How to make soap molds

How to make soap molds

Whether you use a traditional cold process soap mold or some other container, you can calculate just how much soap you need to make to fill that mold. That way you don’t end up having to throw any extra soap out. You calculate the volume of the mold in cubic inches, multiply by 0.4, and plug the total into an online lye calculator to figure each oil and the other ingredients:

  • Calculate the volume of the mold in cubic inches
  • Multiply the volume of the mold by 0.4 to find the total amount of oils in the recipe. Calculate the amount of each individual oil using the percentages in your original recipe.
  • Enter that amount of oils into an online lye calculator to get the final recipe quantities

Prepare the recipe as you normally would using the quantities from the lye calculator, and the soap should come close to perfectly filling the soap mold, whatever its size or shape.

Standard Square or Rectangular Molds

For square or rectangular molds, multiply the length by the width by the height in inches to give the volume of the mold in cubic inches. If you’re not going to fill the mold to the top, calculate to the height that you want the soap. If the mold is 4 inches deep, but you’re only going to pour 2 inches of soap into it, just use 2 in the calculation.

Then, using the percentages in your recipe, calculate each of the individual oils. Enter the oils in the online lye calculator to come up with the final recipe sized perfectly for that mold.

Round or Tube Molds

For round or tube molds, you calculate the volume a little differently. You multiply Pi by the radius of the circle squared and multiply that by the height of the mold.

It’s not as hard as it sounds. The radius is 1/2 of the total width of the tube. For a 3-inch tube, the radius is 1.5 inches. “Squared” is the number multiplied by itself, so 1.5 X 1.5 = 2.25.

Pi is a constant generally calculated at 3.14.

So, for a 3-inch PVC tube mold that is 6 inches high, the calculation is:

3.14 (Pi) X 1.5 (radius) X 1.5 (radius) X 6 (height)

The volume of any cylinder is calculated using Pi X radius X radius X height.

The calculation gives you the volume of the container in cubic inches, which you then multiply by 0.4 to get the total amount of oils needed.

3.14 X 1.5 X 1.5 X 6 X .40 = 16.96 ounces of oils.

Using the percentages in your recipe, calculate the individual oils. Put the oil totals into the online lye calculator for the final recipe quantities.

Water Method for Irregular Shaped Molds

If your mold is shaped irregularly or is otherwise difficult to measure, use the water method.

Fill the mold with water and then pour that water into a measuring cup. Multiply the number of fluid ounces of water by 1.8 to get the total cubic inches of the mold.

For example, if your mold holds 12 ounces of water, 12 X 1.8 = 21.6 cubic inches.

21.6 cubic inches in the mold X 0.4 = 8.64 ounces of oils in that recipe.

Enter the 8.64 ounces of oils—best to round up to 9 or at least to 8.6—allocated by the percentages of each oil in your recipe, and use the lye calculator to give you the final recipe.

Note: This method works because a fluid ounce of water weighs one ounce, which is not the case with other liquids.

Use an Online Calculator or Software Program

When all else fails, or you just want to double check your math, a few online calculators can calculate the recipe for your particular soap mold.

Soapmaker Software is a complete software program for calculating recipes, resizing for different molds, calculating costs of ingredients and batches of soap.

How to make soap molds

Learn how to make new homemade soap by grating old soap scraps and remolding them into new soaps.

How to make soap molds

Learn how to make new homemade soap by grating old soap scraps and remolding them into new soaps.

The big mesh bag of colorful soap scraps was sitting in my bathroom cupboard for longer than I would like to admit. As I dumped them onto the counter, I was reminded of soaps gone by – the scrubby oatmeal soap from the co-op, the handmade blue swirl soap that was a gift, the rose soap that smelled so good. Is it possible to be nostalgic about soap? Apparently so.

But nostalgia aside, I was here for a practical purpose – to avoid wasting perfectly good soap.

Being frugal is in my blood. Growing up, we scrimped and saved. We dug out every last bit from the peanut butter jar. We cut open toothpaste and lotion tubes to get out every last drop. We reused and repurposed and passed things along when we were done.

Which is precisely why that bag of soap scraps was haunting me. I needed to find a way to use them up. One option was to melt them down and turn them into laundry soap or liquid hand soap. But why not make new homemade soap? I decided to give it a try.

Making Homemade Soap

There doesn’t seem to be one tried and true recipe for making new soap out of old soap. It’s more of a method than an exact recipe.

Follow these simple steps and be prepared to wing it depending on the type and amount of soap bits you have.

Step 1: Start with a bunch of soap scraps. The more the merrier!

