Click here to see the Soap Keeper in action!
This design was inspired by my experience when I started using a bar of soap for my showers. Soap is slippery and easily dropped. I wanted to find a way to fix this problem and when I researched soap holders or handles I did not find anything like what I was thinking would work, so I invented the Soap Keeper.
My basic idea stayed the same throughout the inventing process, but I needed to make changes to the design so it could be a handle which securely holds a bar of soap but also so that the design would 3-D print successfully.
I drew several diagrams with various kinds of spikes to adhere to the soap. One large spike is too big; many spikes all spread out would mean overlapping edges and instead of holding the soap it could also scratch your skin. Finally I reduced the spikes to a small but strong group of short nubs.
When first printing the Soap Keeper, the hot filament became stringy and was sagging in the middle section. To fix this problem I changed the handle to have several arches which give more support as it prints but also allow for many ways to firmly hold the Soap Keeper depending on hand size and strength. I also flipped my design upside down so the largest surface printed first.
I then asked my mom and dad and little sister to all try the Soap Keeper and tell me if it worked for them and did it fit their hands. There are no sharp edges and a bar of soap lasts from new/large until just a small disc of soap remains. The Soap Keeper has been very durable and the added arches add strength too. After using the Soap Keeper our family confirmed it works for both a kid's small hands and an adult's large hands, and it stops the problem of dropping the soap. It can make showers easier for anyone who cannot lean down to pick up dropped soap easily. Also, because it has many different ways to fit in a hand it can allow all kinds of hands to get a solid grip - even if arthritis or weak muscles or limited numbers of fingers affect a person's hand, the handle shape makes it work for anyone. My video shows how it can be held between thumb and pinkie or supported against the heel of the palm and other ways different hands/grips can use it.
There are many ways that someone could have limited use of their hand/fingers. The Soap Keeper gives you a firm grip and lots of control over your bar of soap with something solid and strong to grip. The Soap Keeper is lightweight so your hand does not get tired holding it. I think the Soap Keeper could be great for many people especially anyone with Parkinson's, Arthritis, stiff tendons, less fingers, muscle contraction, childlike hands and many other reasons.
People may have the alternative of using liquid soap, however allergies, skin irritation, limited hand strength to push the pump, limited hand coordination and/or cost can all make liquid soap a less desirable option. Using a bar of soap lets someone apply pressure as they clean themselves and if you like a certain type of soap - the fragrance, brand or texture- the Soap Keeper lets you use your favorite. Liquid soaps often have strong fragrances but in a bar of soap you can choose from a mild soap like Dove/Ivory or a strong cleaning soap like Lava, and any bar of soap will attach to the Soap Keeper!