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Introduction to Making Hand Milled Soap

Try Rebatching First to See if This is a Craft You Enjoy

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eucalyptus soap, hand milled soap, goats milk soap

Eucalyptus soap sitting on a bed of eucalyptus leaves

Maire Loughran

Interested in adding some hand milled goats' milk soap to your arts and crafts product line? I think this is a logical tie into many different types of arts and crafts businesses. Hand milled soap coordinates nicely with the eco-friendly and healthful trend that has been popular for many years. Plus, they also fit in with all five types of crafts.

If you use the right tools and raw materials, hand milled soap is relatively easy to handcraft. This article is your introduction to this type of craft.

Establishing a Market for Hand Milled Soap

A bath of purification is an important part of many different religious practices. The cleansing routine is also an important part of most women's ritual for getting ready for an evening out. To create a market, consider tailoring your hand milled soap to a specific need such as religious, health, beauty or relaxation.

Also, for many of us the bath is the one place where we can count on being totally alone so it is nice to have specialty bath products. And they are just a nice decorative accent to a guest bath.

Getting Your Feet Wet With Hand Milled Soap

For an intro to soap making and to see if you like doing it before you spend the money for raw materials and equipment, try rebatching soap bars. A quick and inexpensive way to make hand milled soap is to buy bars of unscented soap at the store and rebatch them. Keep in mind, this is not suitable for soap you make for sale to paying customers.

Rebatching Soap

Rebatching soap means you hand shredding purchased bars of soap yourself using a potato peeler or cheese shredder. Use the peeler or shredder you reduce the bar into small flakes.

This sounds tedious but is actually quite easy. When the soap bar becomes too small to shred further just chop the remaining bits of soap bar into small pieces with a knife. With practice, a bar of soap can be reduced to shreds in least than two minutes.

Evaluating Rebatched Soap

The downside of rebatching is that the inherent scent of the soap you shredded will still be very apparent. Even if you add a strong essential oil such as peppermint to the mix, after the soap cures, you'll probably notice no evidence of the peppermint scent.

The soap will look great and contain the natural properties of the essential oil but part of the mind, body, spirit experience for most hand milled soap lovers is also the scent of the essential oil. Of course, this is not necessarily a bad thing if you like the original scent of the soap. I have a art and crafts business owner friend who used this method to hand craft a birthday present for her sister.

She knew her sister loved a particular brand of soap. She bought bars of the soap, rebatched it, wrapped it in flowered silk cloth and tying each bar of soap with a grosgrain ribbon bow and put it into a basket with other bath products. The soap smelled the same as purchased but looked as if my friend had put a great deal of time and effort into hand milling it.

Experimenting with Rebatched Soap

Many types of hand milled soap are rough hewed, which means they while they are in a certain shape such as a square, they have texture. This texture comes from adding herbs and flowers. Before you really get into this hand milling adventure, I recommend you pick up some fresh and dried herbs and flowers from the grocery or health food shop and experiment with adding them into the soap mix to see what you find appealing.

The next articles in this series give you the complete scoop on how to make hand milled goats' milk soap including the properties of essential oils, herbs and flowers and many recipes that I use for hand milled soap sold in my shop. I also include information on the tie in you can make with this product and your other arts and crafts items.

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