Every little thing you do helps and the small things really do add up. Which is why I have a somewhat creepy tub of soap scraps in my bathroom.
I admit, it seems a little weird to save soap scraps, but it wasn't always this way. In fact, they used to have little contraptions for saving your soap scraps.
But those days are gone. Or are they?
I think frugality is making a comeback--at least, it is around here, because I save all our soap scraps. What do I do with them?
Recycled Soap Scrap Bars
If you are regular users of bar soap, a family of four can easily manage to get six additional bars of soap per year by saving soap scraps. It doesn't seem like much, so I'll write it this way instead: in ten years, that would be 60 bars of "free" soap. There, that seems more impressive.
1. Grate or finely chop soap scraps. Measure the amount you end up with (in cups).
2. For every cup of soap scraps, you will need 6 tablespoons of liquid. You can use plain water as your liquid or, as shown, you can make an herbal infusion to use as your liquid.
To make an herbal infusion, simply add 1 cup (8 ounces) of boiling water to 1 tablespoon of the herb/s of your choice. Cover and allow to steep for 15 minutes, then strain herbs out. Good herb choices include lavender, calendula, peppermint, rose petals, and chamomile.
3. Place the chopped soap scraps in a sauce pan and pour in the liquid. Allow the scraps to soak in the liquid overnight.
4. The next day, heat the scraps over very low heat until they melt, gently stirring on occasion. Once your soap melts, it may range in consistency from mashed potatoes to custard. It's better that your soap is very thick rather than too thin and watery. Watery soap will end up full of air bubbles and be misshapen.
Don't worry if you can't get every last piece of soap to melt. The specks of different colors in the soap give it a nice look.
5. While the soap is melting on the stove, gather your molds. You can use molds made for soap, or you can get creative and use what you have around the house--milk cartons, small sour cream containers, or pvc pipe are just some examples of things that can be upcycled into soap molds. Any small plastic or sturdy paper container will do.
If you'd like, sprinkle a layer of herbs in the bottom of your mold for a nice addition to your soap. Pour the melted soap scraps into your molds, about one to two inches high.
6. Allow the soap to cool and harden in the molds for a day or two. Then, remove the soap from the molds to continue drying. If you have any difficulty removing the soap from its mold, place it in the freezer for several hours. Once frozen, the soap should pop out.
7. Allow the soap to dry in a well-ventilated area for several days, turning occasionally.