Ash

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Judiraz

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Lately it seems like I'm getting ash on every batch!

My usual recipe is:
45% Lard
20% OO
10% Coconut
10% babassu
10% Rice Bran or Avocado
5% Castor

I use half water/ half goat milk and add some sugar and silk to the lye water.
I use a 30-33% lye solution , depending on what I'm doing.

If I gel, I get ash. It doesn't matter how well I cover, if I spray w/ alcohol, whatever...

Anyone have any hints that work?
 

snappyllama

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Have you been soaping with spicy/musky scents lately? I get noticeably more ash with certain FOs. A batch of Nag Champa had it so thick... it looked like frosting.
 

Judiraz

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No, just ordered a bunch of EOs, but haven't started using them. Most of these batches have been BB Ginger Ale, Neroli & Shea Blossom, WSP My Main Squeeze, and Love Spell.
 

navigator9

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If you use silicone molds, you can try this method I first saw used by Ariane Arsenault. My jaw dropped when I saw her hold the soap, still in the mold, under the faucet and run warm water over it to remove the ash. Why had I never thought of that!!! It works like a dream. You can see it here, towards the end of this video. [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VFVkApbQdI[/ame]
 

houseofwool

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I did that recently. It was so much easier that dealing with the individual bars!
 

amd

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I box steam my bars (because every recipe I make has ash, I've accepted it). Bring water to a boil, set my bars on a flat surface and place boiled water next to bars. Cover with a large and deep plastic container to hold the steam in. Walk away. About an hour later (long after everything has cooled off) I remember that I had soap steaming and take everything out. I've only had to do it more than once on one batch and I think that was because I had the bars too close together so the sides didn't get enough exposure.
 

BlackDog

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If you use silicone molds, you can try this method I first saw used by Ariane Arsenault. My jaw dropped when I saw her hold the soap, still in the mold, under the faucet and run warm water over it to remove the ash.
Seriously, the first time I saw her do that, I felt like in those Bugs Bunny cartoons when someone does something stupid and magically transforms into a donkey. "Why have I been doing the individual bars? Idiot!"
 

Judiraz

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Oh myGod, why didn't I think of that. Brilliant! The ash wouldn't be such a pain in the ash if you can clean up the entire loaf that easily. Now I hope the batch I have planned for tonite gets ashy. Can't wait to try it.
 

navigator9

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Seriously, the first time I saw her do that, I felt like in those Bugs Bunny cartoons when someone does something stupid and magically transforms into a donkey. "Why have I been doing the individual bars? Idiot!"
Oh myGod, why didn't I think of that. Brilliant! The ash wouldn't be such a pain in the ash if you can clean up the entire loaf that easily. Now I hope the batch I have planned for tonite gets ashy. Can't wait to try it.
I know! I think my jaw actually hit the floor. lol It just makes so much sense to do it that way, but until I saw her do it in that video, I had never heard anyone mention doing it like that, so I don't know if she thought it up herself, but whoever did is freaking brilliant! I kept thinking, wait a minute, she just held the whole loaf under the faucet,still in the mold....of course that's the way to do it!!! (palm smacking forehead)
Just make sure that after you do, you let the top of the soap dry really well first, to avoid getting finger prints on it when you unmold. Works like a charm.
 

marlajune

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If I do anything less than a 40% discount on water, I get ash. A good example is this pink watermelon soap. The outside portion is done at 40% discount the inside (which is gelling like crazy and will most likely ash on me) is at 30%. What's even stranger is the same exact amount of neon pink pigment was used! The cut should be interesting.

20151124_153932.jpg
 

Rowan

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Can't wait to see your soap cut. I love the contrasting colour with the water discount. I tend to get more ash when it's humid. In the summer, when its relatively dry, I have no ash. When it's colder and more humid, the ash is horrendous. I'll have to give 40% a try!

Great jaw dropping idea from MA. I'm totally with you on why didn't I think of this before. It makes so much sense!!!
 

Judiraz

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Mariajune. Help understand what you mean by water discount. I use the term lye concentration. When I say I use a 33% lye concentration I mean the solution is 33% lye and 67% water which would probably be considered high water. When you say 40% water discount do you mean the same thing? 40 % lye and 60 % water?
 

JayJay

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I don't know if anyone else experiences this, but my soaps don't usually develop ash until after they have been cut and are curing. I usually leave them in the mold for 24 hours. I cover them, and at that point, there usually nothing on top of the loaf.

I wonder if it would be beneficial to rinse it anyway....in prevention???
 

navigator9

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I don't know if anyone else experiences this, but my soaps don't usually develop ash until after they have been cut and are curing. I usually leave them in the mold for 24 hours. I cover them, and at that point, there usually nothing on top of the loaf.

I wonder if it would be beneficial to rinse it anyway....in prevention???
It couldn't hurt, and it would be an interesting experiment. I say go for it!
 

kumudini

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I know! I think my jaw actually hit the floor. lol It just makes so much sense to do it that way, but until I saw her do it in that video, I had never heard anyone mention doing it like that, so I don't know if she thought it up herself, but whoever did is freaking brilliant! I kept thinking, wait a minute, she just held the whole loaf under the faucet,still in the mold....of course that's the way to do it!!! (palm smacking forehead)
Just make sure that after you do, you let the top of the soap dry really well first, to avoid getting finger prints on it when you unmold. Works like a charm.
Lol ! I saw that video very early on when I wasn't dealing with loaf molds of any kind.So it didn't elicit any dramatic reaction, it just quietly settled into the 'tips and tricks' bin in a corner of my brain.
 

marlajune

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Mariajune. Help understand what you mean by water discount. I use the term lye concentration. When I say I use a 33% lye concentration I mean the solution is 33% lye and 67% water which would probably be considered high water. When you say 40% water discount do you mean the same thing? 40 % lye and 60 % water?
http://www.lovinsoap.com/2012/12/calculating-your-water-amount-for-soapmaking/[/URL]

I use 2:1 ratio most of the time but have found better results putting a 40% water reduction in my recipe. I use the calculators in my soapmaker 3 program. Less water just seems to work better. And I have tested for lye heaviness and have never had a lye heavy soap! :)
 

Spice

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If I do anything less than a 40% discount on water, I get ash. A good example is this pink watermelon soap. The outside portion is done at 40% discount the inside (which is gelling like crazy and will most likely ash on me) is at 30%. What's even stranger is the same exact amount of neon pink pigment was used! The cut should be interesting.
Love your colors!
 
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