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Monday, August 6, 2012

Back to Soap - the latest re-batch

I am getting back into the soapy kitchen this week.  Last week I played with re-batching some CP soap that wasn't so good.  Re-batching (also called Hand Milling) is a great way to use soap that either didn't turn out, or has lost it's fragrance. 
It's a great way to re-use something that would otherwise be a toss out. 
I had a few batches of CP soap that lost it's fragrance and needed a pick me up.

I love floral fragrances in soap, but floral can be tough in CP soap.  It tends to accelerate trace or separate completely for me.  I decided to use up some shreds I had from a previous batch that were uncolored...perfect for a purple lilac soap!

Step One:
Shred Shred Shred.  Grab a hand shredder (or a salad shooter if you want to save your wrists/elbows), a bowl, and your soap and shred.  I always do my shredding while catching up on my favorite shows! 
Step two:
The cook.  I cook my re-batch in my small crock pot I purchased specifically for this reason.  You can also use a double boiler, or even boil it in a bag.  I prefer the crock pot because I can do other things while it cooks, and it doesn't have to be watched quite as much.  So into the crock pot it goes on the lowest setting with the additives you choose to add.  This recipe is:
1/4c distilled water-I used 1/4c because this is an old batch of soap and was pretty dry.
You could also add a little bit of extra oils if you would like at this stage.  I did not in this recipe.

Step three:
Prepare your color and mold.  I am making a lilac soap so I dispersed Ultramarine Violet in about 1 tbsp of glycerin and let it sit and dissolve.  I love using liquid glycerin to disperse my Iron Oxides and Ultramarines because it tends to dissolve much better and there are not as many clumps.  You can always disperse the colorant in oil if that is what you choose.  In this case the original recipe had Olive, Coconut, Palm, Castor, Shea Butter, and Avocado so I would probably pick Avocado for dispersing.  You also want to prepare the mold you will be using.  I lined my small 1.5 lb log mold with freezer paper, this is going to be a small batch.

Step Four:
The waiting game.  Check your pot every so often and give it a stir so the soap on the bottom doesn't burn.  If it looks like it needs more water you can add a bit as needed; just remember the more extra water you add the more time will be needed for it to evaporate out later.  Check your color, see how pretty the purple looks. 

Step Five:
Adding color/fragrance.  Once your soap is fully cooked and looks like mashed potato goop, it's ready to add your color and fragrance.  Add your color first and stir well to incorporate, you may want to cook it for just a bit longer to fully incorporate your color.  Once color is fully incorporated you can add your fragrance. I used .5oz of fragrance to my 22oz soap.

Step Six:
Spoon into your prepared mold.  I used a log mold, which makes it fairly easy to spoon into.  I use what I call a spoon and slam method.  Spoon a little into your mold and then slam it onto your counter to get rid of the air pockets.  Repeat often to get your soap nice and air pocket free.  Once all of your soap is in the mold set it aside to cool. 

Step Seven:
Unwrap and cut!
The best part is seeing what your creation became.  Once your soap is cooled and hardened you can un-mold and cut it into bars.  I cut mine on all sides so that it would be nice rectangles with crisp edges, but if you would like to leave it more rustic you can cut it just into slices like you would normally cut a loaf of soap.

This small batch yielded 6 bars of hand-milled soap.  The fragrance is a nice strong lilac and smells beautiful. 
Making your own re-batch soap is super easy and super fun! You can use any soap to make re-batch, although I highly recommend a natural soap vs a commercial bar of soap.  You can get already shredded re-batch base at which saves time not having to shred it yourself and provides endless possibilities! 
Our Bare Naked Natural soap would be perfect for this project because it is fragrance free, however I'm a big fan of recycling so use what you have laying around and see what happens!
Remember: if you have multiple colors in your soap shreds it's going to end up varying shades of brown or gray.
Good luck and Happy Soaping!


  1. It looks absolutely gorgeous, I love how the Ultramarine Violet Oxide turned out in the rebatch. =)

    1. Thanks Anne-Marie. I love how this rebatch came out also! I am hoarding a few of the bars for myself!