Reforming Soap Scraps




Introduction: 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.

Step 1: 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

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

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

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

This makes it much easier to extract the soap 'bars' afterwards. Continue to let the soap mess cool and drain for a few minutes.

Step 6: Form Bars in the Bowls

Using a spoon, gather half the warm soap matter from the colander and stuff into a bowl. Repeat with other greased bowls as needed.  I dump the captured soap dribblings from the frying pan into one of the bowls that needs more soap matter - this one usually ends up being the 'fluffiest' soap. Clean up (this part takes the longest, in my experience), and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Step 7: Liberate the Soap From Bowls

Use a steak knife - slip it between the cooled soap matter and the glass bowl - it should pop right out with a little twisting. Use the recycled soap immediately or store it for the next time you (or mankind) runs out of soap.



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    59 Discussions

    I used some of my candle molds and it worked great. Also used some of the candle making techniques, such as chunks of different color dropped into base soap, or swirled into another

    I've tried sticking old small bars to a new soap and it doesn't stick too well for me.

    for those saying you just stick the old soaps to a new bar ....... get that we aren't stupid , but this is something people like to do when they want to mix a bunch of different ones together to create a very great smelling kick a** soap , especially when your scraps consist of so many variations like deodorant soap , glycerin bars , soaps with moisturizer (oil of olay) , samples from hotels or department stores many that when put together can turn out to be an amazing bar of soap!!

    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.

    3 replies

    I really like this do you have a recommendation on the grater to use?

    Back in 2007 the MicroPlane brand was the only one that had a zesting quality blade. I believe there are others now. Look for the finest grater you can get at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

    If you have or can get a meat grinder it works super well to grind the soap ends into powder. I have a manual one with a crank that I'd recommend over an electric one - more control and easier to clean since it completely disassembles. Thanks for the tip about powdering the ends!

    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?

    1 reply

    You might consider getting the design of the crest and talking to someone with a 3D printer? I'm sure they could incorporate your design and make the mold(s) the size and shape you want too. :)

    Any suggestions on what I can do to make store-bought soap bars less caustic? We bought a case of Costco's Kirkland bath bars and the soap is so strong that no one in the family wants to use it. I still have twelve 4.5 oz. bars and don't want to waste them.

    2 replies

    If you can't find a way to donate them you can always return anything to Costco, they have satisfactiion guarantee! :)

    Donate them! There must be someplace near you - shelter, charity, etc - that needs strong soap!

    This works great! It made five times the amount of soap I had in scraps. I would like to offer some advice though: Do not put your soap caked pots and utensils in the dishwasher. I came back to a kitchen full of water and soap suds.—Dope!

    1 reply

    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!

    1 reply

    so true ....others don't get why we don't just stick the scrap soap to the new bar? Well if your like a who is always using something new or different and loves samples what better way to create a rich rewarding smelling bar of soap that's going to smell crazy good!!

    thanks for the ideas .....heard of candles which is another thing I'm saving as well but not deodorant!! Cool!