Soapmakers have a lot of extra bits of bar soap lying around so we have become experts in finding clever uses of soap! Here are 20+ of them.
If you make soap, as I do, you end up with a lot! From bars that don’t look quite right to weird colors to bits and pieces from end cuttings, there is a lot of leftover soap. I have a large dish in my bathroom that I can choose different soaps from depending on my mood. But I still have a lot!
Uses Of Soap Bars
1. Removing Tight Rings
We’ve all done it, put on a ring that’s too small, and now it won’t come off. I’ve used coconut oil, but it’s greasy and hard to clean up after. Wet a bar of soap and use the lather from it to loosen that ring. It gets slippery enough to come off easily and cleans up really well.
2. Mark Your Sewing Spot
When you sew, especially hems and cuffs, you want them to be straight. Use a light-colored bar of soap to mark where your seam needs to be. It’s quick and easy and washes right out when you’re done.
3. Zipper Slides
If your zipper is stuck, rub a soap bar over the teeth. Don’t wet it first, but use it dry. The waxy feel from the soap bar will help the zipper to slide much better. This is one of my most clever uses of soap.
4. Stuck Drawers
Loosen drawers that stick by rubbing a bar of soap across the slides. Like the zipper above, the drawers will slide much better.
5. Lubricate Needles
Another sewing hack-stick a needle, either for hand or machine sewing, into a bar of soap. Some fabrics create a lot of friction, but soap helps the needle to slide right through the fabric.
6. Flea Killer
Set up a natural flea killing station. Take a light bulb and place it in a lamp close to the floor. Night lights work great for this. The take a shallow dish with warm water in it, add some soap shavings, and place it under the light. Fleas will be attracted to the light at night and will jump into the soapy water and die.
7. Laundry Stain Remover: Dry
Rub a dry bar of soap over a stain and wash as usual. This works really well for surface stains, like grass or dirt. Stubborn stains may take more than one application.
8. Laundry Stain Remover: Wet
Wet a bar of soap and rub over a stain. Using it wet helps the soap to penetrate the fabric better. This works really well for soaked in stains, like blood.
9. Laundry Stain Remover: Liquid
As you can see, laundry is one of my common uses of soap. Shave a bar of soap and place it in a bowl. Add just enough water to wet thoroughly. Let sit until it turns into a paste. Add a teaspoon of the paste to a spray bottle and top with warm water. Shake gently and apply to stains, This works really well with surfaces such as carpets where the liquid needs to really get into the fabric.
10. Laundry Butter
Use the same paste as above to clean your laundry. A Tablespoon at most will clean an entire load. Use a smaller amount, like a teaspoon for HE washers.
11. Aphid Killer
Use the same paste diluted in water as a spray for aphids. Simply spray the plant until the liquid drips. The soap in the spray will kill aphids fast.
12. Bug bites
Rub a dampened bar of soap over a bug bite. Let sit for a few minutes, then wash off. This can help to relieve the pain and itching.
13. Suitcases Freshener
I only use my suitcases occasionally. In between, I keep a few bars of soap in them. This helps to keep them from smelling musty. Freshening things up is one of the most versatile uses of soap.
14. Closet Freshener
Use the bar soaps as above for suitcases. Soap will help keep closets from smelling musty and if you use cedarwood essential oil, can also help keep moths away.
15. Shoe Freshener
We all know how bad shoes can smell. Tuck a small piece of soap in each shoe at night and they will smell fresh in the morning. This works great for things like boots that aren’t worn very often.
This is one of my favorite uses of soap because I hate dirt under my nails. Just before going out to work in the garden, I scrape my fingernails across a bar of soap. The soap left behind under the nail will not only help keep dirt out, but it also makes clean up easier.
17. Camp Cooking
I love cooking out while camping, but I hate the mess the fire leaves on my pans. Rub a bar of soap over the bottom of the outside of the pan and the soot will clean up really well.
18. Animal Deterrent in the Garden
Make a pouch with a spare piece of fabric (or use one of these!) and add a chunk of soap to it. Hang where you don’t want deer munching on your hostas or bears in your blueberries. Note: this doesn’t work for mice. They are actually attracted to the fats in the soap and they’ll chew on it.
19. Mouse Deterrent
But, if you have peppermint soap, this can help to repel mice.
20. Stuck Sliding Doors
Rub a bar of soap over the door slides to make them run much easier.
Other Uses of Soap Bars
Shaving! Matt has used homemade bar soap to shave for a decade or more. It works great.
What is your favorite non-traditional use for a bar of soap?