Appalachia Reuse-Repurpose-Recycle

How To Recycle Soap Slivers

What can I do with leftover slivers of soap

“I remember our Mom tying up soap slivers in rags that she threw in the laundry when I was very very little. I also remember someone, I think it was both of our Grandmothers (or maybe all the women did this in those days) that had a big Mason jar near their kitchen sink that they saved soap slivers in, once they had a certain amount, they added hot water and turned it this way and that gently (not vigorously or all you’ll get is suds) until all the slivers kinda dissolved into a slime. It took a long time for them to save up enough slivers to do that though, but still – it would be a savings. And I remember Fels Naptha, I still love the smell of that soap because it reminds me of our maternal Grandmother who used it for EVERYTHING including scrubbing grimy kids. (ouch) Nice memories.”

~RB June 2013

——————–

Tipper

 

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30 Comments

  • Reply
    Sherry Gray
    March 18, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    You can make your own clothes detergent from Ivory soap and it works great at a fraction of the cost.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 14, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Tipper,
    This thought came to me this morning as I was hanging up one of Moms old graters…
    I remember her running out of powdered soap in the fifties. By this time we had a automatic washing machine. Dad was at work and we had no way to get to the store. Like many today, one runs out of something and off to the nearest store to buy more. At any rate…She did have a few extra bars of 99 100% pure Ivory soap bars…lol I remember her opening a bar of that soap and grating it. Of course Ivory was soft that it clumped a bit on the grater, and I remember her turning it over and rubbing it off the back. She grated about a lump the size of a Ping-Pong ball and put it in the washer. She said later that my brothers blue jeans got cleaner with that grated Ivory than her powdered Duz…(remember the packages that came with a dish towel?) You’re too young, I suppose. Some came with plates or glasses…too.
    I just wanted to tell of it. I think of so many things that happened on laundry days that I had forgotten.
    Mother never ever washed dishes with laundry soap when she ran out of liquid…unless they were triple rinsed. She said left over suds in a glass would give you diarrhea!…Money was tight back then and running out of things happened and had to wait until Dad got paid for a job. He was self-employed and sometimes money wasn’t a weekly check!
    Thanks Tipper
    PS…The reason we had extra bars of Ivory soap…Mom had a Cub Scout group of 6 little boys after school afternoon a week. One of the projects coming up was to carve or try to carve a Wolf, Lion or Bear out of a bar of Ivory…they were supposed to bring their own bar of soap the next week but Mom knowing some would forget bought some extra bars…Ivory is the best for carving….

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    March 14, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Ahhh memories, and Tipper shared one of mine from a couple years back here. Ironic too, because just the other day I was thinking about those old soap slivers, and I was remembering how all the women/girls at our paternal grandmother’s house used pink Camay soap that had a cmeo of a lady’s head pressed into it; and as I child, I thought using it would make women more beautiful. LOL
    Funny how one’s mind wanders to other times.
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 13, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    b.Ruth – February was a perfect month this year. It started on with the 1st on Sunday and the 28th on Saturday. March tried to do the same but it has too many days. That happens every 6 then 11 years. The last one was 2009 so the next will be in 2026. Leap year is what messes up the pattern.

  • Reply
    Granny Norma
    March 13, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    You can buy Fels Naptha at Wal-Mart but it’s darned expensive anymore. Luckily, it doesn’t take too much at a time. Just wet stains and dirty areas and rub the bar over them before throwing the garment into the washing machine. I save all soap scraps and tie them up in a fine mesh bag (like a lemon bag,) not for laundry but for bathing. The mesh bag makes wonderful suds and scrubs better than a wash cloth.

  • Reply
    Theresa Cook
    March 13, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    I use the slivers in a different way. I use the same brand of soap all the time, when the soap gets to where it’s almost breaks, I let the new bar sit in warm water till it starts to melt on the bottom. I stick the sliver of soap on the bottom of the new bar and carefully use it till the two sticks together and then the sliver melts into the bigger bar then gets used.

    • Reply
      faye bancroft
      April 5, 2018 at 7:15 am

      i do that,too,only i just use the new bar first,so its soapy,then stick the old bar to it to dry together!

