Lather Up: 45 Uncommon Ways to Use Soap, Besides Bathing - Doc Journals

Lather Up: 45 Uncommon Ways to Use Soap, Besides Bathing


It’s a staple in every bathroom. Matter of fact, if you visualize a toilet, there’ll always be running water, soap, and the throne. Be it in liquid form or a bar; a decent amount should keep your nails free from grime, and the rest of you clean too.

But are soaps only meant to be used for cleansing? They sure aren’t! We hadn’t thought of the number of ways they can be used until we compiled this list. It turns out that they aren’t just meant to be used in the bathroom, but all around the house. No, not beside the sink, but sometimes against the hardwood floor, or for breaking in new shoes!

We suggest that you use an inexpensive brand. Save the fragrant ones for your luxurious long soaks in the tub. These other purposes are only incidental to cleansing. So it would be a waste if you use a glittery Bath & Body Works Soap to keep the mirrors from fogging up.

Safe Travel

To ensure safe travels, it’s crucial to have a mechanic look at your car regularly. One nifty trick to test for an air leak is by using a bar of soap. They’ll rub it around the area between the tire and the rim. If there’s an air leak, bubbles will form. Sad to say, this is something we would not be delighted to see.

Image courtesy of community car talk

Old alloy wheels are more prone to air leaks, but this is to be expected due to the regular wear-and-tear of a vehicle. You can also apply the same principle if you suspect holes in inflatable pools or floaties. It’s time to have these repaired or replaced.

Helping Grandma Sew

Sewing is a pleasant past-time. But you can find yourself wasting your time inserting a needle through a tough patch of fabric. Try as you might, but force won’t get you cross-stitch. The trick is to lessen the friction with a bar of soap. Simply coat the needle with soap.

Image courtesy of all people quilt

The needle will glide through the tough piece of fabric easier. Another interesting sewing hack you can do with soap is to replace tailors chalk with soap. This can be used on materials that stain easily, as any soap remnants will be easy to remove.

Access Granted

Try as you might, but that door lock won’t budge or open. You have two options – have it replaced, or rub a bit of soap in areas with that get stuck the most. Lubricate the latch bolt, deadbolt, and even your keys before inserting them into the hole.

Image courtesy of nottinghams locksmiths

Slowly turn the key to either side and let it coat the interior of your door lock with the soap. You could direct a hairdryer at the hole so that soap will melt slightly and cover the inner bearings. You should be able to enter your home easily. If all else fails, call the locksmith.

Begone Santa’s Helpers

We only like reindeer if they’re helping Santa deliver gifts. But we don’t want them, or other species of deer, near our garden. Growing vegetables and plants take time and effort. They can gobble them up in a matter of seconds. So to keep Santa’s helpers away, place Irish Spring bars in stockings or socks and hang them around your garden.

Image courtesy of tip hero

You can slice up a whole bar into two or three so that you can cover more areas in your garden. Another alternative is to grate the bar of soap and sprinkle it on places where the deer frequent. This repulses them, and they won’t visit your house…at least not until Christmas.

Saw Like a Pro

When trying your hand at woodworking, you will encounter different types, sizes, and widths of wood. Using a handsaw is laborious when you’re met with a thick slab of timber. To ease your effort, rub soap on the area you will cut through. Steadily hold the base and put your back into it.

Image courtesy of Dreams Time

The hacksaw should easily cut through the wood. Repeat as often as needed, and you’ll have fragrant shelves, cabinets, and drawers in no time! If you plan to apply varnish, best wipe off the excess soap. That will help the lacquer stick onto the wood.

Soothing Skin Itches

Many different factors can cause skin itches and irritations. One of which is bug bites. Using liquid soap, rub the affected area. Leave for about two minutes then, and rinse under cold water. You can use a bar of ordinary soap. Although we suggest, you try one that contains neem extract and tea tree oil.

Image courtesy of Metro Parent

Some people also swear by aloe or oatmeal-mixtures. Your favorite brand of soap could have avocado oil or cocoa butter. Just check the labels! Natural ingredients are better for your skin. Plus, these essential oils can help lock in moisture.

Slide Drawers More Easily

One of the worst things to happen to a chef is to encounter a drawer that’s hard to open. You may try lightening the load, but that’s just a temporary fix. An excellent way to lessen the friction is to rub a bar of dry soap along the drawer’s runners. Go ahead, apply generously on all points of contact.

