24 Uses for a Basic Bar of Soap That May Have Slipped By You

published Apr 10, 2018
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(Image credit: Kath Nash)

At first blush, a humble bar of soap seems almost like a relic from the past. But even if you don’t use bars of soap for hand-washing, there are many reasons to keep them around (or bring them home from hotel stays). Here are 24 of our favorites that may have slipped by you.

  1. Unstick a zipper by running a bar of soap over the teeth.
  2. Scratch a bar of soap before gardening to prevent dirt from getting under your fingernails.
  3. Mark a hemline that needs to be sewn with a sliver of soap. It’ll wash off more easily than chalk.
  4. Repel deer (and therefore ticks) with slivers of soap hung from trees in pantyhose. Alternately, place whole bars of soap near the base of plants they like to eat. The scent should help repel them.
  5. Wrap a bar of soap with cloth and use it as a pincushion. The pins will glide more easily into the fabric.
  6. Rub soapy water onto your glasses lenses and wipe off to keep them from fogging up.
  7. Check for leaks in your gas pipes by wetting a bar of soap and running it over the pipes. If bubbles appear, you’ve got a leak.
  8. Have drawers that stick? Rib soap along the tracks to make opening and closing them a lot easier.
  9. A small bit of soapy water between floorboards will help prevent squeaks.
  10. Rub nails and screws on a bar of soap before drilling or hammering; they’ll go in more easily.
  11. Keep dogs from using your wood furniture as a chew toy by rubbing a bar of soap on it.
  12. Wrap a piece of bar soap in a paper towel and put into stinky shoes overnight for a refresh.
  13. Make a safe plant pest repellent by mixing a few shavings with water in a spray bottle. Shake and spray on the underside of leaves.
  14. Mice supposedly hate Irish Spring soap. Chop up a few pieces and leave them in infested areas.
  15. Stuck lock? Rub your key over a bar of soap and it should glide right in.
  16. Wrap scented soap in fabric and insert into drawers to keep clothes from smelling stale.
  17. Soothe the sting of insect bites by rubbing them with a bit of soap. The last shards of a bar are especially good for this.
  18. Loosen wallpaper with a soapy solution made from water and bits of bar soap. Spritz on the wall, let sit for a bit, and then begin removal.
  19. To prevent soot buildup on the bottom of a cast-iron pan while you’re cooking over an open flame during camp-outs, rub with a bar of soap before placing it over the fire.
  20. Rub a bar of soap over stubborn stains like blood, grass, and dirt (as occur on baseball uniforms).
  21. Find a leak in a car or bike tire or in a kiddie pool by rubbing soapy water across the surface. Bubbles will show you where the hole is.
  22. Try hiding nail holes in drywall with a (similarly colored) bar of soap.
  23. Silence a squeaky door by rubbing a bar of soap on its hinges.
  24. Pick up small shards of broken glass with a damp bar of soap. (Be sure to toss it in the trash afterwards.)

Any other uses that you all know of?

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