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Remelting some soap to make it look nicer?

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npsmama

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About 18months ago I made some soap which worked fine but looks ugly. Is it OK to melt it in a saucepan and then pour it into nice molds so I can get nicer looking soap?
Will the sdoap need curing again?
Anything else I should know?

thanks
 
G

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Hi npsmama and welcome to the forum! :)

You didn't say whether you mean M&P soap or CP soap. If you mean M&P then probably yes, although it may or may not look nicer. If CP soap then you mean you want to rebatch it, which you can. Rebatching has several methods including crock pot, double boiler and boil-in-bag.

Your question "does it need curing again" implies you mean CP soap. Your rebatched soap won't need curing again for reasons of getting rid of the lye, but it will need to dry again.

Clarify your question if you wish further details. And perhaps another member will have more to add to what I said.
 

IrishLass

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What you just described is called 're-batching', and yes, you can do that. You'll just need to grate your soap up with a cheese grater and cook it on low heat along with some water until it melts to a softened, vaseline-like consistency (some people call it a mashed potato-like consistency). Then you quickly glop it into your molds before it sets up again, banging the molds real hard to get any air bubbles out, and covering with plastic wrap and weighing it down with a heavy book or something (at least that's what I do :) ).

Some people like to cook the soap gratings in their crock pot; some in their oven on low; some in a double boiler; and some in a pot directly on the stove. I've done them all except for the crockpot method (don't have one for soap). I liked the oven method best. I think I had it set to 150 - 175 degrees F (because the flashpoint of my fragrance that was already in my soap was 200 degrees F).

What I did was put my soap in an oven safe pot with some water sprinkled on the soap, covered it, and cooked it, checking on the soap about every 20 minutes to a half hour and strirring it each time until it was like vaseline (it could take a couple of hours). I also added water to it a teaspoon or more at a time if it was looking too dry. You don't want to add too much water because the finished soap will be soft and it will warp over time as the excess water evaporates out.

Just so you know, it won't ever become perfectly pourable like CP is perfectly pourable, and it will look more 'rustic' than CP, but rustic is not necessarilly bad at all. I personally like the rustic look of rebatched soap. I think it looks very cool.

As you cook it, it will eventually get soft, mostly smooth with an unmelted soap grating here and there, and vaseline-like. Some people add sugar water to it in order to make it even more smooth, or Sodium Lactate. They say it helps make it less gloppy and more pourable. I haven't tried either of those yet in my rebatches, so I don't know first-hand how well they work, or how much to use. Maybe someone who has will add their wisdom.

Once your soap cools off and sets up again in the mold, you can unmold and use right away. No need to cure it. The very top of the soap may resemble brains or something, but you can trim that off if you like. The rest of the soap should look fine if you got the air bubbles out when molding and you weighted it down right after (at least the rest of mine look fine if I'm careful to do those things).

Well, that's the method I use. Hopefully more people will chime in with their method.

HTH! :)



IrishLass
 

npsmama

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Thank you very much!
Yes, it was CP soap.
Debating about whether or not to rebatch...
 
G

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You should look for the boil-in-bag method described in another thread in this forum. It looks pretty easy. Basically you grate your soap and add a very small amount of liquid (like milk) then put it in a 1 gallon freezer bag and squeeze out the air. Then you put that bag in another bag and do the same. Use multiple bags if you have more soap. You cook it the same way you cook the boil-in-bag supermarket food. There are more details describing this in that other thread.

I prefer the crock pot method myself. I tried the DB method and failed. Haven't tried BiB yet, probably won't because the CP worked so well.

And yes, most would agree that the texture of rebatched soap isn't as nice as the original soap, and you'll have difficulty applying any decorations. Even my oxide colorants look different, duller.

You might be happier spending your effort on new soap. I think rebatching is a good way to save your investment in oils and maybe scents, but only as a last resort. One benefit of rebatching that you won't find in CP soap is that you can add your expensive butters or other oils as superfats and the lye won't eat them up because the lye is long gone.
 

npsmama

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I did a bit of research and as I couldn't sleep tonight I got up to try out a few suggestions:

- remelting the soaps into a liquid soap rather than try to make a bar soap. I used 1/2c of grated soap to 2c water. Nuked for 2 min and then stirred at 30sec intervals until everything was melted. I then added 10 drops of sweet orange oil. Poured it into an empty shower gel bottle.

- I did a microwave rebatch: 8oz grated soap, a little under 1/2c water, 1/8c dried milk powder. Again nuked for 2min and then at 15 sec intervals. It was the consistency of fluffy mayo. Then added sweet orange oil, a few drops of clove oil and 1/2ts apple spice. Poured it into a loaf baking pan lined with one of those reusable baking liners. Placed some bubblewrap over the top (bubble side down), then put another loaf pan on top, and finally some weights to push it down.

I have no idea if this is right or if it will turn out but I sure enjoyed it!! :lol:
 

pepperi27

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npsmama said:
I did a bit of research and as I couldn't sleep tonight I got up to try out a few suggestions:

- remelting the soaps into a liquid soap rather than try to make a bar soap. I used 1/2c of grated soap to 2c water. Nuked for 2 min and then stirred at 30sec intervals until everything was melted. I then added 10 drops of sweet orange oil. Poured it into an empty shower gel bottle.

I make rebatch all the time and never thought to do this! I'm going to give it a try and see how that works.

- I did a microwave rebatch: 8oz grated soap, a little under 1/2c water, 1/8c dried milk powder. Again nuked for 2min and then at 15 sec intervals. It was the consistency of fluffy mayo. Then added sweet orange oil, a few drops of clove oil and 1/2ts apple spice. Poured it into a loaf baking pan lined with one of those reusable baking liners. Placed some bubblewrap over the top (bubble side down), then put another loaf pan on top, and finally some weights to push it down.

I have no idea if this is right or if it will turn out but I sure enjoyed it!! :lol:
Your method is fine but maybe for that much of soap you didn't need that much water. I always use 1/4cup of water per pound of soap. Glad you enjoyed it! Most ppl hate trying to save their batch of cp.
 

npsmama

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I think I did add too much water but the results are still OK.
I'll look at that tutorial - thanks
 

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