Soap Making

Free Soap Making Batch Record Template

Any crafter that is making a handmade product that people will be ingesting or using on their body should really be utilizing batch records. If you have made the same soap scent two dozen times, and suddenly discover a bar that is lye heavy, how on earth are you going to track down which bars need to be recalled if you don’t have a soap making batch record to track down the problem?

Ways Batch Records Are Helpful
It’s easy to forget how much fragrance or colorant you used when trying to recreate a product. I used to just write it down on a piece of paper and then if I remembered, I’d go into a Google Doc and record all that information. But sometimes when the cure date came around, I couldn’t locate that piece of paper anymore. Was it my vegan recipe or my lard recipe? This is really important information!

A batch record has all that stuff in one convenient place for next time. Just print them off, and keep them in a binder. When you make it again, print off a new record and put it in front of the previous one.

On my own batch records, for the batch number, I use a date system. Say the fragrance is “Lovely Lilac,” for example. My batch number would be “LL011217” – the date being the date the soap will finish curing (January 12, 2017). With this method, you also know how long the soap has been sitting around in your inventory.

Now let’s take a look at how a batch record can help you narrow down what happened with a problem batch.

Batch Numbers
Every time you make a product, you will print off a new batch record and update the batch number, production date, etc. And when that product is packaged, your batch number from that record will be printed on your labels. That way, if someone complains about a product (or you discover it yourself), you just have to check the batch number on the package to see which one is a problem.

Lot Numbers
The next question is whether the problem is from an error that you made, or if one of your ingredients is to blame. As long as you record the lot number of each product that went into your batch, you can compare it with the previous batch and see if anything changed. Maybe the lot number on your lye changed? That could be one place to investigate. See if anyone else in your industry has been having issues with the same lot number. Check your other scents that used the same lye and see if there is a problem with them, too.

Free Soap Making Batch Record Template

I’ve created a batch record template for others to use, so “I never had time to sit down and make one” is no longer an excuse. This template has soap-specific input fields, like cure date, trace speed and fragrance discoloration.

Download the Soap Making Batch Record Template. (This is a Google Doc)

batch record template

Feel free to copy the template and make changes. If you have suggestions on how to improve it, please let me know!

Cold Process Soap Recipes

How to Rebatch Soap in the Oven

ugly soap
They can’t all be beautiful, I guess.

I messed up a soap recently…I purchased a salad shooter and made the mistake of soaking my soap shreds before adding them to my soap. Of course, they turned to mush and looked awful in the soap. I shouldn’t have added them at all (another case of I should have gone with my gut, but didn’t). I decided it wouldn’t sell looking like that, so I’d better rebatch it. I had only had to rebatch soap once before – I used the crockpot and it got really dried out, so I wanted to try a different method. After reading through the Bramble Berry guide to rebatching, I decided to try the oven method at the bottom of the tutorial.

I had two loaves of this disaster soap, but after cubing up one loaf, I realized only one loaf would fit in my baking dish. So I did one loaf at a time. With the first loaf (3.2 pounds), I added a cup and a half of water (which is about 1/2 C per lb of soap).

This is less than the tutorial recommended, but I felt like 1 cup per pound of soap was an awful lot of water.

rebatch soap
Cubed soap ready for rebatching.

Turns out, even the amount I used was too much water. I froze the soap the next day to get it out of the mold, but it’s been sitting on the counter for three days and it’s still very soft. *sad face*

So the next day, I rebatched the second loaf using only a half cup of water total. This one turned out much better. So, here is the process, all laid out:

Rebatch Soap in the Oven Tutorial

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Step 2: Cut your problem soap into cubes and place them in a baking dish.

Final result.
Final result. It looks like hot process, huh?
Step 3: Add 2.5 Tablespoons of water per pound of soap.

Step 4: Cover your dish with foil.

Step 5: Bake soap for 35 minutes, stir and bake an additional 35 minutes. Stir again.

Step 6: At this point the soap is going to be the texture of hot process soap. You are now ready to add color and/or fragrance to your soap and scoop it into your mold. Be prepared to work quickly. Just like hot process soap, rebatch soap likes to get firm quickly. You could add a little sodium lactate to the melted soap to keep it fluid for a little longer.

I still froze the soap the next day to get it out of the mold, and then let it sit overnight. I was able to cut it the following day with no issues. One day later, the bars are softer than a regular bar would be, but I know it will harden up soon. The first batch…time will tell. That one might get pitched.

rebatch soap top
I added glitter for good measure. And that’s Layla (she’s being super needy and won’t let me take a photo without her).
Notes: My soap was only a few days old when I did my rebatch. That may be why I only needed 2.5 Tablespoons of water per pound of soap. If your soap is fully cured, or even older than that, you might need more water than this. I haven’t tested it, so I don’t know for certain, but it does seem logical.

