Opinion: Why Save the Soap?

Hilton's efforts stir confusion

Evan Smith
March 18, 2019 - 4:43 pm

If there’s one question that I can’t get out of my head whenever I leave a hotel room, it’s this: what happens to the leftover soap?  

You know those soaps: the little guy, about the size of a fun-size candy, wrapped in what feels like dissolvable toilet paper, offered in just about every hotel across the country?

Sure, one washing pretty much disintegrates that little bar into a nub of mush, but now Hilton hotels has just announced that it isn’t going to let that gross, mushy, hair-coated glob be left behind.

As a part of its Clean the World initiative, Hilton said it will collect leftover soap from its various hotels, including Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden inn, Hampton, Homewood Suites and Home 2 Suites.

The used soap, according to the company, is then crushed, sanitized, and then cut into new soap bars.

Which begs the question: okay… but what happens to the soap they use to wash the soap? Is that recycled too? And how do you clean soap anyway?  Just… more soap? 

Isn’t that a little self-defeating: using soap to save soap?

Or is that soap sort of like Tom Hanks’ character in Saving private Ryan: sacrificed to save his comrades in cleanliness.

As for me, I’ll just bring my own body wash next time and save them the trouble.

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