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How to Rebatch Soap

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Pros and Cons of Rebatching Soap
Rebatched soap set up

Rebatched soap set up

David Fisher
  • Cons of rebatching
    • The soap never quite completely remelts – it ends up being a kind of gloppy, thick, opaque mass of soap that you have to squish into the molds rather than pour.
    • Air bubbles can get trapped in the bars, and it’s hard to get a smooth edge or top.
    • It’s extra work. I'll deal with it to save a batch gone wrong...but I just don’t have the patience to make a batch of soap twice - on purpose.
    • The soap ends up being kind of “rustic” or “primitive” looking.
    The soap is completely fine, but the aesthetics of it (in my opinion) are less desirable than soap poured only once.
  • Pros of rebatching
    • The fragrances, colors and additives you put in the soap are added after the oils have completely reacted with the lye. Indeed, they're added after most of the saponification process is done – hence the additives aren’t affected by the harsh lye. Rebatching allows you to use ingredients like:
      • Light or delicate fragrances
      • Fragrances or essential oil prone to “seizing,”
      • Colors that are extremely ph sensitive
      • Additives that are affected or turned brown by the lye (like lavender buds)
      • Additives that will be melted by the gel stage (like jojoba beads)
    • It’s also useful to test out fragrances or colors in soap. You could feasibly make a 5 pound batch of unscented soap and then rebatch it into 5 - 1 lb batches, each with a different fragrance or colorant.
    • And, like I said above, it’s also really useful for fixing mistakes…but only if you know EXACTLY what the mistake is. If you have a batch that just doesn’t come out quite right…or you think might be lye heavy…don’t rebatch it. But if you know exactly what ingredient you left out or mis-measured, or the batch got too thick to add the colorant or fragrance you wanted, then rebatching will work just fine. Again, only use rebatching to fix a batch if you know exactly what went wrong.

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