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Reforming Soap Scraps

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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

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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

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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.
nancam3 months 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!
wow genius idea
Muzhik7 months 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.
tonygoffe1 year 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 !!!!! )
heathbar641 year 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?
dchall81 year 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.
mguer1332 years ago
You could add olive oil, honey, condensed milk and double the amount of soap.
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.
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.
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.
This is a great idea. I have a ton of soap scraps in a knitted bag, I might try this out!
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