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Making Soap from Soap Scraps


Making Soap from Soap Scraps

If you made the soap scrap saver (http://angelinehawkes.livejournal.com/168907.html) bag from a previous journal entry, or if you save your soap slivers in some other fashion, there is a nicer way of recycling the bits and pieces other than the “Squish them together” method.  In the grand scheme of things, recycling all those soap scraps into another bar of soap may not save oodles of money, but it does stay true to the old adage: “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”. There’s nothing that says you can’t use it up and make it do in style. If you don’t have soap scraps, this recycling method will work just as well with those teensy hotel soaps that are hard to hold onto with wet hands. Just grate the soap up first. (The soap in the photo has ice on the corner. This is from my crazy refrigerator top shelf. Your refrigerator may not make ice on one corner of your bar of soap :) )

What you’ll need:
Double boiler (or a metal, etc bowl that can withstand boiling water that fits into a sauce pan)
Mixing spoon
Soap scraps
¼ cup water
Soap color or fragrance * optional
Soap mold (or box cut to fashion a mold)

 

Fill the boiler part of a double boiler with water. Excuse my double boiler. It is circa 1950s and keeps on keeping on…it doesn’t look pretty, but when the big bomb comes, this double boiler will still be standing.

Put your soap scraps into the top portion of the double boiler. Add ¼-cup water to the scraps if they are dry. I leave my soap scrap saver bag in the shower, so the scraps are always wet and squishy when I transfer them into the pan. The more water in the soap mixture, the longer it takes the soap to cure (dry out). So, you only want to use as much water as necessary to help the scraps dissolve into liquid.

 

Boil the water in the pan, stirring the soap scraps until they dissolve into liquid. Add any soap coloring or fragrance desired when the soap is liquid. I used a hint of green soap coloring that I had left over from a previous soap crafting project. It isn’t unusual for the soap to come out streaked, marbled, swirled, etc different colors if you’ve used several colors and textures of soap. I generally don’t use fragrance as I use a lot of cottage industry soaps that rely heavily on glycerin soaps and are fragranced by the soap crafter, and I tend to stick to similar fragrances so my recycled bar usually has enough fragrance left from the previous bars. Glycerin soaps are used by many home-based soap makers because of the ease of use in the heat and pour method.

 

When the soap is liquid, pour the soap into the soap mold. I happen to have molds left from a previous craft project. In the last 30 or so years, I have crafted and sold just about every craft known to man...starting with my foray into the market of Pet Rocks in the late 70s. Soap molds can be picked up inexpensively at craft stores or online. You can also find acceptable molds in the candy aisle of grocery stores and craft stores -- though these usually are smaller but are good for making guest soap type sized soap. The important thing your mold needs to have is flexibility so you can twist and pop the soap from the mold. If you've made a mold, it needs to be flexible or something that you are okay destroying if you need to rip or peel the mold from the soap.

   

If you don’t have a mold, make your own from a skinny box like a macaroni & cheese box. Cut it down to the desired size and insert a plastic baggy. Push the baggy into the corners of the box with your fingers. You can also just pour the soap into the box. The baggy method requires you to peel the baggy from the soap when the soap is solid. The box method requires you to rip and peel the cardboard away from the soap when the soap is solid.

 

Place the soap in the mold into the refrigerator overnight. Remove the soap from the mold and place it on a saucer, etc. Allow the soap to cure at room temperature for about 2 days, or until the soap is hard and not sticky to the touch.

Voila! You have a new bar of soap!

PS. Obviously, since you are recycling your personal soap scraps this craft is NOT suitable for gift-giving or for selling purposes, but should only be used by the person/persons who used the original soap and produced the soap scraps. :)

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