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How to turn soap scraps into soaps (non squish method!)

I’m often asked by customers if there’s anything they can do with the ends of their soap bars.

Apart from washing with, there are numerous uses for soap around the house.

Something I particularly like to use it for, is to make difficult drawers glide smoothly again – just rub it on the runners! If you choose a scented variety, you’ll also be greeted by a lovely smell each time you open the drawer.

This tip was actually shared with us by a customer on our Facebook page. Thank you for the great idea! 

Soap Shreds in Shells

But what if you’d actually like to use your scraps to wash with (and would like a more durable and attractive option than the ‘squish method’)?

Well, look no further. Below is a step by step guide on how to easily transform your scraps into usable bars, cakes or indeed whatever shaped soap you choose. What’s more, you’re bound to have everything you need already in your kitchen.

Equipment

-Soap Scraps (works best with at least a half handful)
-Chopping Board
-Knife
-Heat-resistant Bowl & Saucepan/Double Boiler
-Wooden Spoon and/or Spatula
-Makeshift Mould (anything will do really – small bowl, muffin mould, ramekin etc.)

Time

-Getting the soap into the mould: around 1-2 hours
(5 mins prep then occasional stirring)
-Before you can use your bar: approx 4-5 days (drying out time)

Method

The process is explained in step by step pictures below. You can click on individual images to make them larger.

Note: This method works with ALL NATURAL SOAP bars and not necessarily any others. Our bars are glycerine rich and packed full of nourishing oils and butters; this ensures they will reach the gelatinous, moldable stage even when they are a couple year’s old. It is unlikely that this will work with non natural soap bars, such as ‘supermarket soap’, or even natural bars produced with palm oil.

If you’re wondering about the shells:
I like to store our soap scraps in shells – a large one in the bathroom, a smaller one in the kitchen. I like the way they look, particularly with all the colours, and when they’re full, I simply use the method below to turn then them into soap bars.

Tips

  1. Try to (safely) cut the soap bars as small as possible. This will help to melt the soap more quickly.
  2. A see-through bowl is helpful as you can easily see the water level below and prevent it boiling dry.
  3. When your soap reaches the ‘mashed potato stage’, you might have some small lumps of hard (older) soap. You can keep on cooking and adding water or to try and dissolve these, but I generally just leave them and enjoy the flecks of colour.
  4. Any mould will pretty much do. If it is rigid, then popping it in the freezer for 1/2 an hour will help it to release. Flexible, silicone muffin moulds are handy as you can easily turn them inside out to pop your soap out.
  5. Cling film placed on the surface of your soap will give you a smooth result.
  6. The harder you let your soap get before using it, the longer it will last.

How much water?
-The amount of water you need depends on how old your soap scraps are. The older the soap, the more water you’ll need as they will have got harder (released water) over time.

-The more water you add, the longer you’ll have to wait for your finished soap bar to get hard. In the pictures below you can see that I chose to leave some soap residue on the bowl. I could have incorporated this by adding more water, but I didn’t want to wait for more than a week before using my new soap.

-A good place to start is by using around 50mls of water per small handful of soap. This is what I used to start with in the pictures below. I then added 2 further tablespoons during the melting process.

-The key is not to worry too much about it – start with a small amount, you can always add more. You will definitely have a good feel for the amount of water you need after your first soap scrap adventure!

Happy soap scrapping!

I’d love to hear if any of you have a go at this – you can leave a comment below – and do please feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Soap tips are, as always, very welcome, and we will soon be collecting these in one place on the website.

Bye for now,
Eliza

2 thoughts on “How to turn soap scraps into soaps (non squish method!)

  1. Interesting, but complicated. I’m trying to find a replacement for a simple drum-shaped mould with a lid you screwed down. All I did was stuff soap scraps into it and when full, I screwed down the lid and compressed them until they set together. The result was a multicoloured neat round bar with flat top and bottom. No messing around with knives or saucepans. Can’t find such a simple gadget on the internet. I think I originally got it through the Innovations magazine. Can anyone help?

    1. This sounds totally brilliant T! Thanks for sharing. Let’s hope someone has come across one.

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