Soap and flannel*

by Patricia Collinspat soapAn American friend sent me these lovely soaps for Christmas and I’m doing my best to work my way through them because of the packaging.  My mother would not be pleased. She had far more patience and self control and would keep soap, no matter how pretty or enticing, in our clothes drawers for months before thinking of using them. This not only scented the clothes, but apparently hardened the soap so that it would ‘go further’ when finally put into use. Has anyone else come across this trick? Usually I still save soap before use, but is there science to prove saved soap goes further?

The reason I’m racing through these soaps is the packaging! Each one is wrapped in a pretty piece of pure cotton. The wrapping is secured with two small stitches so that it comes undone easily, and I just can’t wait to make something of these pretty pieces of cloth. Each one is  7×5.5 inches – I still sew Imperial. For those who don’t that’s 17.5x14cm and I will have five pieces. Any thoughts on what to make? Having complained of poor packaging on numerous occasions, I just can’t wait to get my hands on this lot.

PS This isn’t an ad for the soaps, but anyone interested can see from the wrapper who makes  and sells them via the internet.

-oOo-

* Well, fabric, really

 

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17 Comments

  1. Charli Wilson

     /  February 1, 2019

    When soap is first made it has a lot of moisture in, if used it is therefore quite soft and dissolves relatively quickly. After a few weeks of drying the soap becomes harder- which means it dissolves less quickly and indeed lasts longer! When making soap I would usually leave it to cure for about 6 weeks before giving it away, but depending on moisture levels it could well still be drying weeks later.
    So there is truth in it!

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    • Ann Pole

       /  February 1, 2019

      We have found this when buying hand made soap too, with excess moisture. Easy fix, we put it in the airing cupboard for a few weeks first.

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      • I didn’t know the science behind leaving soap to harden but I did learn as a child to do this. Certainly, if I get several bars of soap at the same time, the last one seems to last the longest.

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  2. Loved reading the science behind the soap . I put pretty and sweet smelling soap into my drawers to make them smell nice. I recently read of someone putting them in with the yarn they were knitting for a sweet smell. The fabric wrapping is just lovely. I might be tempted to make a bag of some description with it.

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  3. My first thought was little bags as well. You could make little bags with string to put soap bars in to harden in the wardrobe so that you could hang them on coat hangers if you are thinking of doing the hardening soaps for evermore. Would also make nice little trinket bags or for storing those little bits that we all keep that may come in useful someday (I’m sure it’s not just me who does that).

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  4. I have never considered the science but can’t remember ever not putting new soaps in a drawer for a while. I’m occasionally horrified to discover just how much I have squirreled away!

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    • Patricia Collins

       /  February 1, 2019

      And I love the idea of putting them with my knitting wool . It’s an idea that would have pleased my mother greatly.

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    • Patricia Collins

       /  February 1, 2019

      I see my replies have attached to the wrong comments. Sorry about that. Kim have you ever had that terrible shock when you realise there is no more soap stashed away? It only happen when the bathwater is drawn! Like you, I usually have such lot of stash, it seems endless and then without warning the day comes that it is gone!

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  5. I too pop handmade soaps into drawers until I need to replace one at the sink. I also like the idea of keeping them in with the yarn – every bit of gentle scent helps 🙂 The wrapping in a bit of fabric idea is brilliant – we should all be pursuing ideas like this in some manner I guess. I shall look forward to seeing what you make with the little pieces of fabric.

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  6. I’d only do it with handmade soaps, as the commercial ones tend to be about as hard as they can get already. I’ll stash them in a drawer if I happen to buy more than I need immediately – if they’re on sale, for example, but mostly I can’t wait to use them! I do put my old, empty scent bottles in my underwear drawer until there isn’t even the faintest whiff left. I don’t know what the fabric feels like or how densely it’s woven, and of course in my case the bits would go directly into my scrap stash, but how about lavender bags or cedar sachets for your drawers and wardrobe, adding a ribbon loop so you can hang them around the hook of a clothes hanger. That way, and residual aroma doesn’t go to waste.

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  7. Whoops, “…any residual aroma”, not “and”.

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  8. What a SWEET. smelling quilt block you will have!! Great idea to save the packaging:)😊❤️

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  9. Oooh, those look lovely! I was going to suggest a patchwork pincushion that uses a bit of each piece, but your other readers have sold me on the idea of scented sachets! I always keep soap in my clothes drawers too, although a soap-maker friend did say not to keep them for more than a few months because they become less effective. Then again, if older soap lasts longer, maybe they’re just protecting their business interests!

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  1. Patricia Collins | The Snail of Happiness

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