Triple Milled vs Hard Shaving Soaps

Discussion in 'Shave Soaps' started by Smedley, May 4, 2007.

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  1. Smedley

    Smedley New Member

    Triple milled is the "expensive" process that can't be used by our beloved small soap producers.

    Some of these small soap producers produce a hard, non-glycerine based soap.

    What process is used to make these hard soaps? And what is the difference between it and "triple milled"?

    Finally, what is the difference in the end product? Longevity? Latherability? Price?

    Just something I'm curious about.
  2. TraderJoe

    TraderJoe Pink Floid

    I'm not a soapmaker, but I believe that both "glycerine-based" and "non-glycerine based hard soaps" are made using the same method: cold process.

    Cold process soaps:

    It is made by combining fatty acids and sodium hydroxide (lye) together. Fatty acids can be almost any oil – from beef tallow to olive oil to hemp oil. The combinations for making your own personal recipe are endless.

    Technically, all hand made soap is “Glycerin Soap.” In many commercial soaps, all the extra glycerin (formed naturally by the cold process soapmaking method) is harvested out. Thus, all handmade soap is glycerin rich (since hand made soapmakers don’t harvest out glycerin in their soap).

    In today’s market, the term “Glycerin Soap” is commonly used to refer to clear soap. Generally, the clear soap has extra glycerin added to it to produce a very nourishing, moisturizing bar. Glycerin is a “humectant.” It draws moisture to itself; the theory is that if you wash with glycerin soap, a thin layer of glycerin will remain, drawing moisture to your skin.

    Melt & Pour, I believe, is how Mama Bear's soaps are made:

    Clear soap can be purchased in large blocks to be melted down, colored and fragranced, and placed into molds (or used to make loaves of soap to be sliced). This type of soap is called “Melt and Pour” and the artistry of melt and pour is called “Soap Casting.” Melt and Pour is gaining in popularity because of its ease of use. There are no significant safety measures (other than basic common sense – don’t put your hand in the hot soap, don’t cut your finger off with the knife etc…) needed for soapcasting. Children can do it. It’s a great outlet for creative types.

    I will add that not all "melt and pour" bases are alike, many of them contain chemicals and artificial surfacants (ie. Honeybee Sue), but Mama Bear's is natural.

    The Gentleman's Quarter,

    I believe is made in a similar fashion (without artificial stuff and chemicals) but with the addition of clay:

    Triple Milled -> I think you know what this is all about....and the bottom line is that it will last longer. Since they are usually either palm-oil based or tallow-based they may be more beneficial to those with sensitive skin; but that is obviously up for debate.....and is also not necessarily my opinion :D
    brit likes this.
  3. Will

    Will Nevermind


    I think you have seen Fight Club way too many times
    Silvestris likes this.
  4. Smedley

    Smedley New Member

    Thanks for the detailed explanation, Joe! Very helpful!

    But milling. When I think milling, I think a coffee mill or grain mill. Something being ground between rollers or blades. Is there something being ground in the triple milled process, or does "milling" mean something different to a soapmaker?
  5. TraderJoe

    TraderJoe Pink Floid


    The common process of purifying soap involves removal of sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, and glycerol. These components are removed by boiling the crude soap curds in water and re-precipitating the soap with salt.

    Most of the water is then removed from the soap. This was traditionally done on a chill roll which produced the soap flakes commonly used in the 1940s and 1950s. This process was superseded by spray dryers and then by vacuum dryers.

    The dry soap (approximately 6-12% moisture) is then compacted into small pellets. These pellets are now ready for soap finishing, the process of converting raw soap pellets into a salable product, usually bars.

    Soap pellets are combined with fragrances and other materials and blended to homogeneity in an amalgamator (mixer). The mass is then discharged from the mixer into a refiner which, by means of an auger, forces the soap through a fine wire screen. From the refiner the soap passes over a roller mill (French milling or hard milling) in a manner similar to calendering paper or plastic or to making chocolate liquor. The soap is then passed through one or more additional refiners to further plasticize the soap mass. Immediately before extrusion it passes through a vacuum chamber to remove any entrapped air. It is then extruded into a long log or blank, cut to convenient lengths, passed through a metal detector and then stamped into shape in refrigerated tools.
    brit likes this.
  6. Smedley

    Smedley New Member

    Thanks, Joe. Now I feel like making some soap. :D
  7. TraderJoe

    TraderJoe Pink Floid

    Do it up man, I'll give it a lathering ;)
  8. Soapmistress

    Soapmistress The 4th "T"

    Top'a tha mornin to ya Gents!

    LOL....I can say this because it's Colleen, and I have a fine Irish pedigree!

    I just got myself signed up and noticed this thread.....Trader Joe, I couldn't have said it better myself, nicely done.

  9. TraderJoe

    TraderJoe Pink Floid

    Hi Colleen! Glad to see you, and honored to have you here :D

    How'd the move go?

  10. Will

    Will Nevermind


    And welcome!:cool:
  11. madmedic

    madmedic Resistance Is Futile

    I actually have some shaving soap base. Anyone know who much EO to add to a 100g melt?
  12. TraderJoe

    TraderJoe Pink Floid

    I think it would definitely depend on which EO's you had in some are inherently more potent or tough on the skin.

    Something like Lavender EO, you could probably get away with a couple dozen drops.
  13. madmedic

    madmedic Resistance Is Futile

    That is actually the one I was considering.....acouple of dozen drops does sound rather a lot though!
  14. TraderJoe

    TraderJoe Pink Floid

    you could be right, but assuming you will be melting the soap to add the EO, some will evaporate when you add it any event, maybe chop that in half to --> 1 dozen.
  15. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    Welcome to The Shave Den Colleen!
  16. qhsdoitall

    qhsdoitall Wilbur

    Welcome Colleen. Wow, a soapmaker that isn't named "Sue." :D
  17. St. Croix

    St. Croix New Member

    If you have never tried Colleen's soaps, you are missing out!

    St. Croix
  18. Will

    Will Nevermind

    Listen to the man :drool
  19. xChris

    xChris Member

    Alas, I believe her middle name is "Sue."
  20. ltlsuz

    ltlsuz Member

    Well, I would hope so! LOL

    Welcome Colleen Sue!

    Thankyou Trader Joe, for the thread. Very interesting! I've been following it along.

    I've never quite understood the cold process and what that meant, so this is very helpful!

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