Remember the days when everyone had a bar of soap in their shower? Whether it was on a rope or not, lathering up with a refreshing bar was the norm. Nowadays there are a lot of body washes on the store shelves. They come in all scents and formulations, but are not nearly as cost effective as the traditional bar nor do they save any space in your shower or the landfill.
So why did bar soap fall so far out of favor when it was once the king of the shower? It is likely because bars can be slippery and awkward and no one wants to use them once they get worn down to the cracked and crumbly little nubs. They also leave a gooey, slimy residue wherever you set them down.
However, if you are longing to return to the traditional bar or are one of the few who have always remained loyal there is an interesting modification on the horizon. Soap Flakes, a design by Nathalie Stampfli, is a bar soap grater that seems to solve the old problems of using hard soap. One version attaches to the wall and another stands alone. In the wall version, users press the lever and the grated soap flakes fall into their hands. The stand alone version appears to work kind of like a cheese grater or pepper mill.
Both ideas look to be cost effective and environmentally friendly. Plus, you don't have to worry about a ton of germs accumulating on the bar as it won't be continually rolled around in people's hands. Hopefully this will come to fruition in the near future.
Sources: OhGizmo, NathalieStaempfli.com