Sometimes the wonderful world of chemistry can be frustrating.
Not so much when the soap ends up with soda ash on the surface. Ash is sodium carbonate, the harmless product of the reaction between sodium hydroxide and air.
It can look nice sometimes. Like on the tops of these bars it looks like frosting.
But I hate when it happens on a soap that I want to be able to see the surface.
Great swirl, huh? If only it didn’t look like it needed a good dusting. It’s batches like this that I can’t leave well enough alone.
And now I’ve discovered what may be the easiest way to get rid of the ash: steam!
All you need is some source of steam. I like to use my kettle because I get a concentrated stream of steam that way. But you could just use a saucepan filled with water.
Or maybe one of these?
Just take your ashy soap bars, like these
and hold it over the rising steam. Careful! Steam is very hot so protect your fingers.
The ash just disappears. It really does! Then it’s just a matter of waiting for the surface to dry.
And those swirly bars? Oh, yeah… magic.
Do you steam off ash? Or do you use a different technique?