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Avoiding ash on bumpy topped soaps


Avrilon
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Hi everyone,

I have two questions that I hope you can help me with:

  1. I've recently started making some soaps with the irregular, bumpy looking tops because I think they look so pretty that way. How do you cover them with plastic wrap when they are lumpy like that - to avoid ash - without mooshing the nice peaks and swirly bumps? The tops are above the height of the soap mold. My husband added an extension to the mold cover so the soap is covered, but there is air in there, if that makes sense. My last batch has a lot of ash on the top and I'm wondering if that is why. Any thoughts or suggestions?
  2. I have some old soap cut into chunks that I want to add to a new batch at trace. Does the new batch have to be the same recipe as the chunks? Or can it be totally different?

Thank you so much for any advice. You guys were right about soaping becoming addicting. I really didn't realize how creative it is!

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I just recently started using press and seal instead of plastic wrap and it's a god send it seals the heat in much better and I don't get ash anymore :) It does seems like the slower you let it cool on it's own the more likely I won't get ash just like what carrie does. I do the textured tops too, but I make sure they don't go too high so I won't smoosh my pretty tops.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Do you spritz with alcohol after you pour the soap in the mold? Or do you wait til it hardens?

I LOVE the press and seal...best kitchen invention yet LOL.

Yep...use those chunks, doesn't matter if the recipe is different. In fact...I have some chunks and confetti from some M&P soap that I am going to put into my CP soap today.

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I do am wondering about ash. I'm starting to hate oven method as that is the only time I ever get ash. With no gel in the fridge it never happens but sometimes I need to make soap quicker and use the oven method. I'll have to try the press and seal stuff.

Usually I spritz alcohol after it comes out of the mold and then rub with paper towel and other times I shave off the ash on the beveller but then I have a smaller bar of soap.

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One thing that I've noticed is that if my soaps gel too fast or get too hot, I get more ash. Some fragrances do this more than others. With fragrances that I know will move fast, I use a bit more water and make sure my oils & lye are cooler when I start. It's helped a bit.

Other than that, nothing I do seems to prevent it.

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For a time I thought perhaps my ingredients caused it - I thought when I used a higher amount of RBO I got it. But I've proven myself wrong. In fact, I've proven myself wrong with many of my theories for the cause of ash. I've given up. Sometimes it actually improves the look of my soap. Sometimes it does not so I wash it off.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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