If you want your soap to pamper you, then you need to pamper it back. How so? The easiest way is to help your bar soap last longer in the shower.
How to Make Bar Soap Last Longer
Keep It Dry
Why do you change your sheets after a fun night? Because it would be disgusting to sit around in your own scum. So why would you let your soap do that?
This is the bare minimum requirement to make your soap last longer: let it dry off between use (this is true for all types of soaps from natural soaps to even niche soaps like Aleppo soap). Even if that just means switching the side of the sink it’s sitting on every once in a while, or storing it on the counter just outside the shower.
Letting your soap sit in a puddle of its own mess will dissolve it more quickly, and you might just throw it away early once you feel how gross it’s getting.
Use A Washcloth
Or a loofah, to mix it up in the texture department (winky face here). When you lather soap against your skin, you end up using more of the bar, especially in the shower.
Instead, lather it against that washcloth or loofah, then set aside the bar and rub the lather into your skin. This is also a great exfoliating technique; not only are you helping your soap last longer, but you’re gently cleaning away dead skin.
Just keep in mind, if you’re using a washcloth, it also needs to dry off between use, or you can swap it out for a new one. Wet washcloths are terrible offenders when it comes to growing bacteria.
Don’t let it go Commando on the Sink
For some reason, you only really see soap dishes in cute, overly decorated bathrooms. Why have the rest of us decided that it’s okay to let the soap get mushy up against the sink and rim of the tub?!
Soap dishes, a.k.a. soap savers, do an even better job of helping your bar dry off between use. They also keep the soap from getting slimy. Plus, it’s an overly easy way to impress guests. (“Ooh look, he keeps nice-smelling bar soap by the sink, and he has a nice little dish for it too!”)
Most people are surprised by the fact that you can also use a soap dish in the shower…but if it works along the sink, then why not? Just find a place where it can sit outside the water stream, and it will do just as good a job of draining moisture and hardening the soap.
Cure Your Soap
No, it doesn’t have a disease, but your soap does need to cure.
Especially if you’re buying the nice, fresh handmade stuff, giving it a few weeks to sit in its package allows it to harden more. The harder the soap, the longer it’s going to last.
The catch is that you can’t let it sit around for too long. Don’t fall for this classic mistake: “Oh! I’ll just buy my artisan soap in bulk, stick it in my cabinet, and I’ll be set for a few years!”
Soaps made with all natural ingredients do have an expiration date. They often lose their rich lather and scents in about a year. So do let your soap cure for a week or two, but don’t let it hang out for several months on the bottom shelf of your bathroom cabinet.
Slice and Dice
Well, maybe not dice, but do cut your soap in half!
This is a great idea for a few reasons, the first being that a smaller bar has less surface area. In turn, you’re exposing less of your bar to air and water, meaning it breaks down more slowly.
If you’re feeling even fancier than that, you can rotate the soap halves periodically. Each half of the soap will get a little break, giving them time to dry and harden. Life pro tip: just like a soap bar, you might need a little break in the bedroom every once in a while. Take time to dry and re-harden.
How to Store Bar Soap
Dry and not for too long is the key here.
If you’re actively using your soap, you’re probably going to want a soap dish and a dry place for it, like we talked about earlier. Better yet—if you can find a reachable place for it outside the shower, it’ll last a lot longer, protected from too much moisture.
If you’re not actively using your soap and it’s sitting on a shelf somewhere, don’t let it hang around for too long! Over time, soaps lose potency. So the best time to use a soap is right after it’s fully cured. The scents will be at their freshest, and the bar will keep its rich lather.
How Long Should A Bar of Soap Last?
Bar soaps typically stick around for 4-6 weeks, so storing and using it correctly can be the key to hitting the 6-week mark.
Investing in a soap saver, finding a nice dry spot for your bar, and lathering with anything but your hands helps drastically extend your soap’s lifespan. The softer oils used to make natural soaps are more prone to dissolving quickly, so you have to be gentle with your bar to make it last.
On the flip side, if you constantly find yourself going through bars of soap in under three weeks, that’s probably a sign that you’re not using it properly, or you’re buying cheap soap that’s not really working.
How Do You Keep Bar Soap From Melting?
If your soap is melting in the shower, it probably means one of two things: either you’re not keeping it in a dry enough spot, or your showers are too hot.
The first should (hopefully) be obvious: if you’re leaving your soap in a puddle when you’re done, then it’s going to get slimy and melty. Once it’s hit that point, there’s really no way to save the bar. You’ll have to learn from your mistakes with the next one.
Our second diagnosis, that your showers are too hot, might not be so obvious. Soap does best with warm, not hot, water. I’m not saying you need to give up your steamy showers; just turn down the temperature a notch when you get the soap involved. Even if your soap isn’t melting, a gentler temperature can also extend the bar’s lifespan.
How To Make Handmade Soap Last Longer
Handmade soap with all-natural ingredients has a shorter lifespan than commercial soap. It should still last more than long enough for you to use it before it expires, and get a full month out of the bar, but you’ll have to be gentler with it.
The same tips still apply: store it in a dry place, lather it with a washcloth, use warm (not hot) water, and try out a soap saver. You’ll see why it’s worth the effort once you get it in the shower.
How Do You Keep Soap From Getting Mushy?
Mushy soap and short-lived soap are just different symptoms of the same problem. You’re probably storing it in a moist area, or using harsh hot water against the bar.
So follow the same set of tips to keep your soap from getting mushy! Invest in a soap saver, wash with warm or cool water, use a washcloth to lather it up, and cut the bar in half. It’s the little things that add up over time when it comes to making your soap last.