I'm one of those people who always has to take them home 'because they make such a good souvenir'.
Reality is that by the time I'm home I forgot I even brought them, and the shiny hotel-wrappers have long since gone to waste in some forgotten corner of my beauty case.
By now I have a little glass jar full of broken pieces of my scavenged souvenir-soaps, which made me think: perhaps those pieces can be made into one new block of soap?
A little search on the web brought up several options to make new soap out of old soap, a.k.a. 'rebatching'.
I kind of went along with this DIY-tutorial from a website totally dedicated to soap, but instead of using a crock-pot, I opted to melt the soap 'au-bain-marie', because I thought it would be safer.
Here's what I did:
1. First I got all the things together that I would need:
- Soap left-overs
- Cheese grater
- Large pan with boiling water
- Wooden ladle
- Little bit of olive oil
- Flexible mold
2. Then I grated the soap, which took a while + I had to clean the grater a few times while doing this, because it became a bit too soapy.
3. I started warming the soap au-bain-marie.
4. While the soap gradually warmed up I went along with my business and checked every 15 minutes or so. After the first 15 minutes I added 50cl of hot water to get make the mix a bit less dry.
5. After the soap had been gradually warming up for about an hour it looked like this:
6. I left the soap to warm up and melt for a bit longer, in total about an hour-and-a-half, before adding a bit of olive oil to help make it even softer.
Now I didn't use a lot of oil, just a little dash, because I was afraid the soap wouldn't harden well if I would use too much. In hindsight I think I could have easily used a bit more.
7. After mixing the oil through the soap, the mixture had a consistency similar to mashed potatoes (truth be told: mashed potatoes with lumps), and I went ahead pouring it into my paper mould:
8. After letting it sit for a day the new soap-block was hardened and ready to be taken out of the mould. Now doesn't that look pretty and rustic?!:
Truthfully: this rebatching project didn't work out completely as I hoped it would. It seems not all the soaps I used melted as easily. Maybe a few of them just needed a bit more time, or my au-bain-marie method didn't generate enough heat.
But still, I made good use of my soap left-overs. I'll start saving them up again for a new attempt in a few months.
Have you ever attempted to rebatch soap? What method did you use and how did it work out?