and Sponge

  • Apply a few drops of mild hand or dish soap to a damp sponge.
  • Gently scrub the inside and outside surfaces of the soap dish.
  • Rinse again with warm water to remove any soap.
  • Avoid abrasive sponges that could scratch the dish.

Disinfect With Vinegar

  • Fill or wipe the soap dish with undiluted white vinegar.
  • Let the vinegar sit for 5-10 minutes to disinfect.
  • Dump out vinegar and rinse dish thoroughly with water.
  • Vinegar’s acetic acid kills bacteria and removes hard water stains.

Remove Odors With Baking Soda

  • Sprinkle baking soda liberally over a damp soap dish.
  • Let baking soda sit for 15 minutes before rinsing.
  • Baking soda deodorizes and neutralizes odors.
  • Can also gently scrub baking soda with a soft cloth.

Allow to Air Dry

  • After washing and rinsing the soap dish, place on a towel or dish rack.
  • Allow the dish to completely air dry before replacing soap.
  • Dry soap dish prevents mold and bacterial growth.

Regular cleaning keeps your soap dish free of grime for hygienic handwashing.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Soap Dishes

Cleaning soap dishes regularly helps prevent the buildup of bacteria, mold, and grime. Here are some common questions about keeping soap dishes hygienic and fresh:

How often should you clean a soap dish?

Ideally, soap dishes should be cleaned about once a week. Clean more frequently if you notice grime or film building up.

Can you put a soap dish in the dishwasher?

Most metal or ceramic soap dishes are dishwasher safe, but plastic types may warp. Check manufacturer instructions to be sure.

Why do soap dishes get slimy?

The moist environment allows mold, bacteria, and soap scum to build up, especially if not cleaned regularly.

How can you remove mold from a soap dish?

Scrubbing with a chlorine cleaner or using full-strength vinegar can help eliminate mold and disinfect soap dishes.

What is the black slime in soap dishes?

This unsightly slime is an accumulation of residual soap, body oils, and moisture that can grow mildew.

What household items make good soap dish cleaners?

Baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, diluted hydrogen peroxide, automatic dish detergent, and antibacterial spray all help clean and disinfect soap dishes.

Keeping your soap dish clean should be part of your regular bathroom cleaning routine for good hygiene. Proper cleaning removes buildup and keeps soap dishes looking fresh.

How to Prevent Soap Scum Buildup in Soap Dishes

It’s no fun dealing with soap scum accumulation in your soap dishes. That sticky, slimy film not only looks gross, but it can allow mold and bacteria to breed. Luckily, with some simple prevention tips, you can keep soap scum at bay.

Here are effective ways to prevent soap scum buildup in your soap dishes:

Dry Out the Dish Between Uses

  • After each use, remove any standing water from the soap dish.
  • Either dump water out or use a towel to dry the dish.
  • Water allows soap scum and grime to develop.
  • Letting dishes air dry prevents buildup.

Use a Closed-Bottom Design

  • Closed bottom soap dishes have solid bottoms rather than bars grating.
  • This prevents soggy soap and stops water pooling under bar.
  • Less moisture exposure limits soap scum growth.

Choose the Right Soap

  • Super-fatted soaps and moisturizing brands tend to create more residue.
  • Opt for a plain glycerin soap bar instead, which rinses clean more easily.
  • Avoid soft, mushy soap which breaks down quicker leading to more buildup.

Install Properly

  • Ensure soap dish is completely level and stable on the wall.
  • If dish doesn’t drain well, water pools causing more soap scum.
  • Seal with silicone caulk to prevent water seeping underneath dish.

Limit Direct Water Flow

  • Position soap dish out of direct water streams from faucet or showerhead.
  • Water splashing directly on the bar soap washes away oils, creating more sticky residue buildup over time.

Regularly Remove Grime

  • Even with prevention, some soap scum will happen over time.
  • Frequently scrub dish with baking soda or hot vinegar to remove grime before major buildup occurs.

With some simple precautions, you can enjoy a soap dish free of nasty soap scum.

Troubleshooting Soap Scum Issues

Seeing pesky soap scum forming in your soap dish? Try these troubleshooting tips:

Issue: White mineral deposits on soap dish.

Solution: Wipe with vinegar and rinse. Use water softening products to prevent hard water deposits.

Issue: Gummy residue coating soap dish.

Solution: Scrub with baking soda paste and hot water. Avoid very soft, mushy soaps.

