I love making soap and I enjoy giving tips on how to make soap.
What Is Rebatching Soap?
If you've come this far in your soap-making journey, you may already know what rebatching soap means. In a nutshell, rebatching involves the following:
- Taking a cold-processed (100% homemade) soap or pre-made soap base.
- Shredding or cutting it up.
- Melting it down to re-create it into something new.
There are some who would have you believe that this technique should only be used to save scraps from the cold-process soap making process or to add light fragrances or additives that won't stand up to the lye used to make soap from scratch. While those are both true and valid reasons, I think there is a beauty to rebatching soap, as it creates a very rustic, country-looking soap. Let's make it!
What You'll Need
Here is what you will need for this project.
- Pre-Made Rebatch Base. I use Stephenson's Rebatch base, which can be purchased from Bulk Apothecary or from the Chemistry Store. You could also buy a block of cold processed soap from someone that makes it.
- Hand Shredder/Salad Shooter.
- Crockpot/Double Broiler. For this guide, I will be using a crockpot.
- Stirrer. This can be something like a spatula or long-handled spoon.
- Soap Mold. I prefer the loaf-style soap molds, but you could also use a tray mold. Whatever you choose, keep in mind that you need to be able to get your soap into the mold quickly. Because rebatched soap doesn't become a complete liquid, it's hard to pour into a very detailed design. Other ideas for molds are muffin pans or square brownie pans. You get the idea.
- Additives. This could be the fragrance oil (FO) or essential oil (EO) of your choice. You can also add botanicals, oils, or butters (such as shea, cocoa, or mango).
- 2 lbs Stephenson's Rebatch Base
- 8 oz distilled water
- 1 oz French Vanilla and Amber fragrance oil
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
1. Cut Up the Base
Cut up your rebatch base.
2. Shred the Base
This makes it easier on your arms, but you can also use a hand shredder.
3. Add the Shredded Base to the Crockpot
Add the 8 ounces of water and cover with lid. Once the water is added, you can turn the crock pot on high, if you want to get through the process faster. Be aware though, you will need to check on it more often.
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This process can take some time, a lot of which depends on your crock pots wattage. Once the base looks like this, stir for the first time.
5. Continue Waiting
Once your base looks like this, its time to turn it down to low and wait about 15 minutes for the temperature to drop. If you add fragrance oil now, it would be to hot and the oil would burn off.
6. Add Fragrance and Stir
The addition of the fragrance oil made the base thin out even more. That's ok though!
7. Add Cocoa Powder for Color
Add the tablespoon of cocoa powder to just one area of the base, leaving a good portion of it uncolored. Stir only in the general area where you added the cocoa.
8. Scoop and Pour the Base Into the Mold
Keep laddling it out and into your mold, using as little (or as much) as you want of each color, until your mold is full. Make sure you pick up the moId and gently tap it several times to help pack the base down and fill in any air bubbles.
9. Wait for It to Set
If you leave it out at room temperature, this may take up to 24 hours. I like to place mine in the freezer for about 30 minutes to help cool it faster, then I wait about two to three hours to unmold.
I wasn't satisfied with the flat look of the top of my soap, so once it had cooled enough to be hard on top but still soft inside, I took my plastic spoon and used the handle to poke around in it a bit to create this look.
10. Remove It From the Mold
Working around the sides, gently pull the mold loose from the soap, then you can peel off the mold.
11. Cut the Soap
Cut your soap as you see fit.
Enjoy the Soap!
You could use your soap immediately after creating it, but you may find it a little soft (almost spongy with a gentle squeeze). This is because there is still extra moisture (water) in the bar. If you use it like this, the bar will not last as long. For a harder, longer-lasting bar, place your soaps on a drying rack and allow it to dry. The longer you wait, the harder they will be. You'll know they're ready when they will feel as hard as a store-bought soap!
Now you know the basic steps that can be applied to making any rebatch recipe! Thank you for reading. I hope you found this informative. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.
Janet peter on August 29, 2020:
If i don't have the mentioned pots above, how can i melt my soap? Also what can i add to a drying skin soap when melting? Thanks
Rochelle on June 13, 2018:
Thank you so much! I am new to rebatch soap and this really helped me!
Donna on July 03, 2016:
I loved your tutorial on rebatch. Very easy to follow and loved your photos too. I have a bunch of Olay soap slivers that I will be rebatching. May throw in some other soaps such as castile. I also plan on using beer instead of water. In another post, the lady said that the beer gave it lathering properties, which I want in my medium hard water. Thanx again!
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