I notice soda ash on top of my soap even though I have covered it with cling film. I think the US call it Saran wrap?
Does the cling film need to be in direct contact with the soap mixture or can it still cover without contact and be successful as long as it is airtight?
I usually unmold 24 hours later if soap has set firm and releases easily, then cut and cure.
Also, will a cold room have an effect on the soap whilst in the mold and when cut? I tend to wrap my molds in plenty of blankets but a few days later it starts to appear.
I have even tried not gelling the soap to see if there is any difference. I did two non-gelling soap; one went in the fridge and the other at room temperature. The one in the fridge had cling film which had no contact with the soap, the other had a more airtight plastic lid. I have noticed the one from the fridge is looking slightly chalky.
I'm finding this frustrating.
Soap that has not gelled tends to be more opaque and it can look a bit chaulky.
To help reduce soda ash you can either place the cling film in direct contact with the soaps surface or once the soap has gelled, open up the blankets and place a fan so that it blows directly onto the soap. This will help to blow away any of the evaporating liquid rather than letting it settle back on the soaps surface.
Yes, it can be frustrating but it is something all soapmakers battle...at least you are not alone! Sometimes it can even look kind of cool, especially if you have textured the surface of the soap.