How to make soap molds
Step 2: Grate the soap bits with a cheese grater. Soft, glycerin based soaps will be easy to grate but some soaps are quite difficult to grate and produce more of a soap dust than soap flakes (cover your nose & mouth so you don’t inhale any). Some of my soaps were so hard that I just broke them into bits instead of grating them.

How to make soap molds
Step 3: Put the soap flakes in a microwave safe, glass container. Add a little bit of water – about 1 Tablespoon per cup of soap flakes. Keep in mind that the more water you add, the longer it will take your soap to dry in the mold. Microwave the soap scraps mixture in about 30 second intervals. Mix after each time. In my case, the soap mixture never “melted” completely. There were still chunks of soap showing but everything got very soft and mushy. At this point you can add some essential oil scent if you would like. I added lavender essential oil to mine.

How to make soap molds

Step 4: Spoon the soap mixture into your mold. I used muffin tins and I sprayed them with cooking spray first just to make sure the new soaps wouldn’t stick. You can also use a silicone soap mold or make free-formed soap balls.

If you look closely at the photo below, you can see that I made two batches – one was smoother and one was more chunky. In the end, I actually preferred the chunky look because you can still see the colors from the different soaps.

(This is not a pretty picture of my well worn muffin tin….)

How to make soap molds
Step 5: Let the soaps dry out for a few days or even a week before you try to take them out of the mold. I was expecting my soaps to be a bit drier and more solid. Instead they are soft and will break apart easily if you try.

How to make soap molds

The end result

My “new” homemade soap won’t win any beauty contests. The pretty colors of the original soaps are largely gone and the resulting soap is a bit greyish in color. I definitely won’t be giving any for gifts – however they work just fine and smell nice due to the added essential oils!

And most importantly, my guilty conscience is assuaged – I won’t be wasting perfectly good soap!

April 13, 2015 Filed Under: Tips & Tricks

One of the questions we get asked all the time is, “Can I put cold process soap in your plastic molds?” The answer is yes, absolutely! However, the unmolding process is a little different compared to cold process in wood molds and silicone molds. The plastic molds are airtight. While your cold process soap is in the mold, no air is touching the soap inside. That means the soap has to stay in the mold longer. Never fear! There are several tricks to getting your soap out of the mold with all the beautiful details intact.

How to make soap molds
First and foremost, patience is key. While soap in silicone or wood molds is ready to unmold as early as 3-4 days, cold process soap in plastic molds can take up to 2 weeks. If your soap is still soft when you try to unmold it, it can leave drag marks or holes. Some of the details may be left in the mold as well. So, if your soap doesn’t want to come out of the mold, let it sit for another day or two.

The recipe you use plays a huge role in determining how long the soap needs to stay in the plastic mold. Soap with a lot soft oils – oils that are liquid at room temperature – takes longer to harden. Soap with mostly soft oils, like olive oil and sweet almond oil, can take even longer than 2 weeks to unmold. Also, some of the details may not be as clear. Recipes with a lot of hard oils – oils that are solid at room temperature – will pop out of the molds faster. Hard oils include coconut oil, palm oil, cocoa butter and shea butter. Read more about hard and soft oils in the Formulating Cold Process Recipes post.

How to make soap molds

Sodium lactate is incredibly helpful when unmolding cold process soap from plastic molds. Sodium lactate is the sodium salt of lactic acid. Adding 1 tsp. of sodium lactate per pound of oils to your cooled lye water speeds up the unmolding process. It also produces harder, longer-lasting bars of soap. I use it every time I make cold process soap in plastic molds. To learn more, click through the Sunday Night Spotlight: Sodium Lactate.

You’ve made a recipe with mostly hard oils. It’s been in the mold for at least a week, and it has sodium lactate. What now? To unmold, pull on the sides of the mold. This breaks the airlock. Then, flip the soap mold over and press gently on the back of the cavities with your thumb or the heel of your hand. If the soap doesn’t want to come out, pop it in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. Don’t leave it in there too long, or the plastic can crack. If the soap still isn’t budging, let it sit in the mold another couple of days. Remember, patience is key!

How to make soap molds

To demonstrate how different recipes perform, two cold process recipes were made in the Sand Dollar Mold. One of the recipes consisted of 70% soft oils, and the other recipe consisted of 70% hard oils. We then tested the same two recipes, but the second time we added 1/4 tsp. of sodium lactate to the lye water.

