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Soap Ash now I see it now I dont??

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Spice

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I have been doing mostly HP soap; some CP every once in awhile. Lately though, when I do CP the soap ash is horrible on my soap tops. I made a Patchouli soap and I have noticed from the second day that it had soap ash galore. It has been 4 weeks now and the soap ash is ugly. So yesterday I ran it through some water and let it dry. Soap ash is gone and the soap looks good. But why is the soap ash so bad. I have done CP before but these last few batches have be bad? I was wondering if having a wood mold have anything to do with it? I say that because I noticed overheating, cracked tops. Here is the before and after shots.

Soap Forum Soap Ash.jpg

Soap Forum Soap Ash_1.jpg
 

Dorymae

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Ash can develop for a number of different reasons. Water discounting helps. Full water soaps usually develop more ash.
 

MoonStruck

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I don't know the science behind it at all but whenever I've used palm or palm kernel oils I get ash on every surface of my bars. So I stopped using palm. Without the palm I don't have ash. I don't spritz my bars or do anything to prevent it other than omitting that one oil.

It seems really strange to me because I know it is a hugely popular oil and the vast majority of people using it do not have my problem.

Are you using the same recipe when you CP and HP? Use the same additives, etc? The culprit could be really random.
 

galaxyMLP

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I don't know the science behind it at all but whenever I've used palm or palm kernel oils I get ash on every surface of my bars. So I stopped using palm. Without the palm I don't have ash. I don't spritz my bars or do anything to prevent it other than omitting that one oil.

It seems really strange to me because I know it is a hugely popular oil and the vast majority of people using it do not have my problem.

Are you using the same recipe when you CP and HP? Use the same additives, etc? The culprit could be really random.

Do you heat your new recipe to the same temperature you did for the palm oil soaps? That might have something to do with it.

As for ash in general, yes, water discounts help immensely.
 

snappyllama

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I seem to mostly ash when I use full water with certain FOs that heat up. Some things that seem to make it better for me: spritzing with alcohol, covering the top of the mold with with plastic wrap, water discounting and not soaping on humid days (I live in the mountains without AC - I can really feel the air difference when it rains).

ETA: I haven't seen a behavior difference in my recipes with PKO
 

MoonStruck

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Do you heat your new recipe to the same temperature you did for the palm oil soaps? That might have something to do with it.

As for ash in general, yes, water discounts help immensely.
I soap at room temp and use a 33.3% lye solution. I imagine it's something to do with the specific environment of my home.
 

Spice

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I don't know the science behind it at all but whenever I've used palm or palm kernel oils I get ash on every surface of my bars. So I stopped using palm. Without the palm I don't have ash. I don't spritz my bars or do anything to prevent it other than omitting that one oil.

It seems really strange to me because I know it is a hugely popular oil and the vast majority of people using it do not have my problem.

Are you using the same recipe when you CP and HP? Use the same additives, etc? The culprit could be really random.
Yes, I use the same recipe. I use CO, OO, Castor, Soy, Almond&Grape. I dont use Palm.
I use full water, what is a good water discount anyway?
 

Spice

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I soap at room temp and use a 33.3% lye solution. I imagine it's something to do with the specific environment of my home.
I soap at rt too. I was thinking of lower my lye water temp a little further down and see if this could help with the ash/overheat.
 

MoonStruck

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I soap at rt too. I was thinking of lower my lye water temp a little further down and see if this could help with the ash/overheat.
I like a 33.3% solution because the soap traces quickly enough but still gives me time to do fancy swirls. With your recipe being largely soft oils I would think you could cut it back further still. That said, maybe don't jump into a really steep discount right out of the gate, the batter may move faster than you expect.
 

galaxyMLP

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I soap at room temp and use a 33.3% lye solution. I imagine it's something to do with the specific environment of my home.
So you soaped at room temp with the palm recipe too? I would imagine it didn't get well mixed like that. I have to soap at least 105 F to get my palm to melt. I'm just curious because if you soap at RT now but hotter when you used palm, it may be causing the difference in ash.
I might also misunderstand you entirely...

