Skip to Content

Tips for DIY Soap Sheets

I saw this video on Facebook about how to make soap sheets. The sheets are made by painting liquid soap onto water soluble paper, then dried and cut into small pieces. The sheets are supposed to be a light, non-liquid soap solution. Then when the sheets get wet, the paper dissolves as you use the soap. In the video, the soap sheets were shown being used on camping trips and were made from shampoo, conditioner, body wash and dish soap.

This sounded perfect for our trip. I wasn’t going to fuss with the examples in the video, but what I did need was laundry detergent. We’re living out of our backpacks and don’t have that many clothes, which means we have to wash them often. I thought packing dry detergent sheets were the perfect solution for sink laundry.

Letting my soap sheets dry. I hung them from hangers with binder clips.

Now, I wouldn’t quite call this a #PinterestFail, but it was certainly very close. I had 11 sheets of water soluble paper and I was successful with about half of them. After a lot of trial and error, I finally got it down. I wanted to share some tips on making these soap sheets because if you can actually get them made, they are super convenient to have around! I just used a few to wash my socks and it worked great!

Tips for Making DIY Soap Sheets

  1. Move quickly: The second the paper gets wet it starts to dissolve so move as quickly as possible.
  2. Use a wide, foam brush: The wider the brush, the fewer strokes you need which means you can cover the sheet quicker.
  3. Only brush each section once: When you start going over a section more than one, the paper starts to deterrioate in your brush. Paint one even coat, flip, paint one even coat on the other side and hang immediately.
  4. Prepare your drying plan in advance: You will need to hang the sheet immediately so know we’re you’re going with it. I used binder clips and a hanger from the shower curtain rode and it worked okay.
  5. Wrap your sheet pan with plastic wrap: I am sure you can wash detergent off a sheet pan but I didn’t feel comfortable with that. So I wrapped it with several layers of plastic wrap so the soap never actually touched the pan. Be sure to wrap it tightly.
  6. Pick soap with the right consistency: Your soap should be thick enough that it won’t immediately dissolve the paper, but not so thick that you can’t spread it quickly and thinly. The detergent I used was on the thicker side which could be why I struggled so much.
  7. Have a backup dying plan: If your sheets rip before you can hang them (like mine often did), don’t panic. Quickly and gently lay them on a flat, nonstick surface such as wax paper on a table or the bathtub. Straighten them if you can, but try not to rip them. Once the sheets dry for about 15 minutes, you should be able to handle them easier and try again to hang them. They might be wrinkled, but they are still covered in soap and should do the trick.


Wednesday 18th of October 2023

I have made soap, shampoo, and body wash. I simply placed my paper on a sheet of parchment paper, painted one side, let it dry, turned it over and let that side dry. I have not tried them yet but agree that pre-wetting would probably work best. Maybe have a small container to shake would work well. My next project is laundry detergent, I just don’t know what size to make them.


Thursday 19th of October 2023

I love to hear from a fellow soap sheet fan! For laundry detergent, I made mine about 1" x 2" inch, and usually one per full size garment (like a t shirt), and a bit less for smaller things (I would use 1 sheet for 2 pairs of socks). But that was with a pretty thick coat of detergent.

cyrenna seibert

Saturday 23rd of October 2021

You dont need the paper. You can do the same thing with cleaning cloth or wash cloth and keep in a container with liquid soap. And yes the clothes will dry out and are reusable.


Tuesday 26th of October 2021

Oh wow! This is genius and I love this idea! Would you mind if I update this post to include that suggestion!?


Wednesday 26th of May 2021

I was wondering…..instead of paper, couldn’t you just dehydrate the soap as you would food for a backpacking trip? Like speghetti Sauce or fruit roll ups.

Joann C Boniello

Monday 13th of September 2021

Interesting question about dehydrating the laundry soap...did you try it? Did it work?


Friday 16th of July 2021

Probably! I don't have a dehydrator but it sounds like that could be a great option!

Easy DIY: How To Make Paper Soap 2 Ways - RusticWise

Saturday 30th of January 2021

[…] blog Lattes & Runways made some travel-friendly soap strips and shares a few handy […]


Sunday 22nd of March 2020

How did the soap work for washing? Did they clean well?


Wednesday 7th of October 2020

The soap worked out great! I'd add a couple of sheets to my dry bag and add some water. I'd shake it up to dissolve the sheets and get the water nice and soapy. Then I added my clothes to the bag and shook it all around. I'd let the clothes soak for a few minutes and then shake again, repeating 2-3 times. Then I'd rinse my clothes with warm water. It was perfect!