I always like to keep a bar of soap around the home. There's something so old-fashioned and practical about them - not to mention they're often much cheaper than fancy shower gels.
What I really love though, are the many unusual uses for a bar of soap. They really are very versatile things to have, even if you prefer liquid soap for personal hygiene purposes.
Discover our 27 alternative uses for a bar of soap today and you'll immediately want to pick up a new bar - promise!
But first, a brief history of soap
Excavation discovers show us that the first use of soap (or at least a soap-like substance) could have been as early as 2800 B.C. More concretely, in the second century, Greek Physician, Galen, recommended it for both cleansing and medicinal purposes.
It wasn't until the seventh century that soap became more popular, with soapmakers slowly appearing across Europe. Spanish and Italian soaps were made from goat fat and Beech tree ashes, whilst French used olive oil. After some time soaps, with the introduction of fragrances, soaps became much more sophisticated.
For England, soap came much later on during the 12th century. The royals set the trend with their finer, fragranced soaps made from imported olive oil.
1. How to stop my dog from biting furniture
Is your furry friend tearing your furniture to shreds? Or perhaps there's a horse next door that won't leave your tree alone?
No one likes the taste of soap - animals included. Rub a bar of soap onto the object that's being bitten and it will be left alone in the future.
2. Use a bar of soap to hide holes
Soap could be just the trick to filling those unsightly holes left by hung pictures and mirrors.
Rub a bar of similarly-coloured soap into the hole to fill it out and disguise the gap - genius!
3. Make sewing easier using soap
Some fabrics can be really tricky to get through, even with a sharp needle. If you're really struggling, a great hack is to rub the end of the needle over a dry bar of soap.
It will act as lubrication and make sewing easier.
4. How to detect gas leaks
Smell something funny? If you're ever worried about gas leaks, soap can help you find the problem (or lack of).
Rub soap over the pipe. If it bubbles, there's a problem and you should call for assistance immediately.
5. A DIY mosquito repellant using soap
Bugs can be seriously pesky, especially in Summertime. If you're out of mosquito repellant, try spritzing soapy water onto skin instead.
6. How to stop floorboards from squeaking
You know that one floorboard that always squeaks? You can fix it using soap!
Rub soap around the edge of the floorboard in question to silence it once and for all.
7. Use bar soap to make liquid soap
We really love this idea. Bar soap is often much cheaper than liquid soap - why not dilute it down and make your own?
Check out 21 Rosemary Lane's easy tutorial to try it today.
8. Unstick a zip using a bar of soap
Don't tug on that zipper! A stuck zipper is best treated gently, and we have just the thing.
Use a bar of soap to rub along the zipper and it should provide enough lubrication to release it.
9. How to refreshen smelly shoes
Crikey! Is that you? If your shoes are starting to smell, try using a bar of soap to freshen them up.
Wrap a bar of soap in a piece of kitchen paper, place inside the offending shoes and leave overnight. Wake to find them smelling as fresh as the day you bought them!
10. How to stop glasses from steaming up
Foggy lenses can be a real problem in Winter. If you wear glasses, this use for a bar of soap will definitely come in handy.
Wipe a small amount of soap onto your lenses, then use a piece of kitchen roll to buff off - it will keep them crystal clear whatever the weather.
11. Remove stains using soap
Have you ever tried using a bar of soap to remove stains? Stain treatments can be seriously expensive, so this is definitely worth a go.
Begin by wetting the stain from the outside in, then rub your bar of soap directly onto it until it lathers. Continue until the stain begins to fade and disappears.
12. A quick fix for a squeaky door
Is that squeaky door preventing you from sneaking that last chocolate from the box without getting caught?
Rub a bar of soap over the hinge and it should glide silently shut from now on. Don't worry, your secret's safe with us!
13. How to mark fabric for sewing
Lost your blue sewing chalk? Good news - you can use a bar of soap instead.
The white substance is easy to glide along fabric and you can just wash it straight off when you're done - genius!
14. Homemade bug repellant to use on your plants
Are you constantly battling to keep bugs at bay? If you want to stop them from destroying your plants for good, a quick bug repellant can be made using a bar of soap.
Mix up a soapy solution of soap and water (you can either do this by shaking soap shavings in a bottle of water or heating soap in water on the hob). Pour into a spray bottle and spritz onto the underside of your plant leaves.
15. Use a bar of soap to make your own pin cushion
If you'd like to expand on the tip we shared earlier that uses soap to help needles slide more easily, a soap pin cushion is perfect for you.
They're very easy to make. Take a plain bar of soap, and wrap it in either fabric or wrapping paper.
Push your pins into the block, and it will keep them firmly in place (and lubricated too).
TOP TIP: Try using patterned paper/fabric for a really pretty end-product.
16. How to keep nails clean when doing dirty jobs
Gardening is so therapeutic - if only it didn't make such a mess of our nails!
Well, we have the secret to keeping them clean - a bar of soap.
Glide your nails along a bar of soap to build up a protective layer underneath them. This will prevent soil, grease, or whatever other substance you're dealing with from getting trapped there. When your done, simple rinse to wash away.
17. How to loosen drawer doors in seconds
Cheap or vintage furniture drawers can be difficult to slide open. Soap's slippery nature is the perfect solution for this.
Rub a dry bar of soap along the runners, and your drawers will glide super smoothly from now on.
