Twenty ways a survivalist uses soap

Preppers know that multi-purpose gear and supplies are the best things to include in bug-out bags. Soap, which can be used in a myriad ways aside from cleaning yourself, is a staple.

Here’s a list of twenty surprising uses for soap: (h/t to

  1. Bug bite relief – Rub insect bites with a damp bar of soap to relieve itchiness. It also helps keep the bites clean.
  2. Bug repellent for plants – Soap can perform as both a cleaning compound and as a makeshift insect repellent. Combine soap with some water, shake it until it forms suds, and store the mixture in a spray bottle. Spray it on the underside of plant leaves to deter bugs from eating them.
  3. Faster skis, sleds, toboggans – Rub soap on the bottom or runners of skis, sleds, and toboggans for faster rides down hills.
  4. Flea remover – Mix liquid soap and water in a bowl. Put the mixture under a light to attract and drown fleas.
  5. Find leaks in tires or tubes – Rub a damp bar of soap on tires or tubes. Bubbles will form in areas with a leak.
  6. Garden bug repellent – Keep a bar of soap in your garden to keep pests away.
  7. Gas leak detector – Mix soap and water. Rub the mixture along pipes, and it will bubble if there is a leak.
  8. Household bug repellent – Mix soap and water, and place the mixture in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture to rid your house of spiders and bugs.
  9. Keep clothes fresh – Leave a bar of soap in closets, drawers, suitcases, and bins you store your clothes in. It can also repel bugs and prevent musty odors.
  10. Keep eyeglasses from steaming in cold weather – Rub the lens with soapy fingers, then polish.
  11. Keep your fingernails clean – Whenever you’re about to get your hands dirty, like in the garden, gently scrape your fingernails over a bar of soap. Once you collect slivers underneath your nails, you’re good to go. This ensures that dirt won’t cake under your nails, and you can just wash out the soap.
  12. Loosen a ring stuck on a finger – Rub soap over the finger to slide it off while washing your hands.
  13. Loosen stiff door locks – Rub soap on the key to lubricate it.
  14. Loosen zippers – Slide a soap bar up and down on stuck or rusty zippers.
  15. Mark a hem – Use soap instead of store-bought marking chalk when drawing lines for a hem. Soap will wash out more easily than chalk.
  16. Remove fabric stains – Rub a damp bar of white soap over stains on clothing, then wash it.
  17. Shoe deodorizer – Make smelly boots or sneakers smell fresher by placing a wrapped bar of soap in your shoes overnight. They’ll smell better in the morning.
  18. Soot prevention – Before you cook with a cast iron pot, rub a bar of soap over the bottom of the pot. The soap will make it easier to clean the pot since the soap will prevent the soot from accumulating. (Related: Foraging for hygienic resources: Plants the Native Americans used to make soap (which can still be found today).)
  19. Stop squeaking in floorboards – Swipe a damp soap bar into the cracks between the boards.
  20. Stuck drawers – Rub soap on the slides of old stuck drawers to easily open them.

Home hygiene prep list

Before SHTF, make sure you stock up on these important home hygiene items:

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  • Baby wipes
  • Barber comb and scissors
  • Cotton swabs
  • Dental kit
  • Deodorant
  • Floss
  • Garbage bags
  • Hairbrush, comb, and hair ties
  • Hair shampoo and conditioner
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Laundry detergent
  • Lip balm
  • Lotion
  • Nail clippers
  • Off-grid toilet
  • Sanitary pads (disposable and reusable)
  • Soap (bar soap/body wash, hand soap)
  • Straight razor and sharpener
  • Toilet paper
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Tweezers

You can read more articles about other possible uses for soap and other supplies that you might need when SHTF at

Sources include:

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