My new favorite way to rebatch scraps

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dragonmaker

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I haven't done the math to figure if it's cost efficient, but I loved my experiment! I found a spray hand sanitizer that is 66% ethanol, the rest being deionized water and glycerine, and wanted to experiment with using it to rebatch soap. I took all my scraps from a year of soaping, put them all in a heat-safe container, then thoroughly wet down the scraps, with a little standing liquid in the bottom of the container. I wrapped the top up tight with heat-safe plastic wrap and microwaved on and off with a lot of stirring inbetween, and the soap dissolved easily and became pourable, like melt and pour! Now I have a batch of solid bars drying instead of a quart ziplock of scraps too small to be easily used. I'm going to let the ethanol and extra water evaporate out for 6 weeks, and see how the bars feel after that. I love chemistry!
 
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for 6 weeks, and see how the bars feel after that.
Patiently watching!

I personally dislike having noticeable ethanol in soap. It is super helpful for dissolving and M&P, but the skin feel reminds me too much of too high CO levels and cheap hand sanitisers. Usually, alcohol-containing soap is wrapped to avoid evaporation, the more curious I am if leaving them open for “cure” makes them behave.

Don't forget to weigh them before/after (and if possible measure their size)!
 

dragonmaker

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In this case, I don't want a melt and pour soap in the end. I just want soap that isn't in powder or tiny shred form, so I figure letting the ethanol evaporate will let it become more like a normal soap.

I forgot to weigh them yesterday! I'll have to do that today and post here.
 

dragonmaker

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@lianasouza I think so... Ethanol is the same alcohol in alcoholic drinks. You can end up heating the soap and ethanol mix up to the ethanol's boiling point, and then it can boil out, but that's why I wrapped it tight with heat-safe plastic wrap to try and hold in any vapors, and allow it to condense and drip back in as it cooled. In the presense of a spark it might catch on fire, but with no metal in the heating chamber, I didn't have any sparks available that I know of. I also had it wrapped tight to try and contain any vapors coming off the mixture, so even if there was a spark, it shouldn't have reached the alcohol.

Do you know of something else that could have gone wrong? I'm willing to learn.
 

lianasouza

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Not really, all the precautions you took seem to make sense. I am glad it turned out nice and would love to know how the bars are in 6 weeks!
 
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Did the glycerin add anything to it? Do you think the result would be the same if you just used everclear (drinking alcohol) and distilled water instead? Fun experiment. Can't wait to hear how it turns out!
 

dragonmaker

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If I remember correctly, glycerin is also a solvent for soap just like alcohol, which is why it's added to melt and pour. It won't evaporate away like the ethanol and water, but there's glycerin naturally in homemade soap as a by-product of turning fats in to alkaline salts of fatty acids (soap). I'm guessing it will inhibit the lather some, but it won't make the soap more harsh. Glycerin is part of what makes homemade soap nicer than store bought soap where the glycerin is removed to be added to lotions or whatever. It's a humectant, so it attracts water. Too much glycerin will make the soap sweat, but I'm guessing there isn't much glycerin in the spray. Asssuming it's the same as food labeling, when the ingredients are 66% ethanol, then deionized water, then glycerin, there has to be less glycerin than water, so there's less than 17% glycerin by weight in the mix.
 
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