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Mailbag Monday - How Do I Fix or Rebatch a Batch of Soap?

By December 27, 2010

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Cecilia writes, "I have some CP soap I'd like to rebatch. It's a vegetable soap with Olive, soybean and coconut oils. Can you help me - please. I'd like to know if you've had experience rebatching soap - is it best with water or milk? How much water per pound of soap? I read all various ranges from 12oz to 1lb of soap to 4 table spoons per pound. I'd also like to add luxury oils to my rebatch soap - how much of these oils per lb should I use? I've read 1 oz - 2oz per lb. Any help or advice you can offer would be extremely appreciated."

There are kind of two schools of thought on rebatching - on the one side, you have folks who only rebatch when absolutely necessary - to fix a failed batch for example. The other side rebatches gleefully, using the opportunity to add delicate essential oils, botanical ingredients that turn brown when they come in contact with the lye, or to add luxury superfatting oils. You seem to fall into that second category, and that's just fine.

I have a long tutorial on rebatching soap that shows you all of the steps and discusses a lot of the pros and cons of rebatching. Many soap makers prefer to use milk when rebatching. It just seems to help things get smoother. You can indeed also add luxury oils, but you want to make sure that you don't superfat the recipe too much. A good way to do this is to calculate the recipe including those oils, with the superfat percentage set where you want (say, 5%) and then just don't add those oils when you mix the lye and oils together. Hold them out intentionally knowing that you're going to rebatch and add them in later. (If you were to not add them in later, you'd have a soap that was less superfatted, or even lye heavy - so be sure to add them in, and make sure they are well blended into the rest of the soap!) Then, when you have the soap rebatched/remelted, add in those held out oils (along with any fragrance, color or additives you want) and blend well.

Happy Rebatching!

For more information about Mailbag Monday - or to send me a question - visit All About Mailbag Monday.

Mailbag Monday is a feature on the site where I share readers' questions and the answers. You can ask questions about candle making, soap making, or any of the related crafts that we engage in. Just email me with "Mailbag Monday" in the subject line. You can also check out previous questions I've answered in the Mailbag Monday Archive.

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