Rebatching soap, remilling soap, or remelting soap, is the process of taking previously made cold process soap, grating it, melting it down, adding other ingredients if desired, and then recasting it into molds.
What are the benefits of rebatching soap?
Adding special ingredients...Because the soap you are remilling has already gone through the saponification process, you are able to easily add ingredients that would normally react to the lye of cold process soapmaking, such as certain dried florals, herbs, fragrances, essential oils, and colourants. You can also incorporate additional skin nourishing nutrients such as vitamins, proteins, and specialty skin care oils, resulting in beautiful hand milled, textured soaps that are rich in both skincare benefits and uniqueness.
No lye is handled...
Rebatching soap is also a fun and easy soapmaking project for all ages, since no lye is being handled and rebatch soaps generally require a shorter curing time than cold process soaps. Any cold process soap you have made can be used in rebatching soap recipes, and this soapmaking technique is also a great way to use up any leftover soap scraps you may have from trimming or cutting your soap batches.
Start from scratch:
If you'd like to make a batch of cold process soap in order to remill it, we have a wealth of Soapmaking Information that is sure to be informative to both beginner and advanced soapmakers, as well as a large number of Natural Cold Process Soap Recipes that have been used and tested for years here at Voyageur.
Get a head start:
We also make a wonderful selection of Voyageur Rebatch Soap Bases made from all natural vegetable oils and butters, including Goat Milk, Hemp, Shea Butter, and Castile - a quick and easy way to get started making your own beautiful hand milled soaps!
Basic Rebatching Soap Instructions
1. Fill a large stock pot half way with water and bring to a boil. Place desired amount of grated soap in a heavy weight large zip lock bag, seal and then place inside a second zip lock bag, ensuring both bags are sealed. Alternately, place grated soap in a heavy weight plastic bag and secure with a twist tie or rubber band.
2. Place bag of grated soap in pot of boiling water and cover with lid. Turn heat down to medium – low and gently boil for 1 hour.
3. During this time, prepare your molds and any other additives you may be using. (Refer to the tips below.)
4. After the hour, using oven mitts, carefully remove the bag from the hot water, place on a towel on your counter and gently mush/knead the bag until soap is a smooth, even consistency. If you can still see some soap gratings, place bag back in hot water and boil for another 20-30 minutes. Carefully remove from water and repeat kneading.
Note: If you still can’t get all the soap to a smooth consistency, add 2 - 4 tbsp. of water per pound of soap base, and put back in the hot water for another 20-30 min.
5. Once your soap has reached a smooth consistency, add any essential oil, fragrance oil, colour, or other additives and knead to well to distribute.
6. Snip off the corner of your bag and pipe into your molds, making sure you fill all sides of your mold. Cover your mold with a piece of plastic wrap or freezer paper and let sit until hard. Remove from molds.
If you have added extra liquid, you may need to allow your soaps to cure for a few days/weeks to allow the soap to fully dry, extending the longevity of your soap.
Tips on rebatching soap:
If using plastic soap molds for your rebatch soap, spray or rub the inside of the plastic mold with a small amount of vegetable oil.
If using our wooden molds, line with freezer paper (as per mold lining instructions included with wooden molds).
Essential Oils & Fragrance Oils:
On average you'll want to add up to 2 tsp. / 10ml per pound of rebatch soap base.
You can use natural herbs, spices, clays, iron oxides, ultramarines, micas, Labcolors, etc.
Tip: For powder colourants, we recommend mixing a small amount of colour with a small amount of warm water first to make slurry which you can then add to your soap mixture. This will help avoid speckling and give more even colouring to your soap.