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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Frugal Friday--Making bar soap last

I'm pretty sure that as soon as C read the title to this post he started rolling his eyes.  My family has long made fun of the way that I make bar soap last.  I really don't have anything against being clean or against the soap companies, BUT....

Years ago I figured out, or learned--it's been too long ago to remember which, that the soap companies were purposefully not fully drying out the bars of soap before they wrapped them in wax coated paper.  Then just to be sure that the soap wouldn't dry out they wrap it one more time in plastic.  I'm sure that the soap lathers better when it's not fully dried out, but it also disappears down the drain faster if it's not dried out.

So every time I have purchased soap for the last 20+ years I have unwrapped each bar.

and every time except one, scored each bar with a sharp knife
placed them on a cookie sheet or other baking implement
and baked them in the oven for a couple of hours at the lowest setting, which for my oven is 170 degrees.  Usually I bake ~20 bars at a time.

The house smells very clean while all this is going on and for at least another day after this exercise too.

So how much longer does a bar last?  I couldn't tell you, but we use about a bar every week and a half, give or take.

And if you are wondering about the reason for the scoring, well the story goes, that the very first time I did this exercise I didn't know about the scoring process.  The exterior of the bars were drier than the interior and much like a baked potato gives off steam as it bakes the bars of soap started letting off some steam too.  In the process they created their own holes and sharp edges.

When you are passing that across your body, those edges were initially pretty sharp.  No one had their eye put out, but there were some close calls on other body parts.

While I'm on the soap thing, when you are down to the last sliver of a bar, do you rest that sliver on top of the new bar and help the two meld together to become one bar so that you get to use every last bit of the old bar?  I'm convinced that's what the divot is for on top of the new bar.

Or do you chuck that small sliver into the trash?

As a follow up to some of the other soap posts, after texting with L, of SBC, last evening she's inspired me to deem this 'soap limbo'... how low can you go?  she's down to half a cup full on her dishwasher---things are still coming out sparkling clean and she's headed to 1/4.

How low can you go????

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