Hand rebatching soap is a very easy process and is for the most part fool proof and safe. There are several reasons why you may want to rebatch your soap.
First, you can buy soap noodles or glycerine soap base online and rebatch them. (see carousel above) A Soap Noodle (melt and pour soap) is simply premade soap that you melt together with fragrance and colorant to create new bars. This type of rebatching is a great hobby. It also bypasses the lye process which some people like to avoid and gets straight to the fun part of soap making. Note – you can also make your own noodles by using a basic soap recipe (most people use an olive oil formula) and then grating the soap into noodles for use at a later time. You can refrigerate them if you wish until you are ready to use them.
Second, you can fix a bad batch of soap by rebatching it. Lets say you left out an ingredient like fragrance or color. You can rebatch and add the fragrance or color at that time. Note – A batch that is bad because too much lye was used should be discarded. You only want to rebatch otherwise good soap.
Third, you can take extra soap scraps and save them up and then make them into new bars by rebatching. You can add in some soap noodles if you need more soap.
Rebatching is just a basic fun activity that anyone can do. The process is simply melt, mix and pour. Here is how it is done.
Step One – Cut your soap pieces into small chunks or grate your soap into noodles using a kitchen grater.
Step Two – Place the soap chunks or noodles in a stainless steel double boiler, a crock pot, a boil in bag or an oven.
Step Three – You can melt the soap with no extra liquid if you wish. However, you also have the option of adding liquid. For most vegetable oil based soap chunks or noodles pour one cup of milk to every pound of soap into the bottom of the pan. For Olive Oil soap shavings use 1/2 cup milk. For animal fat based soap shavings use a half cup of water or milk per pound. For soap that is less than a week old cut these measurements in half. Adding too much liquid can increase the amount of time it takes for the soap to reharden.
Step Four – Cover the pot and let the soap sit and soak up the milk or water for an hour or two. Stir every half hour.
Step Five – Begin heating the mixture at a temperature of around 170 degrees. Check and stir the mix every 15 minutes.
Step Six – When the soap melts you can stir in any essential oils, fragrances, oatmeal, herbs, cocoa butter, etc that you wish to add.
Step Seven – If you wish you can blend the soap using a stick blender or standard hand mixer. You can blend the soap in the pot. If the soap is lumpy a hand mixer may be the best way to mix it. You want to get it blended before it starts to set up. If you leave the heat on and blend this is not a problem.
Step Eight – Once blended you simply pour it into the molds. If the mix is thick you will have to spoon it in and press down the top to smooth it out. Allow the soap to set up a couple of days, pop it from the molds and let it age a week or two. Your bars will be ready for use at this point.