The Soap Room

Natural Artisan Soap & Shampoo

An alternative to Melt and Pour Soap

Step What is Glycerine Melt and Pour Soap?

During the manufacturing process of commercially made soap, glycerine is usually extracted and then sold as a valuable by-product.  Natural ingredients are rarely used in commercially manufactured soap - if used at all,  natural ingredients are used  sparingly. Transparent soap is often referred to as glycerine soap.  Glycerine is not needed to produce a clear or transparent soap.  Transparent soap is made by adding solvents such as alcohol to the soap mix, to prevent crystals from forming as the soap cools.  
The "melt-and-pour" soaps are also known as solid glycerine blocks.  The pure glycerine used for this soap (animal or vegetable derived), is always liquid and can only be solidified by the addition of synthetic chemicals.  To produce a foam or lather, detergents are added.  The method used in making "melt-and-pour" soap is simply making soap from a soap by-product and although they can have natural ingredients added to them, they are synthetically based. 
The Soap Room does not make or sell "Melt and Pour" Soap bases.  However, we can make for customers a plain, unscented, soap/shampoo base, fresh for rebatching and cut into bars for easy grating.
What is Re-Batching Cold Process Soap?
Re-batching cold process soap is simply reworking the soap while it is still fresh - 2-10 days after making is best, but older soap can be used successfully with the use of additional water.  Re-batched soap is sometimes referred to as "Hand Milled Soap", particularly on websites from the USA.
The advantages of rebatched soap is that end users can create their own, all natural soap (which melt and pour soap isn't) and who want to individualise their soap  by adding herbs, essential oils, salts, etc, and thus not be restricted by already made soap available to buy in stores or on-line.   By rebatching an already made soap base, there will be no need to work with lye and so it will be suitable for older children to work with, for school projects or for anyone wanting to make their own soap at home.  Herbs, essential oils and other natural additives are readily available from Health Food Shops or specialty soap suppliers. 
The disadvantages  of rebatched soap is that the end result is not as smooth as a melt and pour soap or a cold process soap.  It will have a rather rustic look (which you will either love or hate).  It also takes much longer to rebatch soap than  to use melt and pour (allow a few hours).   Shelf life of rebatched soap is at least a year.
How to Rebatch Soap: Step by Step Instructions
What do you need:   A heavy bottomed stainless steel saucepan or a double boiler, a fine grater, wooden spoon for mixing, soap, water and whatever else you want to add to your soap (essential oils, herbs etc), moulds (silicon is best, or a log mold well lined with baking paper)
1.   Finely grate your soap base
2.   Add approx 1-2 tbsp purified water per 120g grated soap (or herbal tea extract)
3.   Mix thoroughly, then let stand (have a coffee break)
4.   Put the saucepan with the grated soap and water on a VERY LOW HEAT, stir from time to time until all the soap is melted.  Do not overheat and burn your soap.  This soap will NOT have the same consistency as the melt and pour soap.  It will slowly melt down to a workable paste.
5.   Add your essential oils (about 2-3% of soap weight), herbs or any other additives you wish to include and mix thoroughly.
   Note about herbal additives:  in its powder form it can make the soap quite abrasive.  
   How much herbal additives to add to the soap: 
   A.  In its powdered form add 1 ml per 120g bar of rebatched soap
   B.  You can make a herbal tea from the herbs you want to add (steep 1 tbsp herbs to 2-3 tbsp purified boiling water,  leave for a few hours, strain and use this for rebatching instead of just purified or distilled water)
   C.  You can steep herbs in olive oil at 40degC for several hours 1 part herbs to 2 parts oil - strain and use max of 1 tsp for 120g bar of rebatched soap)
6.   Carefully spoon the soap mixture into the mold (silicon is best) and press down firmly to avoid gaps.  
7.  After 2-3 days remove from the mold 
8.  Allow to cure for about 3-4 weeks; place on a flat surface on absorbent paper, out of direct heat, light, sunlight and moisture. Turn bars after a few weeks to ensure even curing throughout the bars.
9.   Your soap is now ready to use
10.  If you wish to wrap your soap use fabric or paper. Do not use plastic wrap