Reforming Soap Scraps

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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.

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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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    64 Discussions

    1
    tonygoffe
    tonygoffe

    7 years ago on Introduction


    ...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 !!!!! )

    0
    leahbromlow
    leahbromlow

    Reply 7 months ago

    Ok, the press easy, ceramics or wood or plaster 101... figure out if u want it pressed in or pulled out and make yourself a kewl start easy trust me.. press....with a good handle because soap is stiffer than say cookies... it's all going to be in the durability to be able to push into the soap...
    Does my idea make some sense, wish I could draw it out,

    0
    StarrF
    StarrF

    Reply 4 years ago

    You know those travel soap dispensers? The plastic ones with the lid, just enough to hold one bar of soap? You could always use that as a mold, but I'm thinking maybe also apply a small layer of olive oil or something, to help prevent sticking. That way it would be more of a soap shape, instead of bowl shape. As far as the family crest goes, you're on your own. lol. But I'm sure if you really, really wanted one, you could do a Google search or something to see if you could special order something like that. Good luck!

    0
    ozzieBoy2
    ozzieBoy2

    3 years ago

    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.

    0
    artisticlicents
    artisticlicents

    Reply 1 year ago

    These too can be altered. You may end up with a great deal of expensive soap, but it should help. Mix half and half 100% raw shea butter (Amazon $12.99) with the soap. That should go a long way to take the harshness from the soap.

    1
    DoItMyselfer8
    DoItMyselfer8

    Reply 1 year ago

    See if you can return them for a refund or at least a store credit.

    0
    Itz Just Me
    Itz Just Me

    Reply 2 years ago

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

    0
    KeneeL
    KeneeL

    Reply 2 years ago

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

    0
    artisticlicents
    artisticlicents

    1 year ago on Step 7

    I have both a suggestion and a question. The question is what are the relative amounts you are suggesting for each element of this recipe? How much soap vs oil or water?

    My suggestion is that silicone works well in this situation. The flexibility of the silicone helps to release the soap easily and quickly after it has been cured.

    0
    heathbar64
    heathbar64

    7 years ago on Introduction

    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
    kevswick.
    kevswick.

    Reply 1 year ago

    Put the scraps in a cloth bag! Genius!

    0
    Itz Just Me
    Itz Just Me

    Reply 2 years ago

    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. :)

    0
    Whissenel
    Whissenel

    2 years ago

    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

    0
    lorri.a.adams

    I just stick the used bar to a new bar of soap once it gets too small to use, no waste, no mess, no problem.

    0
    EmilieL
    EmilieL

    Reply 2 years ago

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

    0
    DawnB135
    DawnB135

    Reply 3 years ago

    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 .....so many that when put together can turn out to be an amazing bar of soap!!

    1
    dchall8
    dchall8

    7 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    0
    Itz Just Me
    Itz Just Me

    Reply 2 years ago

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

    0
    dchall8
    dchall8

    Reply 2 years ago

    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.