Difference between "hand-milling" and "rebatc

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Oct 15, 2007
Reaction score
Southern California
Quick question: What's the difference between "hand-milling" and "rebatching" other than the reasons for doing doing one or the other? Are they the same melt down with water and possibly add other ingredients process? Thanks!
well sorta ( me i would never do either one on purpose, :lol: )

rebatching commonly refered to what we do to fix a botched batch of soap.

handmilling is done on purpose to add ingredients like scent or botanicals, or extra oils after sapronfication, so the lye doesn't mess with it. and technically it is still rebatching. we can not do true handmilling, it takes special equipment which lays out a thin layer of soap upon thin layer of soap and it's all sqeezed together with tons of pressure.

I would be curious as to whether you could make your own hand-milling machiene....i feel like if youve worked with baking before, lets say you got a large marble rolling pin or iron or something to press it... roll it out and then maybe blend it or chop it and then you could make a press with pieces of wood kind of like how they used to expell oil from olives back in the old days with a crank screw type press.....

im an extreme noob so dont take my advice on anything yet...but this is something ive been thinking about as well....
Thanks Barb, so it's basically the same process, basically both are rebatching, we just call it hand-milling to be all fancy and french! LOL, interesting about how true hand-milling is done. Thanks again!
it is the same.

i dislike doing it period by whatever name you choose. :lol:

i will however rebatch if i need to save a botched batch.

but i would never intentionally hand mill.
Barb - okay, so you said twice you wouldn't do it or you dislike it, so you got me curious now - why wouldn't you? Not implying you should. I can understand not wanting to have to "rebatch" - cuz that word implies something didn't turn out quite right with the soap.

Oh, and this is purely a curiosity question - cuz personally I do only melt and pour at this time, so I don't know much (AKA nothing) about CP, LOL!
it's just me. i never can get it to look smooth like cp does from the get go. and i really don't like the looks of the finished bar, probably because it is a rebatch to fix a fo that went wild on me, so it ends up looking like head cheese.
it's just me. i never can get it to look smooth like cp does from the get go. and i really don't like the looks of ( my) the finished bar, probably because it is a done to fix a fo that went wild on me, and it ends up looking like head cheese.

but alot of people who don't want to handle lye and raw soap, will buy soap noodles or bulk unscented cp soap and melt it down and add goodies to make handmade soap that way.
For now I prefer to rebatch because of my children and living in an apartment. Plus I just don't think I'm ready for that type of commitment! Anyway so I rebatch on purpose and did it by hand for two years. Now I have a little machine that does the same thing I do only faster so I'm able to make a lot more than before. I want to learn every aspect of soaping from the super easy(mp) to the time consuming(rebatch) to the most beautiful bar of soap(cp). Plus I'm still learning and enjoy doing so. I say if you want to rebatch your hands will hurt like hell and no the bar won't be super smooth but I like the sorda smooth rustic look. Thats just me.
Pepper, I just looked at your etsy store, very nice, BTW!

So, you have a machine that helps you handmill? What kind of machine is that? I know, I'm sooooo curious! :)
Its a small hand grinder and its quicker for me. they have salad shooter you could use also. Just google salad shooter and amazon sells one for 35.00.
I rebatch because I have to many pets and I don't want to mess with the lye right now. I buy fresh soap base made to order that is so awesome to use and work with. Personally I like the rustic look.
I posted photos of some of the loafs I made this week end in my blog if you want to look.. http://gingerbellsgifts.blogspot.com/
I did 15 lbs of olive oil soap this week end and my hands hurt like the dickens but it was worth it.
Rebatching works for me right now and it sells well for me at shows.
I could be totally off-base here, but I think the machine (not the grinder, but the one that does the thin layers of soap put under a lot of pressure) is actually for French milling? Not to be confused with hand milling which IS done by hand (whether you use a grinder or no) and is the same process as rebatching, just a nicer name to connote that it was done on purpose. Once again, though, I'm no expert, I could be confused about the French milling....

Latest posts