Image courtesy of The Grit and Polish

It will run out over time, but you can reapply as frequently as needed. Wipe off the excess so none will fall into food cabinets that might be below. It’s inexpensive and quick! It will also save you from having to avoid those draws by unloading their contents into other more overcrowded ones.

Keeping Glasses Fog-Free

Don’t you hate having to wipe the fog off the bathroom mirror every time you take a bath? The mist is warm to touch, and it feels icky after you’ve taken a nice long soak. To admire your body ( like the work of art that it is), without fog blurring your mirrors, rub soap over its surface. Wipe the excesses off with a smooth, clean cloth.

Image courtesy of the stir cafe mom

Despite the hot water and the steam billowing from your body, you’ll find the mirror free from fog. Likewise, you can also rub soap on your eyeglasses, to keep it from fogging up when you’re drinking a warm cup of coffee. You’re welcome!

Keeping Paint Off Your Window Sill

If you have ever painted a room in the house, you’d know the trouble of lining the skirtings with newspaper and tape. That’s to keep paint from splattering over certain surface areas – like your windowsill, floor or countertops. An alternative is to rub a bar of soap over areas where you wouldn’t paint to dry on.

Image courtesy of home depot

When you’re all done, all you need is to run a damp cloth over the areas you rubbed soap over. You can do so with warm water, and then a final run with cold water. That should wear away soap, and remove unattractive paint splatters. That room would be the envy of all your guests.

Screw It!

Depending on wood thickness, inserting a screw or nail can be difficult. It’d be great if everyone had a power drill at home, but in case you find yourself putting your back into home repair, try this hack first. Rub the body of the nail or screw with soap. Then apply force.

Image courtesy of home depot

That should help ease in the parts with minimal effort. The trick is to lessen friction between the different points of contact. An alternative is to pour some liquid soap over the hole you’ve partially burrowed the screw in. About a milliliter would do. Wipe off the excess before painting or applying varnish.

Body Rub-a-Dub

This seems like a no-brainer, but we bet you hadn’t experimented with it before. If you have time on your hands, you can personalize your soap – turn it into a body wash. Think about it! You can make it more fragrant and suited to your skin type. Boil about six cups of water. And then microwave three soap bars for a minute and a half.

Image Courteys of fabulessly frugal

Pour the soap into the water. Keep stirring over medium heat until the soap has dissolved. Depending on your preference, you can add more water or soap! Place a couple of teaspoons of your favorite fragrance – almond, cinnamon, and the like, then transfer into a glass dispenser.

Dealing with Muscle Cramps

This suggestion has raised eyebrows. But some netizens swear by it. If you frequently suffer from leg cramps and then wake up in cold sweat because of the pain, all you need is a bar of Irish Spring. Place it under your bed sheet, and let your body reap the benefits.

Image courtesy of times of india

Irish Spring has essential oils that help soothe muscle pain. Try this trick for a night, and tell us if it works. There’s no harm in trying. In case it doesn’t, you can always toss the sheets in the laundry, along with the soap. As for your muscle cramps, we suggest you visit the doctor!

Wallpapering the Walls

No, we’re not going to use soap to color the walls. But we are going to use it to remove the old wallpaper. You wouldn’t want to tear off wallpaper edges in haste. Make a soapy solution, place it in a spritz bottle, and then spray it onto the wallpaper.

Image courtesy of felicias legend

If you have successfully torn off an edge, you can dab some of the soapy solution in the area where the wallpaper comes loose from the wall. Pull slowly, then repeat the process. Rub the wall with a damp cloth, let dry, and then you are ready to either apply a new wallpaper or paint.

Give Personalized Liquid Soap

In case you’re running out of gift suggestions, head on over to your cabinet and take out the few bars of soap that you have. Let’s make personalized hand soap for your loved ones. Boil four cups of water, and then place a bar of soap in it. Mix it in thoroughly until the soap is fully dissolved.

image courtesy of simply recipes

Place a few drops of fragrance to your liking. You can mix different brands of soap, or adjust the viscosity of the solution. Anything goes, really. Let it cool, then place in a clean dispenser. Decorate the jar and then send it to your loved ones!

Creep Stealthily!

