Rebatching a Failed Milk Soap 17

Yesterday, I showed you the way I made a milk soap and I promised we would look at the soap that failed. Today will be the day that I show you how I re-batch a failed soap.

Collect needed items:

Failed Milk Soap from yesterday
Raspberry Fragrance Oil
Concentrated Liquid Purple Raspberry
Soap Spoon
Glass or Steel Baking Pan
Dough Knife or Cheese Grater
Potato Masher
Immersion Blender with a whisk attachment (optional)
Time spent:
Cutting soap into small chunks: 5 minutes
Heating 6 oz of water: 60 seconds
Stirring soap and hot water: 45 seconds
Heating soap in oven at 200° Fahrenheit: 30 minutes
Mashing heated soap: 2 minutes
Heating soap in oven at 200° Fahrenheit: 30 minutes
Mashing heated soap: 2 minutes
Adding additional fragrance and color: 30 seconds
Stirring until completely smooth: 3 minutes

When I pulled the plastic bag holding this soap out of the mold, there was a brown gelatinous mass under the soap and then I knew that my soap had failed. After making faces and scowling at the soap, I grabbed a stainless steel steam table pan that I use for other projects. I unwrapped the soap and dumped the soap and gelatinous goop into the pan. Tossing the bag into the trash can, I walked over to the oven and turned the temperature to 200° Fahrenheit. I grabbed my soaping gloves and a dough knife that I use for cutting soap.

Now that I was armed to deal with my soap, I started slicing the soap with the dough knife. As I made my third slice about 3/4 inch into the soap, the soap started leaking. Ack! This white-ish fluid mixture flowed out a hole right in the center of the soap. While I think this was very cool, I’m glad I was cutting the soap in the pan. According to our Technical Support Team, this fluid is a mixture of sugars, glycerin and water.

I chopped my failed soap until all of the soap was in small chunks, but you can also use a cheese grater. I poured boiling water over the soap and placed it in the oven. Now, this is where you do not mimic my actions since I made a mistake. I used 1 – 1/2 cups of water when I really only needed maybe 1/2 cup at most! This was too much water and made my soaps shrink quite a bit as they dried.

The soap was placed in the oven for 30 minutes to cook. After the 30 minutes, I stirred the soap and tried to break down the larger soap clumps. After stirring for about 60 seconds, I grabbed the whisk attachment for my immersion blender and mixed for another 60 seconds. This time the soap looked much smoother but it still had lots of soap clumps that I didn’t want. The soap went back into the oven for another 30 minutes.

This time, the soap had a puffy appearance and after stirring it was determined to not have anymore soap clumps. I poured the soap into a 1 gallon bucket so I had an easy place that I could add fragrance and color. I added more fragrance because after the process of rebatching, the soap did not smell like raspberries anymore. I added more of the Concentrated Purple Raspberry color because I wanted to have a pinkish color.

I used the whisk to mix the additions into the soap completely. Unfortunately, I forgot that to use a whisk means that I added air to my soap. Whoops! Once everything was completely mixed, I poured my soap into the mold and let it rest for 24 hours.

The next morning I cut the soap into bars. The soap was still very soft and I was worried that I had messed up the re-batch. I grabbed my soap and took it to our Technical Support Team and when I showed them my soap, they promptly burst out into giggles. After the giggles had abated I learned that while my soap was fine, I had made a floating soap by whipping my soap and adding too much water. So I headed back to the kitchen and stacked the soap to allow good air circulation. I allowed the soap to cure for several days before slicing up the soap for samples.

Now you have a great example of how to re-batch your soap and things you really shouldn’t do when re-batching.

I hope my educational experience has been helpful to you, because I learned a lot!

Finished soap as it air dries.

The brown gelatinous mass at the bottom of my soap.

Cutting the soap in the pan.

A close up of the fluid flowing from my soap.

Using the dough knife to cut the soap.

This soap is almost ready to go into the oven.

Hot water.

Soap in the oven.

Stirring the soap after 30 minutes in the oven.

The soap is still very lumpy and needs 30 more minutes.

The soap in a mixing bucket.

Adding color to the soap.

Chopped soap and hot water.

Soap after 30 minutes in the oven.

Stirring the soap with the electric whisk.

