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How to melt old shaving soap scraps into new soap

Before we get to the details of "making your own shaving soap from scraps" I will quickly show you my setup so you know what I am talking about. I use William Mug Shaving Soap and I keep it in a ceramic bowl. William Mug Shaving Soap is available here in Canada at very reasonable prices (2 dollar) and one round piece of soap lasts me at least half a year.

shaving set with soap mug
Shaving set with soap mug

I keep the soap in a ceramic bowl originally intended for baking muffins and the soap fits perfectly.

A ceramic muffing baking form makes a good mug
Ceramic muffing baking form, it makes a good shaving soap mug and you can get it at every grocery store.

The problem is that once the soap is down to 1/3 of it's original size it will start to break into small half round pieces and that's normal since the brush will create over time a hole in the center of the soap.

I used to throw away those scraps and start with a new piece of shaving soap. It's not a big financial loss because soap is cheap but it hurts and it feels wrong to always waste 1/3 of the soap. I started to collect those soap scraps and once I had enough to fill again a mug I tried to melt the scraps into a new piece of soap. The ceramic mug acts conveniently as a mold. Here is how I made the soap.
  1. cut pieces of scarp soap in to smaller chunks (e.g 1/4inch cubes)
  2. give the chunks into a small pot and add water, just enough to almost cover the soap
  3. optional: add a teaspoon of glycerin (makes the foam of the soap more creamy)
  4. let it the soap soak over night
  5. bring it to boil for a few minutes and stir with a spoon. There will be some soap chunks left but most of it dissolved into a pudding like liquid.
  6. poor the hot soap into an empty ceramic mug and let it cool down
  7. enjoy the new soap! It will shrink a bit as the water that we added will evaporate over time but the shrinkage is minimal and barely noticeable

I found that it is possible to add about 20% of conventional soap scraps to shaving soap scraps without noticeably reducing the foam quality of the shaving soap. You can add conventional soap scraps if needed to top up the soap and fill a whole mug in case you don't have enough shaving soap scrap pieces.

New shaving soap made from old scrap pieces
A full mug of new shaving soap made from old scrap pieces

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© 2004-2024 Guido Socher