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Where have dry Soap Flakes gone?

Soap Flakes are dead...long live Liquid Soap!

You may well have noticed that the original dry soap flakes are no longer available on our website and are increasingly hard to find in stores. Dri-Pak was the last remaining manufacturer of Soap Flakes - including the Lux brand.

The machine that 'flakes' the soap was made by Vickers and is now well over 100 years old. Not only has it reached the end of its service life, it is extremely inefficient in terms of energy use. The dry version of soap flakes also contain palm oil, which has environmental concerns with regards to wildlife habitat. Additionally demand had been gradually declining year on year as consumers choose easy to use products that fit into their busy lifestyles.


That's why we've developed a liquid variety that has all the benefits of dry soap flakes with none of the disadvantages.

A huge benefit is that they can now be used in the washing machine. A few customers have commented that the new variety don't produce as many suds, but that's exactly why they can be used in a washing machine. The cleaning power is just as effective.

Liquid Soap (formerly called Liquid Soap Flakes) is still ideal for delicates and woollens but are also perfectly suited to washing waterproof outdoor gear and for those with skin sensitivities.

Where can you buy Liquid Soap?

Liquid Soap is available from independent hardware stores, Robert DyasWaitrose and Wilko and in ROI from Mr Price.

There are also numerous online sellers offering Liquid Soap such as Big Green Smile,  Ethical Superstore as well as home delivery from Ocado.

Liquid Soap cleans outdoor gear

48 thoughts on “Where have dry Soap Flakes gone?

  1. I love your liquid soap flakes and use them for everything. For this reason, I’m constantly having to purchase them. Do you sell in bulk or bigger containers?

    1. Hi – I’m sorry but we don’t currently do Bulk supply. We don’t serve the janitorial or bulk markets; we are geared up to work with retailers. And that includes the packing lines themselves, it’s not just an issue of who we choose to trade with.

  2. For those who would prefer to source solid soap flakes and are resorting to grating bar soap, the french-made marseilles soap (traditional process, basic ingredients) can be found flaked. Try the manufacturer’s outlet at Marius Fabre – they deliver to the UK – which offers 750g or 5kg quantities, or frenchsoaps.co.uk which offer a 400g tub. Prices are high, but it is quality, and seems to be the last remaining option. I came here to check availability for solid soap flakes, since I couldn’t find any at Wilko when stocking up on vinegar, soda crystals and bicarb. Many thanks to Dri-Pak for making them available for so long, and saddened that economically they’re no longer feasible.

        1. Hi Mel – plastic pollution is a real issue and one that needs addressing…but a blanket ban of ALL plastic is impractical and will have potentially greater environmental issues. Here is some more on the issue of plastic and packaging

  3. Hi…have purchased a pr of regatta capri trousers. .wasing instructions state…wash with polyurethanere flakes…what is this product and where can i buy. ..thank you

    1. As far as we are aware, there is no such thing. Polyurethane is a plastic. We suspect that something has been ‘lost in translation’ on the garment label (they will most likely be manufactured overseas). We would check with Regatta but Liquid Soap is exactly what you should be using for outdoor wear.

  4. Hi Paul,
    We manufacture alcoholic soap solutions for schools. Usually we have used soap flakes. However, as we haven’t be able to get any we where going to discontinue them.
    If the liquid soap could be used instead what is the percentage of soap in the solution?


    1. Hi Iain

      20-25% but it’s not a straight forward swap due to the different make up of the soap.

      Best to start on that basis and add more to suit.


    1. Yes in theory, but you would need to evaporate some of the water content off on a gentle heat until it forms a gel consistency.

  5. Any chance of the soap flaking machine making its way into a museum? It sounds like it’d be a crying shame to scrap the only surviving one.

    And no, I’m not just saying that because I share a name with it….. Well, OK, maybe I am, but even so…

    1. That may be possible one day, but for now, we are no longer in possession of the machine. I’m sorry but we can’t say more than that right now for commercial reasons.

  6. For scouring Vegetable fibres such as cotton for natural dyeing I use 2 g of soap flakes for 10g of dry fibre. What weight of the liquid soap waould be equivalent? Many Thanks in advance.

    1. Without going into the science too much, it’s very difficult to say so some trial and error is required. needs to trial. We would suggest an increase of 10-20%, to take into account the water content and different make up of the soap and take it from there.

  7. I love the liquid soap flakes as they are palm oil free however the amount of plastic bottles it generates is a lot! Anywhere in London that can do refills?! I want to use the product but am trying to get plastic free as much as possible. Thanks

    1. Hi – we were contacted by a shop opening in London that planned to sell various ‘bulk/refill’ products but we know no more at this stage. There may well be regulatory issues over labelling, traceability etc. For now, the best you can do is to ensure that you recycle the bottle. Unfortunately in the UK, caps are not recycled so you need to remove them before placing in the recycling bins.

  8. Hello, Im researching soap flakes as I’m exploring felting and washing wool fleeces for spinning. I just finished my last packet of soap flakes which I got from the hardware shop a couple of years ago but they don’t sell them any more. So can you tell me whether liquid soap would work for felting and getting the majority of the lanolin off a sheep fleece?

    1. There’s not a direct correlation between the amount of suds and cleaning performance. If you have suds when using Liquid Soap, you can be sure that the soap has ‘overcome’ the hardness in the water. For cleaning leather, you may want to use liquid soap with deionised water so the Liquid Soap is getting to work straight away without having to combat water hardness.

