How To Make Hand-Milled Soap

Hand-milled soap, also called rebatched soap or French milled soap, is an easy way to make the perfect bar of soap without using caustic lye.  Soap making supplies are expensive in small quantities, so if you only want to make a few bars, this is an affordable way to make your own.  You can  use nearly any soap, but it's best to use a handmade soap.  Glycerin soap and inexpensive commercial soaps don't work as well in this recipe.  Keep reading to learn how to make hand milled soap.

how to make hand milled soap

How to Make Hand Milled Soap

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Making hand milled soap is easy and fun.  Even kids can't help you make the soap, just be sure to let the soap mixture cool before they touch it.  My kids like to work the soap and water mixture with their hands after it cools and then smoosh it in to the molds.

What You Need


  1. Grate soap and process with food processor until it is a fine powder or shred with a cheese grater.
  2. Place the powdered soap or soap flakes in a glass bowl and put in double boiler over low heat.  Add water,
  3. Add any additional oils that you want (more on that in a moment).
  4. Stir until soap gets stringy.  You may need to add more water as needed if your soap was really dry.
  5. Add any additional additives and stir well.
  6. Quickly pour melted soap in to molds.  
  7. Unmold soap when it is hard.  Let cure 2-3 weeks.
It's important to heat the soap slowly.  You can also use a slow cooker on low, but you will need to stir it often.  I just use a double boiler and heat slowly.  It takes anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes to melt, depending on the water content of the soap.

You may need to add more water to the soap as it melts.  I usually add enough so my bar of soap is stringy but not a liquid  If you add too much water, it will evaporate as it dries.   It will take longer to dry, but it won't hurt the recipe unless you add cups of water more than you should have.

You can add fragrance oil or essential oil to this soap.  The general rule is 0.3 to 0.5 ounces per pound of soap.  Since this recipe will yield about 12 ounces of soap, you'll want to use 0.225 to 0.375 ounces of FO or EO.  If you use more or less soap powder, you can adjust the scent accordingly.   

You can add one ounce of carrier oils to this recipe.  Shea butter helps soothe irritated skin.  Olive oil is high in vitamins A and E to help keep skin nourished.  Lanolin helps protect dry skin.  

If you find a melt and pour recipe that you like, substitute this recipe for the melt and pour base.  Just make sure you calculate the ingredients for 12 ounces of soap base or multiply the amount by 0.75,  

Now that you know how to make hand-milled soap, have fun making your own recipes!

If you liked this post, then you'll love these posts!

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