What to Do With Soap Ends & Trimmings

Wondering what to do with those bits of soap from the end of the loaf that don’t make full sized bars but are still completely usable soap? You have options!

Sell Pre-Packaged Soap Ends

Contrary to some of the things I’ve read online, you can sell packages of random soap ends and trimmings. They just need to be correctly packaged and labeled.

Required on the Label

On the front label you need:

  • Front: The product identity (what it is — “soap”)1
  • Front: The net weight in ounces and grams2

TIP: Create a preprinted label with a specific weight and then fill the bag or package with enoughh pieces to meet or exceed that weight. That way you don’t have to write in the weight on each label.

Comment: I searched through hundreds of Google images as well as on Etsy and Amazon and found less than 5 packages of soap ends or sample packs that were correctly labeled!

Don’t use other vendors and packages as a guide to how to label your products. Go to a reliable source which cites the regulations or to the actual regulations themselves.

Ingredient Declaration

The ingredient declaration is not required unless you have made cosmetic claims about the soap (moisturizing, exfoliating, etc.). If you want to include an ingredient declaration, it would typically go on the back.

Since it is an “assorted package of similar items” you have some options for the ingredient declaration. You can do an ingredient declaration for each different soap, OR (and much easier) you can do a combined ingredient declaration.3

The combined ingredient declaration goes in this order:

Ingredients present in ALL of the products at more than 1%, listed in descending order of predominance, based on the cumulative amount (percent) in all products.

This would normally be the main oils used in all of the soaps, sodium hydroxide, and water.

Ingredients, other than color additives, present in ALL products at 1% or less, listed in any order.

This would usually be fragrance and any additives that you use in all the soaps (for example, sodium lactate, if you use it).

Ingredients present in one or more products but not all products, identified by the product(s) which contain the ingredient.

This would be any specialty oils additives that are used in some of the soaps, such as herbs, salt, clay, etc. Include any ingredients used as “natural colorants” that are not approved for use in cosmetics.

Color additives used in any of the products.

The color additives used, such as iron oxides, ultramarines, mica, and/or dyes. Don’t include “natural colorants” that are not approved for use in cosmetics.


As an example, this would be the ingredient declaration for a package of three different types of soap ends (lavender, rose, and blue) where all the soaps were made with olive, coconut, and palm oil, the lavender soap contained shea butter and was colored with Orchid Mica, the rose soap used mango butter and was colored with Rose Clay and Merlot Sparkle Mica, and the blue soap contained rice bran oil and was colored with Mermaid Mica.4

Ingredients: Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil ,Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Castor Oil, Fragrance Rosemary Leaf Extract, Shea Butter and Tin Oxide (in Lavender Soap), Mango Butter and Kaolin (in Rose Soap), Rice Bran Oil (in Blue Soap), Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Manganese Violet, Ultramarines, Iron Oxides, and Green Chrome Oxide.

Free Samples

You can give out odds and ends of soaps as free samples without any labeling.

HOWEVER, if you only give them out with purchase, then they are considered a consumer product and require the necessary labeling.

Give to Friends & Family

If you provide soap to friends and family on a regular basis, consider giving them the unsaleable ends for their use, rather than full size bars that you could sell.

Rebatch or Reuse

Soap ends (along with other bits) can be melted down and rebatched into new bars.

They can also be cut up and used as colorful chunks in white or clear soap.

Use Them Yourself!

If you use your own soap (which I can only assume is true), then consider using the soap ends in your own bath or shower rather than using full size bars. You get an ever-changing assortment of soaps to use so you can enjoy all the different soaps you make!

Soap and Cosmetic Labeling cover

To really be able to create your own labels that comply with the regulations, get my book from Amazon and use it.

  1. 21 CFR 701.11 ↩︎
  2. 21 CFR 701.13 ↩︎
  3. 21 CFR 701.3(a) and (o) ↩︎
  4. Color additives used in this example are all from Brambleberry.com. Tin oxide contained in the Orchid and Mermaid Mica but is not an approved color additive for use in cosmetics. As such, it is placed in the ingredient declaration with the regular ingredients, not with the color additives. ↩︎


3 responses to “What to Do With Soap Ends & Trimmings”

  1. Another wonderful, detailed resource for soapmakers! You’re work is invaluable Marie (as are you)! Thank you 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for this! It is very helpful.

  3. Thank you for this! I’ve been wanting to offer my soap ends for sale, but wasn’t sure how to label them. Now I know!

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