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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!

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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!

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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.

 

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How to Make Beer Soap

beer soapBeer soap is great – if you’ve never made it before (or used it on your skin), here are some reasons to try it:

  • The sugars in the beer give the soap a fantastic lather.
  • Beer soaps are a novelty that make a great gift. Plus if you have an uninterested man waiting for someone he is with to sniff all the soaps at your market table, if you hand him a beer soap, he’ll probably become interested! Beer drinkers are all about the beer soap!
  • Beer is actually good for your skin. Hops contain skin softening amino acids and are known to be antibacterial and soothing to irritated skin.
  • Once you are an expert at making beer soap, you can contact local breweries about private label soaps made with their beers – this can be a major source of revenue if breweries are plentiful in your area! The photo above is a private label soap I made for Lion Bridge Brewery, which is located in my town.

In the soap making world, beer is often considered an ingredient that you should leave alone until you’ve got some experience under your belt. This is true to a point, but if you know what to expect, it’s really not so hard.

First, let’s discuss a couple of myths that I see showing up in Facebook groups and forums on a regular basis.

Myths About Making Soap With Beer:

  • You have to let the beer go flat first
  • You have to cook off the alcohol
  • You have to freeze the beer first

I’ve tried the first two, but all of these things require an extra step and waiting time, and frankly – ain’t nobody got time for that. And really, none of this is necessary. At all. No, really. Keep reading and I’ll tell you why.

How to Add Beer to Soap

There are multiple ways you can incorporate beer into your soap recipe. You can use beer for all or a portion of your lye water. Or you can add the beer at trace, as long as you’ve used some other liquid at a 1:1 ratio (lye:liquid) when mixing your lye water. As long as you do that, you can add the remainder of your water portion at trace, no matter what the liquid is. With beer, I don’t like adding it at trace, because your soap will thicken up fast – I’m talking crazy fast! At first I thought it was because the beer wasn’t as warm as my soap batter, but after cooking the beer and adding it warm, I had the same results. If you want more time to work with your soap, just use the beer as your lye water and be done with it. But keep the following tips in mind.

Beer Soap Tips

When you add lye to beer, it can start to fizz up. So much so that it overflows out of the container and all over your countertop. As far as I know, this is the only reason people suggest following any of the mythical rules I mentioned earlier. Solution: use a larger container than necessary to mix your lye water. And maybe mix it in the sink instead of on a counter, just in case. And add your lye a little bit at a time, very slowly.

Also, lye water made with beer stinks to high Heaven. I highly recommend mixing it outside. If you mix it inside, do it in the basement or a room with plenty of ventilation and wear a respirator that protects you from breathing the fumes. I use this one and it works quite well.

Lastly, darker, heavier beers can lend a bread-like smell to your soap. This smell does not fade with curing. Keep this in mind when choosing a fragrance. Dark beers will also turn your soap a light beige color.

Do you have any beer soap tips or questions? Please leave them in the comments. And thank you for reading!

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Soap Maker Conferences and Gatherings

soap guild conferenceThis year’s Soap Guild Conference has come and gone, and seeing everyone’s photos on Facebook made me wonder if there were any other soap maker conferences or gatherings that I could take part in. I did some research and asked around, and I found that there really aren’t that many. And none of them are near me. But it’s good information to have and to share, so I wanted to offer the list to all the other soap makers out there.

Alabama Soap Meeting, June
Alabama

Annual Ohio Soaper’s Gathering, May
Ohio

Canadian Guild of Soapmakers, Chandlers & Cosmetic Crafter’s Annual Conference, October
Alberta, Canada

Florida Soapcrafter’s Convention, July
Florida

Indie Business Network #IndieCruise, January
Varying locations

Lone Star Soap & Toiletries Soapmaker’s Seminar, June
Texas

NE Bubbles and Blazes Gathering, July
New York

Pittsburgh Soapmakers Gathering, Multiple Dates
Pennsylvania

Soapcon, September
Kentucky

The Soap Guild Conference, April
Varying locations

Tennessee Soap and Candle Social, February
Tennessee

If you know of any other events, please let me know in the comments. I’d love to add more to this list!