10 bygone bars of soap you had in your bathroom back in the day

Did your family have these by the sink?

Staying clean never goes out of style. But the products we use come and go. Today, people tend to use body washes and shower gels. Back in the day, we were all about the bars.

Of course, soaps were a major sponsor of early television. Soap operas, anyone? 

We've gathered some vintage suds. They were marketed to housewives, men and children. A few brands exist in other forms today. Did your family have these by the sink?

1. Palmolive

Palmolive is best known for its dishwashing liquid. Those who watched television in the '70s and '80s will remember Madge, the beautician character and Palmolive spokeswoman who proclaimed, "You're soaking in it!" In the mid-century, the brand was better known for its body soap. "You're prettier than you think you are!" this ad proclaimed. You can still find this "mild and gentle" soap, but not in the classic "Emerald Foil."

Image: Colgate-Palmolive / Flickr

2. LIfebuoy

Lifebuoy is now best remembered as a gag in A Christmas Story. After Ralphie drops the F-bomb, his mom sticks a bar of Lifebuoy in his mouth. (He prefers Lux and Palmolive.) Ralphie later fantasizes about the punishment backfiring, turning him blind. "Soap poisoning," he explains to his parents. "I told you not to use Lifebuoy," his father (Darren McGavin) cries. You see, decades ago, Lifebuoy contained phenol. The harsh additive is now missing, as is that distinctive scent… and flavor.

Image: Unilever

3. Fuzzy Wuzzy

Yes, it kind of looked like mold, but what fun! Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear… and monkey and tiger. The animal-shaped soap would grow a "fur" after sitting out. Hey, whatever it takes to get kids to wash their hands.

Image: YouTube

4. Pink Camay

Camay was the brand sponsoring daytime soap operas such as As the World Turns and Search for Tomorrow. Originally branded the "white, pure soap for women," Camay launched Pink Camay decades later. It remains a major brand overseas, and you can still order it on Amazon. But this classic Pink Camay bar is a thing of the past.

Image: Unilever

5. Pink Dove

Of course, Dove remains a massive brand of body soap. Today, there is Dove Pink, which is not the same thing as Pink Dove, believe it or not. Pink Dove was much more, well, pink. It matched this woman's bright pink telephone. Which she was using in the bathtub.

Image: Unilever

6. Silly Soap

From Fuzzy Wuzzy to this putty, parents did anything to get their kids to scrub up. This "world's only soft soap" was like Silly Putty, but soap. And, to make it even more enticing for the kiddies, it promoted Planet of the Apes.

Image: Twentieth Century Kid

7. Soaky Soap Bars

More children's soaps! Mickey Mouse and friends promoted Soaky Soap Bars, which came in a set wrapped in your favorite Disney characters. You might also remember Soaky bubble bath, which came in plastic bottles shaped like popular cartoon characters, including Yogi Bear and Popeye. They were essentially like the collectible vinyl toys of the 1960s.

Image: eBay / perfection-ist

8. Princess Dial

Dial is a huge soap brand. But "Princess Dial" sounds such much more regal. Alas, this 5¢ coupon is no longer valid. Because the soap does not exist. And, you know, it was only valid through like 1968.

Image: Etsy

9. SweetHeart

This is about as risque as advertising would get in 1957. This ad touts that the soap was "now 'glamorapped' in new gleaming foil." Marketed towards women, SweetHeart dated back to the early 20th century.

Image: vintageadsandstuff

10. Swan

This "super-creamed" soap initially marketed itself as the ideal baby cleanser (hence the swan). Later, as in this ad, it talked up its lather for soothing soaks.

SEE MORE: 9 shampoos from the 1970s you completely forgot about

Here's to the decade that gave us beer in our shampoo. READ MORE

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19 Comments

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KellySapp 13 days ago
Wasn’t there one called ‘Safeguard?’

Plus this also reminded me of when there used to be different colored toilet paper. There was pink, blue and a beige color.
Yes. A popular commercial had the line
"Even a small Safeguard beats no Safeguard!".
daDoctah KellySapp 12 days ago
Back when you could actually find toilet paper in the stores....
EricVedowski KellySapp 12 days ago
Scott tissue came in pink, light green, blue and yellow. Beige for a while too. I worked at a drug store and old ladies always wanted a color we didn't have out on the shelf. We always went back to the stockroom to pull some of the missing colors out to the sales floor. You don't find that kind of service anymore.
MrsPhilHarris 17 days ago
What on earth made that soap get furry?
"The secret is in a safe cosmetic ingredient, activated when exposed to air."
Looks like furry mold on berries.
gracie200 17 days ago
they didn't mention ivory snow "99 44/100% pure" and later on in the 70s as a teen i liked irish spring "strong enough for a man, but i like it too" not even sure if these soaps are still around - i'm a body wash kind of a person in my old age.
teire gracie200 17 days ago
Ivory Snow was a laundry detergent, just plain Ivory was the soap. It floated, which was fun in the bathtub.
DeborahRoberts 18 days ago
Loved Pink Camay!
My mom bought Camay and it always made the skin on my face feel tight-probably why my mom liked it. Instant facelift. No mention of Lux soap either.
ELEANOR 18 days ago
Yes, we had Lifebuoy and the leftover sliver was always stuck on top of a new bar of soap.
NevaMo 18 days ago
Fuzzy Wuzzy!
gracie200 NevaMo 17 days ago
Right?! i totally forgot about this soap. i was a child in the 60s and made my grandmother get me this soap. i remember silly soap too but never had any but loved my fuzzy wuzzy. ahh - childhood.
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