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milling soap


Craftedinthewoods
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remilling/rebatching is what comes to mind... disregard if thats not what you were asking!!

I rebatch every once and awhile, which is a process where you take fairly new soap (I've never done it with CP soap older than 3 weeks) you shred it down (I use an old food processer with a shredding blade) add a tiny bit of water (I mist the mass with water until its just damp, not wet), and put it in my oven at 275 in a stainless steel pot for about an hour, stirring from time to time. The soap melts, and goes back into "gel stage" basically. It doesnt become runny like M&P, it just gets soft enough that you can re-color, add what you need, and pour it into a mold again.

Usually when I do this its because the color turned out horrible, or I over-insulated and got a crack. It doesnt happen often but when it does, its nice to have another option! It ends up looking like HP soap. Generally I'll then cut that soap into chunks, curls, or shapes and use it in my CP soaps or use it for myself because I'm not a fan of the look.

For some delicate EO's is a nice option... you can make a batch of unscented CP and then add the EO's at rebatch. I personally never bother with that but I know some people swear by it.

Edited by LuminousBoutique
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I ask because I'm newly turned on to soaping - like I even have been dreaming about it at night! Anyway, I have this book that has several CP 'basic soap' recipes that can be cut into bars and used or shredded / milled and then melted into new recipes.

The book describes hand milled soaps as the way to get a better bar of soap - better texture and longer lasting.

But I've been reading on line and on these forums and it sounds like mostly people simply make a batch of soap and do not mill it.

One nice thing I can see is that out of my first batch of basic soap that I've milled (ok- my only batch so far) I made 4 different kinds of soaps with it and still haven't used it all.

I'm interested in thoughts other's have on why or why not they hand mill basic soap recipes.

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Ahh I see.. ok so I only rebatch when I have to. I dont think it "improves" the bar really, but everyone has different opinions on soap! Its like the great "luxury oils versus cheap oils" debate-- some soapers SWEAR you cant have a nice bar without adding tons of butters and avocado and so on... where others (like me) insist you can get a perfect bar without loading with luxury oils. truth is, nothing in soaping is right- its all about finding what you enjoy and what your niche is!

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Ahh I see.. ok so I only rebatch when I have to. I dont think it "improves" the bar really, but everyone has different opinions on soap! Its like the great "luxury oils versus cheap oils" debate-- some soapers SWEAR you cant have a nice bar without adding tons of butters and avocado and so on... where others (like me) insist you can get a perfect bar without loading with luxury oils. truth is, nothing in soaping is right- its all about finding what you enjoy and what your niche is!

So is there an additive that you personally swear by in your soaps? Some things I've read about and have purchased are cocoa butter and glycerin so far. Do think thoses things make a noticable difference in soap?

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I always use Castor oil, 5% of the oils in my recipe, no matter what, except in my 100% olive oil.

Castor adds moisture and bubbles. I use shea, and sweet almond but also at only 5% as well. I make very olive oil heavy soaps and I dont use Palm kernel or Palm in my soaps. I never add glycerin to soap because glycerin is a naturally occurring in CP soap... I know people add it to M&P sometimes though. I sometimes add it to liquid soap, if it needs a boost. But not always. Cocoa butter is also nice in soaps, but again... you dont need a whole lot.

I would suggest playing with Soap Calc. Add, take away... move things around... see what numbers you can come up with. My best recipes have always come from just messing with percentages to see what I get. And read this old post by Bunny, its really helpful! http://www.craftserver.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3164

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I don't add glycerin to my CP soap, with the right recipe and superfat, you get a nicer soap than adding glycerin, imho. You don't need a shwack of oils to make a great soap. 3 or 4 oils make a very nice soap. Playing with soapcalc with the oils you have on hand is fun and you can come up with some great recipes.

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I would suggest playing with Soap Calc. Add, take away... move things around... see what numbers you can come up with. My best recipes have always come from just messing with percentages to see what I get. And read this old post by Bunny, its really helpful! http://www.craftserver.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3164

This tutorial is helpful. Bunny's 50/50 idea is interesting. But a couple of things... I don't seem to find palm oil anywhere. But I've found coconut oil and lard. And what is palm kernal? Is there a substitute? Can you just increase the lard amount? (I like the idea of keeping the coconut oil down if it is too drying in larger amounts.)

And for the sof oils, can you just use olive oil for the entire 50%? or add a small amount of castor like you suggested - although I haven't gotten any of that yet.

And lastly, when you plug things into a lye calculator how much soap do you want to make for a sample batch? Can you make just a few bars? Would that be like making just 1 pound of soap or do you not make batches that small?

Thanks for your help! This is great fun! (I feel like a kid in a candy shop!)

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I don't add glycerin to my CP soap, with the right recipe and superfat, you get a nicer soap than adding glycerin, imho. You don't need a shwack of oils to make a great soap. 3 or 4 oils make a very nice soap. Playing with soapcalc with the oils you have on hand is fun and you can come up with some great recipes.

So do you add extra oil after you reach trace to superfat a recipe? Does it matter which oil you add extra of?

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