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I think I figured out why my last three batches gave ash...

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MetalSubstance

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I thought for a second that it may have been because those batches are 100% vegetable sources without lard, or that I've been using a hand mixer or stick blender instead of mixing by hand. But something dawned upon me...I poured my first three batches into glass molds, and my last three into metal molds! I bet that because metal is a heat conductor, it allowed the heat to escape out of the soap much more quickly than a glass container would have done.

I did not cover any of my molds, and I'll do that in the future as well to help reduce ash.

A newbie sure learns something new every day while soaping...

--Metal Substance
 

mare61

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I did my first couple batches in fancy plastic molds, didn't cover them and they never gelled. They developed an ashy layer. Now I know better and I pour them into an drawer organizer lined with saran wrap, cover them with saran wrap and a folded bath-towel. They gel wonderfully and I can remove them easy from the mold and cut them in slices. They never got the ash again!
 

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