Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Soap Opera

I had a little box containing odds and ends of soap. The sort you get when you stop in hotels or conference centres. A few were unopened, but most had been used a couple of times whilst I was away, then brought home in my sponge bag and put into a soap dish. But they get too thin to be of any use.
I looked up ideas on the internet, and decided to grate, melt and pour into moulds. I had some small silicone pudding basins which I planned to use. I broke the bars into chunks then grated them in my processor [I did try to use the cheese grater but was afraid I'd grate my fingers!] It reduced the soap to mostly powder with a few pea sized lumps.
As per instructions I added 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp water to 250gm of soap, put it in a Pyrex bowl and balanced over a pan of boiling water. I stirred diligently with a spatula. At first nothing seemed to happen, then suddenly I had a large lump of 'mashed potato'
Using my ice cream scoop I weighed out around 60gm into each mould. The soap cools very quickly so was easily to handle. But the moulds were too wobbly. I tipped out each lump onto a strip of parchment paper, then pushed it into my biscuit cutter instead.
I ended up with four reasonable sized round cakes of soap. The average 'hotel bar' weighs between 15 and 25gm - so these are 3 times that size. Currently they are in the airing cupboard drying out. 
top tips
  • check out recipes on the net 
  • only add a little water and oil- don't soak the slivers
  • don't bother with the 'add water and do it in the microwave [I did that once before- it's messy and unpredictable and doesn't really save time]
  • weigh out your lumps so they are approx. the same size. you can use immediately, but they will benefit from drying out
  • don't make them too thick, the centre will not harden properly 
  • ignore 'add food colouring' - it may look pretty, but might stain your fingers [which defeats the object of handwashing!] 
  • ditto 'add perfume'- these just smell of 'soap'

Wash utensils thoroughly afterwards, so you don't find your next batch of baked beans tastes of soap. It took less than 20 minutes to make these. Most hotels throw away leftover toiletries, this is making good use of them [mottainai again]


  1. What a super idea! I also remember a blogger making left over soaps into liquid hand soap too!

  2. I've read several blogs where they make their own soap from scratch, but that involves lye and so forth - I think I like your idea of melting leftover soap! Now, I just have to stay enough overnights in hotels to collect a bunch of small soap! :)

  3. It's a very useful idea to use those soap bars. Thanks for the recipe.


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