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10 Reasons Why Bar Soap Is More Useful Than Ever

Uses For Bar Soap

The other day I was organizing the linen closet in our hallway, which is where I keep our stocks of household necessities (toilet paper, for instance). As I was tidying things up, I noticed that we had quite the collection of bar soap! I buy bar soap for my husband,  who is generally the only one in the house who prefers using bar soap to body wash. But I guess I’ve been buying large packages of bar soap lately, which is why we now have a small pile of unused bar soap in the linen closet!

So I did what I usually do when I have too much of something – I started looking for more ways to use it! After a bit of research, I came up with the following list of ways to use bar soap. Even if you don’t have a surplus of bar soap like I do, I hope this list will show you that bar soap is more far useful than it seems. And one day you might be very glad you have some good old fashioned bar soap on hand!

10 Ways To Use Bar Soap

Uses For Bar Soap

1. Make Body Wash

Turn your favorite bar of soap into your new favorite body wash! You’ll be surprised at how much body wash you can get from one little bar of soap! It’s easy, economical, and takes just a few minutes to do. Get all the instructions you need below!

Related: How To Make Your Own Body Wash From A Bar Of Soap

Uses For Bar Soap

2. Make Felted Soap

Making felted soap is a great way to add some extra exfoliating power to a standard bar of soap. It’s easy to do, and it makes a pretty addition to any bathroom! I think a bar of felted soap would make a thoughtful handmade gift, too.

Related: Make Your Own Felted Soap (Or Self-Soaping Scrubbie!)

Uses For Bar Soap

3. Keep Fingernails Clean

Here’s a great tip for keeping your fingernails clean when you’re doing yard or garden work. Scrape your fingernails over a bar of soap, so that a bit of soap remains under your nails. The soap will serve as a barrier between your fingernails and the dirt. Then when you’re done with the yard work, just give your hands a good washing and the soap will come right out!

Uses For Bar Soap

4. Fix Smelly Shoes

Did you know that a bar of soap can actually absorb odors? Place a bar inside a smelly shoe and let the odors absorb overnight.

Uses For Bar Soap

5. Keep Clothes Fresh

A bar of soap can also help absorb musty odors in your drawers and closets! Just wrap a bar of soap in a cloth bag or a piece of fabric, and store it with your clothes. This should also help repel insects!

Uses For Bar Soap

6. Relieve Bug Bites

A bar of soap can provide quick relief from an itchy bug bite! Just dampen the soap and rub it across the bug bite. The thin layer of soap will help soothe itch and will serve as a reminder not to scratch. :-)

Uses For Bar Soap

7. Coat Sewing Needles

Certain fabrics can be tricky for sewing, but a bit of soap can make it easier! Just stick the tip of your sewing needle into a bar of soap before using them. The soap will help the needle slide smoothly through those difficult fabrics.

Uses For Bar Soap

8. Mark Fabrics

Use a bar of soap to mark hem lines on fabric for your sewing projects! It washes right out, and you don’t have to run to a craft store for a special pencil.

Uses For Bar Soap

9. Unstick A Zipper

Run a bar of soap along a zipper that tends to snag or get stuck. The zipper will help the zipper slide smoothly!

Uses For Bar Soap

10. Pick Up Glass

It’s easy enough to pick up larger pieces of broken glass, but the tiny pieces can be really hard to see. Use a bar of soap to help pick them up! Just get a bar of soap wet and press it down around the area where the broken glass is. The bar will pick up any stray shards of glass. Just make sure to toss it out when you’re done!

Read This Next

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • You can also rub soap on something your puppy wants to chew on, and he won’t be so attracted to it – guess the soap makes it not taste so good. Wish somebody had told me this about a year ago!

  • I encourage people to use bar soap instead of liquid – just try to imagine the huge pile of plastic bottles you would use in a life time! I buy nice soap (it’s not very expensive), so it’s a treat.
    Also, I use solid soap ‘tablets’ that dissolve in water plus a foaming soap dispenser like Jillie sells.

