Making Something from Scraps
So you are making, trimming and hopefully selling lots of soap. Everything is great until you notice that you are accumulating something other then profits---soap scraps! When I first started making soap, I didnít know what to do with the little trimmings and the oddly shaped bar of soap. They are too good to throw away but the question is what to do with them. If the shavings and scraps are very soft you can simply wet your hands (or gloves) slightly and squeeze them into soap balls.
The most obvious solution is to use them in your next batch of soap. This use works best with nicely colored scraps or shavings with fragrances that blend. You can just make a new batch of soap and stir the shavings in at light trace. A variation on this is to place a few cups of lightly traced soap in a bowl, add up to half in soap scraps, hit a few times with the stick blender then swirl this mixture back into the rest of your soap. This work best when the trimmings are boldly colored and contrast with the new soap.
I love using soap scraps in products other then soap. Somehow I always feel like Iím making something from nothing. One of my favorite soap trimming user uppers is sugar scrub. Hereís how I do it. Take 4 parts of nice oils, and put it in the top of a double boiler. Heat , then add 8 parts of soap scraps. Continue heating and stick blending the mixture until it almost seems like soap tracing. If you have used soft soap it will blend smoothly. Older soap will always be a bit bumpy. Now blend in 3 parts of sugar. I use brown sugar. You can experiment with other types of sugars or salts. Stick blend until thoroughly combined. Remove from the heat and blend sporadically until completely cool. Add vit. E, and essential oils or fragrance oil if desired. You can also add seeds, pumice or jojoba beads. Depending on the soap scraps, oils and additives you use, this can be gentle enough to use on your face or exfoliating enough to use for hands and feet.
I also make a dry scrub using soap scraps. This works best with soap trimmings that have thoroughly dried out. Throw a handful of soap trimmings into the food processor or blender. Grind into small particles. Add between half to an equal amount of a mixture of oatmeal and or cornmeal. Continue grinding then add a small handful of something like dried mint leaves, I use a mix of spearmint and peppermint and continue to grind. Take out a tablespoon or so and wet it. You should be able to make a paste to rub on to wet skin as a scrub. Adjust to a texture you like and add an essential oil or fragrance oil if desired. Again depending on what you do this can be very gentle or very exfoliating.
If you have been experimenting with making liquid soap you may have some liquid soap that you donít trust to use on your skin but again you hate to just throw away. Hereís an easy way to use it up. Pour some baking soda into a small bowl, then stir in the liquid soap until you make a paste and add a few drops of essential oil. Use with a sponge or brush as a natural cleaner. I use this to scrub my bathroom sink, tub, tiles etc. It is also great to use to clean up lawn furniture.
You can also grind the soap scraps well and use as a laundry soap. I tried this a while ago and used a scoop of dried soap, washing soda (sodium carbonate) and a white vinegar rinse. I only really like this with sheets and towels. In the long run it didnít really work for me as I donít use hot water with most of my washing and with cold water I had the occasional soap specks that did not dissolve.
Just remember none of these ideas work with obviously lye crazy or rancid soap. If your soap has DOS or lye pockets , donít drive yourself crazy just toss it and make more!
So now are we ready for a swap of products made from SOAP SCRAPS?
Soapy, Salty, Milky Bath Stuff
As created for my sister...by Denise Washburn
3 cups grated soap
1 cup sea salts of your choice
3 cups powdered non-fat milk
1 cup buttermilk powder
1/4 cup shea oil
1 tablespoon pomegranate fragrance oil
Mix grated soap, salt, powdered milk and buttermilk powder together until well mixed. Combine fragrance oil and liquid shea, drizzle over dry ingredients and mix well using your hands. Mix until the oil has disappeared and no lumps remain...now mix a few minutes longer. Oh come on, it's fun to play in! <;o)
I used soap scraps from beveling several batches of soap, most of it was pomegranate, but my SSSS soap scraps were in there too. I used the beveling scraps and "grated" them using my food processor. I also used the large grain salt because I thought it better matched the "texture" I wanted for this product. The scent was my sister's choice...she's in love with SueK's pomegranate!
~ Frances Schuff