I have never had to deal with ash no matter what method I use, so I don't know if this cuts down on it or not. I think is mainly environmental, atleast in my experience. I get ash in maybe 2 or 3 batches a year that doesn't just go away with a very quick rub with a cloth, it is always end bars that have it so it seems.
I find ash so complexing, lol. Some people get it every batch, others like me, hardly deal with it. I seem to soap alittle differently each time too. Some times I cover the soap, sometimes not if I soaped a little hotter than normal. If I do get ash, it is almost ways in my lavender or Saucy Wench soap for some reason, Oh one batch of OMH last year had a lot of ash after I took off the bubble wrap, but I havn't had any others. And out of the 40ish batches I have made this year, none have had ash.
What is the temp and humidity like in your soap area? What oils are you using? High coconut % seem to have more ash I have noticed, but not always. I also think that soaps that use more water get ash easier. I almost always do 45-48% lye solution which is VERY strong. Try going with a 38% solution and see if it helps. I personally like the Wham, Bam, Thank you Mam soaping, lol. I hate when I have a long trace.
As far as room temp, this is the way I prefer to soap. Now, I do not have a recipe that is super high in hard oils like palm, shea or lard. Coconut melts so easily I don't worry about that one too much. If my buckets sit around for up to a month, the oils start to solidify some, but it is more like a slurry consistancy, which is why I make sure to stick blend my oils very well if they have gotten cloudy, before I add my lye. I don't not want any chunks since my batches can move with such a strong solution. I don't want to take the risk of it not melting and mixing right.
If you are doing 8lb or less batches, go to the Ace Hardware Store. In the pain brush part, they also have paint buckets. They have ones from 1, 2 and 5 gal sizes that all have lids. Get a couple of those and measure and melt your oils. Put the lid on it and then take it out when ready to soap. You will be amazed at how fast it can be to soap :)
So, what scents did you get? I got an order from scent works last night. Black Raspberry Cream (they have the BEST!!), Blue Sugar and cranberry yuzu, yum!