Partial Rebatch Soap Technique


Have you ever had bars of soap lose their scent, get banged up, or just not look as pretty as you’d hoped?

Ugly soap on the left, which was shredded and incorporated into the rebatched soap on the right.

If so, I have great news for you! It’s super simple to rebatch those bars into new soap! Come along with me as I walk you through a method known as partial rebatch or ciaglia.

Soap Challenge Club featured this method in October 2021, and it was a huge success! I also found several online articles and videos by searching no-heat soap rebatch or partial rebatch.

What you’ll need to do is choose the bar or bars you find less than appealing, shred them, and then make a new batch of soap using the shreds.

But wait! It’s not quite as simple as just adding some shreds to soap batter. You’ll add the shreds to the melted oils, then stick blend them until they are finely ground. This way you’ll get a speckled appearance in your new soap.

I’m going to use Frosted Cupcakes Fragrance Oil, which discolors to light tan, because most of my soap shreds are cream colored with a bit of pale green and blue.

I’ll explain more in the instructions. First, let’s come up with a soap recipe.

What You’ll Need

Supplies

Soybean Oil
Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Shea Butter
Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Distilled Water
Frosted Cupcakes Fragrance Oil

Equipment

Scale
Soap Bucket
Spoon
Silicone Spatula
Stick Blender
Thermometer
Soap Mold

Formula

37.5% Soybean Oil
31.25% Coconut Oil
25% Olive Oil
6.25% Shea Butter
Q.S. Sodium Hydroxide (use Lye Calculator)
Q.S. Water (use Lye Calculator)
Q.S. Frosted Cupcakes Fragrance Oil (use Fragrance Calculator)

1-pound Batch

6 oz Soybean Oil
5 oz Coconut Oil
4 oz Olive Oil
1 oz Shea Butter
2.28 oz Sodium Hydroxide
7 oz Water
0.28 oz Frosted Cupcakes Fragrance Oil

Instructions

Before getting started, please prepare to soap safely! Long sleeves, gloves, eye protection, and close-toed shoes are a must. If you have never made cold process soap before, we’re glad you’re here! Please check out this blog post, which is the first in a series on beginning soapmaking.

Weigh all the oils into a microwave-safe container; set aside.

Weigh the fragrance oil into a small glass container; set aside.

Weigh the lye.

Weigh the liquid you will be using.

Slowly add the lye to the liquid, stirring. Do this in a well-ventilated area. It will give off toxic fumes that you do not want to inhale. Once the lye is completely dissolved, set the mixture aside to cool.

Pop the oils into the microwave to melt, using 30-second increments. Once they are completely liquid, set them aside to cool.

Here is your break to clean up your work space, set out the mold you will use, visit the rest room. Once the oils and the lye mixture are within 10 degrees of each other and have cooled to about 110-130 degrees F, you’re ready to make soap.

The first thing you’ll do a bit differently is to dump all your soap shreds into your cooled oils and stick blend until they are tiny granules.

Carefully pour the lye mixture into the oils, taking care not to splash. Stir with your soap spoon, then pulse the stick blender several times to emulsify the soap batter. Once I like the texture of the soap batter, I remove my stick blender and hand-stir the fragrance oil into the batter.

Oils before melting.

Pouring soap shreds into melted oils.

Stirring in Frosted Cupcakes Fragrance Oil.

Pouring soap into mold.

This batter will be fairly thick, but it should still be pourable. Pour carefully into the mold you’ll be using, and if you have soap leftover, pour into individual cavity molds. (I always keep individual cavity molds on hand for excess soap, since it seems I often need it.)

At this point, I like to cover my soap mold with plastic wrap and put the whole thing in an oven that’s been preheated to 170ºF then turned off. I let the soap process in the oven overnight, so it forces the soap through gel phase. This way you avoid the appearance of a circle of soap that gelled while the surrounding soap did not gel.

I do not put my individual cavity molds into the oven to process, nor do I cover them with plastic. I just set them aside in my work room and forget about them for a few days.

Once the soap has hardened sufficiently to unmold, remove it from the mold and cut into bars. Usually this is possible about 12-24 hours after pouring, especially if you oven process.

Cutting soap.

First bar cut.

Notes

I did not oven process this soap because I’d promised my husband I’d bake him a pie, so the soap got to sit on my work table all night. I got in a hurry this morning to unmold this soap so I could take photos. It definitely could have used another 12 hours hardening before being cut; it was very soft.

As you can see from the photo, the shreds from the ugly soap are pretty much invisible in the new soap. Next time, I’d add more shreds to the batch. I’d also like to try this technique with some deeply colored soap so the shreds would be highly visible. As the Frosted Cupcakes Fragrance Oil discolors the soap, I wonder if the shreds will become more visible. We’ll see!

What do you think about this method of rebatching soap? It’s certainly easier than reheating it and melting it down again.

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About Denise

I'm a crazy goat lady who got into making my own soap with goat milk, found MMS to order supplies, and now I get to combine my love of creating skin care products with a job to pay the feed bill. I live in Alaska and greatly enjoy the unique aspects of my northern home - summer days when it never gets dark and the Northern Lights dancing above in winter. Favorite scents include Wild Mint and Ivy, Rhubarb & Sugar Cane, and Eucalyptus Spearmint.

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