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Donating ugly soaps

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not_ally

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I am in the process of moving, part of that was putting a bunch of soaps on the dining room table to sort them for taking with/donating/junking (I already threw out a bunch of soaps away yesterday.) For context, although I am a hobbyist, my habit so far is to make way, way more soap than I could ever use or give away to people that I know.

Even the ones that are unattractive to me - and are in the junk pile - are not butt-ugly, I think. I just don't like the color combination, or sometimes they seem too cloudy, some of them are over colored, so although they are quite pretty I know that they will lather dark in the water and non-soapers will think that is weird. I just don't want to give them away if I would not be excited about getting them as a gift myself.

Anyway, my sister came over to help pack today and was horrified at the notion of how much I would have thrown away. She works in one of the poorest school districts in the country, she was like "some of these families sometimes don't have money to spend on soap! Just shut up and give it to me, I'll put it in boxes in the cafeteria!"

I let her take them, but it was weird, even though I agreed w/her reasoning I still did not want samples of my soap that I do not love out to be out there, circulating. And I wonder what those folks are going to think when they use a black bar which colors the lather/water dark ....

ETA: All these soaps are fine w/r/t to quality, cure, lather, mildness, etc. Just the look.
 

newbie

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I give lots of my soap to one of the food banks and they do get some ugly soap, I'm afraid to say. The workers there say people are thrilled to get them, no matter what they look like. I didn't ask details but she said they would take anything I had to give. I think people like having different scents than the norm, better lather and they have never given me any feedback that anyone complains if they have brown lather. I supposed it doesn't take long to figure out that their skin is not turning colors, nor are their towels getting gunked up or anything. I say, realize you are giving them a treat even if you don't like the design, because as we know from all the sellers, scent is one of the highest attractions and looks comes down the list of priorities.

I was initially embarrassed to give them all my uglies and oldies even though I do give some pretty ones as well but I'd rather have them used than not. I will admit I do occasionally throw soap out like odd ends and such and occasionally throw whole bars away if I'm frustrated, but that's not too often.
 
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rparrny

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The workers there say people are thrilled to get them, no matter what they look like. I didn't ask details but she said they would take anything I had to give.
Yes they do appreciate them, food stamps do not cover soaps and paper products...when my sister asked why I had cases of shampoo and toilet paper and I told her it was for the food bank, she looked at me like I had two heads..."It's a food bank". They were thrilled with it all and it was gone in a day.
Now that I finally have a technique I think looks okay and a recipe I know is good...I will be donating some pretty soaps to the shul for sale for people to give as holiday gifts.
Just another excuse to make more...;-)
 

OliveOil2

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Not Ally my sister did the same thing to me, and my worries were the same as yours, not my ugly ducklings, but many people ask for more. Most of my soap is given away to people who find handcrafted soap to be a real luxury. I will never forget the look on one woman's face when she read the label, and saw shea butter.
I hate to waste, and many soaps look fine, but as they get older I worry about the fragrance being strong enough to sell. I just wrapped 50 packages of soap ends so that they won't go to waste.
I think it's great that all of your soap will be used and loved.
 

not_ally

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Thank you for your responses, you guys. I kind of knew that I was being soapishly self-centered and myopic, but reading them made it more clear to me.

R., I did not know that food stamps did not cover soap, why the heck is that? Topic for another day, but it is a really, really good reason to donate good soap, no matter how ugly it is.

K, I have thought about sending soap to clean the world, but it is expensive to send huge amounts of soap somewhere, I wish there was a local organization that did the same thing and had a local drop box. Is there some kind of domestic analog to clean the world, does anyone know?

Newb, I am glad that people are OK w/the colored lather, since I don't sell I don't get much feedback on this. If I give someone a bar like this I just tell them about it verbally, so they are not surprised/alarmed. I was just afraid of freaking people out if they weren't used to it, but it seems as if that is not a problem.

OO, I don't usually use butters in my soap, but that post made me kind of want to make a nice, pretty batch w/one and drop it off at a shelter.
 
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fuzz-juzz

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Don't worry. I think that who ever got them was happy. :)
I am for example more picky when it comes to scent than to look. I love vanilla and don't mind yucky brown lather.
I make just enough so that majority don't go to waste.
Some are nice but some are real uglies, especially if made in individual molds. I usually just plop them in and they end up looking a bit rough.
People don't mind. My mum grabs few for her and dad and few for their friends whenever she comes to visit.
They love my soaps, they are not picky about the looks and they appreciate they are handmade with quality ingredients.
I do get rid off some and chuck them in the bin but that's mostly when their scent is way off and there really is no way to save them. I only get angry if scent doesn't work out hehe.
 

dibbles

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Clean the World takes donations from hotels to recycle soap and plastic bottles for distribution. If you could find a hotel that participates, maybe they would add your soap to their donation. I contacted them through the website. If you emailed them, maybe they could tell you if any hotels in your area participate in the program. Just a thought.