Not that you’re doing anything criminal, but that door hinge creaking in the middle of the night triggers terrifying images. Besides, you wouldn’t want to wake up your significant other, just because you had to go to the bathroom at 3 am right? Rub a bar soap over the hinge. Then swing the edge of the door slightly. There shouldn’t be any more squeaking.

Image courtesy of family handyman

Repeat the process until you are satisfied that you can creep into the room or out of it silently and undetected. That should help you and your partner sleep soundly at night. Besides, it’s a cheaper alternative to using gear oil. All thanks to a bar of soap!

Easy Cast Iron Cleaning

If you have ever camped outdoors, you’d know how difficult it is to clean a cast-iron pot or pan. It’s perfect for grilling, but soot quickly forms underneath. You may find your brush or sponge tainted black without thoroughly cleaning the underside. Next time, rub a bar of soap over the bottom of your pan/pot before using it.

Image courtesy of norther virginia scout shop / facebook

Not only will you have a fragrant waft of Irish Spring, Dove or Bath and Body Works, but a delicious serving of seared ribs or hotdogs. After breakfast, you should be able to scrub the soot easily and clean it with water. Now, you won’t have to worry about oil smudges lining the back of your car!

Removing Spaghetti Splatters

Before tossing your clothes in the laundry, an age-old trick to remove stains is to pre-treat it with a bar of soap. Simply rub it generously over the affected area. You can dampen the spot until the stain starts to fade.

Image courtesy of origami me

Then place it in the laundry machine with the rest of the load. Adjust the settings as needed, then patiently wait. We hate to say we told you so, but we guarantee that shirt will look spotlessly clean and ready to be worn on your next date.

Mouse Repellant

After going through this list, you might stock your shelves with Irish Spring. Not only can it help with muscle cramps, but it can repel rodents or mice from frequenting cabinets or cupboards. It all has to do with the scent this brand of soap gives off. Cut a single bar into six or eight small pieces, and then place them in spots usually frequented by mice.

Image courtesy of grass roots motor sports

They won’t visit those places as often. You can also redirect their path, and then place rodenticides or mouse traps there. It’s a quick, inexpensive option for calling the rodent control companies. So put down the exterminator’s number, and head on down the soap/detergent aisle.

Easing Off Your Marital Vows

When washing dishes or laundering clothes, the first thing to do is to take off your wedding ring. You wouldn’t want its luster to wear off. Buffing can take some time. So when you find it difficult to slide the ring on or off, just rub some soap over your ring finger.

Image courtesy of blog reisman

It’s better to use liquid soap. That way, the liquid can slide in easily beneath the inner edge of the ring and your skin. Twist the ring, before slowly sliding it off your finger. Wash your finger and the ring, then pat dry. Now, this doesn’t mean that you’re easing off your marital promises, for times when wearing your ring isn’t convenient.

Protecting your Furniture

Much as we love our pets, they can get on our nerves when they chew parts of our furniture. You could throw them a chewy bone, but they seem to have a preference for wood. To dissuade them, rub the legs of your chair with a bar of soap – preferably one that gives off a strong odor.

Image courtesy of the spruce pets

Wait patiently. Watch them gag in disgust the moment they taste soap off that armchair. They’ll hurriedly want to rinse their mouths with water. Now you won’t have to worry about your guests falling off the hind legs of a stool. And you can give your dog the attention it deserves. Good boy!

Silencing the Floorboards

Some of your floorboards may creak under your weight as you walk on them. In case you would like to silence this annoying floor, simply grab a bar of soap and then rub it over the affected area of the floor. You can shred some of the soap so that it’ll fall in hard-to-reach areas. Place your weight on the squeaky floorboard to test the trick

Image courtesy of home hacks

Repeat the process until the squeak is barely noticeable. You can always have a handyman check your floorboards. But before you do, we suggest that you try this inexpensive hack. What’s there to lose? Apart from a couple of dollars, and that squeak, of course!

X Marks the Spot

This is a handy trick for sewers and dressmakers. Using a bar of soap, you can mark areas to be sewn. You won’t have to worry about permanently staining the cloth because it’ll be easily laundered off anyway. So mark away!

Image courtesy of sew my place

For colored tees, we suggest you use white-colored bars of soap and colored bars for dark clothing. It can also help to ease the needle into the cloth, especially thick, rough materials. Not everyone has a sewing machine at home. Go ahead, tell it to your mom’s friends. They’ll be thanking you for such a mindblowing hack.