  9. I’ve just found your site as I was searching for information about white vinegar, I was getting confused about the difference between white and white malt, so thanks for explaining this.
    Having found your site I must say that I’m very impressed with the information and tips that you provide and I’ll certainly circulate details to friends.
    My reason for searching white vinegar is that Dartingto Glass/Crystal say that white vinegar can be used to remove the white “blooming” that occurs on their glassware when it’s washed in the dishwasher, they say that their glass is dishwasher safe, I would be very interested on hearing your thoughts about this.
    Many thanks

    1. Hi Geoff – this page will help you troubleshoot dishwasher performance issues, but in principle, yes, white vinegar (or citric acid) will remove most blooming if it’s just mineral deposits.

    1. Although we haven’t tried it, there’s no reason in principle it wouldn’t, particularly of the consistency featured in your link. What you’d probably need to do is gently heat the liquid soap beforehand to evaporate off some of the water content so that you get a gel consistency. We’d love to know how you get on.

  10. Really great explanation for ‘Where have all the soap flakes gone’! I love the story of the 100 year old machine finally grinding to a flakeless end. Thank you again for taking the time to explain this as it has been troubling us for a while. We can now wash our walking clothes more than once a year (so as not to use up our last packet of soap flakes).
    Two happier and cleaner, Ingleby Barwick residents.

  11. I used to buy soap flakes to use in the school nursery class for whisking, blowing bubbles and making slime. I’m really sad that they have gone. They were amazing to play with. 🙁

  12. I used the soap flakes too I purchased in boxes of Boots own brand
    that was done away with some years ago.
    I had stocked them up and this lasted to a year ago!
    My son has real bad allergic reaction to certain detergents.
    It seems odd that supermarkets want to sell quick turn over
    (larger profits) products yet can’t keep stock on their shelves
    all the time, perhaps this is down to suppliers, unable to cope
    rather then retailers.
    I also think it is the supermarkets policy to not supply a great deal of Dri-Pak products because they want to sell more of their own branded products and so attempt to cut Dri-Pak out, although
    environmentally and long term costs, Dri-Pak seems to be the better buy.
    Please keep it going Dri-Pak.

    1. Hi – we do actually make some products for the supermarkets, but at the end of the day, supermarkets are (rightly or wrongly) in the business of making money for their owners, shareholders, staff etc. Independent stores have a vital role to play, particularly on the High Street and will probably more able to stock slower moving or niche items. The Liquid Soap Flakes however are proving very popular as people discover them.

  13. It’s a shame the dry flakes are gone. Reading between the hype, I can’t help wondering if – had the old rolling machine still been operable – would dry flakes still be available?

    I’ve been using them for years as I’m allergic to laundry detergents (they make me itch) and they have been very cost-effective. I used to make my own liquid soap using these flakes, soda crystals, and glycerine, and this worked fine in the washing machine.

    I guess I’ll have to try the liquid version out of necessity.

    1. Not only is the machine HUGELY energy inefficient (being over 100 years old) demand was falling rapidly as people look for products that can be used in a washing machine and retailers simply won’t stock products that sit on shelves not selling. We’ve gone to great lengths to develop a product that has all the advantages and none of the drawbacks of the dry version. And people love them! Borne out by rising sales and the positive reviews on the retailers’ websites.

      For you and people with skin sensitivities in general, it’s ideal. Just think of the time (and possibly money) you’ll save by not having to mix up your own formula. You may want to read this page about liquid soap flakes and skin sensitivities.

  14. please inform me : does thenew liquid soap flakes product contain a preservative ? Are any isothiazinones used?
    Octylisothiazolinone ?

  15. Hello,
    I have tried the liquid soap, I got 2 bottles of it from my local Wilko, I was very disappointed, the suds died very quickly and I didn,t feel I would get any satisfaction from hand washing a few clothes in it, I tried it twice but still felt the same so I bought some white bars of soap from my local supermarket and grated them into flakes and it works brilliantly, it only cost me a fraction of what the liquid cost and I was so pleased with the results. Yours sincerely
    Mrs D

    1. Hi Eveleyn – thanks for your feedback.
      Although the Liquid Soap Flakes do not lather like the old dry version, this is purely cosmetic and does not affect the cleaning ability. Indeed it’s for this very reason that the new liquid variety can be used in the washing machine. With Liquid Soap Flakes and modern washing machines that offer a ‘gentle’ or ‘woollens’ cycle, hand washing is becoming a thing of the past.

      The reality is that most people won’t want to bother grating soap; although lots of bubbles might look good, it’s not an indicator of cleaning performance. You also have to get the water very hot to dissolve dry soap and then cool it down to a suitable temperature for hand washing and the requirements of the garment. Even then, you ran the risk of small undissolved bits of soap getting caught on clothing in the bowl.

      Sales of the Liquid Variety are far out-stripping the levels of the old dry version and we expect this to continue as more people discover them. They’re a traditional solution to modern day laundry tasks for delicates, waterproof gear and ideal for people with allergies and skins sensitivities.

    2. Be careful as commercially made soap bars you buy are unlikely to be ‘real’ soap. Look carefully at the packaging there are often added additional ingredients because the profitable glycerin has been removed.

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