Bar None: Clean The World Recycles Hotel Soap

Clean The World collects bars of discarded soap from American hotels; recycling and redistributing the reconstituted bars to needful families worldwide.

Clean the World is a company founded by Shawn Seipler (above), a Puerto Rico-born entrepreneur who was formerly vice president of a tech firm. Back in his corporate days, Seipler would travel quite often and stayed at hotels frequently. During one of these stays, Seipler wondered what happened to his unused bar of complimentary soap.

“I called down to the front desk and asked what they did with all the leftover soap,” related Seipler. The concierge told him that housekeeping services discard the soap along with any other trash. We’re talking fresh, never-used, never-even-unwrapped bars of pristine soap, mind you. In fact, one of the specifications hotels must adhere to in order to be awarded a coveted five-diamond rating is that ALL toiletries, used or not, must be discarded after each guest checks out. Thanks, one-percenters.

Of course, all this waste adds up. It’s estimated that approximately one million bars of soap are discarded every day by hotels in the United States. Worldwide, you’re looking at up to five million bars of perfectly good soap trashed every day, 365 days a year!… but that’s only one part of the tragedy. Millions of children around the world perish from easily-preventable illnesses annually; victims of poor hygiene for whom having a bar of soap could literally mean the difference between life and death.

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