The Dark Arts on Dirt

At first glance, it seems like someone has made a voodoo doll out of a bar of soap, but it’s really just a makeshift pin cushion. Using a thin decorative cloth, wrap the bar of soap to keep it from sliding off your desk. Stick the pins in place – to secure the fabric, and to lubricate the pins themselves.

Image courtesy of Home hacks

That pincushion is so lovely we wouldn’t want to use it. There’s really no need to worry about excess soap on your garments. After sewing, you’d toss them in the washing machine. Besides, grandma will probably thank you for finding a way to ease in pins in rough, thick cloths.

Breaking In Genuine Crocs

By genuine crocs, we mean store-bought leather shoes. You wouldn’t want to use them without breaking them in. How else would you be able to endure an eight-hour shift if you’ve got blisters forming on your ankles? With a bar of soap, line the insides of your shoes. Let the leather absorb the soap.

Image courtesy of DIY Network

Occasionally wear the shoes until you feel comfortable that you can wear them all day long. If they still hurt, repeat the process by rubbing in more soap. You can also use a hairdryer to speed up the process, insert it in your shoes and then let the warm air liquefy the coating of soap for about 30 seconds to a minute.

Pest and Fungi Control

Gardening can be tricky. If you forget to water the plants, they will wither away, but if you water them too much, fungus can set in. The tricky thing about fungus is that it will infect the plant bed and the soil. So you will have to cleanse the container and the soil.

Image courtesy of chest nut herbs

To keep fungus from setting in, mix four teaspoons of baking soda, five tablespoons of 2% insecticidal soap and 1 gallon of water. The mixture should keep pests away and limit the risk of fungus setting in the soil. Keep a close eye on your plants. If it damages them, use a 1% solution. Another alternative is to dilute a bar of pure soap in a gallon of water; spritz away!

Keep Your Nails Clean

This is a must-know for people who garden without gloves, or for kids who love to play in sandpits. Keep the underside of their nails clean by having them scrape a dry bar of soap. It can be uncomfortable at first, but they’ll get used to the feeling. Better to have soap underneath your nails than soil.

Image courtesy of CDC Gov

Since it’s filling up the space between the fingertip and the nail, there’ll be no room for soil, grime, or sand to lodge underneath your nails. Simply head on down to the sink, and wash your hands under running water. You could rub your fingernails in a circular motion against your palm.

Outdoor Mosquito Repellant

If you have forgotten to bring an insect repellent, have no fear. Mix a teaspoon of soap in a 300 ml bottle of water. Shake the container until the soap is fully dissolved, and then spritz it onto your skin or clothing. This is a guaranteed DEET-free mosquito repellant!

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Believe it or not, but bacteria give off a particular smell when it feeds off your body sweat. This odor draws mosquitoes towards you. Mask it with the soapy solution, and they’ll frequent some other warm-blooded creature. Hopefully, it won’t be your fellow campers. So be generous, spritz some on them as well.

Soap and Scrub

How often do you exfoliate? If you’re the type to go down and dirty, you’d probably do it every day. There’s no harm using a loofah or a sponge, but you can save time by combining a bar of soap and felted wool. That’s felted soap for you!

Image courtesy of one good thing by jillee

Take some wool and wrap it tightly around your bar of soap. Try to cover twice in one direction, before wrapping the other way. Simply tuck the end of the wool into itself. You can decorate by tying the whole thing with different colored yarn. One thing we love about this is that the suds seep through the wool. So there’s no waste.

Eye Spy With My Eye

You can literally see where this person was looking at when her eyeglasses fogged up. It’s a funny but common nuisance amongst people who have poor eyesight. They may order a warm cup of coffee or bowl of soup, and their vision fogs up.

Image courtesy of reddit / georgeclooneysmom

To keep that from happening, rub a bar of soap over each glass, and then remove the excess soap with a clean cloth. Now, you won’t have to take off your glasses while enjoying breakfast. You can enjoy a cup of coffee while reading the paper!

Shoe Deodorizer

Don’t you just hate having to trudge through muddy water during the rainy season? Unless you’re wearing plastic boots, water will enter the creases of your shoes, and it’ll give off a musty smell. There are several ways to deodorize your shoes. Placing dry, used tea bags, or a bar of soap in each usually does the trick.

