It works! Removing Soda Ash

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dibbles

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Was poking around a little today and found this:

https://soapjam.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/removing-soda-ash-efficiently/

I tried it with a bar that only had a little ash, and one that was pretty well covered. I put a plastic bag on the bottom of a cardboard box, filled a small bowl with boiling water, covered with a towel. Checked it in 15 minutes and no ash! I just left them uncovered until they were dry, and they are perfect. I haven't learned to embrace the look of ash when it happens, and it seems that if my soaps don't gel I always get at least a little. I'm a happy girl to find something that seems to get rid of it with not a lot of effort.
 

galaxyMLP

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Thanks for sharing! I've mostly learned to accept ash now. I knew about steaming to get rid of the ash but I didnt have an efficient way to do so. This seems like it would work really well.

Also, in the post is says this idea came from a humid rainy day that made the ash come off the soap. I've got PLENTY of those here in the middle of swampy Florida so my ashy soaps will probably just get a few hours outside. :)
 

IrishLass

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Cool beans! I'm glad it worked for you!

I have very good success myself from just wiping it off with a damp washcloth; or if I have lots of nooks and crannies from textured tops, I pass my bars briefly under running water and agitate the ash out of the nooks/crannies with a soft toothbrush, rinse, then blot them the bars off with a clean cloth and let them air dry the rest of the way.


IrishLass :)
 

dibbles

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IL, if the ash comes back, I'll give the toothbrush a try. Thanks for the tip.
 

treegoddess

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Ill have to try this.. i always thought you could prevent ash by spraying isopropyl alcohol on the soap once it is in the mold?
 

snappyllama

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Ill have to try this.. i always thought you could prevent ash by spraying isopropyl alcohol on the soap once it is in the mold?
That can help, but it sometimes doesn't... I tested the theory on a batch I put in individual molds.

Left uncovered: medium ash
Covered with plastic wrap touching: no ash but made decorated tops undoable
Covered with plastic wrap not touching: very light ash
Left uncovered with alcohol spritzing: light ash

I really should have taken pictures... I should redo it with an ashing FO and include a few other tests: spritzing periodically, spritzing with plastic wrap...

I'll make a note to redo this sometime in the new year (my soaping queue is full until then). :)
 

treegoddess

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I didn't know you could have plastic wrap touching the soap... i thought it would melt into the soap! I have been just covering soap loafs with freezer paper then towels to keep the heat in
 

snappyllama

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I left a tad bit off one edge and do not gel. I also soap pretty cool. It makes the soap take ages to unmold though so it's something I would only do as a test.
 

quiltertoo

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I tried this. I put the soap in a plastic tote with a container of boiling water and put the cover on. It did get rid of the ash but some of it came back when the soap was dry. I don't usually get ash. What I do is after I cut the bars I lay a piece of saran wrap over the top of the bars. It is loose and lets the air get in to cure the bars. Leave it on for the whole cure. It doesn't damage the tops because they are no longer soft. I forgot to cover the batch with the ash. Won't forget again.

Mary Lou
 

Wildcraft_Garden

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be careful because cracking is really a heat issue .
It is, but this was specifically was from the addition of alcohol. It seems to dry out the top layer faster than the rest of the loaf, or create a temperature differential to cause the cracking.

It happened to me a few times when I was first attempting CPOP, so I tried putting alcohol on one loaf and not the other (two molds, same batch at the same time at 150°, heat turned off once the molds were in). No alcohol was fine, alcohol cracked.

I love any excuse to Science! ☺
 

Dharlee

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It is, but this was specifically was from the addition of alcohol. It seems to dry out the top layer faster than the rest of the loaf, or create a temperature differential to cause the cracking.

It happened to me a few times when I was first attempting CPOP, so I tried putting alcohol on one loaf and not the other (two molds, same batch at the same time at 150°, heat turned off once the molds were in). No alcohol was fine, alcohol cracked.

I love any excuse to Science! ☺
This is interesting. The only time I have not had soda ash so far is when I have sprayed alcohol liberally on top of my soaps. I think I might typically soap hooter than some of you. I soap anywhere from 110 to 130 generally because I am so danged impatient. But I guess it's a matter of time before it bites me in the butt. Probably will happen for the challenge since someone mentioned that 13 (my number) was unlucky LOL
 

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