Whether you stay at a 5-star resort or a B&B off the beaten path, your guest bathroom will come adorned with cute little bottles of shampoo, conditioner and soap. Sometimes more! I’ve had offerings of lotion, mouthwash, and even bath salts. While I never end up using all that is offered, I always make a point of taking my leftovers with me. The hotel will not use a half empty bottle after all, and these small offerings are part of the cost of staying there. But after a while, these cute bottles of shampoo and miniature bars of soap can add up and turn into closet clutter. Here’s what you can do with them:

Make hotel freebies part of your sports bag

Small bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body wash are perfect for sports bags. After an hour or two at the gym, these little guys are your shower room lifesavers. Mini bottles of shampoo typically cost more than a full container! This is a great frugal way to use up your freebies and keep clean while working out without having to carry full size bottles or bother with refilling reusable ones.

Put lotions and hand sanitizers into your purse

I often find myself searching for a bit of lotion, especially during the dry, cold months. Little bottles of lotion are perfect for stashing in your purse or handbag. Ditto for hand sanitizers – stash a bottle in your bag and never worry about a soap-less bathroom again.

Mini bars of soap are great fresheners

I don’t often like to try new soaps because my skin is a bit sensitive. But these small bars of soap can be placed in drawers, in luggage or even hidden away in a shoe closet to freshen up the contents. You don’t even need to remove the soap from it’s packaging – Just place it in a an out of the way corner and it will do the rest! I keep a bar in my front closet to combat the inevitable shoe smells.

Make homemade gift baskets

If you’re left with a bunch of matching bottles that have never been used, why not turn them into little gift baskets? A bit of coloured tissue paper inside a small basket, a little bit of cellophane to hold it all together, and ta da – homemade present. I probably wouldn’t give this away to a close friend (unless I knew they were a big fan of bath products) but it would make a handy gift to have “on hand” for unexpected gift-giving. I would also use it as an addition to a larger, related gift – for example, as part of a spa gift certificate or a hair salon package. (…Or you could jump on board with our gift-giving philosophy!)


You can always use these freebies as intended, as part of your daily routine. The next time you run out of shampoo, for example, use up your hotel leftovers instead of reaching for a new bottle.  This reduces your clutter and saves a bit of money as well.