How to Recycle Soap and Creative Uses for Soap Around the House

Have you ever gone to a hotel and taken home your half used bar of soap? Most people don’t. As a result, house cleaning throws away a perfectly good bar of soap. I am going to share with you a few tips on how to recycle soap so that it stops going to waste. I will also share with you a few creative uses for soap around the house. That half used bar of soap in the hotel will have lots of purposes once you get it home!

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bar of old soap waiting for recycle


How to Recycle Soap

First things, first. Let’s talk about the old soap bits that get left behind in your shower or the half used bar you brought home from a hotel. Turn those soap scraps into liquid soap! Here is how you do it:

liquid soap container and bars of soap with text overlay 'how to turn bar soap into liquid soap'

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Recycle bar soap pieces into liquid soap:

  • Gather all your old soap bits together and cut them into smaller pieces.
  • Find the right container. You can use an old liquid soap container or buy a plastic bottle with pump dispenser.
  • Add a small amount of lemon juice into the bottle along with a cap full of vegetable glycerine.
  • Add in the bits of soap and let it sit for a few days, rocking gently occasionally to mix.
  • To use, just pump a small amount into your hands and use just like regular liquid soap.

pile of bar soap pieces with text overlay 'Ways to Upcycle USED SOAP SCRAPS'

Turn Soap Scraps into NEW Bar Soap:

Can you melt bar soap and remold? YES!  Turn your bits of bar soap into a new bar of soap. Just chop up all the bits of old soap into smaller pieces. Melt it in the top of a double boiler with a small amount of water. Finally, remold it into a new bar.   Make sure you stir the soap as it is melting! 

Like these frugal uses for bar soap pieces? Try these recycling ideas, too:

  • Creative Uses for Egg Cartons : Here are a few ways to upcycle egg cartons and help you reduce your carbon footprint.  
  • Uses for Used Tea Bags : If you are a tea lover, you have probably wondered if there were any creative uses for your used tea bags.
  • Ways to Reuse Plastic Milk Jugs Are you throwing empty milk jugs into the recycling bin?  DON’T!  There are dozens of creative ways to reuse plastic milk jugs around the house. 

small child in poor country washing dishes in outdoor tubs

Donate soap to people in need!

I was in my car a few weeks ago and heard a piece on Clean the World on NPR. I never realized that there were entire organizations dedicated to finding a new home for all that unwanted hotel soap!

Did you know that 949 MILLION bars of soap are thrown away in the United States each year? It ends up in landfills, doing no one any good at all.

Sadly,  1.5 MILLION CHILDREN lose their life to diarrheal disease every year. It is preventable by hand washing with soap.

That means getting the unused soap from hotels into the hands of underprivileged people can help save lives!

Clean the World is a non-profit organization whose mission it is to keep people healthier by making sure they have enough soap to wash regularly. Clean the World is the largest global recycler of hotel amenities with more than 5,000 hotel and resort partners, and 500 event partners, throughout North America. 

clean the world graphic about recycling soap bar pieces from hotels


How does it work?

Wondering how this organization helps recycle old bar soap pieces?  Here is how it works:

  • First of all, they collect, sort and process discarded soap and bottled amenity donations from Hospitality Partners
  • They also accept hygiene products donated by manufacturers
  • Then, they recycle bar soap pieces and liquid soaps, shampoos, etc. Head over to their website for more info on the whole process.
  • Finally, they deliver these recycled products and donations to domestic homeless shelters and impoverished countries. Some soap stays here in this country and some of it is sent abroad.

As a result of their hard work, Clean the World has put more than 40 million soap bars back into human use, eliminating more than 5,057 tons of waste!

small child standing near run down house

How can YOU get involved in this cause?

First things, first. Head over to Clean the World and sign up for their newsletter for important information and updates. They will share more information about how to recycle soap with them. Once you have done that, try a few of these suggestions:

  • Volunteer:  Volunteer at one of their soap recycling facilities in Orlando or Las Vegas
  • Make a financial contribution.  92% of their cash donations and program fees go directly into program operations. This is NOT an organization wasting your donation money on overhead.
  • Encourage hotels to participate in the Clean the World Hospitality program. The next time you stay at a hotel, ask them what they do with their used soap!
  • Sponsor a Soap Drive! Get more information about how to sponsor a soap drive HERE.

Now that you know how to recycle soap, share the message! Like any successful green program, you need to spread the word far and wide in order for it to have long lasting and far reaching results!

soap scraps on dish at shower wall,

Creative Uses for Soap Around the House

Wondering what to do with unwanted soap? Don’t leave it behind! When you leave your next hotel room, grab that used bar of soap! It is not destined for the trash can but can find plenty of uses around your home. Here are a few creative uses for soap around your house.

Home repairs: 

Repair nail holes in your drywall by filling them in with soap. Use your fingernail to scrape off a small piece from the bar and push it into the hole. Smooth out the edges and wipe with a dry cloth.

pin cushion made out of an old bar of soap with pins in it


Create a bar soap pin cushion!

This is one of my favorite uses for soap if you. Wrap a bar of soap in fabric and hot glue the ends together like you are wrapping a gift. Push your pins into it for safe keeping.

Fix squeaky doors with old soap scraps:

Stop squeaky hinges by rubbing a bar of soap along them to help quiet the noise.

Fix squeaky floorboards: 

Work a little bit of moist soap into the cracks between the boards.

person holding the zipper portion of a jacket in their lap to represent fixing a broken zipper

Zipper repair: 

Don’t throw away that skirt with the stuck zipper! Run a bar of soap along it to help get it moving again.

Make sliding glass doors slide easier: 

Rub soap on the bottom track of sliding glass doors. This will help them slide open and closed much easier.

Keep deer away from your garden plants:

There are lots of uses for soap in the garden but this one is easy. Place a bar of strong-smelling soap in a mesh bag and hang from your garden posts to keep animals out.

Keep nails clean: 

The next time you plan on gardening or taking on any other dirty job, run your fingernails over a bar of soap beforehand. The soap will accumulate and keep out the dirt, making clean up much easier.

How to Recycle Soap and Creative Uses for Soap Around the House

Make a Difference!

We are a nation obsessed with cleanliness. You can go into any grocery store and choose from a huge selection of soap, body wash, and hand sanitizers. We read articles online about protecting us from the germs on hotel bed spreads and the recently blown on birthday cake.

I can honestly say that there are always at least 4 bars of soap open and in use around my house. Soap is everywhere and much of it gets wasted. Help get that soap to people in need and find new uses for it around your house.

Now that you know how to recycle soap, it should never be wasted! Have any other uses for soap around the house? Leave me a comment!

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11 thoughts on “How to Recycle Soap and Creative Uses for Soap Around the House”

  1. Love all these ideas. I do admit, I don’t think about the bars of soap in hotels but I always think about the shampoo, condition and body lotion. I guess because of the plastic bottles. Next time we spend the night away from home, I’m going to bring the bar home.

  2. I’ve never really thought about repurposing soap! We normally use our soap until it’s literally gone but I think I may go round and collect all the little bits and see what I can do with them!

  3. i’m going to try to reuse the soap bits and make liquid soap cause its a genius idea. Thank you so much for sharing about Clean the World. I’d love to help out such a great cause.

  4. I have felt the same exact way!! Like, 1000%. I didn’t know you could donate half bars though. I will try this for my bits and pieces of soap! Thanks for sharing.
    Via Bella Blog

  5. My late Mum always saved our soap scraps to melt down and use in her floor washing bucket. I save soap scraps but plan on making them into new bars


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