Image courtesy of One Good Thing by Jillee

Just make sure to only place the bar of soap when the insides have dried. If they’re damp, place the bars of soap in socks and then insert in each shoe. The cloth should absorb some of the moisture. Leave overnight, and repeat the process as often as necessary.

Removing the Scent of Mothballs

Mothballs are effective against moths and other insects. They give off a vapor that kills pests. But they should be removed as soon as those critters are gone. To counter the smell of mothballs on your clothes, stack a couple of bar soaps in each drawer.

Image courtesy of Premier pigeon control

If you’re using Irish Spring, it should be enough to keep the insects at bay. Unlike mothballs, soap doesn’t give off chemical vapors. So it’s safer for kids and people who have skin allergies. You won’t have to worry about proper ventilation within walk-in closets.

Locating a Gas Leak

Gas leaks are no laughing matter. If you suspect one, quickly close the pilot light, and have everyone exit the room. Alert the authorities. Meanwhile, open the windows, let the vapor dissipate, and grab a bar of soap. Moisten and lather your hands with it; then rub the soapy solution over the gas pipe.

Image courtesy of Safewise

Slowly let air escape through the gas line. If you find bubbles forming, then there’s a definite gas leak. Close the shut-off valve and then direct the serviceman towards the hose or pipe. In case you don’t find air bubbles, you’re helpful handyman will detect the leak for you.

Ease Sliding Doors

Over the years, sliding doors will be harder to open/ close because of grime and dirt accumulating in the door track. If you force it open, you risk damaging the tracks. It can be costly to replace every sliding door within the office or home. Before doing so, try this trick.

Image courtesy of clear windows

Make sure that the rollers aren’t fully worn out. Inspect each and then cleanse the tracks. Rub a bar of soap on the points of contact between the door and the track. Afterward, slide the glass door and reapply soap until it runs more smoothly. Soap reduces the friction between the rollers and the glass door. It’s a cheap trick, but it works!

DIY Home Detergent

Sure, you can buy commercially-prepared powdered detergent, but if you have time on your hands, then try this project at home with your kids! Grate a whole bar of soap, of your choice. Pour it into four cups of boiling water. Stir until it’s fully dissolved. Remove the pan from the stove, and allow it to cool for about five minutes.

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Pour in a cup of baking soda, a cup of washing soda, and a half-cup of Borax. Stir until everything is fully dissolved. Place the solution in a clean container and leave it overnight. By morning, you could use two tablespoons for your weekly load.

Removing Burnt Oil

Are you the type to savor every last bit of your soap, or are you one to open a new bar it becomes a little chunk? If you’re the latter, save the few gratings and then use them to clean cookware. Simply dissolve them in a cup of water, and pour evenly on pans, pots or bowls.

Image courtesy of How to Clean Stuff

Leave the soapy mixture for a couple of minutes, so that it will seep through the crusts and burns. We usually leave them for half an hour and work on other dishes. By then, clumps of burnt food will rise to the surface, and the few that stay intact can be scraped with your scouring brush. Just a little patience does the trick!

Filling in Holes in the Wall

If you’re redecorating a room, you might want to relocate and move paintings, mirrors, or plaques that are displayed on the wall. Unfortunately, this will leave holes where the nails have been removed. One easy way to cover them up is to rub a bar of soap in a circular motion over the hole until they are filled up.

Image courtesy of blog unpakt

We suggest that you use soap that has a similar color to your wall. If you use an Irish Spring bar on white walls, it’ll only bring your guests’ attention to it. unless you fill the holes with plaster or repaint the whole interior. Think of it as a paint-by-numbers project. Count the number of bar soaps used to cover up those holes!

Keep Clothes Smelling Fresh

Traveling can be timely process. To keep your clothes smelling fresh without dousing them in perfume, simply place a bar of soap in your luggage. You can leave it in its carton box, or put it in a dish soap container.

Image courtesy of My Bag Kitty

Its fragrance will seep through every corner of your luggage bag. And by the time you unpack in your hotel, there’ll be no need for a spritz from your perfume bottle. Your cocktail dress will be ready for your appointment by 8! All that’s needed is to catch up on your shut-eye.

Fixing Zippers

If you have stored away leather jackets or pants, the zippers may get stuck from disuse. Please don’t force it, or you will have to replace the whole zipper. That could be costly. Grab a bar of soap, and then rub it gently along the zipper’s teeth.

