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What can I do with Leftover Pieces of Soap?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
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Just about every household has to deal with small leftover pieces of soap. The residue of different soap bars presents a problem to consumers who seek to be thrifty. While the pieces are no longer large enough to use for showers or washing the hands, creative individuals have come up with ways to make good use of thm and stretch the budget a bit. If you have leftover soap pieces around the house, here are some ideas you can try.

One of the easiest ways to reuse soap pieces requires nothing more than a washcloth and a needle and thread. Make the cloth into a draw string bag that can be opened and closed at will. Place several pieces of soap into the bag and seal it with the string. The washcloth bag can be used to lather up when showering. During the course of the shower, the small pieces are used up. After the shower, simply empty the bag and allow it to dry as you would any washcloth. The bag is easy to use and allows you to get the last bit of use from those leftovers.

A second approach is to use them to create new bars, which is not as hard as it may sound. Place the fragments into a blender along with a small amount of water, then blend for no more than 20 seconds. Place the thick liquid into an ovenproof glass dish and slowly heat the soap fragments and water in the oven. The water content will begin to evaporate during the baking, leaving behind a thick but still liquid soapy material. Pour the melted soap into molds and allow it to set overnight. In the morning, you will have fresh new bars of soap made to any size you prefer.

It is also possible to create inexpensive hand soap using pieces of soap. For this process, purchase a pump container that features an open mouth and wide lid. Place a few marbles, the soap pieces, and a small amount of water into the pump, then reseal the lid. The water will break down the soap and slowly mingle it with the residue. Before using, gently shake the container, allowing the marbles to further break down any remaining slivers of soap. This approach makes it possible to recycle soap fragments by turning them into soap that is ideal for washing hands at a sink.

A last time-honored way to reuse soap is to simply adhere the soap fragment to a new bar. Today, the easiest way to accomplish this is to wet the new bar slightly and apply the fragment to the face. Wrap the bar and fragment in clear plastic wrap and microwave it on low heat for no more than 30 seconds. This will be enough to allow the pieces and the new bar to create a strong bond that will make it possible to use up the small piece of soap.

Another innovative way to recycle soap has nothing to do with personal hygiene. Sewing enthusiasts know that small pieces of soap can be used to mark material instead of using tailor’s chalk. The soap will wash out of the completed garment with ease, something that is not always true with tailor’s chalk. This unique use saves money on sewing notions and also makes it much easier to prepare the finished garment for use.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including HomeQuestionsAnswered, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By anon1005843 — On Dec 03, 2021

Aren't there little liquid machines that can turn that into hand soap?

By candyquilt — On Dec 03, 2012

How can I make colored, decorative soap from leftover transparent soap?

By burcidi — On Dec 02, 2012

Another tip for using leftover soap pieces is to stick a small object into the soap. The difficulty in using very small pieces is that it usually slips out of your hands when you're trying to make a lather. Attaching a small object, like a small bottle cap, for example, will prevent that from happening. So you can continue to use the soap until it is all gone.

In the old days, we used to place a metal bottle cap (from the old glass cola bottles) into the soap. Then, we would stick a magnet on the bathroom wall and put the soap on it. It would allow us to use the whole bar of soap and it would keep the soap dry too.

By bluedolphin — On Dec 01, 2012

These are such great recommendations. I usually either throw my leftover soap pieces away, or I adhere it to a new bar of soap like the article said.

But these tips are much more creative and saves money too. I might start collecting the leftover pieces to make a new bar of soap later. Thank you!

By anon225341 — On Oct 26, 2011

I bought this mitt with a soap pocket online. When my soap gets too small I just pop another bar in the pocket. Can't live without it!

By anon204431 — On Aug 09, 2011

Ginna, you are 100 percent right about the cramps and soap. It has worked for me for the past seven years. another remedy for leg cramps is tonic water, it contains quinine and quinine helps alleviate cramps. --Ted S.

By anon89691 — On Jun 11, 2010

The best way to recycle is to use a soap sack - and that way you can exfoliate at the same time! Cindy

By anon75164 — On Apr 05, 2010

Simplest way is to use the soap down very small as hand soap. While showering, soak the small piece in a plastic lid. By the time you're down with shower, the small piece will easily fix to the larger piece of soap you are using.

By brianm — On Apr 25, 2009

Makes an excellent wood screw lubricant. Simply drag or roll the screw threads along the surface of the soap remnant (can be wet or dry) and screw into place.

By Ginna — On Apr 21, 2009

Place small pieces of leftover soap under your bottom bed sheet near your lower leg area to help alleviate leg cramps.

By anon30609 — On Apr 21, 2009

What about bacteria and other organisms on the pieces of soap? Could they be viable and contaminate whatever product you make from them?

By anon30607 — On Apr 21, 2009

I just put the soap remnants in a plastic cup and periodically put a little warm water in the cup and mash it down. After a while, sitting on the edge of the bathtub, it becomes a funny-shaped little bar.

By anon30602 — On Apr 21, 2009

Save time, save work...take the small pieces of soap and simply toss them into your laundry!!

By anon30593 — On Apr 21, 2009

I have a question about the second method. It is said that the pieces of soap are blended but I think different kinds or soaps of different companies will make a new soap which is a mixture. Will there be any harmful reaction if we use this soap on our skin?

By anon30573 — On Apr 21, 2009

OK, if you're trying to save money, burning electricity in the blender and oven to save $0.02 on soap is not the way to do it. Then you have to wash the blender and the dish, wasting more electricity (hot water) plus the water you are wasting.... don't forget, to save $0.02 worth of soap.

By anon30571 — On Apr 21, 2009

I put my slivers of soap into the bottom of a pantyhose leg, cut off about 1' in length, tie a bow and hang in the shower. Now I have a "soap on a rope".

By anon30567 — On Apr 21, 2009

My mother takes circles of netting and just runs a drawstring through the holes to make bags to hold soap. This has the additional benefit of exfoliating the skin.

By abigail — On Apr 21, 2009

You can also use unwanted ladies' stockings (due to wear and tear, holes, etc.) to gather all the small pieces of soap. It is easier than sewing a draw string bag.

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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