white bar soap with soap dish on white background

17 Surprising Ways a Bar of Soap Can Make Your Life Easier

If you’re a fan of liquid soap for handwashing and prefer to use body wash in the tub and shower, bars of soap may seem quite old-fashioned. And you may be surprised to learn that good old bar soap still has a valuable place in an active household! Bar soaps—any scent and even those little bars from your last hotel stay—are useful for some pretty cool stuff at home. You can even use them to make liquid soap.

white bar soap with soap dish on white background

Hide a nail hole

If you notice a few small nail holes in the walls after moving pictures, choose a bar of soap that’s the same color as the wall. To fill in the void, rub the soap over the hole to fill it in. That will hold until it’s time to paint the wall.

Freshen drawers, closets, suitcases, cars

Before using soap in all the following ways, get double duty from those bars by keeping unwrapped, scented soap bars in drawers, closets, suitcases, even the car to keep those areas smelling fresh. It works well to wrap a bar in a piece of fabric, a mesh bag, or a washcloth, then tuck them away into a corner or under the car seat. It works well in stinky shoes and boots, too!

Prevent paint splatters

When it’s time for you to paint trim next to windows or mirrors, rub a small bar of soap along the glass next to the paint. If you splatter some paint on the window, use a damp cloth to clean it up. The soap you laid down will make it much easier than using tape and a lot faster because you won’t be waiting for paint to dry.

Loosen a lock

If a door lock has become stiff, rub a piece of dry soap over its surface to lubricate, then insert the key into the lock and turn it a few times. The lock should become much easier to use.

Easy furniture assembly

Whether you are a skilled woodworker or just struggling to put together an Ikea bookcase, getting the screws started into the wood can be challenging. To make it easier, coat the threads of the screw first with a bit of bar soap.

You can also use a bar of soap to create an easy-to-remove mark for a cutting guide. Use the bar to coat a saw blade so it will glide through the wood.

Foggy mirrors, eyeglasses

If you don’t like a foggy mirror in a hot shower, a small bar of soap can help. While the mirror is completely dry, rub the soap over the glass. Don’t add water; buff away the streaks of soap with a dry cloth. Next time you take a shower, no fog! Using soap in this way works as well for eyeglasses and sunglasses too.

Fix the squeaks

A bar of soap solves squeaky door hinges and floors. Rub a dry bar of soap onto the edges of any squeaky area. Test, and if still squeaky, repeat until the squeak has vanished.

Sticky drawers and sliding doors

If drawers or sliding doors don’t open smoothly, rub a bar of soap on the edge of the drawer or in the track where the drawer slides into place.

Find the leak

If you’re not sure where a leak is coming from in a tire or kiddie pool, dampen a bar of soap and rub it over the suspicious areas. The leak will create a bubble as the air escapes. Now you know where to apply a patch.

Remove tough stains

There are laundry bar soaps marketed for stain removal, such as Fels Naptha and Zote, but you can use almost any type of bar soap to clean oily and muddy stains. In this case, you want to use a bar without added moisturizers or conditioners to treat all kinds of stains. Just wet a corner of the bar of soap, then run it into the stain until it is well saturated. Now launder as usual.

Easy clean fingernails

Before you dig in your garden or do an oil change, dig your nails into a bar of soap first. Soap will keep the dirt or grease from getting under the nails.

Protect the garden

Hang a bar of Irish Spring bar soap from shrubs or roughly sprinkle it on the ground to help repulse deer and rabbits, too. Its scent is so strong and repulsive to these animals it will send them running away. Use an old pair of pantyhose or mesh bag to make hanging easy.

Camp cooking cleanup

Before you put that pan over an open fire, first coat the bottom with a bar of soap to make cleanup a lot easier.

Unstick a zipper

To make a zipper slide more easily, run a dry bar of soap across its teeth.

Sew easy

Mark hems and seam lines with the edge of the soap bar to create a sewing line. Tightly wrap a bar of soap with a piece of pretty fabric, then secure it in place with straight pins to create a pincushion. Pins and needles stored in this way will glide through any fabric.

Make liquid soap

Make your own liquid soap and you’ll save money in the process. Use a cheese grater to shave four ounces of bar soap and mix with four cups of boiling water. Stir to dissolve, allow to cool completely, and pour into your dispensers. Shake well before use.

DIY laundry detergent

Bar soap is one of the essential ingredients in homemade laundry detergent (everydaycheapskate.com/detergent). You will also need super washing soda and borax. Homemade laundry detergent is safe to use in HE washers as it does not produce suds. But cleans like a dream!


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5 replies
  1. Becky says:

    I started having vicious leg and foot cramps at night. My doctor told me to place a bar of Ivory Soap(only pure soap works) in my bed near my legs. I have not had any leg cramps since. It is very weird but I looked it up and it is documented but no one knows why it works. I am just very relieved it does and I take my bars with me on alll my trips now!

  2. Gary says:

    Driving Screws; coat the trhreads of the screw with a little damp or even dry bar soap. Lubes them nicely.
    Leaks of any kind: check any potential or suspected leak by mixing Dish Soap with equal or slightly more water, use a very small paint brush to spread it on the threads, nail/screw in tire, or anything that Water, Gas, Air or Propane etc can flow thru when you are installing pipes or suspect a leak.

  3. crabbyoldlady says:

    A fun use for Ivory soap is to microwave it until it’s expanded and puffy, less than 2 minutes. Then you can color it and mold it into shapes for kids.

  4. Barbara says:

    I look forward to receiving all your emails with helpful hints and ideas on a daily basis. Your email is the first one I read daily.
    I have a question: How do I humanly get rid of cats that poop in my flower bed and tease my dog. These cats are not wild cats, but they spend so much time in my yard that people will start thinking they belong to me. I even have my plants covered for the winter and the cats are pooping on the covers. I don’t want to hurt them and have tried spraying the yard with peppermint, putting out orange and lemon peels, and putting out plastic forks. Nothing seems to discourage them. I have 3-4 cats at a time and they come at all times of the day and night.

    Thank you,


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