What Mycroft said. I really, really wanted to do a Staff Report on this (and also on shampoo bottles in hotel rooms) but we couldn’t get beyond trusting what a variety of different hotel managers told us. And, of course, if they were re-using soap, they wouldn’t want it want it known.
The soap seems pretty clear, because it’s almost always pristine looking. One would presumably be able to tell a used (or recycled) bar. And Rick’s comments about the shavings are interesting confirmation (that I hadn’t thought of.) Shampoo bottles seemed more open to reuse, since they’re not necessarily sealed: how would you know if your shampoo container had been used by someone else (assuming they filled it to the top.)
So, it was disappointing that we couldn’t actually find a source that we could trust. We were pretty well convinced that the hotels don’t do that, for a variety of reasons, but none certain enough for Staff Reportage.
Rick, if you’d like to tackle this as a Staff Report, email me and let’s talk.