Instead of standing for hours steaming bars...

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100%Natural

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After trying to steam all of my bars (far too time consuming) to get rid of soda ash, dust and crumbs I discovered a much faster way to do this!

I'm sure it's been done before, but I thought I'd share my accidental discovery!

After accidentally dunking my soap into the pot of water, I thought all was lost, but nope, it turns out this is a much quicker way of doing things. I started dunking one half of the bar in the hot water for a fraction of a second and then cleaning and polishing that half and then subsequently dunking the other half and then cleaning and polishing that as well.

Instead of it taking a few minutes to do one bar, I can now finish two in under a minute!

So happy about being clumsy for once in my life..lol.
 

three_little_fishes

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Awesome mistake! I haven't tried steaming yet, but I have some bars that really need it. I thought about getting one of those little Shark steamers though.

Funny...I never got ash when I cured in my bathroom. Of course, those bars are now covered in DOS. Hahaha! Live and learn.
 

100%Natural

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It really is awesome! For me personally, I like a polished bar with a gloss on it. When using natural colourants I find that they come to life when they have a nice sheen on them. Highlights the swirls too! I just completed 68 bars in under an hour. Very, very happy right now!
 

happymom

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Can you "dunk and polish" a bar that has a swirly top? I wasn't sure if it would melt any of the detail or wash away the micas. By "polish" do you mean just rub it down with a smooth rag or towel?

I have been spraying with alchohol and so far that has worked pretty well, but I have forgotten a few times and gotten a little ash - this would come in handy.
 

100%Natural

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Can you "dunk and polish" a bar that has a swirly top? I wasn't sure if it would melt any of the detail or wash away the micas. By "polish" do you mean just rub it down with a smooth rag or towel?

I have been spraying with alchohol and so far that has worked pretty well, but I have forgotten a few times and gotten a little ash - this would come in handy.

My tops are swirled and I've not had a problem at all. You literally just dunk for a half a second and then pull it out and start wiping. I wouldn't choose this method if you have sprinkles on top of your bars though.

One thing I would recommend is making sure your bars are good and hard before trying this. Mine are around 4 weeks old and hard as a rock. Any water they happen to pick up will evaporate by the time they're ready for packaging at 6-7 weeks old.

I too used alcohol for mine and it didn't do a whole lot for them. Sometimes it helped and sometimes it didn't. I've gone back to gelling though so the soda ash really is minimal, but as I mentioned earlier, I like a sheen to my finished bars and this does the trick!
 

kazmi

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Thanks for this very useful tip! I have some soap with ash that I needed to do something about. Just wasn't looking forward to steaming it. This sounds so much easier.
 

100%Natural

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What do you polish the bars with? A nylon?

Nope. I grab the bar by the corner of a tea towel, dunk, wipe, polish and then use the towel to set it on my rack. No fingerprints anywhere to be found! They're as clean as a whistle because my soaping towels have been washed and dried several times and only together. No lint!

A word of caution about using 'foot' stuff to clean soap bars. I was at a show recently and I had a customer come up to my table and ask me what I use to clean my bars with. Oddest question yet for sure..lol. After I told her, I asked her why she thought to ask that question and she said another soaper at the same show was using a sock to polish her soaps and the customer was grossed out..lol. :sick:
 

dcornett

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Nylon works really nice for polishing soaps...if you choose to do that. Too bad we can't come up with a way to avoid ash altogether, because even though cleaning a bar may be less time consuming than steaming one, it's still horribly time consuming to have to clean/polish each individual bar just so they'll look super nice.
 

Lucidcat2

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Nope. I grab the bar by the corner of a tea towel, dunk, wipe, polish and then use the towel to set it on my rack. No fingerprints anywhere to be found! They're as clean as a whistle because my soaping towels have been washed and dried several times and only together. No lint!

A word of caution about using 'foot' stuff to clean soap bars. I was at a show recently and I had a customer come up to my table and ask me what I use to clean my bars with. Oddest question yet for sure..lol. After I told her, I asked her why she thought to ask that question and she said another soaper at the same show was using a sock to polish her soaps and the customer was grossed out..lol. :sick:

Oh wow. I think I'd keep moving if I saw somebody using a sock to clean a product that I was considering buying. Hopefully they only use the sock for soap! Thanks!
 

roseb

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I got ash all over my first batch. After doing some research on the net, I sprayed the tops with 71% alcohol and it got rid of the ash and gave them a nice glossy finish. I also found out that I poured my soap too soon. Soapmaking 101 has a nice tutorial on it. Nice to know that dumping works as well!
 

DeeAnna

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"...she said another soaper at the same show was using a sock to polish her soaps and the customer was grossed out..."

It's like the buyer thought the soaper whipped a sock off her foot and used the dirty sock to polish the soap. Wow. Some people have an overactive imagination! :-?
 

100%Natural

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"...she said another soaper at the same show was using a sock to polish her soaps and the customer was grossed out..."

It's like the buyer thought the soaper whipped a sock off her foot and used the dirty sock to polish the soap. Wow. Some people have an overactive imagination! :-?

Honestly, I think it's vile myself. Clean or not. The whole idea of socks is just wrong..lol. Needless to say I was more than happy to take that customer's money from her! It was a $75 sale too.

Perception is business is everything.
 

Ruthie

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It seems strange to me to be cleaning your bars at a show. I have that sort of thing done ahead of time. And this is a good reason why. . . Even though I do not use socks in any form.
 

DeeAnna

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I do get your point, Ruthie, and pretty much agree with it. I want my product to be ready to go when I arrive at a show or fair. If I have any last minute things to do, those chores need to get done before the event starts, not during the event. I am keenly aware of being "on the stage" during an event. For the record, I always bring a few small, clean towels for accidents and such, never any socks!

But I still have to say ... if a sock goes through the wash in a load with a tea towel, the sock after washing better not be any dirtier or "ickier" than the towel! OTOH, one of my friends uses three towels to dry off after a shower -- one for her (short) hair, one for the upper half of her body, and one for "down below". And each one (and her wash cloth) gets washed after every use. But then she is 100% a city girl and I grew up in the country -- I often thought that might be the difference in our perceptions of what is dirty or not.
 

Ruthie

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You are right about that, DeeAnna. A story comes to mind of a former associate of mine that ABSOLUTELY would not allow socks on the table. Not clean socks, not even brand new socks. It was, I am told, a family trait. Makes no sense, but its one of those things that if you respect the person, you respect their "quirks," too.
 

Lucidcat2

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I do get your point, Ruthie, and pretty much agree with it. I want my product to be ready to go when I arrive at a show or fair. If I have any last minute things to do, those chores need to get done before the event starts, not during the event. I am keenly aware of being "on the stage" during an event. For the record, I always bring a few small, clean towels for accidents and such, never any socks!

But I still have to say ... if a sock goes through the wash in a load with a tea towel, the sock after washing better not be any dirtier or "ickier" than the towel! OTOH, one of my friends uses three towels to dry off after a shower -- one for her (short) hair, one for the upper half of her body, and one for "down below". And each one (and her wash cloth) gets washed after every use. But then she is 100% a city girl and I grew up in the country -- I often thought that might be the difference in our perceptions of what is dirty or not.
That sounds more like body issues than locale issues. I grew up in a burb of Vancouver & don't have any such issues, neither do any of my friends. Def some body or cleanliness issue.
 

Dorymae

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People can be quirky. My daughter will not drink water that came from the bathroom sink. I've tried to tell her it's the same water from the same well as the kitchen sink, but nope. Perception is everything.
 
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