  • Reply
    Sam Ensley
    March 13, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    In elementary school, when we had to carry water in buckets, Mrs. Potts would save soap scraps in a pint jar and poke holes in the lid. We used this for washing our hands.

  • Reply
    Tamela
    March 13, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    My mother would generously coat a saucepan with Crisco before adding the soap slivers and a little bit of water, heating slowly and stirring gently to blend into a slurry, then pour into muffin tins (this time, lightly greased with Crisco). She put these it an old pan by the faucet outside so Dad could use them to clean up when he came in from the fields.
    Do any of you save dryer lint? We used to cut toilet paper rolls to about 1 1/2 inches, stuff tightly with dryer lint, melt “done-in” candles and pour that wax into the toilet paper tube stuffed with dryer lint to make fire-starters. Sometimes we used cardboard egg cartons when we could get them.

  • Reply
    Ken
    March 13, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Tipper,
    Mama never saved any small pieces
    of soap for washing clothes. Maybe
    there wasn’t none left, but I do
    remember her making lye soap.
    …Ken

  • Reply
    Steve in Tn
    March 13, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Better yet, I bought a small scruffy bag at the flea market and use the bag, stuffed with soap slivers for a washcloth in the shower. You get a mix of flavors and feel like you are recycling. It is great for those left over small bars…like some people take from hotel rooms….
    Might be an idea for your girl’s “store”.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 13, 2015 at 10:43 am

    My mother worked for a long time as a maid at Nantahala Village. Regulations didn’t allow her to leave those little bars of soap in the rooms even though they were still wrapped so she brought them home. She even brought the used soap home. The wrapped bars were what we used for baths and hand washing. She washed and dried the used soap then cut it up in flakes to do her laundry.

  • Reply
    Pat
    March 13, 2015 at 10:20 am

    I remember my mom taking the smaller piece and smashing it on a new bar that was wet and eventually they stuck together and the small piece would disappear. Now that I’m back using bar soap again, made out of goat milk that I buy online, I do the same thing. Not many people I know use bar soap to wash their hands any more, it’s the bottle of liquid sitting by the sink.

  • Reply
    Jackie
    March 13, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Both my grandmothers made lye soap. My parents saved slivers of soap bars and melted them together to make a larger bar to use. I don’t seem to have slivers left – I use it all up. Maybe the manufacturers make them different now. I also remember grabbing a handful sand to get tobacco wax off my hands.

  • Reply
    barbara Gantt
    March 13, 2015 at 9:44 am

    I buy Fels Napa at Ace Hardware. I use it to make homemade laundry detergent. Barbara

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 13, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Tipper,
    This doesn’t have a thang to do with soap slivers…
    However, I just noticed while I was getting ready to go out this morning that today is Friday the 13th…”Whhaattt, I said to myownself!!! We just had a Friday the 13th!!” I looked back to February and shore nuff we had a Friday the 13th in February and now here ya go, another one in March. So, I scanned over the next few months to see if more of those ‘unlucky days’ were a’comin’ up…Well now, we don’t need to worry over this “unlucky 13 number” until November. By then gardening and canning will be done and over with…thank goodness….
    Here’s a pinch and a punch for the 13th of the Month! Errr, Friday the 13th…
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…The Leprechauns got a hold of this year’s calendar…me thinks!

  • Reply
    Shirl
    March 13, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Most of our soap was homemade and never wasted. Mom shaved slivers into the wringer washing machine, then added more slivers from a fresh homemade bar. She never called it a bar of soap, it was a cake of soap.

  • Reply
    Barb Wright
    March 13, 2015 at 9:36 am

    My grandmas both saved soap slivers. I have in the past,but not regularly. I do,however,make my own laundry soap and have for years. I use Fels Naptha. It is available locally. I order it by the case from a small local store. I also love the smell of it..it brings back memories of grandma doing her wash. She would tell stories and recite poetry while she worked.

  • Reply
    Dan O'Connor
    March 13, 2015 at 9:26 am

    That is my kind of thinking. When I get down to a sliver I just stick it to the side on the new bar while I’m in the shower and whallah, a slightly bigger bar.

