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scottcote3

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I love making soap but have yet to have a batch turn out beautiful. All goes along smoothly with mixing and tracing. I pour into individual bar molds, and the next day my soap seems hard already and has these white spots/blotches on it. Every single batch I make comes out the same. I'm so depressed and ready to give up.
 

kisha

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Are you talking about ash? I get it on almost all of my bars with my favorite recipes. I've seen posts that mention spraying with alcohol and covering the soap with plastic wrap for the first couple of days to try and prevent it from forming. Can you post a picture?

I'm sure someone with much more knowledge will chime in.
 
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Susie

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If it is soda ash, you can simply wash it off under water. Much easier to get rid of it than prevent it. Lots of my soaps develop soda ash. The other possibility is if you use palm oil, you are getting stearic spots.
 

not_ally

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What is your recipe? What method are you using (ie, cp or hp? Assume one b/c you mention trace). Can you describe your process a bit, ie; what temp are you soaping at, are you stickblending or whisking, etc? Where are the spots, in the body of the soap or on the surface?

If you can describe what you are doing lots of people will be willing to help, we are all soap maniacs here, don't give up. It is probably something you can fix pretty easily once you figure it out. It is just hard to figure out what is going on from the info above.
 

scottcote3

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I can't seem to up load photos. I created an album on this site but the picture isn't showing up. I am using cold process, the trace comes out perfect. I am using a hand blender.
 
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commoncenz

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Don't give up! Think of most anything that you've done worthwhile in life; none of it came easy right away. And if it did, then it got harder as you tested/improved your skill level. The fun thing about soaping is that even when you get to a point where things are going relatively smoothly, there's more that you can learn, different techniques to try, recipes to develop etc. etc. etc.

Soaping is a challenge in the beginning and remains as challenging as you choose to make it as you progress. But it can also be an enjoyable sensory experience that helps you relax.

Stick with it. You'll be glad you did.

And yes, it sounds like you've got soda ash. Happens to everyone. Pictures would aid in determining it though.
 

lionprincess00

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Me too, often. I've been making it since last August, and it it always short of my vision. I am not a natural like some and struggle desperately with seeing a swirl and understanding how it was made...without detailed instructions my soaps resemble crayon drawings to me.

That said, it takes time to figure this out. If you enjoy it, don't give up. I enjoy it and will work through my struggles, as should you if you still like doing it. Didn't build Rome in a day right?

We are here to help you. Whatever the problem, I'm sure someone here can direct you to fixing it.

Post your method, recipes with exact measures and we can walk you through whats going awry.

My first guess, if it's tracing and pouring well, the white is ash. We all deal with ash at some point. Getting soap to gel helps, lowering the water amount helps, and covering the soap with saran until it's done saponifying helps tremendously. That, or pop it out after saponifying and leave covered with saran or towels a week or so. Should cut back on ash as well.


All that said, with recipe and method we can tell you if it is ash or maybe something else you're doing, and we will help you through it:)
 

scottcote3

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Here is a photo of three bars, but they all look this way. Do you know what I am doing wrong?

Can I re-melt and start over without wasting it? I so, how?
 

galaxyMLP

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That looks like ash to me. Does the soap zap?

If its ash, running it under water will remove it. Also, if you run your finger nail over it and scrape some off, it should have "pretty" soap underneath. Dont get discouraged! Its all a learning experiece and this seems like this may be an easy fix! Ash happens ALL THE TIME!!

ETA, I usually use a potato peeler to get rid of ash if my bars are smooth and dont have fancy tops!
 

coffeetime

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That looks like ash to me. You can trim the bars with a knife or just rinse it off. I spray my loaves with alcohol and CPOP so I get minimal ash. I do find that individual molds get ashier, due to the increased exposed surface area.
 

scottcote3

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Do you spray the bars with alcohol after they are out of the mold or while they are still in it?
 

navigator9

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It does look like ash, and you need to know that it's just cosmetic, it doesn't mean anything is wrong with your soap. Actually, they look really good to me! And know also, that if CP soapmaking were easy, everyone would do it. It's a skill that takes practice, but you're well on your way. Have you actually tried any of your soaps? Yes, it's nice if they look pretty, but what's reallllly important is how does it FEEL?
 

Susie

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Soda ash. It is something that happens to all of us. I just wash mine off after they cure. Easy peasy to fix.
 

KristaY

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It looks like ash to me as well. Don't give up! In spite of the annoying ash, your soaps look lovely! Ash isn't harmful, it's only cosmetic. So if your soap doesn't zap, it's fine. I had a problem with ash on EVERY batch I made for a long time. It didn't matter what I tried to prevent it, nothing worked. Until I significantly decreased my water. For me, 1.8:1 water:lye ratio has stopped most of the problem. I still get ash on all salt bars and mechanic's soap that has a lot activated charcoal. I give them a bath and scrub the ash off with panty hose. As Susie said, it's easier to get rid of it than prevent it.

It looks to me like you're doing a beautiful job so keep at it! :thumbup:
 

galaxyMLP

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Do you spray the bars with alcohol after they are out of the mold or while they are still in it?

While they are still in the mold. The idea is that the spray them right after pouring to create a barier with the air. That is because ash forms when free sodium hydroxide is exposed to the air and creates sodium carbonate by reacting with the carbon dioxide in the air.


If you see the alcohol dry out, spray them again although I havent had very much luck with the alcohol spray technique. I like to cover/CPOP.
 

Dorymae

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I get soap ash all the time, well it feels like that! Anyway I have never been able to prevent it entirely, but luckily a quick rinse and rub under water will wash it away. Then just set the bar upright to dry completely.

One thing that does help is a water discount, when you are comfortable with trying it of course.
 
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