Ash and other beginner questions

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JDOM

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Hi everyone

Ive made a two batches of basic soap now (no colouring etc). Ive noticed my first batch has ash on it. I grabbed a bar the other day and I like it even though it riced and is an air bubble mess.
This batch was 50% lard, 30% co and 20% oo with 5% superfat. Regarding ash, is it something I have done wrong?

24 hours ago I made a 100%oo soap and I noticed it is still quite soft in the individual soap moulds. Is this because it is 100% oo as a softer bar and needs longer before unmoulding? I have not wrapped in a towel or insulated. Would this be a contributing factor to soft soap as well?

I also want to start playing with colours but ive watched several youtube videos however I'm finding it hard to find a basic colouring technique video. I'm thinking of just using 2 colours for simplicity. Can anyone point me to a very simple 2 colour video to watch?


Thanks everyone :)
 
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dillsandwitch

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Ash happens. Its just a cosmetic thing. You can wash it off it if bothers you. It forms when saponifying soap meets the air. You can try to prevent it by covering your soap with cling wrap or spritzing with alcohol or soaping at a higher lye concentration. There are heaps of ways to try to prevent it but sometimes it just happens. Of the ways I have mentioned some work for some some dont for others. I usually embrace it as it washes off in the first use or 2.

OO soap is a hard soap once it gets there but yes usually it will take a lot longer to unmould than a soap containing hard oils such as coconut or lard etc. Let it sit for a couple more days and it should be right.

As for videos on colour have a look at Vibrant soaps on youtube. Clyde goes into why he uses the colours he uses and overall his techniques are easy to follow and fun to watch
 

JDOM

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Thank you both for the replies.
I found the isopropyl at woolworths and I have watched some of the videos from Vibrant Soap. Your help is appreciated :)
 

penelopejane

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Thank you both for the replies.
I found the isopropyl at woolworths and I have watched some of the videos from Vibrant Soap. Your help is appreciated :)
I spritz with isopropyl alcohol and cover the mold and wrap it and CPOP by preheating the oven to 40* C and turn the oven off as soon as the soap goes in and it seems to work. Maybe only first 2 steps are required to get rid of ash.
 

Susie

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You can simply rinse off the ash from the top of the loaf before cutting it. It is easier to get rid of ash than to prevent it.
 

ngian

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oo 712 grams
water 270.56 grams
Lye 91.63 grams
25% lye concentration (3parts water : 1 part NaOH) is not necessary in cold process soaps.

You can try 33% lye concentration (2 parts water : 1 part NaOH) aka 182gr water or even less with a fresh OO and obtain harder bar upon sooner unmolding, and maybe lesser amount of soda ash.
 

JDOM

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25% lye concentration (3parts water : 1 part NaOH) is not necessary in cold process soaps.

You can try 33% lye concentration (2 parts water : 1 part NaOH) aka 182gr water or even less with a fresh OO and obtain harder bar upon sooner unmolding, and maybe lesser amount of soda ash.
Thanks for that ngian, I will come back to this when I have more experience under my belt. Ive been using the soapcalc as I really am super new to soaping but I will come back to this suggestion in a few months and give it a go!
 

penelopejane

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Thanks for that ngian, I will come back to this when I have more experience under my belt. Ive been using the soapcalc as I really am super new to soaping but I will come back to this suggestion in a few months and give it a go!
33% lye concentration means you don't have as much time as you have now to work with the batter with colours etc.

Maybe try 30% lye concentration first and build up to 33%. It is easily adjusted on Soapcalc.
 

cmzaha

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33% lye concentration means you don't have as much time as you have now to work with the batter with colours etc.

Maybe try 30% lye concentration first and build up to 33%. It is easily adjusted on Soapcalc.
^^^except for 100% olive oil soap.

When using 100% olive oil, as long as it is not Pomace, I would use a 38-40% Lye Concentration. It is the second choice in the #3 Water section of soap calc. Pomace will trace quite a bit faster than regular OO. What is a big drawback for 100% olive oil is the very long cure required to make it a decent soap, by long I consider 6 months min a year better. You may need to let it stay in the mold for a week for it to set up well enough to de-mold. You can also put it in the freezer in order to help it de-mold better, especially the corners, but it still has to be set-up completely before freezing. As it thaws, like anything frozen, it will form condensation, just let it dry.
 

hlecter

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I also spritz with 99% isopropyl alcohol my soap tops. I wouldnt say it really helps. Few times happened to prevent serious amounts of soda ash, but i usually get ash on my soaps...

On my first cp castile batches i made a soap using milk instead of water and after mold i put my soaps on the fridge to prevent gel... That was perhaps my best batch without any sign of soda ash formation, i dont know why or how, but it happened. I used to work with water as % of oils and as high as 30% lye concentration then...

Nowdays (after reading forum posts of course) I avoid completely "water as % of oils" and I work using 33 % lye concentration for all of my bastilles made mainly with 60-100% olive oil.
I think i can go a bit higher as 35%...

I dont care much about ash, but i would like to find a way to terminate it too.
Some people find it "beautiful" as part of the saponification process
 
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