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Viral Video Reveals What Happens to Half-Used Hotel Soap Bars

Curious about what happens to half-used hotel soap bars left behind after someone's stay? A TikTok video revealed the surprising answer.

Written by
Angelica Pizza

Ever wondered what happens to the used toiletries in your hotel room after you check out?

Many people assume the half-used products get thrown in the trash and are immediately replaced with brand-new products for the next guests to use. And it's true: When we check into hotels, we want to see fresh, unopened soaps and shampoos in the bathroom. Not half-used, unsanitary ones from the guests before us.


However, according to a recent viral video from TikTok user Gloria Escamilla that has racked up nearly one million views, some hotels save the used soap bars and donate them to make new soaps.

What Happens to Half-Used Hotel Soap Bars?

While not all hotels do this, many major hotel chains are active participants. The next time you stay at a Hilton, a Mariott, a Best Western, or even Walt Disney Resorts, your soaps are getting donated—not thrown away.

So, how do these chains do this? By partnering with Clean the World, a nonprofit organization that recycles soap and hygiene products. That means your half-used bar soap is recycled into a brand-new bar—and donated to countries to reduce the impact of fatal diseases.

The process is simple: When you check out, housekeeping collects the used bars and bottles from the room. The used bars and bottles then get organized into designated bins and sent to a Clean the World recycling facility.

The nonprofit doesn't just recycle bar soap: It also recycles bottled amenities like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and body wash. Plus, the bottles are also recycled or converted into energy, so you don't have to worry about leaving behind plastic waste after your hotel stay.

Clean the World's impact is widespread: The nonprofit partners with over 8,000 hotels and resorts. And since 2009, it has distributed about 63 million bars of soap and has served 127 countries.

How Sanitary Are Recycled Hotel Soap Bars?

You may still have one question: How sanitary is recycled hotel soap? According to Clean the World, the soap gets tested by SGS North America, a Florida state-certified testing facility. The soap undergoes a cleansing process and gets a stamp of approval. Plus, all pathogens are successfully removed from the soap during this process.

So next time you're booking a vacation, check whether the hotel you're staying at is partnering with Clean the World or similar organizations. This is just one way you can reduce your environmental footprint while traveling. After all, sustainable travel is on the rise in 2022, and we're seeing even more eco-friendly travel innovations taking place.

If your hotel doesn't have sustainable initiatives in place like soap recycling, take any remaining soap and other toiletries home with you and use them up. That way, nothing doesn't go to waste.