18. How to harmlessly repel mice
Mice - so very cute but so very not at the same time. To keep them out of sight without harming the lovely little things, there's a certain soap you can use.
Irish Spring Soap is reportedly excellent for repelling mice and rats. All you need to do is chop up a few pieces, and place in the infested areas.
19. Loosen a stiff lock with some soap
Most of us have that 'one lock' that's really difficult to open. When your usual 'slightly pull, twist, and turn handle at the same time' isn't working, you can try using soap. Rub it over the end of your key, insert, and it should slip into place much more easily.
20. DIY clothes freshener
Are you sick of pulling your Summer clothes out the drawer to find them smelling musty?
To keep clothes smelling fresh, even when not in use, place a bar of soap wrapped in fabric and tied with string or elastic band in with them.
21. How to make 'felted soap'
If you like love luxurious beauty products (we certainly do!) this beauty hack is for you
Felt gives your even the most ordinary bar of soap a soft, yet abrasive texture, that gently exfoliates for sumptously soft skin.
Wondering whether you should shave or exfoliate first? Read our handy guide.
Head to Wit & Whistle for an extremely easy yet effective tutorial.
22. How to insert screws more easily
If you've ever bought IKEA furniture, you know what a nightmare putting it together can sometimes be. Often, the screws are so hard to insert, you think you've picked up the wrong ones!
If you need a helping hand, soap could be the answer. Coat the ends and sides of the screws in soap then reattempt - it should be much, much easier.
23. Use a bar of soap to soothe bites
We have plenty of easy ways to keep bugs at bay, here at Expert Home Tips, but if you do happen to get bitten, a bar of soap could help soothe the pain.
You only need the smallest amount of soap to do this, so it's perfect for using up that last chunk. Rub the dry bar over the bitten area and it should reduce pain almost instantly.
24. How to remove stuck-on rings
We've all been there - in a shop, or after a sweaty workout - when rings appear to be stuck-solid onto our fingers.
Don't let the panic ensue. One of the amazing uses for soap is lubrication, and it works wonders for stuck-on rings. Just lather up as you would when washing your hands, and the ring will slip straight off - lifesaver!
25. How to saw straight lines
Could the key to a perfectly-straight, DIY shelf be a bar of soap? Just as soap helps screws glide, rubbing a bar along the edge of your saw will yield impressively smooth, accurate results.
Give this a go next time you do a bit of DIY!
26. The best way to remove wallpaper
You've decided to redecorate? Great! Now it's time to tackle that old wallpaper.
Don't spend hours on end trying to scratch it - use your bar of soap to mix up a solution of soapy water. Spritz onto your walls, and it will help you get those walls clean in no time.
Wow! Who knew there were so many uses for soap? Do you have any of your own to add?
4. How to detect gas leaks It’s an idea but surely a little washing up liquid or even shampoo is at least as good, plus you can use it neat, without having to wet your hands, the same is true of tracing a leak in a tyre or child’s paddling pool, in fact anything inflatable, especially, on or around, inflation valves. 8. Unstick a zip using a bar of soap Be careful not to wear the treated garment out in the rain or, to quote an old advert “It’s frothy, man”!! 11. Remove stains using soap Yep, all you need is a bar of hard green soap and a washboard!! What a brilliant NEW idea!! Then, of course, you can partly dry out the clothes by feeding them through a mangle :-) 16. How to keep nails clean when doing dirty jobs I never thought of this one, brilliant, I will be using this the next time I’m gardening. As for the other, lubricating, uses for soap, the same can be said of candle wax, as you have featured in previous blogs, the other advantage of candle wax over soap is that it is water repellant, still, it’s nice to have options. Another very interesting blog Stephanie, I always look forward to reading them.
Hi Donatello. I'm glad we were able to (finally) teach you a new tip today! My Father particularly likes the soap tip for the garden and I know my Mother appreciates him keeping his nails clean too! With regards to the gas leaks, the bar of soap is actually used dry, making it, in my eyes, the preferred option (who wants yet another mess to clean up? ;)) Candle wax and soap are indeed, very similar, however, the advantage of soap over wax is that it washes clean leaving no residue behind. Thanks for commenting! :)
You can remove a stubborn ring on your finger with soap too
I find a solution of washing up liquid and water is better for removing wallpaper. Apply with a brush, sponge, roller or spray, leave to soak in and it should come off easily - even faster using hot water. This even works with washable wallpapers - the waterproof layer peels off first and the backing may need re-wetting. The washing up liquid stops it drying out too quickly.
Hi Susan, This is a brilliant tip - thanks so much for sharing. The bonus of soap is that you can hold it by hand, causing less mess, but your method does sound much quicker!
Thank you so much! I love your tips.
You're welcome, Nancy! We're glad you love the tips.
thank you so much for the tips they are really help
Glad we could help, Daniella!
Thank you for your great tips. I have kept nice smelling soap (unwrapped) in my underwear and t-shirt drawers for many years. It always keeps its smell and you get a nice waft of it every time the drawer is opened.
That's a fab idea!
Just found these tips- this is certainly one to keep and use in the future...who would have thought? Thank you!
We're glad to help!
i love your tips they are so mind blowing
Throw a bar of soap into your bed to combat Restless Legs Syndrome.
Interesting! Do you find it effective?
Leave a Reply