Photographs by Nicholas Efran
This is a handy tip I learned as a Girl Scout that I still use in my home today. It’s a great project for Girl Scouts (or any group of kids) as a follow-up to soap carving: kids can put their soap scraps in the Soap Saver and then add any bits of soap they have at home.
A lot of people have switched to liquid soaps, foam soaps, and body-washes instead of bar soaps. One reason for this is that a bar of soap sitting in a soap dish accumulates a puddle of water underneath, which has an unpleasant look and texture, may harbor germs, and gradually dissolves the soap so that a lot of it ends up being wasted. A soap dish in the shower really wastes soap if it’s positioned such that the shower water falls on it, causing the soap to melt rapidly and drip from the soap dish onto the shower floor, making the floor slippery.
The other problem with bar soap is that as the bar gets smaller and smaller, it’s more and more difficult to get the soap you need. You end up turning it over and over and over in your hands, wasting time. But it’s annoying to throw away perfectly good soap just because it’s a small piece.
However, most hotels still give out bar soap, and most of us don’t use the whole bar during our stay. If we leave it, they’ll have to throw it away. It’s best if we can take it home and make use of it.
Also, there are some nice soaps that are available only in bar form, not in liquid, that you might want to use if only you could control the slimy mess problem.
What you need is a Soap Saver!!
Other than soap, the only material needed for this project is a long, narrow mesh tube. It should be at least 12 inches long; 18 inches is better. You might happen to purchase some type of fruit or vegetable that comes in a mesh bag you can reuse. If not, the best source is a scrubby-puff, like these, which I found in a 3-pack for $1 at a local dollar store.
Of course, if you happen to have a used scrubby-puff that you don’t mind destroying, that’s even better for the environment than cutting up a new one. Each puff will provide enough mesh for 2 or more Soap Savers, depending on the size of the puff.
In addition to saving soap, this gadget saves time, because the mesh helps the soap lather up quickly so that you spend less time rubbing it.
Probe through the layers of your scrubby-puff until you locate the cord that holds it together. Carefully slide one scissors blade under the cord and clip it, being careful not to cut a hole in the mesh as you do so. (If young children are doing this project, an adult should prepare the mesh in advance.) Unravel the puff into a long tube of mesh. Cut it into appropriate lengths.
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