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Recycling Soap During COVID-19

Updated: Apr 19, 2020

“Good hygiene is in your hands!”

Looking around the streets of Jakarta -- a city that is partially developed -- I realized one thing: most people do not realize the important of hygiene and cleanliness at a time like this. It was time to make a change.


Commodities such as soap and hand sanitizer have become scarce during this epidemic. While most have chosen to buy expensive hand sanitizers and soaps, my partner, Philip, and I have chosen to recycle soap. One may ask why is soap so important in the first place? Well, soap is one of the main methods of disposing of germs and bacteria that are on your body, COVID-19 included.

You may ask why are we choosing to recycle soap instead of make it? And why not hand sanitizer? We chose to recycle soap instead of hand sanitizer because we realized soap is much longer lasting than hand sanitizer and it is much more effective. Instead of making our own soap from scratch, we have decided to recycle used soap from hotels. Although the hotel business is quite slow now, we have managed to contact The Dharmawangsa who have so kindly donated roughly 20 bars of soap

We then followed this method to clean and recycle the soap:

1. Cut out dirty parts

2. Clean soap with alcohol

3. Grate into small pieces

4. Melt and mix salt, baking soda and coconut oil

5. Pour into mould and let it cool

After a lot of trial and error, we can safely say that we were able to make roughly 50 bars of new, reusable soap. We plan to donate this soap to a village in Ciledug that our club has worked with in the past. We strongly believe that the people living in the community can make great use of the soap that we are donating. We hope that by doing projects like these we are able to inspire others to think of creative ways to benefit the community around them.

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