If you save those little scraps of soap left after the bar is well-used but don’t know what to do with them, try one or more of these techniques to create cute and inexpensive little guest soaps. Since specialty soaps are extremely expensive, and most people like to display them in their bathrooms, they will likely be a welcome gift.
Notes: Don’t worry, you will heat the scraps to kill the germs.
You may want to buy some inexpensive soap molds to shape your soap mixture. If you don’t have soap scraps (or enough for the recipe) you can grate a bar of soap to make up the difference. One bar yields about 1 cup of grated soap.
Glycerine and essential oils can be purchased from Amazon.
Basic Guest Soaps You will need: 1 C. soap scraps 3 T. water a few drops food coloring (your choice of color) fragrance (optional and your choice) Old saucepan (one you won’t use again for food) Soap molds (optional)
1. Mix the water and food coloring in the pan and bring the mixture to a boil.
2. Remove the pan from the stove and lower the heat. While the burner cools, stir the soap scraps into the colored water.
3. Return the pan to the burner. Heat the soap mixture, stirring well, for 2 minutes, making sure all the scraps are evenly colored and checking to be sure the mixture isn’t burning on the bottom. The mixture will become the consistency of clay.
4. Remove the pan from the stove and allow it to cool, stirring occasionally, until it is a good temperature for handling. BE CAREFUL! Don’t touch it to see if it’s cool, give it some time. This is the critical step: If the soap mixture is too hot it will burn your hands, too cool it will harden before you can mold it.
5. When the mixture is just cool enough to touch, quickly form the warm soap mixture into balls before it hardens.
6. If you prefer to mold the soap into shapes, spray the molds first with cooking spray, then fill them with the soap mixture, pressing with the back of a spoon to fill be sure it fills completely.
NOTE: Mixture may be carefully reheated if it cools and hardens too much while you are working.
Old-Fashioned Oatmeal or Pumice Soap You will need: ½ cup oatmeal (for oatmeal soap) OR cornmeal (for pumice soap) ½ C. soap scraps 1-2 T. vegetable oil 1-2 T. water Old blender (one you don’t use for food) Large deep mixing bowl
1. Place the soap scraps and oatmeal OR cornmeal (not both) in an old blender. Using the pulse setting, blend until the mixture becomes fine.
2. Dump the mixture into a big deep bowl, then add the oil and water.
4. Using your hands, shape the soap/oatmeal mixture into a ball or bar.
5. Let the soap dry for about 24 hours before using.
Oatmeal and Honey Soap You will need: 1 C. soap scraps water 1 T. honey 1 T. glycerine ¼ C. finely ground oatmeal A few drops essential oil (your choice) Small old saucepan (Be sure you don’t use it for food.) Cheesecloth
1. Put a cupful of soap scraps into a small saucepan, and add cold water to cover, and set it aside for 24 hours.
2. Add a tablespoon of honey to the soap mixture.
3. Place the pan with the soap mixture on the stove on medium heat. Allow the mixture to simmer gently, stirring as needed to prevent sticking or burning, until the soap has melted completely. (At this point the mixture should be the consistency of very thick cream.)
5. Remove the creamy mixture from the stove and stir in the glycerine and oatmeal.
6. Mix it all together well, then add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
7. After the mixture has cooled enough to be touched, coat your hands with some ground oatmeal and shape the soap into balls. BE CAREFUL! If the soap is too hot when you start shaping it, let the mixture cool a bit more before using.
8. Wrap the balls in cheesecloth and store in a cool, dry place for about a month to allow them to harden before using.
Easy Liquid Hand Soap You will need: 1 C. soap scraps 3 C. water Large microwave-safe bowl
1. Place the soap scraps in the bowl and add the water.
2. Microwave the mixture on high for 5-6 minutes, stirring the mixture every 2 minutes till the soap dissolves.
3. Remove the soap mixture from the microwave and let it stand until it is completely cool (it thickens as it cools).
4. To use: Put the soap in a regular soap dispenser or recycled pump bottle.
Gel Soap You will need: 1 C. soap scraps ½ gallon water 2 T. glycerin Large old pot (Make sure it’s one you don’t use for cooking food.) Jar (If recycling a jar, be sure it’s clean.)
1. Mix soap scraps, water and glycerine in the pot.
2. Set the pot on the stove over low heat and cook until the soap has dissolved. Stir the mixture as needed to prevent sticking or burning,
3. Allow the soap mixture to cool slightly, then transfer it to your jar.
4. Let the soap cool completely, then cover it tightly.