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Rebubble

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Does anyone have a special recipe on how to make the perfect hard soap? I'm trying to recycle old soap into new one :)
 

DeeAnna

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How does a recipe for the "perfect hard soap" jive with recycling old soap? In my mind they don't have any connection, but maybe these issues are linked in yours. More info please?

I'll tell you up front that there is no one "perfect hard soap" any more than there is no one perfect chocolate chip cookie. And even if there was such a thing, the dedicated soapers who have worked months or years to develop that special recipe may or may not want to share it.

Please give more background on what your expectations are. Are you completely new to soaping or do you have some batches under your belt? What limitations do you have on ingredients? What does "hard soap" mean to you -- easy to unmold, long lasting, hard as a rock, or ??? Why are you "recycling old soap into a new one"?
 

lsg

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If you want a perfect hard bar, then you will need to experiment making original CP or HP small batches until you come up with something you like. I have grated pieces of soap to rebatch for family use, but none of my rebatches were that wonderful because they were made up of scraps left over from different CP recipes
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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For back ground for everyone, their plan is to get old used soaps from hotels and rebatch it for selling on via cafés etc - like clean the world a bit, but giving special needs folks something to do and using the money for the charity. Noble enough, but hamstrung by a few things:

Firstly, you can't choose your recipe unless you refuse to take certain soaps. Most hotel soaps will differ slightly and so your recipe will depend on what that recipe is and what % of your rebatch is made up of that soap. If in every batch you use different soaps in different amounts, your end product will be different.

Second point, linked to the first, they are in the EU. This means that they HAVE to have a set recipe in order to sell soap. It have to be checked and approved and then they can ONLY make this recipe. So if their 'recipe' calls for 10% of the batch being soap from hotel A and hotel A doesn't send any soaps for a while, they can't make soap as it doesn't match the approved recipe.

Thirdly, in Germany there are some special rules not covered by the EU laws. One major one is that you cannot make cosmetics to sell (in the EU, soap is a cosmetic) in a kitchen that is also used for food preparation. You need a separate area that is not used for food, only soaping.

Finally, I really don't know what the final product would be like, consisting of rebatched commercial soaps.

You could look at using melt & pour soap, but then the recycling aspect is away.
 

penelopejane

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A friend has made soap and just mixed in little pieces of chopped old commercial soap, not grated or melted. Turned out like terrazzo. It was fine. Not sure about EU compliance but maybe the old soap could just be one ingredient? There are loopholes in our labelling food laws that allow companies to get away with some things.
 

Arimara

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Why did DeeAnna have to go and mention Chocolate Chip Cookies... :problem::lol::mrgreen: I understand why and I'm grateful for the info.
 

dixiedragon

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Hmmm...with Effy's info...wow, that's complicated! I actually really like the idea of the recycling the hotel soaps, I always wonder what happens to those - usually I bring my own soap with me (obviously), but if I don't, I try to save a shopping bag to wrap up my hotel bar of soap to take home with me and finish it, b/c I assume the hotel throws it away?

Here is a page from Kathy Miller about rebatching:
http://millersoap.com/re.html

How much leeway do you have on ingredients? (A doctor told me that here in the US that generic medications have a 20% margin for being different than their brand name counterparts, how crazy is that? This is stuff you are depending on to, say, MAKE YOUR HEART WORK!) Do you have a certain percentage of wiggle room?

I have never done anything like this before, so these thoughts are based on nothing but my ideas of how I would go about it:

1) See what hotel chains are interested.
2) See if they will tell you where they buy their soap. Possibly some hotels are getting the exact same soap from the same manufacturer, just packaged/shaped differently.
3) Get ingredients for their soaps. Separate these into a list of soaps that are all veg and soaps that use animal fats.

Find some type of equipment that will shed the soap a finely as possibly. Possibly check a butcher shop? I think in order for this to be cost effective, you will need to be able to as high a percentage of old soap as possible.

I think rather than try to make a "recipe" using 10% of Hotel A and 10% of Hotel B, the best way to do this will be to form a partnership with a hotel chain. That will really incentivize them to make sure you get the old soap, and then your soap will be associating their hotel chain with the good work of your charity, helping people, warm fuzzies, etc. Otherwise I think you'll get a hotel chain be interested, give you soap for a while, you spend time and money developing a recipe, getting it tested and approved, etc, and then a few months later they're tired of saving, storing and transporting boxes of wet used soap and decide not to do it anymore. Then you're at square one.

It might be helpful to reach out through your organization and see if anybody has any hotel contacts. Somebody may have a parent, aunt, BFF, fraternity brother, etc who is a CEO of a major hotel chain and can make sure you get tons of soap.
 
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Rebubble

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Thanks y'all for replying!
Yeah it is true that this is a project from a student organization.
We are very new. At first we tried to recycle the hard soap into liquid soap. But that didn't really work out so great.
We already know about the law agreements. ;)
Another things is that we got hotels that we def totes get soap from every months. So that is also checked.

Thanks for the replies! I'll definitely check them up!
 

Dana89

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How nice of you to do this. Here are some Youtube videos that show how to recycle commercial soap bars.
I do have one concern about how hygenic this is, they don,t look like they are bringing to a boil so I do not know if this process kills germs. Maybe DeeAnna or anyone that knows can help you on that.

https://youtu.be/40gTKDFHDbk

http://https://youtu.be/y2Lqo0d7rr0
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Thanks y'all for replying!
Yeah it is true that this is a project from a student organization.
We are very new. At first we tried to recycle the hard soap into liquid soap. But that didn't really work out so great.
We already know about the law agreements. ;)
Another things is that we got hotels that we def totes get soap from every months. So that is also checked.

Thanks for the replies! I'll definitely check them up!
Again, having hotels to get soap from is not the issue. The issue is that your recipe will be fixed - as an example, it could be 50% sodium palmate, 25% sodium palm kernelate, 20% sodium olivate, 3% parfum, 1% sodium chorlide, 1% EDTA. You need to make that exactly the same, every time. Each hotel will use a different soap, to some degree, so you will have to make sure that the end result matches this recipe each and every time - you can't just use more soap from a different hotel one month if the recipe would then be changed.

If you base your recipe on soap from 10 hotels and then you add an 11th hotel to the program, that new soap will have to be factored in and you might well have to change your recipe to allow for it.

You asked for a recipe at the start, but let's turn it around - what are the recipes for the soaps used by the hotels that are already signed up? That is your basis - we could suggest all sorts of recipes but unless those ingredients are in these soaps in the right proportions, it just is not possible to make it.
 

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