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Soda Ash Woes

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clairissa

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Hello Everyone,
I am hoping someone can help with Soda Ash.

After I mold my soap, I spray with 99% isopropyl alcohol and cover with plastic wrap and bundle in a towel to insulate. I also use distilled water in my recipes. After un-molding, my soaps look beautiful, they pass the zap test etc. Life is good! I place them on my curing rack and re-visit a few days later and sadly I see Soda Ash developing on the tops of my soaps. :( The soda ash seems to get worse as the weeks go on.

Is there something I can be doing to eliminate the soda ash from occurring during the curing time. Would running a fan over the soaps help them?

What is the best way to remove it? I let it go if it seems to enhance the soaps appearance. However, unfortunately this is not always the case.

Thanks for any advice.
 

shunt2011

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I don't often get ash. I pour my soap then spray with alcohol and cover with my lid or a piece of cardboard and then cover with a towel or two and let it be for 24 hours. I've found that once it's had time I don't get ash. The only time I've had serious ash was salt bars in individual molds that didn't gel and didn't cover. They even ashes on the entire soap when unmolded.
 

clairissa

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OldCrowSoaper

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I get the same issue with mine. Cover and sprayed and still get it after a few days of curing. I am still searching for a way to stop this.
 

Rsapienza

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A water discount has helped me. I hardly ever get ash and if I do, I steam the bars with my iron. Works like a charm.
 

Michelle0803

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I used to have the same issue. I now use a water reduction and no longer have soda ash. I also do not gel my soap.
 

shunt2011

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This post is almost 5 years old. The other posters other than myself haven't been here in 2 years or more.
 

Zeb Lisik

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Haha revive the old threads? Everyone is talking about water discounts, but that's a bit unspecific. What lye % or water to lye ratio worked for you in eliminating soda ash?

I've been doing 2:1 water to lye without Soda ash, but I sometimes want to increase the water to slow trace but still want to avoid the ash. Can anyone comment on the upper limit?
 

bookreader451

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Last weekend I did two soaps, same recipe but one had a MP moon so I couldn't CPOP. I soap relatively cool (under 100 degrees in a basement that is cool) and the CPOP has no soda ash and the other batch that was insulated and covered has soda ash. I think the cooler you soap and the colder the environment of saponification the more likely you are to get soda ash.

Just my opinion based on observation
 

Rsapienza

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Haha revive the old threads? Everyone is talking about water discounts, but that's a bit unspecific. What lye % or water to lye ratio worked for you in eliminating soda ash?

I've been doing 2:1 water to lye without Soda ash, but I sometimes want to increase the water to slow trace but still want to avoid the ash. Can anyone comment on the upper limit?
I usually do 1.6:1 and I have time for swirls as long as it's a well behaved fragrance. I think soaping cool and only stickblending to emulsion is key.
 

Rsapienza

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@Rsapienza i agreed, that's how I feel. What is the lowest ratio you've gone down to? Lol I hadn't done less than 2:1. What other benefits did you see?
A harder bar; can unmold in about 8 hours or so. I can clean them up (although not usually needed), stamp them and hide them away for their cure time. One time I was using MB lye solution 50/50 and I forgot to add the extra liquid into my batter. I didn't even realize it until I was done soaping. I did a drop swirl with 4 colors. The batter did not get too thick or anything. That was the lowest at 1:1 but I didn't do it intentionally. :lol: I was surprised because I've always read that you don't have time to do swirls if you go to low. Again, I'm convinced stopping at emulsion is key. Once I separate for colors, I will give them a quick SB if needed.
 

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