Soda ash on my CP soaps

Yesterday I made my 3rd batch of cold process soap.

I wanted to make a taiwan swirl soap and I have been watching and studying for quite a while (started researching in December and made my first batch of cold process soap this Februray) and I felt that I was ready to try a taiwan swirl. It seems pretty easy, all you need is batches with different colours poured in your mould and when you draw with your chopstick (that’s what I use) the colours will follow your deign with the chopstick (example here and here).

So, last weekend when I made my 2nd batch of soap, I was going to try to make drawings on my soap (flowers). I made a thick trace so that I could make drawings on the top of my soaps that would stay fixed on top of them. After I cut my soaps in 4 (I had a square mould).

Here is a picture of the soaps I made:

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Today I noticed on top of my soaps what I think must be soap ash. I washed the soap with a sponge on the spots that have soda ash and left them drying. Let’s see tomorrow if the spots don’t come back…

Now getting back to my 3rd batch of soap… Yesterday I was decided to make the taiwan swirl soap, and from what I have read to make designs (swirls) it is best to have a light trace. So I made my trace very light. I wanted to make a soap using the colours black, pink and orange.

When I got my really light trace, I poured them in my mould and I thought this will be much different than my other mould last week, where my trace was pretty thick. As I poured my different colours in the mould, I was thinking I am not sure if this trace actually is trace and I don’t know if this will work but kept thinking positive. It will look better when I draw the swirls I kept thinking to myself. At this pont my husband appeared curious of what I was doing. As I started to make the taiwan swirls, I noticed that my batch was so thin that the colours were mixing together as if it were a soup, there was no distinction between the 3 colours…!! Oh boy, I started to think I’ll have to see how this batch can be saved!! By the time I poured the last of pink and orange it was a bit thicker and ended up not mixing with the previous poured batch. I put a lid on my mould and wrapped a towel and prayed that it would solidfy!

So the next day, yeah!, my soaps solidified! But what is this? Did the colours fade? No, I think it is soda ash…

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Soda ash on my cold process soap?

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I googled soap ash and it turns out that soda ash is more likely to happen when you work with light traces (like I did).

I tried to unmould my soaps (12 hours later) but it was like soft butter so I will let it be for at least 12 more hours.

I will let it cure for about a week or two and then try to wash off the soda ash.

I will post pictures after I wash the soda ash off (at least I think it is soda ash).

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