Friday, March 19, 2010

The Great Rebatch Experiment

I'm definitely a sucker for a good deal, and as soon I found an old Crock Pot at Value Village for $10, I new I had to try a rebatch! I started out by grating down a cold process loaf that I thought was pretty boring looking and threw it in the pot with a few splashes of water, cranked it to high (since my old pot only had two settings), stirred it and went back to business around the store.

I must admit, I wasn't very particular about keeping track of exact times, quantities and temperatures. Instead, I pretty much treated it like a carefree concoction and threw a bunch of stuff I had at hand into a pot, checked on it once in a while to stir and add more water over the course of an hour or more. When it came to a translucent phase (as in photo below), I added color and fragrance and some dried chamomile (roughly an ounce of fragrance for this two pound batch, and a couple of teaspoons of mica pigment).

Then I gooped it into my lined mold and sprinkled some lavender buds and more chamomile on the top for a little detail and let it sit overnight.

When I cut it the next day, I was a little underwhelmed by the fragrance. Apparently I'm not a huge fan of the smell of dried chamomile and didn't put enough fragrance oil in to mask it, but I'll keep that in mind for my next batch. It was also pretty soft because I added a little more water than necessary, but it will sit out and cure over the next few days and harden up. Still, I took advantage of the softness and rolled some fun looking balled bars.

The texture of rebatch soap is awesome-- very handmade and rough looking. When making soap from scratch, you need to wait a full month for the lye to neutralize before you can use your soap. The beauty of rebatching is that you are simply changing an existing finished soap so there is virtually no wait time. Either grate down a cold process loaf like I did here, or you can purchase some pre-grated rebatch bases like these. I can't wait to try it again!


  1. I've been struck by the rebatching fever lately as well (after having made a few unsightly logs that need an extra umph!). The crockpot method sounds awesome, i.e hassle-free. I usually just fill a big old soap pot with grated soap and stick it in the oven at 110C. The grated soap is just misted over, barely moistened and that seems to work fine..
    Happy rebatching!

  2. Wow! I knew nothing about this process but it sounds really cool. I'm just glad it was soap you were making and not something edible because I would be worried for your stomach then. :)

  3. Cocobong: Thanks for your great comment! I really want to try your method at home sometime. I think my favorite part about rebatching has to be how hassle-free it really is.

    M.M.E.: Haha, yes, I agree! My stomach would not be too happy. I'm glad we could show you something new, thanks for commenting.