Homemade soap is milder than commercial soap because it contains glycerin. In commercial soap, glycerin is removed and used in other products such as lotions, moisturizers, etc.
Glycerin makes bar soap softer (but MUCH more hydrating) than store-bought bars filled with synthetic surfactants and detergents.
There are some things you can do to get the most from your homemade soap.
Use a draining soap dish.
The worst thing you can do with handmade bar soap is let it soak in water while the shower sprays droplets of water on it. The water will turn the bar into a pasty mess that can be difficult to use and won't last long. Purchase a draining dish with holes to keep the soap out of the water and allow more air circulation, which will significantly extend the life of the soap.
Allow the soap to dry completely between use.
In addition to using a draining soap dish, try letting the bar dry completely between uses. Place the soap and dish on a shelf in the shower, away from splashing water, or remove the soap from the shower when you are finished bathing. If you have more than one person in your household showering, try giving each person their bar of soap. Each bar of soap can then dry completely between uses instead of putting the same bar in the water several times a day.
Cut the bar into smaller pieces.
Cut the bar of soap into smaller portions, so only pieces of the bar are put into the water at a time. The rest may harden while using a fraction of the bar (the longer a bar sets, the longer it lasts).
Use a loofah or towel.
A few dabs of soap on a loofah or a hand towel produces a lot more suds than just using your hands.
Store soap in a sisal bag or cotton muslin bag with a drawstring.
What to do with those pesky bits of soap near the end that are just too small to grip? Drop the scraps of soap or a new bar of soap (usually easier if you cut the bar in half, depending on the size of the bag) in one of the two bags, tie the strings together and start lathering! The soap will create a nice lather through the bag, and the bag will act as an exfoliator. When you are finished bathing, hang it on a shower hook or place it on a soap dish to dry.