Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Rebatching Soap Ideas


  There are a lot of reasons to rebatch your soap.  Maybe you don't like the color or scent.  Maybe it separated into a greasy mess or is lye heavy.  I always end up with a lot of shavings & end cuts that are not usable as they are, but are perfectly fine soap.

Basic Rebatch

You want to grate up, shave up, or chop up your soap into very small, fine pieces.  The smaller they are the easier they will melt.  Coconut oil soap, & probably some other extremely hard oil soaps are really difficult to work with in a rebatch.  The fresher the soap is, the easier it is to rebatch.  So if you have some old coconut oil soap, you have a challenge.  If your soap is fresh & ground up finely you can dribble some water or spray some water on it to dampen it & cook, right away.  If it is old hard soap you may want to cover it with water & let it soak for a few hours or overnight.  Pour the water off.  You can save it to add back in later, if needed.  I like to rebatch in my microwave in a 2 qt pyrex measuring cup covered with cling wrap, on a low power like 2 or 3.  You can rebatch in a crockpot, in the oven, or even in a double boiler.  The idea is to dampen the soap to soften it, so it melts faster, & then apply enough heat to melt it.  Stir the soap up as it is melting to get a more even melt.  Continue to melt until smooth or as lumpy as you like.  If the soap starts to get thick before it is melted just add more liquid & stir it in until it is the consistency you want.  Then color, scent, swirl.  Beautify to your taste & mold.

You do not have to use water in a rebatch, you may chose instead, another liquid like aloe vera juice, a milk, or even a fruit or vegetable juice.

Dry Soap Rebatch

Follow directions for Basic Rebatch, but add a bit of oil, too.  This can also be done if you forget your superfat or didn't add enough, & have soap that is drying on the skin.

Oily Soap Rebatch

Check your recipe.  If you are sure you added everything correctly, then the soap may have been molded too early or too hot, or in the case of CP, got too hot in the mold & separated.  The oily part is part of your recipe so make sure you add all, or as much as you can, back into the rebatch pot.  Sometimes a soap will be made with too much superfat that needs to be corrected.  his can be done by adding a bit more lye solution.  If you know the amount of superfat or extra oils that were added to the soap.  Take the amount of lye you added and rerun the batch with a lower superfat in the lye calc to get the new amount of lye.  If you added 2 oz lye, and superfatted at 15% & the soap is way too greasy, you want to adjust this.  There are a couple different ways to correct this.

1.  Run the recipe back through the calculator  at the % of superfat you want.  Lets say you want 5% superfat.  As an example, 2 oz lye gave you 15%, 2.7 oz is what you need for 5% so... you need to add 0.7 oz more lye.  Dissolve the lye in at least as much water by weight & add to your rebatch.  Heat & stir until you have no zap or pH test is in the normal range for your soap.

2.  Make a new batch of soap.  Add the shavings of the oily soap to it.  If the old batch has a superfat of 15% and you want 5% superfat in the total batch (both combined), then you need to make the new batch at a SF of -5%.  You have 10% SF you need to use leaving 5% in the old batch.  So making the new batch at -5% will give you 5% in the new batch, too.  -5 + 10 = 5.  You can adjust the superfat on the new batch to compensate for whatever superfat you need to thin out.

Lye Heavy Rebatch

You will need to add oil and water to this one!  If you were unlucky enough to add a lye solution where the lye was not completely dissolved, your rebatch may not be successful.  Lye is not soluble in oil so you need water to dissolve the crystals.  Once they are incorporated in the soap batter, it can be really difficult to get them to contact enough water to dissolve, or tell they are dissolved, but you can always try.  Better than tossing it out!  If the lye was dissolved but somehow it is a lye heavy soap, then it needs more oil so that lye can react with the oils you add & complete the saponification.  You can add oil to the melted rebatch a bit at a time until it no longer zaps or pH tests safe.  Make sure you add even more oil so the soap has a superfat.  Unless you know how much additional oil you need, try 1/2 oz ppo (per pound of oil) at a time.  Stir it in, give it a few minutes & test, continue until soap tests safe.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Body Butter & Lotion Bars

Sorry, you don't get pictures with this one :/  If you MUST see the stages, do a search for Body Butter tutorial and I'm sure somebody has some pictures up on their site.

These are really pretty standard recipes.  The proportions are kinda important, but there is a lot of room to play, to make it your own.

Body Butter
3 oz coconut oil
3 oz shea butter
3 oz cocoa butter
3 oz Rice Bran Oil
a few drops of vitamin E oil

You can also add 1 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder to cut the greasy feeling, too.
If you have an organic coconut oil & an unrefined cocoa butter the smells come through wonderfully!  Keep that in mind if you decide to add an EO.  The EO seems to be nice at 1/2 tsp for this batch if you choose to add one.

Melt your oils & butters, you can leave out the ones already liquid & add them after the hard oils are melted & cooling.  You can add the cornstarch/arrowroot any time before it is done, but it incorporates well in the oils.

When the oils are around room temperature stick them in the freezer (or outside in the winter if it's cold).  The oils will start to firm up.  When the oils are getting solid around the edges, use a hand mixer (with beaters or whisk) to beat it like whipped cream.  If it doesn't want to beat, stick it back in the freezer for a few minutes & try again.  You can also put the bowl with your oils in an ice bath to cool & keep it cool.  I beat mine to the consistency of soft peak whipped cream & pipe or spoon into jars.  Now, wasn't that easy?  And oh, what a lovely product!  If you whip it too stiff, the consistency is more like hard butter from the fridge.  Makes it hard to apply.  You can remelt it & go through the steps again to get the consistency you want.  Another thing to remember is that by whipping it the oils increase in volume, so have extra jars handy.

You don't NEED to use Rice Bran Oil.  Check out my "Lots o Links" page for links to info on different oils to determine their qualities.  I have also made a real nice butter with all mango for the butter portion & canola & castor for the liquid portion.  It's heavier/greasier, but some of us NEED that in the winter.

Basic Lotion Bars

These are a solid lotion that when applied to the skin, melt for easier application.  I have given these out & people come up with all kinds of things to do with them.  They make great lip balm, heel softeners, cuticle conditioners. These really need some kind of container.  I usually use small molds that will fit in those 3 1/4 oz deli cup things that salad dressing comes in if you order a to go salad.  Of course, you can put them in fancier containers, or even a plastic bag.

4 oz beeswax (the yellow unrefined smells wonderful!)
4 oz coconut oil
4 oz Rice Bran Oil (or oil of your choice)
1/2 oz vitamin E oil

Melt beeswax & coconut, stir & cool slightly then add the liquid oil & vitamin E, mix well & pour into molds.

Salve Base

So many things to put in salves.  Making your own Vicks type decongestant with EOs or Infusing coconut or Olive oil with healing herbs.  I've even heard of people making pine tar salves.

Use 2 oz coconut oil  (or olive oil)
and 1-2 oz palm oil (or beeswax)

Melt together, stir, add your EOs stir & put in a jar.  The salve solidifies to a vaseline like consistency.  Leave the lid off until it hardens to avoid condensation.  Water or water based liquids make mold & bacteria & you do not want that in your salve!

You can make a Vicks like salve with Lavender, Camphor, Peppermint, and Eucalyptus.  You will have to experiment with the amounts to suit your taste.  I listed the EOs in order least to most drops I like in mine.