Rebatching?? Never Thought I Would…

…EVER do it again! That’s why I started donating my soap scraps to Clean the World, right? So I would never have to rebatch. Well, the problem is that I have 45 (that’s forty-five!) pounds of soap scraps. I checked into sending them off to Clean the World, and it was going to cost me $47!!! I just couldn’t do it.

Then I saw this post by The Midlife Farmwife that caught my eye. Rebatching in the crock pot! With photos! And a recipe! And promises of soap that looks like granite in about an hour! Now there’s something I could wrap my head around.

Every other time I’ve tried to rebatch, I’ve done HUGE batches in the oven that took forever…and then by the time I got them in the mold, the soap would cool down and look horrible! Not to mention that I had to shred all the soap before I could melt it down. Ugh. Yuck! Horrible!

This soap is already shredded. It’s mostly the slivers that I cut off when I bevel the edges of the soap. There are a few larger pieces that need to be cut up, but for the most part, the hard work is already done! So I decided to get started with some peppermint soap scraps and a few other who-knows-what scraps:

rebatch2 Rebatching??  Never Thought I Would...

About 28 ounces of soap scraps ready to melt down

These were still soft and not very old, so instead of adding a 1/2 cup of castor oil as Donna suggests, I only added 1/3 cup, plus 1/2 cup of water. It took my old crock pot a little over an hour to really melt down. The peppermint was still pretty strong, so I just added a couple squirts of green apple fragrance and mixed in about five ounces of green & red soap chunks:

rebatch3 Rebatching??  Never Thought I Would...

Melted soap mixed with soap chunks, ready to smush into the mold

My soap never really gelled, just melted. I probably could have added more water and left it to cook a little longer, but it turned out like this:

mint apple soap Rebatching??  Never Thought I Would...

Mint Apple Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

I had my next batch already planned, but I only have one 2 lb. mold. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long for hot-processed soap to cool down and hold its shape. I was able to take the first batch out of the mold (still in the freezer paper), re-line it, and go again about three hours later.

The soap scraps for the second batch weren’t very fragrant, so I went ahead and melted them down and added an ounce of Plumberry fragrance and some soap chunks that I believe might have been Figgy Pudding from last year as well as some strips of Cinnamon Bun coffee soap. I made sure this batch was more fluid and hot before smushing it in the mold.

plumberry soap Rebatching??  Never Thought I Would...

Plumberry Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

I love being able to use up soap scraps AND samples of fragrances! I may end up with a truck-load of rebatched soap by the time I’m done! Will I be financially ahead in the end? I’m not sure I can answer that, considering there is still quite a bit of time involved for the amount of soap created from each batch. However, if I am able to sell it, I can at least raise the funds to send whatever is left to Clean the World when I’m done. (I highly doubt I will soap my way through all 45 pounds!) Besides, if it’s fun and I get to be creative – who cares? I’ve already created another batch this morning!

Here are my best takeaway points:
1. Small 2 lb. recipe
2. Use soap that is already shredded and try to create a color scheme!
3. Get ‘er done fast!
4. Add water AND oil
5. Mix in more chunks near the end for added interest

Update: I’ve been discussing with another soapmaker how the extra oil may inhibit the lather of the rebatched soap. I am planning to use glycerin instead from now on. I’ve also heard that milk can be added!

14 thoughts on “Rebatching?? Never Thought I Would…

  1. I, too, have been determined to give my scrap soap a new life. I saw this post as well (isn’t Midlife Farmwife the best?) and can’t wait to give it a try. Both your batches came out beautifully!
    Amy@10thAve.´s last blog post ..Laundry soap how-to

  2. Well, I certainly don’t have 45lb of shreds,but what I have is just enough to give this rebatch a try.
    Your soaps look amazing, with a nice, smooth surface. I always put the thought of rebatching aside,but now you made me think of getting empty my shoe box.
    Thanks for sharing and extra tips!

  3. Oh wow…I feel like going right out to buy a crockpot! Beautiful soaps. The chunky bits give so much character.

  4. Oh Amy…you are so kind to mention my blog! Almost as good as the time Cory Wells of Three Dog Night winked at me from the stage at their concert in Joliet in 1975. I KNOW it was me he was winking at, why do you ask? Back to soap, yours came out fantastically and now because of you I’m going to start saving some of my scraps for Clean the World. Have a very Merry Christmas my soapy friend.

  5. I love this post! I was just shredding soap scraps the other night to make laundry soap! I haven’t rebatched, yet, and this post encourages me. Though, I don’t have as many soap scraps as you had, yet!

  6. Thanks for the inspiration. And by the way your blog is the first I have chosen to follow. If you want to sell some unscented scraps please let me know.

    Sharon

  7. Thanks for the tutorial…I used mostly milk and to combat the anti lathering issue I have been reading about, I used castor oil..Soap appears firm and super bubbly! :-)

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