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Ways of Reusing Old Soap

written by: Atula Gupta•edited by: Sarah Malburg•updated: 2/20/2010

The bits and pieces of old, leftover soap can be used in more ways than one, if only you use your imagination. From liquid hand wash to tailor chalks, here is a comprehensive list of things you can do to use and reuse your old soap.

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    How to Reuse Old Soap

    The first smart thing to do with old, small pieces of soap is to not throw them away. By collecting these pieces and with a little creativity, you will not only put these soap slivers to good use, but also save yourself from buying a lot of additional things you regularly need at home. Here are some ways of reusing old soap at home:

    • Make a new soap – There are different ways of doing this, but the easiest is to collect all the slivers in a Styrofoam or any other microwave safe cup in a way that the pieces snugly fit into it. You can even cut neat little square pieces of the soaps before putting into the cup. Once this is done, pour water up to the level of the soap and microwave them for about 30 seconds. This melts the pieces. Now add more water into the cup up to the level of the melted soap and let it sit for soaps by Horia Varlan a day or two, until the soap dries up. The dried new soap is then removed from the cup and ready to use.
    • Liquid soap – If you do not want a solid mass of old soap, then instead, toss the pieces into a jar filled with hot boiling water and stir. This melts the soap instantly and you can use it to refill the dispenser of hand wash soap.
    • Old with the new – This idea is simple. When you get a new bar of soap, wet one of the sides and put the old bit on it. You can then either press it hard or wrap both in a plastic wrap and heat in microwave for 10-15 seconds. This makes the old soap stick to the new one and gives you one big bar of soap.
    • Bath bubbles – Use a food grater to shave pieces of the soap and put in a jar with some baby oil. This little concoction placed near the tub, makes a great substitute for regular bath bubbles.
    • Home-made scrubber – For those in constant need of a pedicure or a manicure, this is one idea that will clean your hands and toes in a jiffy. Get a small mesh, draw-string bag or even a mesh veggies bag lying around the house and put all the slivers into it. While bathing, you can use this to scrub the dirt out of hands and feet. The little bag can also be used as an after-gardening tool, hung outside and useful in washing hands and legs before you enter the home. washday by SFB579 
    • Stain Removal – Before you plunge your dirty clothes into the washing machine, the soap in the mesh bag can also be used to clean and scrub dirty collars, grease, make-up smudges etc.
    • Fragrant Laundry - Put all the small pieces of the old soap in an old sock and tie the end with a string. You can now put this sock in the washing machine with the laundry to get clean, nice smelling clothes without a single bit of the soap getting wasted.
    • Pin Cushion – Stick pins and needles into a wrapped bar of old soap which keeps them safe, in place and lubricated.
    • Pomander – Your drawers and luggage can always smell fresh, if you just place some scraps of soap in the corners.
    • Tailor’s chalk – Store a few slivers in your sewing box and use anytime as an alternative to tailor's chalk to mark hems and darts on washable clothes.
    • Wood marking – A scrap of old soap can also be used to mark wood or metal at the area where they need to be cut. There is also no added work of removing the mark later on.

    Reusing old soap remnants can be simple and practical. Try it and you can do part in greening your home.

    Image Credit

    Flickr photos by Horia Varlan and SFB579


    Reader’s Digest Practical Problem Solver, 1991 The Reader’s Digest Association