If you’re new to using handmade soap, you may not know that handmade soap requires a few tips and tricks to keep it lasting as long as commercial soap. To give a brief summary, handmade soap is softer than commercial soap because it contains glycerin. In commercial soap, the glycerin is removed and used in other products such as lotion, moisturizers, etc. Glycerin leads to a softer (but MUCH more moisturizing) bar of soap compared to synthetic surfactant and detergent filled commercial bars. To extend the life of handmade soap and get the most use out of it, there are a few things you can do.
1. Use a draining soap dish.
The worst thing you can do with a bar of handmade soap is to leave it sitting in water. This will cause the bar to turn into a mushy mess that can be hard to use and doesn’t last as long. A draining soap dish with holes keeps the soap out of water and allows for more airflow, which will greatly extend the life of the soap.
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2. Let your soap dry completely between each use.
Along with using a draining soap dish, try to let your bar dry out completely in between uses. This may mean storing the soap and dish on a ledge in the shower out of the spray of water or it may mean completely removing the soap from the shower when not in use. I like to do this sometimes if I’m using multiple bars of soap at once- simply store them out of the shower and take whichever one I want to use into the shower momentarily. Additionally, if you have multiple people in your household showering, try to get each person their own bar of soap. This will allow for each bar of soap to dry completely between uses instead of introducing the same bar of soap to water multiple times a day.
3. Cut the bar into smaller pieces.
Cut your bar of soap either in half, thirds, or fourths so that you’re only introducing part of the bar to water at a time. While you’re using a fraction of the bar, the rest of the bar can be curing (the longer a bar of soap is cured, the longer it lasts) somewhere else.
4. Use a washcloth or loofah.
A few swipes of soap on a loofah or washcloth lathers much more than using just your hands. By using a loofah or washcloth, you’ll get more lather while using less product.
5. Keep your soap in a sisal soap bag or drawstring cotton muslin bag.
This is my favorite way to use up small scraps of soap that are hard to grab onto! Simply insert soap scraps or a new bar of soap (usually easier if you cut the bar in half, depending on the bag size) into either one of these bags, tie the strings, and get to lathering! The soap can still lather through the bag and once you’re done, hang it on a shower hook to dry out or place it on a soap dish. This method is particularly helpful for small soap scraps that may stick to the soap dish and are difficult to peel off without crumbling.