Eta: I also use a 2:1 or 33.3% lye solution
 
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KristaY

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Palm hasn't made a difference for me with ash but water sure has. I use 1.8 parts water to 1 part lye. I hardly ever see ash any more but I also live in an arid area so I'm sure that helps too. I also prefer to gel so insulate and cover soaps that aren't heaters. The alcohol spritz never made a difference for me when I was using full water.

Your soaps look beautiful, BTW!
 

Spice

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I use 1.5 parts water to 1 part lye.
I like a 33.3% solution because the soap traces quickly enough but still gives me time to do fancy swirls. With your recipe being largely soft oils I would think you could cut it back further still. That said, maybe don't jump into a really steep discount right out of the gate, the batter may move faster than you expect.
I will sit down and figure what I need to do. Both sounds great to me. My next batch will be using a discount and I will see how it works out. Thanks:clap:
 

jcandleattic

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There are many factors that can contribute to ash.
For me, I live in a pretty dry climate and rarely get ash, but if there is high humidity (for here that means above 20-25%) then I tend to get ash more often.
 

Spice

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I use 1.5 parts water to 1 part lye.
I like a 33.3% solution because the soap traces quickly enough but still gives me time to do fancy swirls. With your recipe being largely soft oils I would think you could cut it back further still. That said, maybe don't jump into a really steep discount right out of the gate, the batter may move faster than you expect.
MoonStruck, when you say 33.3 solution, how do you figure that? I mean, what is 33.3% solution?

Dorymae, I guess the same question, what is 1.5 parts water to 1 part lye? I kinda know, but I am confused, maybe by the statement? Not sure. I am going to a farmer's market today so I wouldnt see any replies, I will check later tonight.
 

FlybyStardancer

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A 33.3% solution just means you have twice as much water as lye. For instance, if a recipe calls for 1oz lye, you dissolve it in 2oz of water.

For 1.5:1, it's 1.5oz of water for every 1oz of lye.
 

galaxyMLP

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MoonStruck, when you say 33.3 solution, how do you figure that? I mean, what is 33.3% solution?

Dorymae, I guess the same question, what is 1.5 parts water to 1 part lye? I kinda know, but I am confused, maybe by the statement? Not sure. I am going to a farmer's market today so I wouldnt see any replies, I will check later tonight.
A 33.3% solution is a 2:1 water to lye solution.

For example, lets say your recipe called for 3.04 oz of lye. To make a 33.3% solution you would mix 3.04 oz of lye with 6.08 oz (3.04x2) of water. It is a 33.3% solution because you have 3.04 oz of lye/ a total of 9.12 oz. 3.04/9.12= 0.3333333 x 100% is 33.3333% or approximately 33.3%.

In Dorymaes case, you would mix 1.5 parts water to 1 part lye or 4.56 oz of water to 3.04 oz of lye. This is also known as a 40% lye solution because 3.04/(4.56+3.04)=0.40 x 100% =40%
 

Spice

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A 33.3% solution is a 2:1 water to lye solution.

For example, lets say your recipe called for 3.04 oz of lye. To make a 33.3% solution you would mix 3.04 oz of lye with 6.08 oz (3.04x2) of water. It is a 33.3% solution because you have 3.04 oz of lye/ a total of 9.12 oz. 3.04/9.12= 0.3333333 x 100% is 33.3333% or approximately 33.3%.

In Dorymaes case, you would mix 1.5 parts water to 1 part lye or 4.56 oz of water to 3.04 oz of lye. This is also known as a 40% lye solution because 3.04/(4.56+3.04)=0.40 x 100% =40%
What an incredible soap makers you guys are! I printed this up and need to sit somewhere quit and a cup of coffee so I can picture what is happening. Luv, luv luv this.
 

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