In many households, nothing seems to disintegrate faster than a bar of soap. Eventually, all that remains is a piece the size of a silver dollar, or a few slivers stuck to the edge of the tub. But before you take the usual route of throwing those leftover pieces in the garbage, consider saving and reusing them in these creative ways:
1. Create Decorative Soap Balls
Perfect for a powder room or guest bath, Cathy Winsby's soap balls at Soap Making Essentials are great for those who are on the crafty side. You can either go with leftovers that compliment each other in coloring or be a little more adventurous with mixing and matching.
When you have the right soap pieces picked out, grate them up and add some warm water to make the shavings malleable enough to shape into balls. Make sure to store them in an area where they can completely dry out and harden, which could take a couple of weeks.
2. Make a Homemade Loofah
Take a trip to your local dollar store and buy a pack of mesh bags, then place the leftover pieces of soap inside and tie up. The combination of soap and mesh makes the perfect loofah to exfoliate your skin.
3. Turn Into Liquid Soap
Have a soap dispenser that's all out? Instead of trashing it, Josh Baum at eHow tells us how to make our own liquid soap to fill it back up. To begin, gather up about a half-dozen slivers of soap and put them in a blender with a bit of water. Blend for about 20 seconds on a medium setting until you have the right creamy texture, adding in more water as needed. We would also recommend using this technique for any empty containers of body wash as well.
4. Get a Clean Shave
Men and women can make use of leftover soap when shaving. From personal experience, I can tell you that soap lathers up very nicely and provides the same smooth finish as shaving cream.
5. Freshen Stored Clothes
Many of us have out-of-season pieces from our wardrobe stored away, but don't you wish there was a way to prevent that musty smell from taking over? One way is to dry out pieces from scented soaps and add them to clothes drawers. This will keep your duds smelling fresh and clean when you break them out again in a few months.
6. Sell Your Car
Soap on the windows is good for more than just teens looking to pull pranks on Mischief Night. If you want to advertise the sale of your car, soap is perfectly safe to use on your front windshield and it washes right off.
7. Take a Relaxing Bath
Why waste money on bath oils? Take out that grater again and shave off some scented soap into warm water for a relaxing evening.
8. Sew with Soap
Atula Gupta at Bright Hub encourages sewers to use a leftover sliver of soap as tailor's chalk. Not only does it work, but it washes out easily. Gupta also recommends using a wrapped piece of soap as a cushion for pins and needles to keep them lubricated and protected.
If you're getting your hands dirty outside from gardening, working on your car or other activities, Yeager suggests hanging his soap-on-a-rope creation near a hose or outdoor faucet to wash up with rather than make a mess in the house.
10. Donate Your Used Soap
So, what if you're not into this whole reusing soap thing? In TDG Carol Thompson recommends donating your pieces to Clean The World, a non-profit organization that combats preventable disease in developing countries by gathering used soap, sanitizing it and redistributing it in other parts of the world. When it's recycled, used soap is kept out of the groundwater and helps stop the spread of disease.
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