  • Good ideas for a bar o’ soap. My dermatologist has prescribed Dove bar soap – not liquid, but BAR! I’ve opened the next one to be used and put in my soap collection – bathroom has a nice clean scent from it!

  • Great ideas. I’ve been trying to get my
    Dad to use the Irish Spring soap to keep whatever critters out of our garden. I usually keep bar soap around for bathing. I also keep a small bar of Dove for traveling. It’s just easier not having to worry if soaps will irritate my sensitive skin.

  • Larry Miller had some really good idea’s in two different comments above, but on his ideas there was no place to comment right afterwards! Thanks Larry! I’ll definitely use the idea about the toothpicks and the bar of soap as a lube for screws in my many projects around the house and office.

  • My husband travels a great deal with his job. I always take the soap when I go; as does he. We leave it in the suitcases for an awesome smell help. Also we put it in boots in the summer and in the bags of winter clothes or summer clothes for storing and hang a bag of bits and peices in an onion bag for the closets. It is an awesome resorce.

  • I read somewhere years ago to remove the soap from the packages or boxes that it comes in and let it dry out. This actually works in making the soap last longer. This also makes the room smell good during the process.

      • I am always creating, rebuilding items. Many times I use screws, some good condition, some not and are special screws. I always screw the screw into a bar of soap, It’s a lub that will not evap or wear off quickly, like wd40.
        If I have over tightened a wood screw..stripping the wood. Remove the screw, fill with as many wood tooth pics as possible..i use the pointed tip type…as many as possible..force or light hammer, you can use with or without glue, Now get bar soap on the threads of screw..and reinstall. Voila…..new wood to install a screw.
        Works every time, and I have used since a child (63 years)

  • Excellent tips! Some of these I’ve used, and others I never thought of. The one thing I’ve used bar soap for is using bar soap to clean the grass stains from my son’s white baseball pants before washing them. I couldn’t find anything among the pre-treaters that would take the grass out completely, and I figured the soap wouldn’t hurt (I think it was Dial soap). I wet the pants, rubbed with soap and used a toothbrush on them, and he never went to a game with stains on his pants. I still have those pants, 17 years later, looking almost new.

  • When I put a bar of soap under my fitted sheet, I use Safeguard , because that’s the soap I like best. But I don’t think it matters.

    The last time i bought a pack ( 8 bars) , I put the extras in the closets and where I store towels. I also put a bar in bureau drawers – and I always take the soap out of the box they came in. That way the nice clean scent goes into my clothes or the towels and not the box.

  • I use bar soap to stop leg cramps. Check it out on Google. I put the unwrapped bar of soap under my fitted sheet so it stays on the bed. It works!!!!

    • I have had a bar of soap in bed for years. It does work to stop leg cramps, and if per chance I get a cramp, I rub my leg over the bar to relieve it. I don’t have to get up and walk it out.

      • I suffer with this problem …and I take Magnesium 1 in morning and 1 at night ,,,its been great!

      • I usually use Irish Spring soap. I do unwrap it because it’s in a cardboard box. I put a bar under the fitted sheet, around the area between my knees & ankles. I also sleep with a pillow either between my legs if I’m laying on my side or under my legs if I’m on my back. I throw a bar into the pillow case & have 2 working for me. I used to wake someone up to get me pickle juice to drink, which also works. But who wants to even wake up in pain? Another suggestion, when you change your sheets, do it during the day. Give the soap some time to work its magic.

      • You will laugh at this..but it works every time, get a leg or toe cramp in bed…lightly pinch and pull the skin under your nose, above upper lip…works always

      • Leg cramps are from being dehydrated and low on magnesium. Emer Gen C powder is an excellent way to replenish lost minerals

  • I buy all my non food items at Wal Mart or Target. I am not sure about Target prices but at WalMart the price for is 3.50 or maybe $4,00 for a big bottle of shower jel. The non food items from the grocery they charge you alot more there.

  • This post is a keeper! We always put bar soap in the clothes drawers as it gently scents the underwear. I also use the soap trick under the fingernails. Thank you for the other hints which I will use.

