I said I wanted to explore rebatching further after surprisingly enjoying the beer soap rebatch, but I really did not expect to be doing it again so soon. The banana soap I made over the weekend seized on me, so I had to rebatch it to give it a second chance.
It was still fresh and soft, so I just sliced it thinly (faster with a bench scraper than a knife). I did not add water, but added a tablespoon of vanilla fragrance when most of the soap had melted.
Here are the step by step photos:
Sliced-up soap, ready to be rebatched using the plastic baggie technique.
Soap melting in a pot of boiling water.
Soap after adding fragrance and getting a good massage.
Melted soap is ready. Note one side of the bag is rolled up for easier pouring. It’s hot!
Soap pressed firmly into the mold with an acrylic panel for an evenly flat surface and to avoid air pockets.
Once the soap is out of the bag and in contact with air, the surface starts to form a skin. If you try to smoothen the top with a spatula, you will get white streaks; the contact and agitation seems to set the soap. For this batch, I just tapped and shook the mold to get the soap to settle a bit, then placed the acrylic panel on the surface and pressed it down. The surface will still come out wrinkly-looking, but flat. Anyone got ideas how to remove the wrinkles? (Bake it??)
I unmolded the soap after about 4 hours. I used the poorly self-designed acrylic panel inserts that I know are NOT suitable for cold process. I just wanted to see if rebatched soap would stick to it too. It did. But at 4 hours, it wasn’t super glue yet. I waited for 12 hours before cutting the soap.
I am on a food streak, if you haven’t noticed…After someone said my coffee soap smelled like banana cake, the idea to make banana soap stuck in my head. Coincidentally (was it?), I had more bananas than we could consume, so rather than letting it rot, I had to make banana soap!
I’ve had these new sunflower-shaped individual silicone molds that were just sitting in a cabinet for half a year already. I thought now was the perfect time to use them to bring sunshine to the banana soap I was going to colour yellow.
I used the same base recipe as my avocado soap, scented it with honey fragrance oil and added a few drops of canary yellow lab colour. I think it was the fragrance that accelerated trace, but it could also have been the stearic acid. I was careful to mix the oils and lye a little above 100˚F, and I also increased the liquids a little bit. I’ve worked with stearic acid before and never really had a problem with it until I started using fragrance oils.
It was challenging and messy trying to cram the soap into the individual molds. The color was yellow when it went in, but the next day, it had turned caramel (this was insulated – I failed to consider the sugar in the banana.) Actually, the texture, color and shape of this soap reminds me of moon cake, a sweet Chinese concoction usually made with sweetened mung bean paste, and traditionally eaten around late September to early October, during the mid-autumn festival.
I think I will rebatch this. As much as I like moon cakes, I wanted this soap to look happy and bright. Also, I am disappointed with the honey fragrance. It smells artificial, although now it’s not as bad as when it was out of the bottle.