Removing soda ash from homemade soap
I have been making cold process soap for about 4 years now, and I know that a couple of popular ways to remove soda ash is to either scrape it away (with a chisel, or something similar), and I've heard of soapmakers using rubbing alcohol to remove it.
But I have done some research on the chemical reaction between citric acid and sodium carbonate (soda ash). In perfect combination, it yields sodium citrate, water, and CO2(gas form).
I have one of my rare batches that actually started to set when I had to hurry to get it into my log molds, which left the surfaces uneven. Rather than scraping off the small amounts of soda ash, I saturated a folded paper towel with regular strength lemon juice, and used it to remove the soda ash.
It removed it easily, and beautifully. The sodium citrate left is so small, that there will be no need to rinse off the soap afterwards. Especially since sodium citrate is water soluable, so when you lather up with it, it will be that much more dispersed (weakened), and can actually help a tiny bit with the soap being slightly basic.
Has anyone else tried this method? I would love to hear your comments.