This phrase has a much different meaning in Russia. While in other parts of the world it means 'To suspend a soap by means of rope', in Russia it means 'To get a tighter grip around your neck while being suspended by a rope heavily lathered in soap.
A common russian joke starts with someone being all depressed and then saying that life sucks and that they are going to go kill themselves and then someone pipes in and says, "Don't forget to lather!"