Rebatching using a plastic bag.

Quite some time ago I rebatched soap and used Alkanet infused oil to colour it and Lavender essential oil to scent it.  The colour was wonderful and it smelled lovely, but the texture left something to be desired.  Since I had read somewhere about rebatching using a plastic bag, I decided to try that.

I used the type of bag that is used for oven frying.  I figured it could stand the heat.  I wouldn't use a regular plastic bag for this, I'm pretty sure it would just melt.  I put the lumpy lavender coloured soap in the plastic bag, tied it close and put the bag in a pot with hot water.  With the top of the bag sticking out I let the water come to an almost boil and then turned it down to very low heat, left the soap there for a while and forgot about it, accidentally.   When I came back (I think it was 2-3 hours later) the soap was very nicely melted, but it had turned brown.   Hm.  Not what I intended.  I was sad to loose the nice lavender colour, but at least the scent was still there.  I couldn't do anything about the colour so I figured I would go with the flow and make cup cake soap.  I squeezed the soap from the plastic bag into a bowl and used my electric whipper to whip it up.   I then spooned it into a cake decorating bag and piped it into muffin forms.  The rebatched soap was very smooth with this method, but not really quite firm enough to make a great whipped soap.  It is better to do that from scratch.  I haven't done that in a long time, but might just give it a go again soon.  Especially since I need some way to rescue my rather dull rebatched soapmuffins.  They might look ok if I could get a nice fluffy white top on them.

But anyway, there are two lessons in there.  The first is that Alkanet doesn't like heat.  This actually corresponds with my experience that it is better not to heat the Alkanet infused oil, but add it to the other oils.  The second lesson learned is that the plastic bag method workes great.  It's easy to get the soap into a bag, it doesn't have to be finely grated, just not in big chunks and there is no need to sit and watch the pot, the soap will just melt nicely in it's own good time.  There were no lumps or bumps and I'm sure that the soap would have been fine poured into a mold.  So this might just be the easiest way to rebatch.
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Comments

  1. Well Ambra, you've made me really hungry for something sweet! :) Looks like icing to me -and I think the white frosting on top would really be pretty!

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  2. Thank you Ambra for sharing this interesting way to rebatch. I can't believe how thoroughly the soap melted - you were able to whip it up and pipe it out and it still looked smooth! Usually my rebatched soap firms up as soon as it comes into contact with cool air. i have to give this a try next time!

    - Maggie

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  3. I agree I like the smooth look of the whipped cupcake soap.

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  4. Looks and sounds gorgeous!!! xo Jen

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  5. I tried rebatching only once with some leftover soap scraps and it wasn't a nice experience. I did the plastic bag method, but many pieces of soap refused to melt. The whole mass turned into an ugly green-brown color but smelled good(added some mint EO). Your cupcakes turned out well. They look nice and creamy.

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  6. Well, I'll be...I've tried this method only once (and am raking my brain to remember where I first read about it..) and it wasn't successful at all. Maybe I should have forgotten about the soap and just let it simmer longer like you did, but my end result was lumpy-mushy. I did not proceed to whip it (I think that might be the way to your ingenious result, no really..those cupcakes look real fine from here), but just squeezed it right out of the bag into little, fake molds ( I think I used my Buddha molds). What really bugged me was that I could squeeze it all out, then the bag ripped/popped because it was hot, that made a freakin' mess and then I had all this wasted soap sticking to the counter top and the utensils I used for scraping and saving. Then again, I'm great at making easy things difficult to impossible, so I just stick to in-the-pot, in the oven melting grated soap that has been moistened a tad with coconut milk.

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  7. your rebatched soaps look really nice and smooth. i have rebatched only twice and both times i grated the soap, placed it in a plastic sealed bag, added milk and popped it into the microwave for a few minutes. it melted really well. I then took the bag out added any optional ingredients, resealed the bag and just squeezed everything together. finally i snipped one end of the corner off and pipped it into my mould....although i used this method it was not as smooth as your. well done!!

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  8. I've never heard of the plastic bag method! Was your soap really fresh when you rebatched it? That might be part of the key to getting it so smooth... Just a thought. I think it looks wonderful!!

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