An ashy soap

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Megan

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I usually don’t have an issue with ash, the measures I take are often sufficient. Sometimes however, I do get a loaf with ash. This one was a bummer because I loved the design on top….but it will wash away with the first use anyway.
Now I just have to figure out a name (scented in the Nature’s Garden Sauvage dupe which I would highly recommend…I like it even more than the perfect man)
 

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AliOop

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Very pretty! You can always steam the tops to remove the ash.
 

The_Phoenix

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Beautiful!

I keep a spray bottle filled with isopropyl alcohol. I use it for an assortment of needs and it is very effective at treating ashy soap tops after making the soap (not after pouring the soap) and before cutting.
 

AliOop

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Beautiful!

I keep a spray bottle filled with isopropyl alcohol. I use it for an assortment of needs and it is very effective at treating ashy soap tops after making the soap (not after pouring the soap) and before cutting.
That's the first I've heard of using it after making the soap. How long do you cure before spraying it with RA? Do you wipe it off after spraying?
 

Megan

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I've tried spraying 90% on my soaps while curing but with the type of ash I get (the "deeper" kind) it doesn't seem to work for me.

I assume it would work better for more superficial ash.
 

The_Phoenix

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That's the first I've heard of using it after making the soap. How long do you cure before spraying it with RA? Do you wipe it off after spraying?
Really? If there is soda ash on the soap top when I pull it out of my cooler, I spray the entire surface until I see a wet sheen and let it fully evaporate off. No need to wipe. Then I cut into bars as usual.

I rarely get soda ash. I soap at a 1.8:1 water:lye ratio. Sometimes 1.7:1. When I do get soda ash it’s usually random and I chalk it up to the fragrance oil.

I never really understood the logic of spraying the top after pouring. It evaporates pretty soon after applying so how it would benefit the soap in any way always seemed like a bit of a stretch.
 
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The_Phoenix

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This works pretty well for me.
Isopropyl alcohol is generally 70% alcohol with the remainder being water so there is no need to first spray with water then rubbing alcohol.

I’ve been doing this pretty much since I first started making soap 18+ months ago when I’ve encountered soda ash.
 

The_Phoenix

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I've tried spraying 90% on my soaps while curing but with the type of ash I get (the "deeper" kind) it doesn't seem to work for me.

I assume it would work better for more superficial ash.
What is your water:lye ratio?
 

dibbles

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Isopropyl alcohol is generally 70% alcohol with the remainder being water so there is no need to first spray with water then rubbing alcohol.

I’ve been doing this pretty much since I first started making soap 18+ months ago when I’ve encountered soda ash.
I use 91% rubbing alcohol, but yes often just the alcohol will take care of the ash.
 

AliOop

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I only tend to get ash with charcoal soaps, and occasionally certain micas seem to get more ashy, too. Low water/high lye concentration doesn't help, spraying with RA after pouring doesn't help, gelling doesn't help, and covering doesn't help. I'm usually too lazy to steam because I'm not selling, but I'd be happy to spray the cured bars with my 91% RA if that works. I'll give it a try - thanks!
 

The_Phoenix

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I only tend to get ash with charcoal soaps, and occasionally certain micas seem to get more ashy, too. Low water/high lye concentration doesn't help, spraying with RA after pouring doesn't help, gelling doesn't help, and covering doesn't help. I'm usually too lazy to steam because I'm not selling, but I'd be happy to spray the cured bars with my 91% RA if that works. I'll give it a try - thanks!
You’re welcome! Do you get ash the next day after pouring (while the soap is still in the mold prior to cutting) or as the soap cures?
 

Megan

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What is your water:lye ratio?
2:1 and it works pretty well for me most of the time. I don't usually have a problem with ash.
I sometimes have issues with the weather. This one was during the change of the seasons and humidity was way up. If I would have kept it covered a few more hours I'm sure it wouldn't have been an issue. The soap I made the next day was beautiful, no ash in sight.
 

AliOop

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You’re welcome! Do you get ash the next day after pouring (while the soap is still in the mold prior to cutting) or as the soap cures?
For me, charcoal soaps start ashing as soon as they are exposed to air. Doesn't matter if I leave them covered for a week - as soon as they are uncovered, they ash.
 

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