  • Reply
    Chris
    March 13, 2015 at 9:06 am

    My Mom and Grandma did the soap slime thing and used it for shampoo. I still save slivers in a jar– and after a few months of looking at them–throw them out, with apologies to those ladies!

  • Reply
    dolores
    March 13, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Sometimes I take the sliver of soap and press it onto a new bar. It takes a bit of doing, but I don’t like to waste it. Also, I might put the soap pieces into a mesh bag I have in my hamper and with all the pieces, it helps to keep the hamper better smelling.

  • Reply
    Yancey
    March 13, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Granny used to “cook” soap slivers with just a small amount of water then pour the slurry into a foil pot pie pan to harden.
    Fels Naptha is still available at the Food Lion where I work, also at Wal Mart.
    Anyone remember Octagon soap? It’s still around if you look hard enough.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    March 13, 2015 at 7:59 am

    I still do it, too! I grew up with the good advice “Willful waste makes woeful want.”
    HOW WONDERFUL TO HAVE THE MUSIC BACK!!
    I’M BEGINNING THIS DAY WITH MY FAVORITE: THE PRESSLEY GIRLS SINGING “I’LL FLY AWAY”!!!!!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 13, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Tipper,
    I have a wire metal wooden handled soap saver…I think it came from my Grandmothers…I had it hanging here in the kitchen until we remodeled to paint…along with one of those wooden three towel bars…LOL
    Here is a picture of one….
    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=vintage+wire+wooden+handled+soap+saver&qpvt=vintage+wire+wooden+handled+soap+saver&qpvt=vintage+wire+wooden+handled+soap+saver&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=AA5A211A73B8EA0C9E44BE70E47C763961946471&selectedIndex=26
    Back in the forties or fifties my Aunt gave me a crochet turtle soap saver. It had a crochet draw string, put in the leftover slivers and pull up to tie and hang from a nail in the bathroom.
    Mine is similar to this one…
    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-2ei3f_OB5Bk/TW_p6w7LxcI/AAAAAAAAAto/iPLlU3kSlhM/s1600/DSC01621.jpg
    My Grandmother and Mother kept blue mason jars with soap slivers. Mother used hers with her small washboard to wash personals, hose and bras…
    My Grandmother used hers for soap in the old roller machine….
    The thing that I remember about both leftover soap jar slivers…It was slimy…and I just couldn’t stand to touch it!
    But, being raised in and after the depression, my Momma would do what one had to do to save or even have soap!…Plus, these here mountain gals are the make do kind and very clever. My Granny was so glad to have store bought soap she saved and used every scrap…I remember standing in the back yard and watching lye soap being stirred…in a black kettle before being poured into the wooden molds…
    Great post Tipper,
    PS…is it raining at your house?

  • Reply
    eva nell wike, PhD
    March 13, 2015 at 7:17 am

    Well Tipper, I must have missed this detail of ‘wash day’ activities! Guess one has to be dedicated to create such a soap! Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 13, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Tip, I still save soap slivers. I use them when I make laundry detergent.
    I remember my mother saving the slivers in a mesh orange bag. then she held the bag under running water in the washing machine or the sink.
    We come from thrifty people!

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    March 13, 2015 at 7:14 am

    Tipper ,
    I think Kroger sells that Fels Naptha, Do you have a Kroger near you ?
    I remember my mom making lye soap, and using it to wash clothes,

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    March 13, 2015 at 7:14 am

    Tipper ,
    I think Kroger sells that Fels Naptha, Do you have a Kroger near you ?
    I remember my mom making lye soap, and using it to wash clothes,

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    March 13, 2015 at 7:14 am

    Tipper ,
    I think Kroger sells that Fels Naptha, Do you have a Kroger near you ?
    I remember my mom making lye soap, and using it to wash clothes,

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    March 13, 2015 at 7:14 am

    Tipper ,
    I think Kroger sells that Fels Naptha, Do you have a Kroger near you ?
    I remember my mom making lye soap, and using it to wash clothes,

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