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Tracyhaines

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I have tried to rebatch soap, carefully following directions I've read in books. (I am trying to rebatch a successful basic cold- precessed soap. My soap goes from slightly melted to suddenly balled up like bread dough that is ready to be kneaded! It never reaches the watery cottage cheese or " stringy" stage. I have tried it in a double boiler and right over the stove on very low heat. I have given it 15-25 minutes. I have added more water than called for when it appears dry- all to no avail. Any suggestions? ( also, I tried to search " rebatch", re-batch and hand milling, but nothing comes up.....
I am new to the forum.
 

Meganmischke

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Have you tried a crockpot? Seems to always give me consistent results. Also you could use a microwave or do it right in the oven. All have worked for me.
 

AustinStraight

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It could just be your recipe... I would advise not adding too much water, or your bars will take a really really really long time to dry and eventually when they are dry, they'll be really warped and bendy and funny-looking. Ask me how I know :oops:
 

Susie

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It is not my place to ask why you are rebatching a successful batch of soap, but I use a crock pot, and melt on low with VERY little water. I add 1 tablespoon PPO at the time. As soon as I can get it melty enough to mold, that is what I do.
 

IrishLass

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I have tried it in a double boiler and right over the stove on very low heat. I have given it 15-25 minutes.
Going by my own re-batches, 15 to 25 minutes is not nearly enough time to get things soft and melty. My last re-batch took 2 hours, and that was with a fresh (only a day-old) batch of soap.

It's not often that I need to re-batch (thank goodness!), but for what it's worth, I do mine in the oven set at 170- 180F. And depending on how hard or soft the texture of my soap is, I'll either grate it or cut it into small chunks (the smaller the better) beforehand. Then I put the grated or chunked soap in my stainless steel soap pot, cover tightly (very important) and stick it in my oven to do its thing. I check in on it every 1/2 hour or so to see how things are progressing.

~Oh, if my soap is fairly fresh (just a few days old), I don't add any water to it (unless it's really dry for some reason), but if it's an older batch, I'll spritz it with water until the chunks or gratings are glistening (but not swimming) before cooking. And I'll repeat the spritzing as needed at intervals throughout the cook whenever things look like they're getting too dry.~

I consider it done when it's all soft and melty and stir-able- somewhere between the texture of Vaseline and mashed potatoes.


IrishLass :)
 

Relle

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If you scroll to very bottom of this thread there are similar threads.
 

Tracyhaines

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Thanks, all. I will try using crockpot today! I guess " hand milling" is a better term. I am hand milling my successful cold process soap just to try it out! I made the basic soap for this purpose. I like the idea that you can use less fragrance and that the color stays truer with the hand milled technique. Thank you also for helping me find the other threads on this topic! I look forward to eventually being able to help someone else out with soap making!
 

Tracyhaines

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Looking over the threads, I am wondering if too much water caused the soap to ball up like kneaded bread. The cp soap I shredded was only about two weeks old......hm.....? one thread said you don't need to add any water to "new" cp- but I am not sure if new means days old or weeks old. Has anyone out there experienced the strange " balling up" phenomenon? It happened three times to me.....either way, today I will try the slow cooker.
 

Obsidian

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I use more water when I rebatch then most people and I have never had it ball up. To me, that sounds like your soap is too dry. I use about 1/4 cup water for each pound of shredded soap. It does make for a slightly damper bar at first but it also makes the bars smoother looking.
 

cmzaha

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Like Obsidian I use around 1/4 cup per lb, but I am using Boleno peat that I have to reconstitute so it takes me a bit of liquid. If I do mine in the crock I alternate between high and low, starting high to get it going, but keeping an eye and stirring to make sure it does not dry out. I also add in an oz of glycerin or sugar water to help it get going. Like IrishLass I find the oven gives a better full melt. What I make with my old shredded soap does not make a difference if soaps shreds are not fully melted, so anymore I go for the crock pot, but if wanting a full melt I use the oven
 

IrishLass

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I am hand milling my successful cold process soap just to try it out! I made the basic soap for this purpose. I like the idea that you can use less fragrance and that the color stays truer with the hand milled technique.
Ahhhh- I had a strong inkling that the above might be the reason you were rebatching a successful soap! :) I did the same thing myself when I first started soaping. The thing I liked about it the most at the time was that on the spur of the moment, whenever the mood hit me, I could grate up and rebatch just enough soap to fill only 1 single cavity of a decorative mold in order to make a uniquely shaped bar of soap (instead of a whole bunch of rectangular bars) with whatever scent, color or additive that struck my fancy at the given time.

It wasn't very long after that , though, that I caught the CP bug full force and fell so much in love with it that I left my rebatching days behind (except for those rare times that I botch a CP batch up). lol

By the way, instead of rebatching, an easier way to get the same results you are after is to do the HP method of soap-making. It eliminates having to cut or grate up your soap and melt it down, etc... With HP, you start out as you normally would do with CP, but when the soap comes to trace, instead of scenting and coloring and pouring it into the mold at that time, you cook it in the crockpot or oven (the same as you would do when rebatching), and then when the soap is done cooking (i.e. when it tests out tongue-neutral), you add your scents and colors and additives.


IrishLass :)
 

Tracyhaines

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Appreciate input! Irish Lass, yes, i did try hot process too, and it was easier; you're right! I do think I like the smoother soaps with cp though too.
Well, I had disappointing results recently with adding clays for color, so I think I will search threads for this new issue with coloring soap! Lol- maybe catch up with some of you on that new thread!
Thanks again all!
Happy soaping everyone!! :)
 
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