I have a flat rate box collecting soaps that are fine but have lost the scent to send once I fill it up. I'm not a rebatcher. Yet.
 

kchaystack

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NA - there is a receiving center Las Vegas. That should not be too expenive to ship a large flat rate box to -

Las Vegas ROC
3111 South Valley View Blvd. Suite L 115
Las Vegas, NV 89102
(702) 221-8777
 

Dana89

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@Not-Ally- As someone who was on food stamps with 2 kids under 2 20 years ago because their father preferred drugs over supporting their kids, any extra money I had went to diapers, soap, baby rash cream and all that stuff. I would have been thrilled to get homemade soap or even a salve for baby bottoms. I washed my hair with baby shampoo for 2 years. Something like that would have been a treat, if not for the kids then for me.
I promise you will put a lot of smile on peoples faces.
 

rparrny

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@Not-Ally- As someone who was on food stamps with 2 kids under 2 20 years ago because their father preferred drugs over supporting their kids, any extra money I had went to diapers, soap, baby rash cream and all that stuff. I would have been thrilled to get homemade soap or even a salve for baby bottoms. I washed my hair with baby shampoo for 2 years. Something like that would have been a treat, if not for the kids then for me.
I promise you will put a lot of smile on peoples faces.
Dana,
You have inspired me to make some soap for my food bank! Maybe we can start a thread "My food bank soap" showing all the members that are donating soaps to their local food banks!
 

not_ally

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I would totally be up for that. I really like the idea of making beautiful, good-smelling soap that people would pay for, and making it available to people who cannot right now.
 
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shunt2011

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You shouldn't be embarrassed to donate soaps you don't particularly like. I donate soap that is no the most appealing or where the scent wasn't what I had hoped or colors gone wrong. There are homeless, women's and family centers that would take it very great fully. It's a small luxury the don't have the funds to provide.
 

TeresaT

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I don't know if it has changed, but when I was growing up, we were on food stamps and it was for FOOD only. No toilet paper, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, tampons, asprin, etc. To me, all of those things are "necessities of life"; however, to the federal government, they are not. All the food in the world isn't going to help you be healthy if you are wallowing in filth or have no teeth to chew it. Just my two cents. The government does some dumb stuff. You can buy filet mignon and sirloin with food stamps, but not tampons and soap. Which do you need more? I'm sure shelters would appreciate your "ugly" soap as well as the food banks.
 

rparrny

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I've been involved in my local food bank for many years, the addiction of giving is one I cherish. To see the faces of people waiting in line and watching their faces light up when I pull up is the most emotionally rewarding feeling I have ever had. Some people drop their food off during the week, not me...I want to see how many people in my community are in trouble. Years ago, the population was indigent elderly, "bag" ladies and men...not any more, they could be my sister, my neighbor...me. The look of distant shock on their faces...like "how did I get here" will affect you in a way like no other. As an avid dog lover (and cat) I often ask the pastor that runs the food bank if there are any pet owners that need food for their dog or cat. The local feed store will give me nearly expired food for them.
Being involved in your local food bank is a way of truly connecting and understanding your community.
 

Dana89

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I have some soap colored in Dallas cowboy colors, the batch looks great but the scent is pratically gone. I think I will take that and some extra body butter down to my local food bank.
I had not even thought of it until this thread.
 

doriettefarm

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I'm glad you started this thread NA. I've been meaning to sort thru old clothes and make a donation pile. Now I'm actually inspired to follow through on it and throw in all my odds/ends/fugly soaps that need a new home. I think sometimes we're so critical of ourselves as soap makers we don't even realize what a treat our handmade goodies are . . .
 

not_ally

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doriettefarm;543349 think sometimes we're so critical of ourselves as soap makers we don't even realize what a treat our handmade goodies are . . .[/QUOTE said:
This thread made me realize that, Doriette. We are super critical of the way our soaps come out. But when I think back to before I started making my own, I think I would not have been reluctant to get my/our rejects, I would probably have been quite happy.

I jiggerered my soaps to add a chelator a few months after I started, and I did drop off a v. large amount to the folks at the local animal shelter. They were really nice/appreciative about it, but I guess I thought they are just being nice, you know?
 
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cmzaha

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Our food bank is always grateful to get soaps to add in the bags. We have also supplied shelters for Abused Women, they mentioned to us that many times these women leave with the clothes on their and their children's back. I make up hot processed soaps with fo's that just will not soap nice but smell nice to send out to them. I really get irritated with sending out to Clean the World and the price of shipping, I would rather keep the donations to my own community. I also like to keep a few unloved soapies and had them out to the homeless
 
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