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So many ministries yearn for soap donations! Blessing Bags, food pantries, shelters, Military and veterans groups, and even Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, all need soap. I’ve shopped around for years checking prices. With that research, I have compiled my list with the Top 10 Best Places to Buy Soap in Bulk. At the bottom of this blog post, I will post some organizations that need soap donations!
TO START – You could clip coupons and watch sales at local supermarkets and drug stores. If you need just a few packages, this might work.
FIRST – Evaluate Your Soap in Bulk Needs
- Do you need a 1-time use item for hygiene kits? Small (travel-sized) .5 oz or 1 oz bars are better-suited for shelters or Blessing Bag donations since it’s difficult to carry wet used bars. They also fit well in zip lock baggies or even pencil kit donations.
- Do you need full-sized bars? These could be from 2 oz – 4 oz
- How many are you going to order? Some stores I list have packs of 10, and others 2000
- Do you have a brand or scent preference? Some prefer Ivory. Others find that it is harsh and drying, so want something milder. It’s all a matter of likes, habits, and opinions about scents and colors.
- Determine your price point!
Top 10 Places to Buy Soap in Bulk
Technically – not “buying” but oh so much better!! I’ve gotten dozens of cases of soap over the years from Hotels for my charity needs! These are perfect if you need small .5 to 1 oz bars. Here’s how I do it:
- Each year I visit my local hotels, ask to speak to the manager and then hand them a letter with a brief reason why I (my designated organization or group) need soap. If you have a piece of clothing with your organization’s name on it – wear it! Do you have a name tag, that’s even better!
- If the manager is not in, I leave my card and letter, get their name and phone number and call later. Trust me – they WILL NOT call you. You must be persistent (but always cheerful).
- Don’t get hung up about the letter – honestly, they barely read it. Simply state the organization you are helping, why they need soap, what YOU are going to do with it, and how appreciative you would be if they could donate a case of soap. At the bottom list your contact information. It just gives them something to remember your info and put in their file to justify their donation.
- Some might require a tax ID number (if you – or your church/group have one great), but persist even if you don’t. Most do not ask.
- Be brief! The managers assume you are going to ask for money or something they can’t do! You can tell from their face they are already going to sigh and say no. BUT, once you give them a specific request (case of soap) they realize they can easily help you with something tangible, they are relieved. They want to help their community.
- Rejection? They don’t have to donate to you, however, making relationships in the community is important for local businesses and they want to help local groups. Be gracious even if they say no. You can always try again months later because managers come and go! — I had one hotel (3 different managers) say no for 3 years! Then not only did the new manager say YES! but they gave me a huge donation and even got involved in the charity as a group service project!
2. DOLLAR TREE
This is perfect if you need a smaller amount. Dollar Tree offers bulk purchases online with FREE Ship to Store. I prefer ordering online this way rather than hunting from store to store with limited stock to get all I need. We’ve done this with even very large orders to save on the shipping cost.
These are the 3 for $1.25 packages which of course is their best deal. They also offer single bars and 2-packs for $1.25 – you can check all their brands of soap HERE. Occasionally I have seen Ivory in the store, but it is currently not online.
There are lots available. Amazon has let me put all of my bulk soap finds in one location, so you can check all the ones I found – HERE. I’ve included a variety of sizes including small travel-sized bars from 1/2 ounce up to 4 ounces depending on your needs.
If you need to purchase soap in large bulk orders, this is the place for you! They generally have large quantities from 500 to 1000 in a case. *You MUST register and sign in to view their “PER UNIT” COST (each bar of soap) which you would then multiply per case.
They do have a large variety of “travel-sized” small bars to choose from. CHECK out their SOAP HERE. Best for “travel-sizes” but their prices for the large bars are not as good as other stores.
I wouldn’t have thought this would be a store to check! But you can buy soap in bulk here!
They list SAFEGUARD soap large 4-ounce bars (carton of 48) for 35 cents each right now on clearance while supplies last.
In Stock: They also have several small travel-sized bars in cartons of 200 to 1000. And you can get free shipping at $35+. This might be a good store for you if you have rewards.
6. DOLLAR GENERAL
They offer ONLY full-sized bars. The per-unit prices are not good enough to start but occasionally go on sale. THEN combined with their weekly $5 off of $25 coupons it can become a good deal, just a little more work involved.
You can check HERE to see what the deals are today.
You may find packs of soap in your local store. But just like Dollar Tree, it is very often difficult to get a large enough amount. If you need to buy soap in bulk, then purchasing online is your best option.
Currently, they have 2 good deals:
COAST 8 pack bar soap Classic 3.2oz
ZEST 8 pack bar soap Aqua Deodorant Bar 3.2 oz
Some items you can choose free ship to store or choose ship to home – free with $35+ (I get all my personal pantry items through Walmart. So it easily gets to the $35 threshold when I add cat food, and toilet paper!)
Target has very similar prices to Walmart, but often runs special sales and deals such as “Free $5 Gift Card if you Spend $25 on beauty products”, Red Card use 5% off, Target Circle weekly deals, etc. Each week will have different deals so I can’t list them all here.
9. CLEAN THE WORLD
This isn’t a “store” but a non-profit organization that recycles Hotel Soaps and other products. They collect the unused leftovers that would normally pollute the environment, melt them down, sanitize them and turn them back into useful products. They distribute hygiene items all over the world and partner with many NGOs to help fight disease.
Many friends have ordered large pallets of soap from them. The upside is that the price is very cheap. One of the downsides is the shipping. Their main headquarters is in Florida and some have driven there, loaded up a truck, and split the cost with many different groups. The other downside is that they are NOT wrapped. That would have to be done by you – perhaps with individual sandwich baggies or soapboxes.
(NOTE: As of 2020 they NO LONGER sell to Operation Christmas Child groups as they want to deal with specific groups that promote hygiene.)
For more information check out their webpage CLEAN THE WORLD
Orlando, FL – World headquarters
2544 E Landstreet Rd
Orlando FL 32824
Phone: (407) 574-8353
10. Walgreens, CVS and other Drug Stores
Walgreens frequently runs sales and will ship as well. CHECK HERE for any current sales. Other drug stores and supermarkets will run sales.
ORGANIZATIONS THAT WOULD LOVE SOAP DONATIONS
- Supporting A Community with Kindness or SACK – their vision is to inspire groups of volunteers around the country to crochet/knit, collect and donate bar soap to their local food pantries, homeless shelters, relief efforts, mission trips, social service agencies, and veterans clinics. While some donate directly, many send the “sacks” they’ve made directly to the organization who fill them with soap and then donate. They could use your soap! Info is on their website.
- Millie’s Soup Kitchen in the Bronx
- Friends of the Pine Ridge Reservation
Modified featured image photo by Horia Varlan