Picture of Reforming Soap Scraps
Many people buy bar soap in bulk, but the money you save often gets tossed when you stop using the scraps. Everyone does it. I got sick of throwing money in the trash and decided to start saving the scraps of bar soap. I melt them down once a quarter or so in a small saucepan and form a few new bars of 'mystery soap' that I then use just like normal soap. Beats ending up in a landfill. Here's how I did it.
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Step 1: Collect the Soap

Picture of Collect the Soap
Save the soap scraps. I toss them into a drawer in my bathroom and wait until I have about 20 slivers of soap scraps. Personally, I use Ivory and Irish Spring, but you'll also find some Lava scraps in there too. Your preferences may vary, and you may want to separate them out if you're looking for consistency in the bars you make. Me, I don't really care.

Step 2: Break the Soap Slivers into Small Chunks, Add Water

Picture of Break the Soap Slivers into Small Chunks, Add Water
Break them into small pieces, about the size of a quarter, and then add about enough water to be visible at the level that the soap slivers are at. Turn on the burner to medium heat.

Step 3: Boil, Gently

Picture of Boil, Gently
Avoid boilovers, but simmer for a few minutes. The goal here is to get the water and the soap hot enough that they begin to stick together. They will, trust me. Stir often.

Step 4: Pour into a Steel Colander

Picture of Pour into a Steel Colander
I put a frying pan underneath the colander so that the soap dribblings are captured and not wasted. Use a wooden spoon to push the soap mess around the colander so that the majority of the excess water is drained. You're trying to get a molten soapy glob, basically.

Step 5: Grease Two Small Glass Bowls

Picture of Grease Two Small Glass Bowls
This makes it much easier to extract the soap 'bars' afterwards. Continue to let the soap mess cool and drain for a few minutes.
LuigiL110 days ago

I have been thinking about making my own soap for years, and have maybe a dozen baggies with scrap soap in them! This has inspired me to move forward and get this done!

mguer1332 years ago
You could add olive oil, honey, condensed milk and double the amount of soap.
Creak mguer13319 days ago
That just sounds like a mess. creating soap requires a chemical reaction. What you are doing would just decrease the amount of lather you'd get from it

you can do this remelt thing with deoderant and candles too

deodorant works well -- easier to melt too! Though I double boil it .

I really hate that my husband won't use more of the soap than what's pictured below so I used this method but I modified it (I only use body wash). I kept adding water so all the soap had time to melt and I used an empty bottle of body wash to pour the liquefied soap into and I'm making my husband use the new concoction as body wash. And from now on I'm only buying body wash for us both!
jeanne.allie2 months ago

I've enjoyed all the comments! I've been remolding soap from scraps for years, and just now got to thinking of adding a little coconut oil to the mix. I do the double-boiler method, as some have mentioned, and the shaving into small pieces, as another said. I love to add a little essential peppermint oil. Had a Burt's Bees shampoo bar once that was really fun for shaving small bits into the mix, and gave a wonderful scent. As for molds, my favorite right now is cutting off the bottom of small yogurt containers. The soap cures in these for about a month. Makes adorable little soaps, perfect for next to the sink where lots of hand-washing is done. As for the soap, we use Ivory, then there might be small amounts of other soaps thrown in. Such a satisfying little project!

Stavros!2 months ago

Another idea, get a qt. crock pot, throw your slivers in there, cover with water, and let sit for a couple months. Add slivers when you get them, but keep the water level up. When you get it 2/3's full, mash it, or mix it if you wish. Or just cook the water out. Result is a large multi colored (if you use more than one type of soap) cake shaped bar of soap that you can then cut into whatever shape you like.

threeoutside3 months ago

How could I get to be this old and not know you can do this? I get so tired of fiddling with soap slivers! Thanks for the great Instructable! Also, Muzhik's tip is much appreciated.

nancam1 year ago
Thanks for making this Instructable. I just used it to take some shaving soap and re-form it into a bar.

I recently got into straight razor shaves, and bought some "scraps" of shaving soap from a local artisan (half price and all that). I used a cheap plastic soap bar travel holder as my base form.

In a couple of weeks, I hope the re-formed soap lathers up nicely!
jarikcbol nancam8 months ago

look at my post above, shave soap lathers just fine if you double boiler melt it instead of mixing it with water. I've been doing it for ages! (I melt it down so it fills its lathering cup entirely, so it stays put, which lets me work a better lather with the brush that way also)

nancam jarikcbol8 months ago

I will try that. The first batch worked well enough, and conformed nicely to the plastic dish. The only downside seems to be that the lather 'disappears' rather fast i.e. the lather goes on and then just isn't there after a few minutes. So I do half my face, then lather the other half and repeat.

Originally I did about half the scraps I got, so with double boiling/melting we will see if it improves the lather's sustainability. In the meantime I took an intro pottery class and made a lathering cup just for this purpose. Painted barber pole stripes on it and everything. Stay tuned ...

mofoya2 years ago
when I open a new bar I just get it and the old sliver wet while I'm in the shower and squeeze the sliver onto the new bar... after a couple of showers they fuse together permanently. No heating, no mess, no waste... I can see using this method if you have a lot of waste pieces though; or want to mix scents or something.
jarikcbol mofoya8 months ago

I do the same thing with bath soap. The idea of melting it down after its been touching people kinda grosses me out anyways. (ah, the old debate, is soap self cleaning?) I do re-melt my shave soap though, because it works better if it is conformed to its lather cup. (i do it double boiler style though, its a cleaner process for me)

slothman mofoya2 years ago
I do the same thing with the new bar of soap and the old sliver. This was a great instructable how to fuse bars of soap though.
jarikcbol8 months ago

I remold my shave soap (yes, solid soap and a brush, old school style) to fill its cup by the double boiler method. I put the new block of soap in its soap cup, and put it in a pot of water, which I bring to a simmer and then carefully manage the temperature of, and let the soap melt. It only takes a few minutes, and once its all melted, pull it out and let it cool (I actually stick it in the fridge) I looked around the internet a lot before I started doing this, and learned that the advantages are, you don't get the foamy watery mess, you don't have to drain it, and you don't have to move liquid soap from one container to another. Still, I Kudos to you for doing it, and not wasting the scrap bits!

Cool and creative ;)
wow genius idea
Muzhik1 year ago
Don't use the recycled soap immediately. Instead, stick it someplace cool and dry, where air can circulate around it. (I use the top shelf of my kitchen pantry, on a cooling rack.) Keep it there for AT LEAST two weeks -- four is better. This gives the soap time to "cure", and will result in a much harder, longer lasting bar.
tonygoffe2 years ago

...NOW...if someone could just do an Instructable on "How to make a Soap Mold/Press" ..we'd be in Heaven !!!!!!! (with a Family Crest, of course !!!!! )
heathbar642 years ago
I've often wondered if you could remold soap. I was thinking of molding it in a mold with a custom family crest or something.
If you just want to avoid wasting the soap, why not just put a few pieces in a cloth bag and use it to wash with?
dchall82 years ago
I use a microfine grater (zester) to make soap dust. Then all you have to do is add a slight amount of water to the dust, stir it up, and put it into the mold. No heating involved.
Yup a great idea. I've done that before.
I just placed in a styrofoam cup with the slivers and some water , place it in to the microwave and then when the whole mess cooled I ended up with a nice round usable soap. But lately I've been lazy and I just throw them in to the toilet and let them dissolve in there.
This is a great idea. I have a ton of soap scraps in a knitted bag, I might try this out!