How to use a soap cozy
What is a soap cozy? Simply, it is a little bag to put your bar of soap in. It can be used for:
as a washcloth, without even having to remove the soap
put your soap ends in it and tie it shut, to use them up
use the tied up soap to scrub your sink or shower. What removes soap scum the best? Soap. Just make sure you rinse it off well.
Soap cozies can vary in size. At 4″x6″, 4″x5″, 5″x6″, they make great gift bags for small items. Also a nice pouch for carrying your cell phone or spare change and lip balm. Mrs. D’s soap cozies are made with cotton or cotton blend fabric and have long 10-12″ ribbon ties.
You can sew up a dozen of these in about an hour if you’re so inclined. Any scraps of the appropriate size (you are welcome to make them larger or smaller) will work. Trim them to a large rectangle or two smaller rectangles. I make mine about 4″x6″ give or take, or fold an 8″x6″ piece in half.
First, sew the top hems. Fold the fabric down about 1/4″ at the top and iron. Fold and iron again. This is the top of your bag. Now stitch away to hold the hem in place. I use a built-in decorative stitch for this. I do not cut the thread on each piece, I just pull it out a bit and start the next one. Then I cut all the threads when I’m done.
Next, make your bags. With right sides together and top hems together, stitch one side and bottom seam (or just one seam if you are folding). Trim threads if you are sewing several bags at once like I do.
Now for the ribbon ties. You can use the bags without them, but I like to add them because I use them to close the tops. Cut 2 12″ pieces of ribbon for each bag. Hold or pin them about 1″ down from the top of the bag, with the long ends inside the bag and coming out the top. You are leaving a tiny bit on what will be the inside of the bag to hold it there. Stitch the last side of the bag. Trim all threads.
Finally, clip corners and trim seams if necessary. Turn bags right side out and poke corners with a ruler, chopstick, pen, or another corner turner. Iron if desired.
Use and enjoy your soap cozy. Give as gifts. Or sell them at your next craft fair!
The humble bar of soap.
Sometimes it seems like everyone has forgotten how to use bar soap. Since most people I know use liquid soap in tidy pump dispensers now. Yet bar soap is gentler, more economical, and does a better job of cleaning. Bar soap is truly a multi-purpose cleaner.
In order to make myself clear, when I speak of bar soap, I am speaking of handmade soap. Rather like the kind I make, with all natural ingredients you can actually recognize. Like coconut, palm, and olive oils, milk, water, and essential oils, herbs, etc.
Sodium hydroxide (lye) causes a chemical change in the liquids and oils that soap is made with. This saponification neutralizes the lye and, as a result produces the familiar, sudsy soap that washes away grease and grime. Grease that washes away grease.
First of all, let me debunk the antibacterial myth:
Friction kills bacteria.
That’s right. Not soap, not hot water. Friction. Rubbing your hands together when you wash them creates the friction that kills the bacteria. Soap loosens foreign particles and oils from your skin, and water washes them away. But friction kills bacteria.
Now let’s move on to the truth about bar soap:
lasts a long time as long as you keep it dry in between uses. (use a handy soap saver)
does not harbor bacteria and grunge as long as you keep it dry between uses. (don’t let it sit in a puddle of water)
can be made with ingredients you recognize and with none you don’t.
Finally, what are the advantages of bar soap?
lasts a long time as long as you keep it dry in between uses.
can also be used to wash your hair.
makes a great pet shampoo.
is an all purpose cleaner. What removes soap scum best? Soap.
makes a great laundry soap. In this case, it needs to be grated very fine and mixed with some other ingredients, but that is a whole nuther post.
is a gentle soap for hand washables.
How do you use bar soap?
Same as liquid soap, use bar soap for washing your hands. Keep a bar of soap next to your sink in a soap dish or saucer. It is best to elevate it a little to keep it dry. Many soap savers are available for this purpose.
First, wet hands and soap with water. Then rub soap between hands and replace on soap saver. Finally, rub hands together, spreading soap as desired. Continue rubbing hands together as you rinse the soap off with water.
Handmade Soaps and Lotions; Simple Living, Slow Travel; Homeschooling, Roadschooling