Using dish soap for laundry soap is cheaper, but making your own from Ivory soap bars, washing soda (not baking soda), and borax, is extremely cheap and very easy to make. Melt the soap in the water, add the washing soda and borax, then dilute it with more water and you're done. Look for the recipe on the internet. You may not find all the ingredients at your store, but they are available online
By P.L. from Navarre, OH
You can find washing soda at swimming pool places..it is used in the water of swimming pools, it is sodium carbonate. However, some grocery stores carry it. It is made by Arm and Hammer company. I got mine from our grocery store.
What to do with leftover soap pieces (a few pieces)
Use 3 or 4 scoops for large load.
Depending on family size, the washing soda and borax should make quite a few batches, saving you a lot of money.
Source: I learned from instructions in the ebook, The Handcrafter's Companion at http://squidoo.com/thehandcrafterscompanion.
Also bought a book on essential oils and used tips from other soap makers. A true crafter is always willing to share their recipes and I am happy to do so.
By spa products from Oxford, Michigan
I know nothing about making soap, but I would really like to know how to make bars of soap from all those pieces I have been throwing out. Is there a simple way or do I have to buy all the soap-making stuff to do it? Thanks for your help!
You can use grated soap melted in some water to make liquid soap for your pumps. You can also collect those bars and tie them in a piece of pantyhose and hang them by the hose in the yard for 'garden soap'.
good luck (11/05/2004)
You can put the slivers of soap in a washcloth folded in half and sewn on two sides and velcro on the third side (The fold is the fourth side). Wet the cloth and the suds appear. The velcro closure means you can keep adding slivers whenever you have them. (11/06/2004)
By Cheryl from Missouri
I never have leftover pieces of soap, when the bar gets way down to where you can't hardly use it, simply stick it to the next new bar and you will NEVER have to worry about soap slivers. (11/07/2004)
One thing I have done is to save the soap slivers until you get a fair supply, put them into your blender with enough HOT water to cover, and whirr them up until mixed well. This will give you a liquid soap that you can use as is, or pour it into a plastic container and cover with paper, or put into a covered box or paper bag. The idea is to keep the dust out while letting air in to dry the soap. Set in an out-of-the way place until dry. It will take several weeks (or months). After dry, pop out of container/mold, cut if necessary, and use. If you don't have a blender, you can grate the soap into a container, add the water and let sit until dissolved. Stir/shake occasionally. Then proceed as above. (11/07/2004)
Jean, thank you so much for that suggestion - I am going to try this. It's exactly the kind of idea I was hoping for! (11/07/2004)
Take all of the slivers of soap you have, put them in a microwave safe bowl and nuke them about 30 seconds maybe a little more. Once the soap liquefies, put it in a soap mold (purchase these from a local craft store, they have inexpensive plastic ones) then let them dry for a few hours. Stick the mold in the fridge for about an hour, then pop out your soap! (11/08/2004)
Can you make molds out of homemade clay, and then line with Saran wrap and pour the soap in there?
Would this work? How long does it take to dry? (11/09/2004)
Yes i have three plastic rings. One is the middle ring which the soap sits in and the two outer rings close together one on top and one on the bottom. I got it from regal books. Once you have all the smaller soap pieces you put it in side and run warm water over the whole thing and then move the two rings bottom and top one away and then the other away. This will make it stick a bit and after that, fill your bathroom sink up with warm water and then sit this in it so it soften it up so you can stick it harder. Let the whole thing dry, so each time you get more remove one lid or ring and add it together and do the same thing over again. After a while you should have a new bar of soap with all the left overs. I hope this help you (12/02/2004)
Here is another idea, get some cloth and make a small bag and add velco to it and drop your soap piece in that and fill it up. Shut it and you have a soap baggie for the shower or to wash your hands. Happy soap making (12/02/2004)
The bath mitt at http://www.leafa.com eliminates the problem of soap slivers. Check it out, I love it. (01/11/2005)
I tried to make soap for the first time, it came out awful. I grated a bar of soap, put in microwave ,for about 25 seconds, took it out to stir it then kept putting in. It was one big mess, was so stiff. I put in color and oils. What am I doing wrong? Can someone please help me. Thank You (09/12/2005)
We take a wash cloth that we sewed the three sides up and put the leftovers inside it. fold the open end up and wash with the wash cloth (08/25/2006)
I have a neat tool I bought at Vermont country Store, it's a swisher. You place all little soap slivers inside, and when you run water over it, it makes instant foam. You can swish it through a basin of water, too. It makes great use of slivers to wash hose or any hand washables.
I also take the tiniest slivers and break them in to a recycled plastic container, then cover with water. I shake it every day for a while to keep things stirred up. After a while it will make liquid soap.
When soap gets too small for the shower, I shift it to the sink, and when it gets too small for there, I use it in the swisher. (02/18/2007)
I take the slivers and put them in the blender. I grate them very fine, then I add them to a bowl and add a little warm water. Let sit for 15 minutes and then shape into balls. These are very simple to make and look really nice! Let them dry for a few days. (08/09/2007)
We have a B and B guesthouse. Thus, we have tons of those partially used little bars of soap. So I use these to make large bars for my family. Here's is what to do.
Collect a good amount of partially used bars - make sure they are thoroughly dry and free of any hair or dirt.. Put them in large pot and add boiling water to cover. Wait 24 hours stirring occasionally. The bars will become mushy. Then mash them or blend them using a mixer. To kill most common bacteria, boil 5 to 10 minutes. You can then add any essential oils for scent. Then pour into molds or large rectangular baking dish and let sit about 2 weeks. Use a pizza cutter or knife to slice the soap into the size bar you choose. If needed, you can use a potato peeler to soften the edges.
By BJ Robin