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Rebatching Soap

Rebatching soap can be an integral part of soap making. In a nutshell, it’s basically melting the soap and reprocessing it. There are a few reasons why a person might decide to do a rebatch:

1) To repair a failed batch of soap.

2) To use delicate ingredients that might otherwise react badly to or not survive the lye solution.

3) To use up leftover bits from different soaps.

I tried out rebatching for the first time yesterday. The Wild Wild West soap I mentioned in another post faded so much that there was no detectable scent to it whatsoever and I wasn’t too happy with the dull brown color, either.

There are a few different ways to melt the soap. You can use a: crock pot, casserole dish in the oven, double boiler, boiling bags, or directly in a pot on top of the stove (if you use this method, make sure to stay right beside the soap and add liquid when needed so it doesn’t scorch). I chose the last method.

To get started, the soap first had to be grated into smaller pieces so it would be easier to melt (If your soap has only been curing a couple of hours and is still soft, you can most likely just cut it into smaller pieces rather than using a grater). My mom wanted to try grating it, which worked out perfectly so I could snap a picture.

Then I placed the pot full of soap she had grated on the stove and added enough liquid to thoroughly wet it (you can use water or milk). I chose to add milk as it helps make the soap mixture smoother, and getting the soap to melt smoothly is one of the big challenges of rebatching. Then I waited and watched and stirred the mixture to make sure it wasn’t beginning to scorch. Once it reached a thick liquid consistency, I added a bit more fragrance oil and a little paprika (to make the brown color slightly warmer in hue). Then the mixture was poured into a mold to set.

Mine was firm enough to cut after 24 hours, but sometimes it may take longer depending on how much liquid was added. I love the color of it now, and it does smell much better.

And before I end this post, I thought I’d share the two new soaps mom and I made yesterday and today:

Pumpkin Pie (my new favorite).

And next is Shades of Grey (colored with activated charcoal, which is supposed to be great for detoxifying skin). It’s still in the mold, and I should be able to cut it tomorrow afternoon. The fragrance I used made the soap accelerate and it ended up being very messy to pour in to the mold, so I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out. 

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