Note! You are
advised to double-check the formulation of all recipes before
making any of them. Recipes using sodium or potassium hydroxide
should be run through a lye calculator before
All content provided on this Web site, excluding button
icons, graphics, images, noted original author's works is
the copyright of Rebecca Erisch, and is protected by applicable
U.S. and international copyright laws. Information may be used for
personal use only. Any other use--including display, distribution,
modification, republication, reproduction, or transmission--of the
content on this Web site is strictly prohibited. Copyright
(c) 2005 Rebecca Erisch. All rights
Rebatching is a way of making hand milled soaps at home.
The advantages of doing so are to retain the benefits of the
additives and to use less fragrance or essential oils.
For best results you should use an unscented base right for
rebatching. Here are some tips to get you started.
Grate the your soap finely.
Place grated soap in a baking dish (I use Pyrex ones).. Cover with a
little water.. just enough to get all of the grated soap wet.. you
too much water.. think of the water as salad dressing.. and the grated
soap as lettuce..cover the baking pan w/ an air tight cover (I use the
Pyrex pan because it has a cover that fits perfectly).
Place the covered pan in your oven at around 125-145.
Okay, this takes a long time... this is something to start in the
morning while you have other stuff to do around the house..
It usually takes a couple of hours to do, but it works great!!
When the soap reaches a thick liquid state it is ready. Take it out of
the oven and add your fragrances and or herbs.
Poor directly into molds.
Do NOT STIR the soap mixture too much while it is baking.... (IT may
get really bubbly if you do!!!)
You can take it out and sort of nudge it around a little...
Camille's Crockpot Method
Put enough milk or water (depending on the composition of the soap you will be melting) into
the crockpot to cover the bottom of the insert, them dump in all the
soap you want to melt, (as
long as it fits into the crockpot, of course!) Turn the crockpot to LOW
(the lowest setting it
has, of course), cover the pot with its lid and let it sit for an
hour. After that hour, lift the lid and check the soap's
consistency. Don't stir too much, since that introduces air
bubbles into the mixture...just poke and mash it around a bit to even
out the liquid parts. Replace lid and check again in an
hour. You can continue this all day,
but don't let it set heating up overnight, since this will lead to not
so great experiences in cleaning soap off the floor. As soon as
the soap achieves a suitable consistency, add your nutrients and pour
into a mold. Allow to remain in the mold for about a week, unfold
and cure for 2-3 weeks.
Let me add that I checked it every 20 minutes, and it was ready to go
in an hour. But I only
have two settings on my crockpot; LOW and HIGH. I also popped the
molds into the freezer foe an hour and a half, then popped the soap out
of the molds and they are now drying. I didn't
know what a nutrient was, so for all the folks who will be lost like
me, that is your EOs, FOs,
pigments and any other GLOP you wish to add to you snotlike mess!
used the crock pot and you want to be sure you have a crock
pot that has a REALLY low setting. Mine only has high and
low and even the low was too high to do this. AND, you want to be
sure the crock pot is full to the brim cause if you have space where
there is no soap, that heats up even more and really causes a problem.
I finally figured a way to get all my old soap scraps to rebatch
successfully! What I did was to chop them up in a food processor
and add the recommended amount of liquid (according to Lisa Lisa). But
instead of proceeding right away I let it sit out overnight so the soap
could totally incorporate the water.
In the morning, when the soap scraps were soft, I heated them with lid
on pan (using my fake double boiler system) and after around 10 minutes
- voila - gel! I added a yummy Sweetcakes FO, stirred, and into
the mold. No bubbles, no hard scraps, only gel!!
first thing my soap does is start to melt (from the inside out) and
then it gets that gel look. Once it is all looking gelled, I pour it. I
find if I leave it longer, it starts to foam and that brings air
bubbles. I make a hard soap, and usually unmold as soon as it reaches
room temperature. I guess if your soap is softer or you use more
liquid, itmight take a little longer. In that case, I would consider
freezing it.The quicker you get it out of the mold, the quicker it can
start to dry up.
Debbie X. Smith
Noticed some posts on re-batching and thought I'd at my ideas. Some
things I've noticed when rebatching that help:
1. Avoid the temptation to use too much liquid. It doesn't really
help the process and can cause excess shrinkage/softness.
Also, milk seems
to be better than water for vegetable based soaps. Also, the finer I
can get my shavings the better. And, if a base soap is too dry, I
let it soak in the warmed liquid to help soften before I heat. I
now havebeautiful, hard, not shrunken rebatched bars that are
2. Be very patient while melting. If you heat too hot/fast, you
can burn the soap without fully melting it. Also, you'll have unmelted
shreds in your final bars (unless you like them. They can look
nice) Melting soap is the consistency of pudding. The final
complete melt down looks like a gel but is still pourable to a
3. The moister/softer the base soap, the easier the rebatch is.
4. Try to not to stir too much/vigorously. This can make too many
bubbles and cause pockets (unless of course you want floating soap).
5. Avoid the temptation to add too many goodies. This can affect
the hardness and texture of the final bar.
6. BE PATIENT. Trust me. I've screwed up too many times and
have finally gotten the hang of it.
Rebatching Method by Judy Scher
I'm now discovering that you can add much less liquid and get a good
rebatch AND less drying time. I recently rebatched 2 week old
HALF of Lisa Lisa's recommended amount of liquid. Letting the
shavings soak up the liquid (I used water) overnight got them soft
enough. This rebatching method is for soap that has aged over 2 weeks.
