Soap bar tips - Shorebox

6 Tips For Looking After Your Soap Bar: Make It Last As Long As Possible

Here at Shorebox, we’re soap bar fanatics. And we’re determined to convert you to our (slightly crazed) levels of soap bar appreciation.

That’s because paper-wrapped soap bars can replace so many plastic goods — the two obvious ones being hand soap and shower gel. But there are bar alternatives to many products, including hair conditioner, body moisturiser, facial cleanser, and shampoo — even shampoo for your dog!

Soap bars also last considerably longer than liquid alternatives because they contain much less water — so you’re getting more bang for your buck, too. And in case they couldn’t get any better, soap bars require five times less energy to produce than liquid soap.

So now you’re a bar convert, here are six tips to help you get the most out of your bar.

1.   Be a good host

Like we mentioned, soap bars have the potential to last a long time — the trick is to keep them as dry as possible between uses. Water breaks your bar down, so keeping it in the direct stream of your shower will shorten its life. Store it outside of the shower on a soap dish, ideally one with holes, to let it dry. This will also prevent soap residue from building up in your shower or bath. If you end up having multiple bars on the go, a bath rack can come in handy to prevent SBC (Soap Bar Congestion*).

*We may have made that acronym up.

Shop: Soap rest

Paper-wrapped soap bar - How to store bar soap in shower


2.   Don’t offend it

“Do they actually create a good lather?” is one question we get asked a lot about soap bars. If soap bars could defend themselves, they’d say, “Honey, we INVENTED the lather”. It’s true. But to get the best results, it’s a good idea to use a sponge rather than relying on your hands. Sponges create a rich lather from just a small amount of soap, so this will also make your bar last longer. Plus, trying to keep hold of a slippery soap bar is a challenge we’re sure you could go without on a Monday morning.
Zero-waste tips - paper-wrapped soap bar and natural body sponge


3.   Make sure you’re compatible

Opting for soap bars made only from natural ingredients is the best choice for your wellbeing and the environment. You’ll see far better results from soap if you choose a bar that contains the right ingredients for your skin. Check out our table for some recommendations for your skin type.
Natural ingredients for skin


It’s time to bust a myth. Some people worry that all-natural soap bars aren’t “antibacterial”. But experts say that thoroughly washing your hands with warm water and regular soap is all you need. Plus, “antibacterial” soap actually needs to be left on your skin for two minutes before rinsing for it to work — we’re guessing you probably haven’t got time for that.

4.   Give it space

As you know, a dry soap bar is a happy soap bar. During their production process, soap bars are cured (i.e. dried). But it’s worth leaving your soap bar for a few extra days before tucking into it to remove any excess moisture. Putting it in an airing cupboard or drawer is a simple way to do so. This will make your bar even harder and less likely to crumble.

5.   Cut it into pieces

Our fifth tip is less friendly, but your bar will thank you in the long run. Before you use a new bar, cut it into two or three chunks. By using one piece at a time, your bar will last even longer, as the rest of it won’t be getting wet. This is also a great way to travel with soap — simply store a smaller piece in a soap tin or reused container, and enjoy your getaway together.
Shop: Soap tins
Travel bar soap - Zero waste tips


6.   End on good terms

Towards the end of its life, a soap bar will turn into small scraps. These are tricky to wash with, and have a tendency to escape down the drain. It doesn’t have to end this way. Try putting the scraps into a small mesh bag to continue washing with them. Or, get crafty and turn them into liquid soap. Just follow this tutorial and reuse an old soap dispenser.

Congratulations, you’re now a soap bar whisperer. You can browse paper-wrapped soap here.

Ready for more zero-waste tips? Head over to our beginner’s guide how to reduce plastic for more.

Oh hello! Just a quick note to say, we’re an eco-friendly subscription box helping our subscribers reduce plastic waste step-by-step. If that sounds exciting, enjoy 10% off your first box today. That’s all for now, cheerio.

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