13 July 2007

Rebatching soap

I discovered the benefits of good homemade soap several years ago; I love how it nourishes my aging skin. I usually make a cold pressed soap - for soap novices, that is soap made from scratch - but I discovered Greenfrog's recipe for easy peasy soap at ALS a while back, so I made a batch. It's not too bad. I still prefer my cold pressed soap, because I know what's in it, but this soap will be a good standby soap when I can't make the other.

4 cups Lux flakes
1 cup milk - goat or cow's
1/2 cup powdered milk
Fragrant oil and colouring are optional

Add four cups of Lux flakes to a saucepan and mix in half the milk. You want the consistency of dryish mashed potatoes.

Begin stirring on a low heat, make sure you keep stirring as the milk will burn it you don't. Add more milk if it's too dry and keep stirring. It doesn't matter if it looks lumpy now. As you stir, you'll notice the mixture start to dissolve. At this point you can add the 1/2 cup of milk powder.

Keep stirring until the mix is smooth and has no lumps. You can now add your fragrant oil or colouring and mix it in.

Take it off the heat, give it a good stir and pour it into a greased mould. In my case, I used a plastic Ikea lunchbox that I'd sprayed with cooking oil.

Let it stand overnight. The next morning it will be solid but still softish. Carefully tip it out of the mould and slice it, with a sharp knife, into whatever shape you want . Allow the cakes to stand on a drying rack for about a week. When they're hard and dry you can start using them.

If you look at the thread at ALS here, you'll be able to see that Kirsty added herbs, oatmeal and colouring, as well as fragrance to her soap. It looks really good and shows you that you can modify this recipe to be what you want it to be. I'm a bit of a plain girl myself and rarely add colouring or fragrance to anything. But it can be done successfully and to your taste.

I also collect all my old bits of soap and when I have enough I rebatch it to make soap for the laundry and our outside sink. I remember my Aunty Joy collecting soap scraps when I was growing up and making new soap from them. I thought then that it was a miserly thing to do. Now I realise how smart she was to never waste anything and try follow her wise lead.

I wonder if there are any others here who make soap. My favourite soap is a mix of olive oil, coconut oil and sunflower oil. It is a very simple soap that has a good lather and one batch lasts us about six months. I'd be happy to do a tutorial here on cold pressed soap making if anyone wants
to learn how to do it. It's quite easy.


  1. Thanks for that informative post. I'd love it if you cold do a tutorial on cold pressed soap making as I've decided to make soaps for Christmas presents this year :)

  2. I would also love a tutorial on soap making. I recently put it on my list if things to learn. You must have been reading my list.

  3. Yes, please put up a soap-making tutorial! I looked for your laundry soap recipe, but couldn't find it...could you point it out?

  4. I would love it if you could post a tutorial on soap making! I so much enjoy your blog, and hope that you will continue to post for a long time to come.

  5. I'd love a tutorial too, I've always been a bit nervous of soap making but with sensitive skin in the family it would be good I think. I'm doing a workshop early next month on making skin lotions and creams hoping that will be helpful too.


  6. I have just returned from holidays and am catching up on all your posts, and noticed (although I haven't read it yet) that you did a post on the books. I'm looking forward to reading it.

    I also would like to see the tutorial on making soap from scratch, although I can't promise I will actually get around to it for quite some time... this Sunday I am finally making my own bread for the first time, and it took me two months to find a day on the calendar to fit that in!

  7. Hi Rhonda
    Reading about putting milk powder in your soap made me laugh - there is a local organic dairy that sells lovely un-pasturised milk at the wholefoods store. To circumvent the regulations about selling unpasturised milk, the bottles are labeled "bath milk", but everyone drinks it just the same!!!

  8. The tutorial sounds like a fantastic idea Rhonda! I haven't yet made the bread in my breadmaker but my partner did manage to make the pizza dough recipe from Crazy Mumma's blog! Was a huge success, by the way!!! I will try the soap one day soon, my next trick is to try the soap powder...have all ingredients just waiting to finish off current powder in the bucket :)

  9. Thanks everyone. I want to make some soap for Christmas gifts so I'll buy the ingredients on Monday then make the soap and take pix later in the week.

    Duck, our raw milk regulations are absurd. I "acquired" some raw milk for cheese making a couple of months ago.

  10. love the look of this soap, does it need to be stored anywhere special with the milk to prevent it from going 'off'?

  11. Oh yes! I would love to see a tutorial on homemade soap.

    This is my first time visiting here, but I'll be back for sure.

  12. phoeberae, the soap can be stored as normal with your other soap. I haven't kept this one for a long period of time, but I doubt it would go off.

  13. This is my first visit here, and I can't wait to read more. I would love a soap making tutorial. We are slowly trying to make life changes in our quest to live simply and self-sustained. Soap making is on the list, but as a homeschooling mother of four, it seems to be a distant goal. Thank you for sharing.


  14. What are 'lux flakes'?


  15. Jora, Lux flakes are pure soap flakes, Used for washing baby clothes. They can be found in the area that you buy washing powder in your supermarket. I made the soap today-Beautiful.

  16. Thank you so much for this tutorial. My friend asked me to rebatch some soap that her grandmother had made over 30 years ago. I told her that I hadn't had much luck with rebatching and she wanted me to try anyway. Thanks to you I made a batch sucessfully.

  17. Hola Rhonda , I like your wed side .I like your tutorial on Cold Press Soap the basic one . congratulation You make me a beliver to make to make soap from scrach , so I took a class and I began to make soaps , Im waiting for the four weeks to use them and sell them , Thank you . you look so down to earth , that I feel like I now you (;D)

  18. Wow! I know this is a really OLD post, but I wanted to comment. I too make my own soap and have been doing it for years. I also collect all my old bits of soap and I rebatch it to make soap to reuse again. I had not thought of using milk in it though. That would be a nice way to add milk without it turning brown or yellow. And it could be done with grated soap ends.

    I used to use homemade soap for laundry also, I just haven't done that for a while.

  19. I love this recipe for re-batching soap!! I was wondering if anyone knew if I could add some ingredients to make a good shampoo bar using this same method??

  20. Just poking around your blog .. making soap is once again on my to-do list and I wanted to see what else you have posted on the topic. I love the cold pressed soap .. and almost panic when it's running low .. it just takes so much mental effort on my part to get the materials together and make it .. but once I've started the task .. it's rather fun. Better get going.

  21. Hi, I am looking to try this simple recipe...I was keen to look at the original post with the other additives (herbs, colour etc...) from ALS, but the link does not work any longer and I'm not sure what page it is...can you help? Also I am keen to know how long this soap will store for and how do you have to keep it? does the milk in the recipe affect how long it keeps for? Thanks :)

  22. hi loving your info on soap making, going to give it a try, but i do have a question for when you make cold pressed soap how would i go abut adding jojoba is a 100 percent natural oil that it meant to be really good for adding moisture back to you skin and is pretty close to the natural oils we make our self.


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