I am inside my own soap, and so are (probably) you as well!


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Jan 14, 2021
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A quick thought that, taken literally, is on-topic for the lye-based forum, but maximum irrelevant nonetheless.

When a soap develops soda ash, it is because it pulled carbon dioxide from the air. But where did that CO₂ come from? Well, wherever CO₂ originates from – volcanic eruptions, organic matter rotting in the soil, coal-burning power plants, cement mills, cars, candles, but also our breath. Humans eat food (carbon source), burn it (metabolism), and then breath out the carbon in form of carbon dioxide. Every time I breath out, I increase the CO₂ levels in my surroundings. You know the whitish crust that sometimes develops floating on concentrated lye solution during soapmaking? That's soda crystals, made from lye and the most nearby CO₂ source(s).

Hence, unless I'm making soap while wearing a space suit, chances are that some of the soda ash on/in my soap have been part of my body for a few hours, days, or even years.

In this sense, I could justify unsightly soda ash to a donee with the both romantic and scientifically correct comment that I am “giving away part of myself”.

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