April 2, 2006 1:06 am

This is the first installment of what I hope will become a lengthy and drawn out series of tutorials that are reasonably informational but of questionable use.

In this edition I would like to address a problem that I’m pretty sure plagues most humanoids that are in the habit of bathing with bar soap; namely that affair where the bar has become too small to usable anymore. What do you do with these slivers? Do you throw them away? Soap is cheap but it always seems like a waste. If you’re one of those who tries to save things you can try merging it into your new bar but sometimes it doesn’t take. As it turns out, there is a method which I use to meld bars which succeeds enough of the time to be marketable.

Disclaimer: I have only tested this with standard Dial bar soap. As always YMMV. Different types of soap may have different properties which prevent them from convalescing. I am not responsible for any damage to you or your soap, etc etc if it blows up I told you not to try it. Don’t email me asking if this process will work with your soap, I don’t know. But I am interested to know if it worked for you, go ahead and shoot me an email if it does, and if you had to do anything special to make it happen.

That said, let’s get started. This process takes about three days to complete. The first thing you need to know is when to start. I used to try this with Irish Spring Sport and I could never get the bars to stick together (which may have been due partly to the shape; Irish Spring has a very curved bar and Dial is more flat), but I believe after having watched my roommate that it has to do with the size of the old bar. The natural inclination is, of course, to use the bar to its fullest extent and then start a new bar when the old one is completely shot. Resist this temptation, it leads nowhere. If you start when the bar is too thin there won’t be enough substance to sustain a merge, and you run the risk of the bar breaking in half which just makes the process that much more difficult.

When your bar is down to about 5mm thick, go ahead and get a new bar out. Unwrap that guy and take both bars into the shower with you. It is important to bring both bars as the moisture helps increase the stickiness of the soap. Go ahead and use the new bar as normal, that is, one side. You’ve got to soak some water through part of the bar (making the soap soft) as well as rub off the hard outer coating, which will happen through normal use. Don’t use the old bar, just set it to the side and let it bask in the steam.

When you’re done set the old bar on the shelf or wherever you keep your soap, and then set the new bar on top in a position where it won’t slide off. If your soap is really curvy you might have to play with which side to use, but the idea is to get maximum contact between the old bar and the side which you prepped during your shower. It’s also important that you don’t leave your soap in the shower, it needs to dry out. This is the first and most crucial step in the merging process. I know it seems weak now but after it dries out it’ll have a pretty good stick. You should probably let it dry for at least 24 hours.

Okay, next day. Pick up your soap carefully, the bottom bar will probably have dried to the shelf so pry it off gingerly, making sure not to break the bars apart. Take ’em in the shower and use the opposite side of the bar, that is, the side NOT with the old bar stuck to it. There isn’t anything like enough grip yet to sustain friction on the old bar and if you use that side now it’ll break right off. As the soap begins to take in moisture it will become soft, and you should apply a little bit of pressure to the old bar side to bring more parts of it in contact. If you do this while the bar is still brittle you’ll break pieces off, so do it slowly over time and don’t rush it. Don’t press too hard either, because too much can cause the bars to separate. That said, if somewhere during this you do happen to break the bars apart, don’t worry. Just set the old one aside and repeat the first step and try again tomorrow. When you’re done set it on your shelf and allow it to dry as before.

Day three. You’re getting pretty close here. Your bars should look pretty much like one. The foam/residue from the soap yesterday, along with the pressure, should have filled in most of the cracks. At this point you can use the merged side. Go ahead and be careful and if it seems like it’s going to break, switch back to the other side and try again tomorrow. As you rub on the merged side, you’ll spread soap into the remaining cracks. The pressure will push down whatever parts aren’t connected yet, and you’ll generally just smooth things out. When you’re done let it dry again.

After this you should be good to go. The key idea is to get the soap very soft, connect it, and then let it dry because as it does it sticks together. It may take more than three days depending on your kind of soap. Just play around with it and use your judgment.

14 Responses to “Soap Help”

Dwight says:
April 2nd, 2006 at 2:27 am

One query: where does my luffa come into play? Also, what about my washcloth and body cleansing gel? Or is that just me?
Do you really shower every day? How non-european.

indorphin says:
April 2nd, 2006 at 3:25 pm

Yes, how do I do this with my shower gel? I don’t think your DIY will apply to us fancy pants who purchase such things.

What happened to the stereotypical college kid who barely was able to dress himself in the morning? SHOWERING! WHAT?

Stormy says:
April 2nd, 2006 at 5:41 pm

I hate you both so much.

indorphin says:
April 3rd, 2006 at 3:57 pm

Yes, well, fortunately you don’t see me very much.

Mostly because you don’t look out your window enough to analyze the pattern of the bushes I’m hiding in with my ginormous pair of binoculars watching your every move. Don’t even think about looking for the GPS device either. The CIA makes those things pretty hard to spot now-a-days. Why it might even be implanted in your spine! Not to say that it is of course. But if you get laid up in a hospital, I’m sure I’ll know that you’re having invasive surgery to try and find the device…which the doctor won’t.

Here’s a hint, it starts with a C and ends in orpus Collosum.

Allie says:
April 3rd, 2006 at 4:17 pm

I don’t even know what to say to this post…I can’t believe I read the whole thing on how to merge soap, you must be a talented writer to hold me
for the entire post.

Stormy says:
April 3rd, 2006 at 5:25 pm

What on earth begins with C and ends with orpus Collosum? I can’t… I can’t even begin to put those two things together and come up with an answer. I guess that’s cool, though, I mean, when did you join the CIA?

Mike says:
April 3rd, 2006 at 10:27 pm

Some more soap help, if I may:

Matt says:
April 4th, 2006 at 9:13 am

I have to agree with Allie… I can hardly make fun of you when I read the WHOLE thing. Now, to implement it… As for shower gel, everyone who uses showergel knows that there is an overlaping period of time when either the soap or the gel is running out. It’s at this time that you switch to the other. I can honestly say that there is a sliver of soap that will remain in my shower until my showergel runs out.

indorphin says:
April 4th, 2006 at 9:19 am

Oh, pardon me. I misspelled it. It starts with a C and ends in orpus callosum.

CIA? I never joined the CIA. Try SD-6!

Dwight says:
April 5th, 2006 at 3:09 am

SD-6, now that’s how to roll! Do they teach you how to keep small dried up slivers of soap in your shower to use as weapons in case someone tries to pull a Psycho on you?
Irregardless, even without all these crayons shoved into my coprus callosum I could tell you how great SOAP is going to be!

indorphin says:
April 5th, 2006 at 3:51 pm

Now don’t get me started on MF snakes on a MF plane. At least that’s how Samuel L. refers to it as. Looks as though it could possibly be the most important and greatest movie ever created in human history.

Dan J. says:
April 5th, 2006 at 6:20 pm

So many comments, and about soap. I must say I don’t mind using the little slivers of soap until they degrade into nothing, I mean as long as it is still producing some soapiness I am satisfied. Also I feel quite scandalous posting on a neud site………

matt says:
April 6th, 2006 at 11:34 am

Hey, Steve. I noticed that you’re running for some position at UCCS. Why don’t you have lawn signs?I’ve only seen photocopy quality pictures of you back-to-back with your running mate.

mwpray » Blog Archive » More Interviews says:
April 10th, 2006 at 9:19 am

[…] I need to go get ready for another interview with DWHM for a position I probably don’t want. Things could be worse, I guess. I could be doing terrible, terrible things with my life. […]