Issue: Black mildew spots in soap dish.

Solution: Disinfect dish using diluted bleach cleaner or tea tree oil. Improve bathroom ventilation.

Issue: Soap bar gets mushy and broken down.

Solution: Allow dish to dry out fully between uses. Store soap on dish, not in water.

Issue: Water pools under soap dish.

Solution: Seal edges with silicone caulk. Install on perfectly smooth tile. Check dish is mounted level.

Issue: Stubborn buildup won’t come clean.

Solution: Use chemical cleaner like Lime-A-Way or scrub with magic eraser. Replace severely coated soap dishes.

Battling soap scum? With some targeted troubleshooting, you can get your soap dish sparkling again.

How to Remove Soap Scum from a Soap Dish

Letting soap scum build up in your soap dish not only looks unsightly, but it can lead to bacteria and mold growth. Removing that grimy film and disinfecting the soap dish should be part of your regular bathroom cleaning.

Here are some simple solutions for eliminating soap scum from a soap dish:

Baking Soda Scrub

  • Sprinkle baking soda generously over entire soap dish surface.
  • Add a few drops of water to make a paste.
  • Use a soft cloth or sponge to scrub baking soda paste over soap dish.
  • Rinse thoroughly until all baking soda residue removed.

Hot Vinegar Soak

  • Fill soap dish fully with plain white vinegar.
  • Let vinegar sit for 10-15 minutes to dissolve soap scum.
  • Dump out vinegar and scrub dish with soft cloth or sponge.
  • Rinse away all vinegar and residue with hot water.

Dish Soap and Water

  • Apply a few drops of Dawn or other dish soap to soap dish.
  • Use a non-abrasive sponge or brush to gently scrub.
  • Rinse thoroughly with hot water to remove all soap.
  • Repeat if needed for heavy buildup.

Diluted Bleach Cleaner

  • In a spray bottle, mix 1 part bleach to 4 parts water.
  • Liberally spray over soap dish and let sit 5 minutes.
  • Wipe down with a paper towel or rinse thoroughly.
  • Disinfects and breaks down stubborn buildup.

Magic Eraser

  • Dampen a magic eraser and directly scrub the soap scum.
  • Rinse soap dish well after scrubbing.
  • Magic eraser chemicals help break down soap scum.

Renew that dingy soap dish by attacking soap scum buildup regularly.

Preventing Soap Scum Rebuild Up

Once you’ve finally conquered that nasty soap scum in your soap dish, keep it from coming back with these prevention tips:

  • Always let soap dish fully dry between uses.
  • Use a soap with less moisturizers, which decreases residue.
  • Opt for a closed bottom design soap dish.
  • Position outside direct water streams.
  • Seal any gaps with silicone caulk.
  • Limit soap mush by storing bar on edge in dish.
  • Disinfect with tea tree oil or vinegar weekly.
  • Replace deteriorated soap dishes prone to grime buildup.
  • Scrub off soap scum immediately when it starts forming again.

Stay vigilant, and your soap dish can stay scum-free for good!

How to Remove Rust from a Soap Dish

That rust forming on your metal soap dish not only looks dirty and dingy, but it can also leave behind stains and scratches on your tile or bathroom décor. Removing rust keeps your soap dish looking attractive and helps preserve the underlying surface.

Follow these simple methods to remove troublesome rust from a metal soap dish:

Baking Soda and Water Paste

Make a paste with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Apply paste to rusted areas and let sit 20 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. The abrasive paste lifts rust stains.

White Vinegar Soak

In a plastic container, soak soap dish in undiluted white vinegar for 2-3 hours. Remove and scrub gently with a soft cloth before rinsing. Vinegar dissolves rust.

Lemon Juice and Salt

Cover rust stains with salt and lemon juice. Let sit several hours. The citric acid in lemon juice reacts with the salt to break down rust. Rinse well after treatment.

Commercial Rust Removers

Liquid rust removal products are available. Apply to rusted surface, let soak in per product directions, then scrub and rinse away. Always follow label directions carefully.

Magic Eraser

Gently rub a damp magic eraser over rusted spots to help lift stains. Avoid excessive scrubbing which can damage finishes. Rinse soap dish after cleaning.

Seal and Protect

After removing rust, apply car wax or clear enamel spray paint. This seals and protects the surface from future rusting. Allow sealer to fully dry before replacing soap dish.