Making Soap from Slivers

Don’t throw away those precious soap slivers that are too small to use. Turn them into a new bar!

A collection of soap slivers

Do you love handmade and natural soap? I certainly do. As someone with extremely sensitive skin, liquid soaps have never worked for me. Too harsh. Too many additives. Too much perfume. Too much plastic waste. So, I am always on the lookout for really nice natural soaps.

I found them in A Wild Soap Bar soaps. The company is family-owned and the soaps are made from vegetable oils and wildcrafted botanicals. They have numerous scents – I think I have tried them all! My favorites are Wild Carrot, Yucca, and Desert Sage – but they also have wonderful seasonal scents, and unique scents like Blue Agave, Passionflower, and Prickly Pear. They are creamy and gentle on the skin. They are lightly packaged with no plastic in sight.

Saving the Soap Slivers

A Wild Soap Bar soaps are the only soaps my family uses. So, when they wear down to a sliver, I still don’t want to give up on them – I am a thrifty Yankee at heart! Therefore, I save up the slivers and turn them into a new soap. Now, because I mix up all the slivers, these remade soaps are not “guest-worthy.” The colors are muddled so they aren’t as attractive as the originals, but they are still creamy with plenty of lather and no soapy residue.

Grated and broken slivers

Step 1:

Grate soap slivers using a box grater or cheese grater until you have about 1 cup of grated soap. Break up soap pieces that are too flimsy to grate.

Heating over boiling water

Step 2:

Place grated soap in a bowl. Add about 1 Tablespoon of water. Place bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.

Note: I do not use my actual double boiler when making soap. Most double boilers are narrow and deep, making them perfect for dipping items in melted chocolate. A shallow, wide bowl works best when melting and re-making soap.

Melted slivers

Step 3:

Stir the melting soap occasionally, using a metal spoon. The smaller, grated pieces will soften and slightly melt first. How long this step takes depends on the types of soap used. Some soaps melt in 15 minutes, some take almost an hour. If you want, you can add a bit of food coloring here. Don’t let the saucepan boil dry!

Sticking together!

Step 4:

Once the pieces have melted so that they hold together, scrape the bunch onto a piece of parchment paper. The broken (as opposed to the grated) soap pieces may not completely melt. The mixture will have a gummy texture, and will not be a liquid.

New soap balls

Step 5:

Form the mass into a ball with your hands, using the parchment paper. Let sit for at least a month before using.

As you can see from the photo, the soap balls are not always beautiful. I used the green, purple, and black soap slivers to make the darker colored ball, and the yellow, beige, and multi-colored slivers to make the lighter colored ball. You can add food coloring or a natural coloring, but I usually don’t bother. Although they aren’t as attractive as the originals, soap balls are perfect for the kitchen or bathroom sinks.

by Renee Pottle

Renee Pottle, a freelance writer and Home Economist, is fanatic about all things food. She blogs about canning and food preservation at Find her professional food writing info at

March 8, 2021

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  1. Susan Allred

    Is there a reason why you have to wait a month before you use them? Just curious.

    • Renee Pottle

      Susan, it’s to give the soap time to cure, i.e. harden (again) so that it doesn’t just fall apart when using.


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