June 3, 2016

Make It Last: Bar Soap

Much smaller than a fresh bar, but still lots of hand washes left.

You can live life as if nothing is sacred. I prefer to live considering everything sacred. All life, all matter, everything. This world view allows me to see value and purpose in everything that surrounds me. Even itty bitty flakes of soap.

Sometimes it is difficult to know what to do with bar soap as it shrinks in size. There have been times in my wasteful past that I might have thrown little remnants of soap in the garbage. Then I started to weld little soaps on to a fresh bar, with varied and often frustrating results.

I made self-soaping pot scrubbers fashioned from saved up soap bits and mesh produce bags. A small bit of soap would still sometimes be wasted.

In my perpetual quest to simplify, I gave some thought to coming up with a more straight forward solution to making bar soap last.

The smallest soap flake I have ever made - one more hand wash here. Maybe two.

I have been trying an experiment to see how small I could get a bar of soap. Could I use an entire bar right out of existence? Apparently I can. In the process, I created the smallest bar of soap in the world. I need a magnifying glass just to find it.

Why not just throw it away? Because that tiny flake of soap is better than no soap at all. Using it all up in this way honours the soap, the ingredients of the soap, and everyone that had to work to get the soap to me.

 It is all that, and more. I do it because everything is sacred. Even tiny flakes of soap. Perhaps especially tiny flakes of soap. You know what they say about cleanliness.


  1. 'I prefer to live considering everything sacred'. That's the truth of things isn't it Gregg? When we remember that, it's easy to make good decisions. I feel sad that the busy rush of modern life makes it hard to stay connected to the truth sometimes. It's a journey for sure - for me the hardest part is remembering to slow down!


    1. Slowing down, and occasionally stopping entirely. Imagine all the harm that would not be done if people were to simply slow down and stop. Even for a little while. Modern life is one giant disconnect, but I feel that changing. People are yearning to get back to the sacred, and the truth.

  2. Anonymous6/03/2016

    In our house we have no shampoo or conditioner. When people ask why I suggest to stand in a shop and carefully read the ingredients and ask the question is this a necessary part of nature. We use soap for hair washing and shaving - saving resources.

    I was also asked at work the other day whether I use deodorant and said no, my colleague then said, but you don't smell. After a long day the office can smell bad and I said that this due to the methionine in peoples diet and in my view the chemical deodorant just makes it worse. Alex

    1. Anonymous6/03/2016

      Hi Alex,
      My boyfriend never uses deodorant and never smells. I use just one swipe each armpit before heading to work...I suppose I could just stop and it would have the same effect.

      As for soap, we use bar soap too, and when it gets very small (congrats on that REALLY small bar soap piece) we put it in many-times-used liquid soap dispensers, with some water, and have all the liquid soap we need at the kitchen sink or bathroom.

      Use it up is our motto!!


    2. Advertisers have been very successful at creating problems where none exist. Naturally, they have a solution to all these make belief problems... for a price. When you see there is no problem, you no longer need their costly, fake solutions. You learn that you can live without about 95% of what they are selling. Freedom ensues!

    3. Gregg, I love this perspective on advertising and "created" needs. I shared your comment with my neighbor just now. She found it meaningful also. You are outstanding at expressing truth. I very much enjoy reading what you write not only because I agree with you, but you are a excellent writer.

      I'll give you an update on my scaling down/relocation plans soon. I've had to change courses several times over the past few months. Thank you for the message below my comment.

  3. What an ingenious idea Mary! I've done like Gregg trying to get the most for every piece of soap. I've also left thin pieces of soap in a dish in the shower where the dish inevitably gets a little water in it. The soaps gets goo-ie and I can dip my fingers in and get what I need.
    I've miss you guys. Hopefully I can be back her more often again.

    1. Hey Terri, we miss you around here, too. Hope all is well with downsizing and your relocation.


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