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That white powder that forms on soap?

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Natalie

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I forgot the name, but I got it on the last batch I made. I read that it's harmless and you can scrape it off, how could I scrape it off of soaps from intricate molds?

How do I prevent it from forming in the first place?

Thanks in advance.
 

IanT

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This is ash cerated as a bi-product of the saponification process, it ususally happens when the soap come in contact with a lot of air before it is done with the sap' process. Make sure your molds are sealed with saran wrap (over the top of the soap) or a lid or something of the sort.

to remove it from intricate molds?? hmmm...maybe just soak the bar in water real quick?? or you could probably use an air compressor? lol
 

Natalie

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Good, somebodys awake!

I loosely covered my molds with aluminm foil, probably a no-no but I didn't have saran wrap in the house. I bought some yesterday. I also wrapped the molds in heavy towels.
 
G

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My grandmother makes CP soap and she has a fool proff method of preventing this. She makes a 12 pound match and adds 2tbsp of bees wax flakes when shes melting down the oils. It prevents soda ash.
 

cdwinsby

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I find letting the soap cool completely before taking off the blankets or towels helps alot.
 

mandolyn

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I cover with saran wrap. If I've had ash form on the intricate part of a soap, I've spritzed it with water. The ash doesn't go away, but turns sort of pearly looking. Not a bad look really.

The only ways I know of avoiding ash altogether are covering to avoid contact with air during sap as previously mentioned, or making a change to your recipe, or using a different recipe.

The problem is really with the recipe. I have one recipe - olive, coconut & palm oils only that always forms ash unless I cover. I have other recipes that don't form ash at all.

I AM going to try the honey, though, with my ash-forming trinity recipe. :D
 
G

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I did a bit of googling and found this article at About.com. To sum up the article:

The article says soap ash is produced by the lye in the soap coming in contact with the carbon dioxide in the air, producing sodium carbonate or soap ash.

The article suggests:

1. live with it, it's kind of rustic

2. wash or trim it off

3. cover soap with plastic wrap while it's curing

4. add about 1-2% bees wax to your recipe, about 1/3 oz ppo


I thought it interesting that the article repeats exactly what La O' and Mandolyn said. :)
 

SoapyGal

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I learned from another forum that spritzing the top with alcohol right after pouring into the mold prevents it :)
 

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