When your lovely, artisan soap gets worn down to a scrappy, almost unusable size, you can give it new life in just a few easy steps. Especially when you find a bar you particularly love (like coffee soap made with grounds soaked in!), it is dreadful to throw away. All you will need to get started making your own bars are your collected soap bits, a plastic bottle, a grater, a cutting tool, and a pan for melting.
Gather all your materials. You’ll need just soap bits, a plastic bottle, a grater, a cutting tool, and a pan for melting.
Cut the bottom off of the plastic bottle to create a mold for your new soap bar. If you have a lot of soap saved up, you may need several bottles to use as molds. You can also choose to use large sized ice cube molds, or other fun-shaped molds if you have them.
Next grate your bits of soap. When the pieces get very small, you can use the exacto knife, other cutting tool, to cut up the remaining bit into chunks.
As an added touch, you can choose to separate the colors of the grated soap, so that you can make colored layered in your new bar.
On the stove, melt your grated soap by adding a small amount of water. If you chose to separate the colors, melt them separately. The soap will start to clump and become sticky as it melts. If you would like to experiment, feel free to add in essential oils, or other ingredients to your liking. Some unique blends could include coffee grounds, herbs, or even beer! We chose to add in cacao powder for a boost of anti-oxidants, and to make a lovely scented “chocolate” soap.
Scoop the melted, gummy soap into your bottle molds, layering colors as you like. Set the molds aside and let them cure for a few days (approximately three) until the soap is no longer tacky.
You may be able to pop the soap our of the mold, but depending on your bottle shape, it may require cutting the mold away from the soap. If you want to portion your soap bar, slice it in half, making two discs showing pretty colored chunks across the surface.
Lea Stewart is a Chicago-based designer and self-proclaimed master multi-tasker. She is LEED GA accredited, and has had a passion for green design for as long as she can remember. Her design for sustainable footwear was internationally awarded the First Place Professional Winner of the International Design Resource Awards and winner of the Saint Etienne International Design Biennial in 2002. She has been published in the Eco Design Handbook, and is also a part of the permanent collection of the Huxley College of the Environment at West Washington University.
Lea Stewart believes that Design is multifaceted. It is about creating experiences. She works with companies whose mission is to grow their business through innovation, differentiation, and by meeting consumer needs. She has over a decade of working knowledge in many industries including consumer products, furniture, lighting, commercial products, medical products, packaging, and display design.