When you make the switch to shampoo & conditioner bars, you bid farewell to quite a few things, not just plastic bottles! Like the need to aggressively shake an upside-down bottle on the bathroom vanity to get the last drop of product out of it, or having to throw out a bottle still containing a little product because you can’t get that last drop out.
But sometimes when you say goodbye to something, you say hello to another problem…. Like what do you do when your bars get too small to use?
Since starting Ethique, I’ve become quite the expert on using up an entire bar. Below, I’ll share with you several different ways you can use little pieces of Ethique bars, as well as ways to revitalise a sad little bar.
Soap bags to the rescue
This is my go-to when I get to the end of a bar. You can get soap bags made from various fibres, or better yet, if you’re a bit of a crafty soul, you can even knit your own! Ethique has added a sisal shampoo & soap saver bag to the storage range too. These bags are my go-to when backpacking! I hang them at the end of my bunk bed in hostels when I’m out exploring so they get the chance to thoroughly dry before going back into my pack - don’t forget that the drier the bars are between uses, the longer they will last.
Soap bag not an option? Our customer Lynn emailed in not so long ago and said, “When my bars get small, I put them in a reusable silicone tea bag and use them for travel. The bag makes the small pieces easier to handle and the holes in the bag let the bars dry out.” Such an awesome idea!
Pro tip: If you end up with a few bags, sew on some labels so you know which bag holds what bars (or get different coloured ones.)
Save them for travel and the gym
If you go away for work or on weekend trips, saving the little bits of bars for these trips are a great way to simply pack less. You can easily pack your entire routine from head to toe into something small like a pill organiser. Days of lugging a whole makeup bag filled with bottles are long gone!
Melt and remould
Before you run off and start melting down your bars, it’s important to ensure that you let the bars dry out as much as possible first - a couple of days is ideal. Pop the small pieces into a cup or jug. Microwave it on a low setting in 10-second intervals till just melted (ensuring not to overheat), stir quickly, then pour into a mould of your choice - chocolate / baking moulds are great. Always be careful and take care with hot liquids. Give it a couple of hours to set, ideally overnight.
Please note: this is not recommended for our face moisturisers as they are an emulsified product, they may separate when melted down.
Squish and combine
When I was a child, my Mum would grab a thin piece of soap left from a full size bar, wet both the bars and while in the shower, stick the two very firmly together. As you use the new bar, the smaller piece eventually merges smoothly into the new bar – easy-peasy!
Turn it into a liquid product
Take a half thumbnail-sized piece of Ethique bar (about 3 grams) and pop into a jug (or cup) of just boiled hot water (about 50ml should do it). Let the bar sit for about 10 seconds before stirring with a fork
If the result is too thick, add drops of water till your desired thickness. Use less water if you want to make a leave-in conditioner.
Store in the fridge. We recommend that you use the liquid within a week. If there is any discolouration or mould, discard the mixture immediately.
This tip is best used for shampoo, conditioner and face cleansers.
Pro tip: please do not do this with a full-size bar, as our bars contain very little to no preservatives and you will end up with a bottle full of mouldy, smelly liquid.
Do you have a handy tip for us to share? We’d love to hear them!
Flick us an email here.