Image courtesy of tip hero

Pull on the tab and see if it has budged an inch or so. Repeat the process until the tab smoothly runs over the zipper’s teeth. Other people swear by petroleum jelly or chapstick- whatever does the trick! Just remove the excess with warm water and a cloth. You would want people eyeing you – not your broken zipper

Cleanse Your Fruits

There are several ways to cleanse your fruit. Science says that the most effective way to get rid of pesticides is by using baking soda and some soap. Mix a tablespoon of liquid soap to 1 teaspoon of baking soda and two cups of water. Submerge your fruits in the mixture, and leave for about 15 minutes.

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Give the fruit a final rinse with clean water and then pat dry. They will now be fresh and ready for serving or being stored away for use when needed. This method of cleaning has been suggested and proven effective by experimenters from the University of Massachusetts.

Safely Pick Up Broken Glass

It is a horrible feeling when you drop a glass, and it shatters everywhere. It’s almost a reflex to want to bend over and start cleaning up by picking up the broken shards of glass that now all over the floor.

Image courtesy of MR Maid

With a bar of wet soap, run over the areas where glass pieces would likely have fallen. Just hold the bar of soap on one side. You wouldn’t want to nick your hands. After a few rubs along the floor, you’ll see shards sticking out of that bar of soap. Mop the floor and then discard the soap.

Have Fun with Soapy Eruptions

This experiment requires a particular brand of soap – Ivory and a microwave-friendly plate. Unbox that bar of soap, place it on the plate, and then microwave it for about two minutes. Observe the magma erupt from the core of the soap. We bet your child will want to plow his hands right through it!

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It only works with Ivory soap because it has lots of air pockets and moisture within. The heat from the microwave softens the soap, but it’ll also cause the trapped moisture within to bubble outwards. This causes the lava-like eruptions. Wouldn’t this be a fun Physics project with the kids?

Storing Clothes in Drawers

Whether or not you’re storing clothes Marie Kondo style, they’ll give off a moldy smell if you don’t use them for more than a couple of months. It has to do with the lack of ventilation in the closet or storage area. So to keep clothes smelling fresh and dewy, place a bar of soap in the side of each drawer – especially in the far end.

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This is perfect for expensive bars of soap – the ones you wouldn’t dare use because they earn you ultimate bragging rights. Until you decide to use them, store them away with your clothing. Imagine getting to use a black cocktail dress smelling sweetly of La Chatelaine Triple Milled Soaps.

Deodorizing Your Gym Bag

A successful workout requires tons of sweat and a few muscle aches. Even if you shower at the gym, you’d still have to store away used gym clothes in a bag. You might head home or go straight to work. By the time you launder your clothes, that bag will smell musty and stale. To keep that from happening, keep a spare bar of soap in your gym bag.

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That will neutralize the odors inside the bag. We suggest that you place it in a plastic container or a plastic soap holder. That way, its fragrance will seep through and counter the smell of your sweat. Plus, it has anti-bacterial properties!

Making Your Own Flea Trap

This is perfect for your furry animals. If you spot uninvited guests on their back, get a portable lampshade or a candle, dishwashing liquid or a bar of soap, a shallow plate, and about two cups of water. Make a soapy mixture, and then pour it into the shallow plate or basin. Place a tea light candle or a portable night light near the bowl.

Image courtesy of instructables / simple flea trap

Then leave the flea trap in the room where you’re pet will sleep for the night. Fleas are attracted to light. They will crawl from your pet into the plate or bowl. The fleas will drown in a soapy mixture. So remember to add a tablespoon of dish soap in the container.

Happy Gift-Giving

If you have a creative spirit, but you’re trying out carving for the first time, we suggest that you use a bar of soap! Think about it – it’s easy to mold or carve through; it’s inexpensive, and it’s fun for all ages. You don’t have to invest in expensive woodcarving materials. You could scrape with spoon, popsicle sticks or wooden dowels.

Image courtesy of wood craft

In time you will learn how to undercut, layer, and add in every detail to make a realistic imprint of your choice on any bar of soap. If you have championed your goals, you can give these away to a relative or a loved one. Simply put it in a box, and tie it up with a bow. In no time, you can use wood or other items as your skills improve.