Who else hates to rebatch soap? Do you have a better method? Please, share it in the comments!

Soap Making

Get a Free Soap Making eBook (or Three)

As of this moment in time, all of the following soap making eBooks are free on Amazon.com. How exciting! Snatch them up before the deals end!

free soap making ebookFree Soap Making eBook 1: Soap Making: How To Make Amazing Natural Handmade Soap (With Recipes!)

“If you have ever wanted to learn how to make your own soaps in the comfort of your own home, then the time is now to take action and get started. Maybe you just want to begin a new hobby or maybe you want to start a side business to make some extra money.

There are several different methods of creating great soap and I will show you how to master them and also give you lots of great tips along the way.”

Included:

  • What Makes Soap Work
  • The Different Types Of Soap
  • Soap Making Supplies Needed
  • Different Methods Of Soap Making
  • Fragrances And Fun Soap Recipes
  • Making Glycerin Soap
  • Making Your Own Molds
  • Tips And Tricks

Get it here.

Free Soap Making eBook 2: The Everything Soapmaking Book: Recipes and Techniques for Creating Colorful and Fragrant Soaps (Everything®)

“Home soapmaking is not only more economical than buying premade soaps – it’s also a lot more fun! With The Everything Soapmaking Book, 2nd Edition, you will be making homemade soaps for yourself and your friends in no time!

Completely revised and updated, The Everything Soapmaking Book, 2nd Edition is a complete guide to making all kinds of soap from simple bath soaps to beautiful, aromatic gifts, right in the comfort of your own home. Easy-to-follow steps lead you through the process of making soap, from buying the right kind of equipment to developing unique soap recipes.”

The Everything Soapmaking Book, 2nd Edition shows you how to:

  • Find the right ingredients and equipment
  • Experiment with different types of soap – from basic kitchen soap to the perfect facial soap
  • Make and package soaps for holidays and special occasions
  • Add special scents and colors to please the senses
  • Master artistic techniques for unique shapes and sizes

Get it here.

Free Soap Making eBook 3: Soap Making For Beginners 3rd Edition: A Guide to Making Natural Homemade Soaps from Scratch

“This book is perfect for those who want to make their own soap but do not know where to begin. Soap making is a fun and rewarding hobby that you can also turn into a business once you have successfully made your first batch of soap. In this book, you will get to know the different ingredients, tools and processes on how to create soap.”

Here Is What You Get:

  • Soap Making Starter!
  • Get to Know the Basic Tools and Ingredients of Soap Making
  • Soap Making Made Easy
  • Cold Process Soap
  • Hot Process Soap
  • Melt and Pour Soap
  • Liquid Soap
  • Homemade Soap Recipes

Get it here.

 

Skincare Experiments

Can Sodium Lactate Reduce Drag in a Lotion Base?

Finding myself too short on time to work on developing my own lotion from scratch, I purchased a lotion base to experiment with for the time being. I won’t name the supplier, but it’s a goat milk lotion base from a company I have purchased regularly from, and it was recommended by a friend.

I made my first two batches using the company’s suggested water-to-base ratios for a regular lotion and a light body butter. The lotion consistency was too thin, and the light body butter was a little too thick, so next time I will try something in between the two. However, I noticed that neither of the two lotions I made are easy to rub in. This is a problem for me. I sought suggestions on a lotion making Facebook group, and Mark Fuller said the drag is from the Ewax in the formula.

I asked if I could add sodium lactate to the base, since a homemade batch using it turned out reasonably well. It is known for being a powerful humectant that doesn’t make your lotion sticky. (Source) In a nutshell, he said that since sodium lactate changes pH, there was a good chance it would destabilize my emulsion. His suggestion was to add 2% of a low viscosity dimethicone to get rid of the drag instead. But I don’t really like the idea of adding a silicone product to my lotion. So I went ahead and tried the sodium lactate anyway, just to see what would happen.

Results of Adding Sodium Lactate to a Lotion Base

Since I was running out of my face lotion, I concocted a quick recipe that could be used on my face if this experiment was successful.

Face Lotion Recipe

Ways in which this experiment was successful:

  1. My lotion does not have drag.
  2. It leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth.

Ways in which this experiment was unsuccessful:

  1. Despite using a water-to-base ratio that should have made a thick lotion, mine was quite runny.
  2. The final product has a “fluffy” appearance caused by lots of tiny air bubbles all throughout the lotion. I suspect that this is the sodium lactate and that it didn’t blend into the lotion at all. So it is essentially beaded up and existing on its own, alongside and throughout the lotion, in the form of tiny bubbles. Something similar happened when I accidentally added  a water-soluble deodorant additive to an oil-based deodorant recipe – the additive beaded up and wouldn’t emulsify into the oils.

Whether my conclusions in #2 are accurate or not, I still wouldn’t sell this product. Looks like I have more experimenting to do. What would you do to reduce drag in a lotion base?