Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Soap Baskets: Solving Clawfoot Tub Clutter

You love your clawfoot tub but wish it had more space for storage. You are not alone. The narrow rolled rim of most clawfoot bathtubs does not facilitate storage for soaps, shampoos, conditioners, Mr. Bubble, or any of the other bathing necessities that accumulate along the ledge around built-in tubs. We share your pain. Unfortunately, there is no ShamWow, one-size-fits-all, solution to this predicament but there are a few clawfoot tub accessories worth consideration.

If you've ever dropped a bar of soap in a clawfoot tub, you've experienced the Keystone Kop sensation of chasing an outlaw bar of soap around the bottom of your tub. Over-the-rim soap baskets provide a home for the bar of soap when it is not in use. Over-the-rim soap dishes have an arm that arches over the tub rim to hang the soap basket on the side of the bathtub. Larger over-the-rim soap baskets feature a separate compartment for a loofah or sponge.

There are also riser mounted versions of the soap basket for those of you fortunate enough to have a clawfoot tub shower enclosure. Riser mounted soap dishes are similar in size and design to over-the-rim soap baskets. Many Sign of the Crab riser mounted soap baskets have a split ringlet that allows them to be installed without unassembling the shower riser. Sunrise Specialty offers a riser-mounted soap basket for their shower risers that include a deep compartment for shampoo bottles in addition to the traditional soap dish.

A tub shelf, or bath caddy, is another option that provides even greater storage capacity. Tub shelves stretch from side-to-side to bridge the tub walls. They have adjustable arms to fit most clawfoot tubs. Tub shelves usually feature three side-by-side storage compartments. Cheviot Products even offers a bath caddy with a reading rack so you can expand your horizons with a little light reading from Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue" while you soak in your clawfoot tub.

Related by purpose, Sign of the Crab offers replacement overflow plates with an integrated stopper keeper. The stopper keeper provides storage for the clawfoot tub drain's rubber stopper when it is not in use. The stopper keeper eliminates the clutter created by a renegade rubber stopper resting on the bottom of the tub or hanging over the tub rim.

While none of these clawfoot tub accessories provide the storage space of the ledge around a built-in bathtub, they all contribute to better clawfoot tub organization. As you organize for the holiday season and prepare for the parade of guests, consider adding a soap basket or tub shelf to your Christmas wish list.

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