Bulk Soap: Making Soap Balls

log of handmade soap

uncut log of Hunting Soap

One of the newest products I carry is bulk soap. Both cut and uncut logs are available. If you’re a fan of handmade soap, this is an economical way to stock up. The uncut log works out to $2.67 per bar. That’s a pretty sweet deal!

Here’s my original post with the advantages of bulk soap.

apothecary jar with soaps

One fun thing you can do with a large quantity of soap is roll soap balls. Soap balls were quite popular and fashionable 50 to 100 years ago. But you really don’t see them too much any more. I’m not sure why.

But this round soap has become more and more popular with my customers. It just feels right in your hands as you wash. It fits in pretty little pottery bowls and unique soap dishes. And soap balls work much better in those odd little alcoves in the shower. Just shave off the bottom of the ball so it doesn’t roll away!

Oh, and don’t forget how cool they look in apothecary jars!

Making soap balls are easy peasy. Basically cut or grate your soap, squeeze together and then smooth out. Here’s some tips.

First, it’s best to start with soap that isn’t very old. The younger the soap, the softer it will be. Now with most handmade soaps, if you cut it up you’ll find the inside is still soft. The bars below are over a month old and they were still pliable once chopped. If your soap seems very hard, don’t despair. Pull out your grater. Then add just a few drops of water when you’re ready to press the gratings into a bar.

cutting board with 3 bars handmade soap

Christmas Tree soap ready to be chopped

But I prefer to roll my soap balls right after I make the soap. It’s nice and soft, almost like play dough. When you order a log of bulk soap, I make it upon receipt of your order, so you’re receiving soap that’s perfect for soap balls.

cubes of handmade soap

chopped christmas tree soap

After cutting or grating up your soap, start pressing it into a ball. Hopefully your soap is sticky enough that this just takes a few squeezes. But if your soap has been around awhile and the gratings won’t stick together, just drip some water over your pile. Use only a bit, though. It will be tricky not to work up a big lather!

ball of soap cubes squeezed together

rough ball of christmas tree soap

After your soap ball is the size you want and is holding it’s shape, it’s time to smooth it. Some people prefer soap balls of perfection. Me, I like the rustic look. The younger the soap, the smoother you can get the surface. While holding the soap ball, take your thumbs and work your away across the surface, rubbing out any bumps and filling in any dips.

finished soap ball

finished christmas tree soap ball

There you go, a beautiful, unique soap ball. Packaged in a cello bag and tied off with a tag, these make great gifts! Or you can make soap on a rope by forming your ball around a knotted rope. I’ll be posting soon about how to make soap balls into Christmas ornaments, so stay tuned!

If making your own soap balls isn’t your thing, my own soap balls will be available for purchase very soon. Having a variety of these in a big jar or bowl looks so lovely!

enamel bowl of soap balls

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3 Responses to Bulk Soap: Making Soap Balls

  1. Jay says:

    Wow, those actually look like tasty candies to me. You do a great job of making those look neat.

  2. Catherine says:

    Thank you for posting this. I have a lot of soap shavings left over from “shaping” bars of soap into “stones” for felting over. It’s a nice vegetable soap and I didn’t want to throw it away. I’m glad it does not involve “melting” or anything as complicated as I imagined!

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