8 Ways to Use Those Last Bits of Bar Soap

Delicious smelling soaps on display at a Lush store. Save the soap slivers and do something great with them! (Photo: Nicolas Toper/Wikimedia Commons)What do you do when you get to the bottom of your bar of soap? Do you toss that last little sliver in the trash? Most people do, but imagine all those little slivers piled up over weeks, over months, over the years ... the decades! There’s a lot of money to be saved if you can find a way to scavenge those scraps of soap. Try these ideas:

1. The simplest solution and perhaps the most obvious: Just stick the sliver to the bottom of your next bar. Use a bit of water to seal it. Nothing fancy here, but it totally works.

2. Save the slivers up and then turn them into a brand new bar. Once you’ve collected enough scraps, you can reform them to create an entirely new mutant chimera bar. There are many different ways to do this, all of them relatively easy, each of which involves a slightly different technique. So Google around a bit and find yourself a well-rated recipe.

3. Make a self-soaping cloth by wrapping a small assortment of soap scraps in a washcloth, and tying it shut with a piece of string to create a sort of sachet. Keep it in the shower for quick and easy scrubbing action.

4. Save your scraps and stuff them into the toe of an old pair of pantyhose, tie it up, and hang near your outdoor faucet. This is a great way to guarantee you’ll have soap on hand for when you’re finishing up a day in the garden, or doing some other outdoor dirty work. Bonus: Like the self-soaping washcloth, the pantyhose will help to create a lather.

5. You can also use this soap-on-a-rope trick to keep pests like deer away from your garden and fruit trees. As above, just drop a few soap slivers into the toe of an old pair of pantyhose, tie it up, and hang it from whatever plant you’re trying to protect. The soapy smell will keep those critters away.

6. Did you know you can make homemade laundry detergent? Place a collection of completely-dried soap scraps in a food processor and grind them to a crumbly powder. In a large bowl, combine 2 parts washing soda, 2 parts borax, and 1 part soap crumbles. Mix thoroughly and store in a mason jar. Use 2 TBSP per load of laundry.

7. You can also turn your old bar soap scraps into brand new liquid hand soap. The process involves cooking down the soap with glycerin and essential oils. It's a bit more work, but it's a fun DIY project.  

8. And finally, keep a sliver of soap in your sewing or craft kit. It’s perfect for marking fabric. Since the soap washes out so easily, it makes an ideal replacement for tailor’s chalk.

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