Stirring the soap after 60 minutes in the oven.

Adding fragrance to the soap.

Soap cooling in the mold.

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About Andee

I'm a twenty something soap snob. I've grown up with hand made soaps and I love them! I really like making lotions, soaps and perfumes. I adore mixing scents to come up with something new. My favorite scent is either Wicked or Cotton Candy. I tend to hoard fragrances, I even have an Earl Grey Tea from the MMS catalog. I won't tell you how old it is, but it sure is good!

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17 thoughts on “Rebatching a Failed Milk Soap

  • CanfieldFive

    Thanks for braving the experience of rebatching for us! It gives me so much more confidence that I can save failed batches! 🙂

    (PS- Most of your pictures look like you’re mixing some sort of delicious raspberry/strawberry custard-like dessert… now I’m hungry!)

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    • Andee Post author

      HAHA! I think this is one soap I don’t want to eat or taste. Doing the “repair” to this batch was so interesting. I am so sure we learn more from our failures than we do from our successes, especially after this batch.

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  • lisa.maw

    Hi, Do you know what it was that made your soap fail? I have had this same type of experience on a couple of batches of goat milk soap. Just wondering if it was the milk…and why it seperates like that.


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    • Andee Post author

      It is a combination of being a milk soap and the temperature accelerating. Saponification is exothermic meaning it creates heat during the reaction. Milk is temperature sensitive. This means we should pour more shallowly so the soap can’t build up heat inside while saponification happens.

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  • lisa.maw

    Hi again, So let me get this straight. Using a mold that is flat and wide instead of a loaf could eliminate this problem is that correct?


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    • Andee Post author

      This is correct. A shallow or flat and wide mold is much better to use instead of a loaf mold. This will help eliminate the problem.

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  • Jean

    Mine was a goats milk batch into a tray mould. The first tray was ok, it poured nicely bu it started to solidify and I had to smooth over the other 4 trays and muck about with them a bit. I wonder if this made the oil problem worse? The first batch had a little oil sitting on top, the other 4 had about a teaspoon or more and appears to be separating.
    I will try this rebatch method.
    I think my lye/milk temp may have been a bit high 110, the oil was about the same.
    When I was mixing, I let it go to a thicker trace because it seemed to have a few streaks.
    Warning sign!

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    • Tina

      Milk soaps do tend to like to be poured more fluidly. A great learning lesson. We have done this before so we feel your disappointment. The cool part is you can see this all the way through the repair. THAT is exciting.


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  • Sherry

    I make CP soap last night, today when i remove them from the mold , they are so oily? I don’t know what but usually my soap are oily and after a few days, they become normal?
    bcz of our weather I super fat them 10%. 5% its make our skin dry.

    is that a problem my soap looks oily in the beginning?

    plz reply to me.

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    • Andee Post author

      This is not a desirable thing. I’m going to have you e-mail your formula to our Technical Support Team. They will help you make any adjustments to prevent this issue and other undesirable issues as well as make a soap that works perfectly for your climate. You can e-mail

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  • Juliette

    Dear Andee,
    I do want to thank you (however belatedly) for this fabulous post! I have read and tried other methods of rebatching. The last one I found is similar to yours and for the first time I was able to save a soap batch, but it wasn’t pretty. Your method makes perfect sense to me and I can see it working. I am very greatful to finally have a solution for the next time things go wrong.


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    • Andee Post author

      I’m so glad this helps you Juliette! I always try to make soaps so I don’t fail, but it is nice to have a technique that works to save things!

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  • Dom

    I’m glad I found your page!
    I made Goat’s milk and honey soap on the weekend and it was a disaster! Even after mixing the frozen milk and lye very slowly, and mixing the oils and lye solution at low temps, and letting my poured soap cure outside overnight at 40F, I still had a mess on my hands!

    I cut my soap last night, and had a brown thick syrup coming out near the bottom throughout my batch (I had poured in a shoebox), and a clear gel liquid coming out near the top. Your soap had the same! It’s strangely comforting 🙂

    Onto the rebatch 🙂

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  • Amalia

    thank u for sharing your experience but i want to ask if this is the re-batching technique for any mistake in the soap ? does it differ for undissolved lye in the soap ?

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