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Rebatching Soap

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Peggyrae

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I wanted to get some input from the group about rebatching soap. I have only done it twice, the most recent batch I am working on now. I keep having the same questions running around in my head and didn't ask the last time. The recipe I used the first time was for a whipped batch where you used a mixer to whip it once it heated up. I was going to see what happened this time without using the mixer because I thought the soap was too light (as in weight). So this time I was heating up my shredded homemade goat milk soap (that had seized and had big bubbles in it) and I was adding 4 oz water per 1lb of soap approximately. It got warm enough that it melted and blended but it still had shreds in it. I heated it more and tried to stir them out with no success, so I gave up and used the mixer again. This time I put the soap in the molds and have been pressing the soap into the mold as it cools to make it more compacted. It seems like it will be heavier, not like frosting consistency as when i blended it. My first half of the batch i did yesterday and it is still not completely firm. The second half of the batch I just finished up a couple of hours ago.

How are you all rebatching? The goat milk soap had cured for about 3-4 weeks. Am I using too much water? Am I not waiting long enough for my shreds to melt? If you have rebatched is your rebatched soap lighter than a regular bar when you make it? Are you compacting it as it hardens?
 

Peggyrae

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I was doing mine in a crock pot. I will try the oven method next time. I wonder if i am adding too much water... I worry about the heat because of the goats milk. I didn't want to scorch it. I did see in the thread that it shouldn't be a concern, I just hate to lose my investment in the batch.. I am hoping these turn out better than my last batch...
 

Susie

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I refuse to rebatch. Sorry. I know I am no help, but I hate, despise, and abhor rebatching. I will even :gasp: throw soap away before rebatching.

If the batch is at all salvageable, I will shred or chop and use as imbeds in another soap.

Life is just too short for me to waste it on a task I hate so much.
 

Carly B

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Before I started CP, I loved rebatching. I would buy soap shreds and become a mad scientist (apologies to the true scientists on the forum). I would throw shreds in my crockpot with some liquid, usually oat water or aloe or goat milk, and some additional oils and/or butters and cook slowly, stirring occasionally until it was all melted. Then I'd stir in fragrance and additives (jojoba beads, ground walnut shells, etc.) Then I'd throw it into a mold. I LOVE using the rebatch soap because the additional oilss aren't saponified, so my skin never feels dried out after I use it.

There was one time when I added too much additional liquid/oil and it took months to harden, but normally it's hardened in a couple days and it gets harder while sitting.
 

Peggyrae

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I am so frustrated. I put my soap in the mold, in the freezer last night. It is stuck. I guess I will just have to leave it there until it dries enough to get it out. Maybe I will just stick it in my drying room so I don't have to look at it. Aaargh!
 

DeeAnna

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I've done a few rebatches. Enough to know I can do it if need be, but also enough to know I'm in Susie's camp about it. I won't rebatch to "fix" soap if the only reason for rebatching is the soap doesn't look right, because I've never met a rebatched soap that I thought looked better than the original. Far better to make confetti soap out of it, or use it as-is, or give it away to someone who doesn't care how it looks.

On the other hand, the rebatching method is a good way to make floating soap, if I wanted to make more floating soap. Not at the top of my list, however.

***

IMO, adding 4 oz liquid per 16 oz soap is too much liquid. If the soap is freshly made, it not need any extra liquid at all or only a dribble or so.

If older, the soap will need more liquid certainly, but not 4 oz / 16 oz. I might dampen the shredded soap and give the liquid a day or two to soak in before rebatching. That will help minimize the bits that don't want to melt.

During rebatching I add liquid as the soap seems to be dry, not all at once at the start of rebatching.
 

Peggyrae

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I've done a few rebatches. Enough to know I can do it if need be, but also enough to know I'm in Susie's camp about it. I won't rebatch to "fix" soap if the only reason for rebatching is the soap doesn't look right, because I've never met a rebatched soap that I thought looked better than the original. Far better to make confetti soap out of it, or use it as-is, or give it away to someone who doesn't care how it looks.

On the other hand, the rebatching method is a good way to make floating soap, if I wanted to make more floating soap. Not at the top of my list, however.

***

IMO, adding 4 oz liquid per 16 oz soap is too much liquid. If the soap is freshly made, it not need any extra liquid at all or only a dribble or so.

If older, the soap will need more liquid certainly, but not 4 oz / 16 oz. I might dampen the shredded soap and give the liquid a day or two to soak in before rebatching. That will help minimize the bits that don't want to melt.

During rebatching I add liquid as the soap seems to be dry, not all at once at the start of rebatching.
Thanks for that direct answer regarding how much water I am using. I got the water amount from a well known soaping book, but wondered with my soap not being fully cured if it was too much. Also, I have done many dozens of batches of soap and this is my second batch rebatching and only because it looked so bad to me. After one try rebatching I already did not like the results, but I also do not like the look of confetti soap and it was a 4 lb block of soap. My bad for not pausing when the FO review said it had a moderate tendency to seize. I will take that "moderate" very seriously for future purchases. Anyway if i ever rebatch again, I will try the oven method and see how that goes and not so much water!
 

DeeAnna

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It's more liquid than I would use for a cured soap as well. That much liquid will cause a lot of shrinkage and warping as the soap cures out again. That's one of the reasons why I don't like rebatching soap - the swaybacked, warped bars after a rebatch aren't much of an improvement in the looks department.
 

Peggyrae

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I used the larger holes on my grater. The soap had been curing 3-4 weeks and was still relatively soft. Thank you for the suggestion of using a smaller hole on the grater.
 

miheypete

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I don't mind rebatching and I just did a small batch yesterday. I had made a 2.5 lb batch of Zany's faux sea water castille w/10% CO, 5% castor and 85% OO. I left it in the mold too long and about 1 lb of it crumbled when I cut it. Too small an amount to put in my crockpot, I cut it into small pieces and put it in a small double boiler. I usually use some of my 100% OO liquid soap as the liquid. I added about 2-Tbs. and melted it all down. I left it on the stove for a couple of hours (covered) to get it truly melted. Gave it a stir and poured it into individual (gift soap) sized silicone mold. Unmolded them this morning and they are a little soft but I know they will harden with a little curing time. I used to use coconut milk as my liquid for rebatching and that worked too and made a creamy bar, but I like using liquid soap even better. With all the handwashing we are doing now, I have a nice little stash of bars for the sink.

BTW, I love Zany's faux seawater castille and next time I make it, I'll be sure to unmold quickly, as she warned in her instructions. Thanks, Zany!

Mary in Maryland
 
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