(Any soap "younger" than that can be rebatched easily with no added
liquid since it hasn't dried a whole lot.) Either grate the soap or put
it in a food processor. Then put the shavings in a pan. To that add
enough water to coat the shavings: This is still in experimental
stages! So far, 1.5 oz (3 Tblsp) water per 1 lb. of soap (even all
veggie) has been successful for me. Other people find that 3 oz per 1
1b works, others find that adding milk in place of water for all veggie
soaps works better than water. Now, here's the trick: At this point
cover the pan and let it sit out at room temp overnight, or for 8
hours. After that time you will see that the shavings have absorbed the
liquid and are soft. There should be no extra water in the pan. With
the pan covered, put this pan in another pan of slowly boiling water.
This is my fake double boiler system. Stir the chips about every 5
minutes, for around 15 - 30 minutes, until you have a nice translucent
gel. Voila! This is IT! The gel is thick, not watery. Now you can add
fragrance and coloring. I add around 2 teaspoons of scent per pound of
rebatching soap. Stir, cover for around another 5 minutes or so and
spoon/pour into your mold. The top of the rebatched soap will be
"bumpy". This is normal. After the soap has hardened, you can cut it
off or leave it if you like. I cut it off and use it to wash my dishes.
pretty new to the field of soap-making. But, after living like a
hermit since I was disabled in an automobile accident in May, 2003, I
realized that I had to find something to keep me busy since I can no
longer perform the responsibilities of a regular job. I can't
handle lifting more than 3-5 pounds with my left arm, both my left hand
and my right hand are weak, and I tire very easily and tend to doze on
and off throughout the day as a result of the pain medication that I
take for the Complex Regional Pain Syndrome that I acquired as a result
of my accident injuries. Needless to say, those restrictions
limit my choice of hobbies or activities.
So, I needed to find
something that I could physically handle over a relatively short period
of time. I discovered that re-batching shredded soap that I
purchase from real C.P. soap-makers fits the bill perfectly.
My Re-batching by Jessica Leonhard
note-While we do not condone the use of a microwave for making soap
with active lye solution, many find it comes in handy for rebatching
and melt and pour soapmaking, please use caution since contents will be
between two and three pounds of shredded C.P. soap into a large bowl,
and stir in one 13.5 fl oz can of *Chaokoh Coconut Milk (which I've
pre-stirred before adding), and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap
and let it sit overnight. Chaokoh is a thick high quality snow
white Coconut Milk that I purchase at the local oriental grocery for 79
cents per can, which is a great savings over what is charged in the
ethnic food section of many of the standard grocery stores. I
think that it does a much better job than water, fresh milk, or canned
evaporated milk for hydrating the soap shreds.
next day, I stir the shredded soap, and place approximately 1 pound of
the shredded soap into a 2 Quart Pyrex Measuring Cup, and place it in
the microwave at 60% power, and set the timer for 10 minutes.
three minutes, I take the cup out of the microwave and stir it
completely and then place it back into the microwave, and continue to
starts to puff up toward the top of the cup, I again take it out of the
microwave and stir it completely and then place it back into the
microwave and continue to watch it.
time it starts to puff up toward the top of the cup again, I take it
out and stir it, and usually find that the soap is melted enough within
that full ten minutes that I can add my selection of any of the
following: Essential Oils, Fragrance Oils, Dyes, Honey, Grated
Almond, Herbs, or whatever other items I choose to add.
pour my soap mixture into my prepared molds, and set them aside
overnight to cool and harden enough to remove from the molds the next
day. If I have any difficulty getting the soap out of a mold, I
pop it in the freezer for ten minutes first. Then I place my soap
on my soap dryer, turning them regularly, and wait for approximately a
month for them to be dry enough to use or package and give away.
started re-batching, I've used quite a number of different types of
molds with varying degrees of satisfaction. I've had some molds
crack and I've had other molds melt from the heat of the soap mixture
in my effort to pour the soap into the molds before it becomes too
number of weeks ago, an experienced soap-maker gave me a designer mold
that is made by www.3DMolds.com, and I've since had absolutely
excellent results with the heavy duty ABS plastic, and high impact
polysyrene plastic molds that I've been getting from 3Dmolds. My
re-batched soap comes out beautifully with the designs perfectly
embedded in each bar. The molds come in 3D designs, which can
also be used for making soap-on-a-rope, as well as single cavity molds,
and four cavity molds, with both guest-size molds and the larger/more
generous molds. The best part is that the molds are made to be
used time and time again without damage.
totally sold on rebatching, and can't understand why anyone complains
about it. I'm in and out of the kitchen in well under thirty
minutes, I'm not dealing with caustic substances, and I'm able to
physically handle everything without going over my lifting
restrictions. I've also met some marvelous Cold Process
soap-makers who've shared their talents with me by letting me re-batch
One trick to always remember while rebatching soaps is to always exercise patients as to avoid flaws in your finished product. While it may be unnecessary to go to the extremes of setting up security cameras to monitor your soap while it is warming in a crock pot or to isolate your molds from your counters to avoid slight vibrations, so take reasonable precautions such as checking on your heating soap occasionally to make sure to avoid boiling or not shaking the soap and inducing air into the mixture.