Soap bars are back – and here’s how to make the most of them!

soap 1

Liquid soap is quickly becoming a thing of the past as eco-conscious shoppers ditch plastic containers for solid scrub bars. If you shop carefully, you can be even more enviro-friendly by choosing bar soap that comes in compostable wrapping. Take things one step further for the better by adding ethical into your soap buys when you choose bar soap from Trade Aid shops.

soap 1

A new way to serve up the soap

Block soap can leave a gluggy mess on your vanity unit, shower and bath, but it seems this common complaint has at last been sorted. ‘Block Dock’ is a recent nifty invention that comes all the way from the little town of Riverton in Southland. A cleverly-shaped metal holder, Block Dock suctions onto the top or side of your bathroom, kitchen and laundry surfaces, holding your soap bars of all shapes and sizes firmly in place while allowing the moisture to drain away from them when not in use.

Soap-scrap problems solved!

That leaves just one more problem to solve – what to do with the itsy-bitsy scraps of bar soap when they get too small to handle. Fortunately, the uses for these soap bar fragments are seemingly endless!


Cut one leg off a pair of old tights or use an ‘orphan’ long sock. When you’ve accumulated a handful-sized collection of soap scraps, pop them into the toe of the tights or sock, and tie a knot just above the soap. Hang your ‘soap-on-a-rope’ in your shower for easy use. It will give you a soap bar that doesn’t slither away from you as you wash.


Store your bar soap scraps until you have a tennis ball-sized collection. Taking care not to grate your fingers, grate the soap scraps into a container. Add 1 tablespoon of boiling water to each cup of soap gratings. Wait until the mixture is safely cool enough to handle, then knead into it 2 tablespoons of used coffee grinds. Shape into a block, and keep this bar of mildly abrasive soap beside an outdoor tap or workbench. It’s perfect for scrubbing hands before you come in from the garden or garage.

Holiday soap

How many times have you left your soap in the shower of your motel or camping ground? Now you can relax by making and taking your own mini soap-balls on holiday. Follow the method above but exclude the coffee grinds and add a few drops of essential oil to the gratings instead. Shape into balls or blocks that are small enough to handle but which will serve just one or two showers. These same small balls of soap are useful for popping into shoes for keeping them sweet smelling while in storage. (Tip: sandalwood or peppermint essential oils are great to use in soap for men).

DIY liquid soap

If you really feel you don’t want to be without liquid soap, try making your own. Internet sites abound with smart ideas on how to turn your bar soap scraps into liquid soap that you can store in reusable pump containers. Have fun!