Washing off my soda ash?

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by KiwiMoose, Jan 20, 2020.

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  1. Jan 20, 2020 #1

    KiwiMoose

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    Hi there,
    Some time ago I remember someone saying ( @earlene, @dibbles, @Misschief ?) that I could 'rinse' the soda ash off my soap by bathing in water?
    Any tips on how to do this?
    TIA.
     
  2. Jan 20, 2020 #2

    Kari Howie

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    I recall that Soap Queen talked about that: just wash them gently under running water. She also said you could use a handheld steamer to steam the ash off. I’ve done both and prefer the steamer. Hand washing them rounds off some of the bars crispness and I think makes them look a tiny bit used.
     
  3. Jan 20, 2020 #3

    ibct1969

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    Hi, have you seen this?
     
  4. Jan 21, 2020 #4

    KiwiMoose

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    Thanks Both. I don't usually worry about ash except this batch is a slab mold with a lot of surface area - and it's textured so want to retain the tops as they are. I might try the spray technique in the video.
     
  5. Jan 21, 2020 #5

    Misschief

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    I've also seen a video where the soaper puts the soap in a Rubbermaid tub along with a bowl of boiling water, then puts the lid on it. Leave them for a while and the soda ash will be gone. Not sure where I saw that, though.
     
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  6. Jan 21, 2020 #6

    Mobjack Bay

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  7. Jan 21, 2020 #7

    KiwiMoose

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  8. Jan 21, 2020 #8

    Mobjack Bay

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    I have occasionally scrubbed ash off cured bars using a toothbrush and distilled water. The approach works fine if the soap is hard enough, but it sometimes takes a surprising amount of persistence. I polish them with a microfiber cloth after they dry again.
     
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  9. Jan 21, 2020 #9

    dibbles

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    I have had the best results with the method shown in the video linked above. I often skip spraying with water. Putting the soap in a box with steaming water also works pretty well. I’ve had two steamers and both didn’t work right within a couple of times using them. I most often plane the ash, but I usually only get it on the top of the bars. Slab molds are the worst for me. I hate ash.
     
  10. Jan 21, 2020 #10

    KiwiMoose

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    So I've just put each bar under running water and 'scrubbed' the tops with my fingertips to get the ash off. They are drying on some baking paper. They look good - but i will hold judgement at this stage in case the soda ash comes back.
     
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  11. Jan 21, 2020 #11

    Dawni

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    I've seen that many times. Her soap tops come out shiny even but it's a lot of water to waste. I think she posted it one time that that's hot water, not just room temp or cold. There's one video of hers where you can see the steam rising.

    I've tried rubbing with hot water and alcohol, with cotton balls, cotton ear buds (that was an individual cavity mold n had small details), microfiber, cut up cotton shirt....... I just let em be now lols
     
  12. Jan 21, 2020 #12

    Mobjack Bay

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    I’m going to give the method used in the video @ibct1969 posted a try on some soaps I made in individual cavity molds. The soaps are a lovely pale yellow, but you can’t see the color through the ash. He’s spraying the somewhat cured(?) ashy soaps with DI water and then with 91% alcohol.
     
  13. Jan 21, 2020 #13

    dibbles

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    @Mobjack Bay If the ash is heavy, it might not work well. I usually have to plane those bars.
     
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  14. Jan 21, 2020 #14

    shunt2011

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    I embrace the ash. I don't have the time or the patience to try to wash it off. Fortunately, I don't get a lot. On occasion I will take a paper towel with some alcohol and give it a quick wipe. That's it. I mostly get ash on my salt bars after they are cut and out to cure but it takes time. My charcoal soap get's some too once in awhile. Before I just kept them covered for a couple days it's minimized it greatly.
     
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  15. Jan 21, 2020 #15

    Nanette

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    Soap Queen also uses a nylon stocking piece to "scrub" the ash, the roughness of the stocking really gets to the soda ash...
     
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  16. Jan 21, 2020 #16

    Mobjack Bay

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    I gave it a try this morning on some individual bars made in my flower cavity molds, which had terrible ash for some unknown reason. It helped a bit. The bar that got two rounds of spraying looks better than the one sprayed once with water and then once with 91%. It’s a trick to remember, but not the ultimate solution.

    Here’s a visual. From the top left, going clockwise:
    Soap with ash; soap sprayed with Distilled water followed by 91% isopropyl alcohol; soap sprayed with water, then alcohol, then water, then alcohol; soap scrubbed with a toothbrush (which I did only to reveal the true color of the soap).

    437442F9-FC4B-4299-B240-508E0C17AB00.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
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  17. Jan 22, 2020 #17

    Cellador

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    I can't speak for an actual steamer, but I often will plug in the iron to steam the ash away. If it's heavy ash, I sometimes have to give it a few passes before it's ash-free.
     
  18. Jan 22, 2020 #18

    KiwiMoose

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  19. Jan 22, 2020 #19

    Nona'sFarm

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    Soooooo Gorgeous!
     
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  20. Jan 22, 2020 #20

    Mobjack Bay

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