  • For the leg cramps when I don’t get enough calcium is when that happens. Does the Irish Spring soap really work to keep the deer out of your garden.? Where I live in Missouri we get all sorts of critters mainly rabbits or something else that eats some of the stuff we plant. It’s very frustrating for my Dad.

    • irish spring (original green) is an excellent deterrent for mice in your RV or home. Take a knife and vent the box leaving holes for the scent to escape, then set them in the area(s) you have (or had) a problem with mice. Once a year, open the box and using a peeler, peel a layer from the top. Reinsert the bar into the box and seal with tape and return to area. Save the peels and melt down to use as hand soap. I purchased irish spring (2 boxes) for a 1.00 at the dollar store. Very economical and it works……………………..

  • Interesting idea. The Irish Spring soap reminds me of my Dad. He buys Its and keeps it our main bathroom closet. I cant use it because of my sensitive skin. So, he uses it in the master bath and I buy Dove and Ivory soap to use in the main one. A trick I learned years ago from a money saving site is to unwrap the soap immediately buying to let it harden. It does make the soap go farther.

  • Thanks to God for you not only being able to think of a
    L these wonderful ideas to use items in so many helpful way, but also thank you for sharing all your helpful ideas.

  • In the winter my wooden front door swells so Iran hard to open and close. I rub a cheap bar of soap along the edges and no more swelling. Been doing it for years.

  • Rub a bar of soap on the bottom runners of sticky drawers and they will glide smoothly!
    It also worked on the bottom edge of an antique inset medicine cabinet door that was really hard to open. Now its a charm!

    • My brother told me about this one and it works great also in a similar way! Take a bar of any kind of soap (the larger/regular size works best for easier grip) and run it along the track of a glass sliding door for easier opening and closing. Works great on those older, well-worn-heavy-traffic doors. Just make sure that the track is free of dirt, sand and loosen up any grime first. I use an old rag that I can just throw away and or a scrub brush. Just be careful next time you use the door so it doesn’t go flying because it will open a lot easier!

      • smashed my fingers after having done this! Yes, it works – and Yes, do keep your fingers free of that heavy, fast-moving glass door!!! :)

  • When you speak of leg cramps are you talking about Charlie horses? If so, do you think or know if this also works on Charlie horses that you get in the stomach, back, arms, hands or throat.? I get them really bad in all of those places and the ones in my legs and feet too. So please explain how to use the soap if it will help me. Thank you

    • I had no luck with soap, but please try adding zinc, calcium and magnesium to your diet, or the pills you take. Also, try Hyland’s Leg Cramp medicine from your local nutrition store, or Amazon, for immediate relief. I used to get up to ten cramps a day—no more!

  • You left out the best use of all.. It makes leg cramps disappear! My Grandpa told me that to help me with terrible night cramps during my pregnancy last year. I listened to him and thought it to be quite silly but was willing to try anything and oh my gosh did it work wonderfully! I even took it with me to the hospital and used it after birth. The nurses were ever so curious as to why I had a bar of soap under the sheets placed between my calves so I told them also!

    • Right you are Shawny !

      I put a bar of soap under my bottom sheet for leg and foot cramps. I have even brought along a bar when I traveled – just in case there wasn’t an extra one where I was staying.

      When I first read about this – “Ask the doctor” column in my local newspaper – i thought it was a stupid idea and would never work. But I know it does – a few times the soap fell on the floor and that night I had foot cramps once again! I’ve been doing this for years!

      • In the People’s Pharmacy column that runs in many newspapers, the Graedons say that Ivory soap (specifically) works for restless leg syndrome/leg cramps, fibromyalgia, and menstrual cramps when placed at the foot of the bed beneath the sheets. For the cost of a bar of soap, I am willing to give this a try for fibromyalgia. Why not? I actually had to buy 8 bars as that’s all Target had, so I happily gave away the other 7 at my community meal for my neighbors to try. We will see if it does the trick. It can’t hurt.

        When I buy my favorite soaps (very lightly scented), I store them in my clothing drawers to harden and give my clothes a gentle scent. If it keeps bugs away, so much the better.

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