Soap balls are not just handy to use, they can add a decorative touch to your bathroom. Better still, making your own can give you an economical way to use up the tiny scraps of soap you may have left over as your standard bars of soap run out.
What You Need For A Basic Soap Ball
The only essential supplies you will need are a bar or two of plain soap - or about a cup of soap scraps - water, a grater or food processor, and a glass measuring cup.
If you are using a whole bar of soap, choose a very plain soap, such as Ivory, or a castile soap instead of a commercial “beauty bar” or deodorant soap – these may have additives which can keep your soap ball from forming, or may affect the smell. If you are using soap scraps, however, a few scraps of deodorant soap or beauty bars mixed in are fine.
What to Do
First, you need to soften your soap. If you are using a whole bar, grate enough soap to make one cup of soap flakes. If you are using soap scraps, crush them with your hands into small pieces, or even run them through a clean food processor. Place the soap in the measuring cup, and add a half cup of plain water. Then simply let the soap flakes and water sit for a few hours until the soap softens enough to form a thick paste. You can speed things up by putting the jar inside a pot with an inch or so of water, and heating the pot on medium until the soap softens.
Using your hands, scoop the soap paste out of the measuring cup and form into ball shapes in your preferred size. Squeeze each ball firmly to press all the soap into place. Continue shaping the ball your hands until it starts to harden.
Set the soap balls aside in a cool dry place, and let them dry and harden for about a week before using.
Customizing Your Soap Balls
It's simple to customize your soap ball by adding color, scent, or other botanical additives.
To add scent, simply stir in a couple teaspoons of perfume oil once the soap flakes are softened, before forming it into balls. Make sure to use perfume oil instead of cologne - cologne contains alcohol, which is harsh on skin.
To add color, you could simply choose colored soap, or add a few drops of food coloring to your softened soap flakes before molding. Add a few drops at a time and stir them in completely to make sure you get the right shade.
You can also add your favorite dried herb, such as lavender or mint, to scent your soap balls. Green tea also is a nice choice. Make sure you choose herbs that are completely dry and only use a couple tablespoons. If you are using green tea, snip open a couple teabags. Stir your dried herbs or tea into the softened soap flakes and then mold your soap balls as usual.