Soft Oils Recipe
.5 oz. Coconut Oil (15%)
2.5 oz. Olive Oil (70%)
.5 oz. Palm Oil (15%)
.5 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
1.2 oz. distilled water
Optional: 1/4 tsp. Sodium Lactate

Hard Oils Recipe
1 oz. Coconut Oil (30%)
1 oz. Olive Oil (30%)
1.4 oz. Palm Oil (40%)
.5 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
1.2 oz. distilled water
Optional: 1/4 tsp. Sodium Lactate

Soft Oil Recipe
When unmolding the soap made with sodium lactate (shown on the left), they actually fell out of the mold! The soap is nice and firm, and all the details stayed on the soap. The soap on the right, without sodium lactate, didn’t fare as well. As you can see, several of the details are missing from the soap. There are also drag marks and holes.

How to make soap molds
Hard Oil Recipe
Again, the soap made with sodium lactate (shown on the left) fell out of the mold. It is firm and beautifully detailed. While the soap without sodium lactate did a little better than the recipe with mostly soft oils, there are still holes. One of the soaps is also missing a part of the sand dollar.

How to make soap molds

Experiment Results
The main takeaway from this experiment is sodium lactate is your friend when it comes to making soap in the plastic molds. With sodium lactate, both the hard and soft recipes came out of the mold easily after one week. The soft oil recipe without sodium lactate performed the worst – the most soap stuck to the mold and the design was extremely damaged. Soap made with hard oils and no sodium lactate did a little better, but the design was still damaged. If you choose not to use sodium lactate and want to use a plastic mold, be prepared to wait more than one week to successfully unmold your soap.

If you don’t have sodium lactate, you can use a salt water solution to harden your soap. To make the solution, mix 1 teaspoon of regular table salt into 1 ounce (by weight) of warm distilled water. Stir until the salt is fully dissolved. We recommend 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 ounce of water per pound of soap. Make sure to discount the salt water solution from your liquid amount. Then, add the solution at trace. The salt water solution was used in the Palm Free Vertical Twist Tutorial with great results.

We don’t recommend using any of our clear plastic molds for hot process soap. They can only withstand temperatures up to 145° F. Hotter temperatures can morph the plastic. The heavy duty molds can withstand temperatures up to 165° F, but may warp in the oven. The heavy duty molds work for rebatch, as seen in the How to Make Rebatch Soap video on Soap Queen TV. Because the molds are heat sensitive, we do not recommend gelling cold process soap in them. Instead, you can let your soap dry at room temperature.

Don’t feel like waiting? Melt and pour soap is a great option! It is ready to unmold a couple hours in the mold, or up to 12 hours. Check out these melt and pour recipes made with plastic molds:

How to make soap molds

Do you use plastic molds for cold process soap? Do you have any tips for unmolding? I’d love to hear them!

How to make soap molds

I’ve had some people ask me how to make a basic wooden loaf soap mold for cold process soap, so I thought I’d share a tutorial on how to make your own soap molds. This wooden cold process loaf soap mold is so easy to make and it will last forever. My dad is handy with wood and power tools so he made me a bunch of these, however, if you don’t own power tools, it’s possible to get the pieces for the molds cut at no charge.

How to make soap moldsEach of these homemade cold process soap molds will hold approximately 2.75 lbs. of (cured) soap and will make approximately 10-12 4oz. bars depending on how large you cut them. If you’re having trouble figuring out how much your soap will weigh once cured, my average recipe for one of these molds uses 36oz. in oils & butters (fats) prior to adding the lye/water, and fragrance.

How to make soap moldsTo create one mold you’ll need to use wood that is 1/2″ thick. I used craft wood from Lowe’s. I have been told that if you are buying wood that an associate at Lowe’s will cut it down into the dimensions you use if you ask. For the two long sides, you’ll need to cut two pieces of wood that measure 12″ x 4″. The two short sides should be cut to 3 1/2″ x 4″ and the bottom piece of the mold should be cut to 3 1/2″ x 11″. The final dimensions of the soap mold will measure (from the outside) 12″ Long x 4 1/2″ Wide x 4″ High.

You’ll need to use wood clamps and wood glue to assemble your mold as pictured above. The two short sides fit on the inside of the two longer sides to form a rectangle and the bottom piece of the mold fits on the inside bottom of the mold. Use glue and clamps to hold the pieces together until dry. If you don’t have clamps or want to add extra reinforcement, you can use a cordless screwdriver to place screws where the sides connect.

Making a lid for these is optional. Honestly I’ve never needed to use a fancy lid as cutting cardboard to fit on top of the molds works just fine during the curing process. I simply place cardboard on the top of the filled mold and then cover with towels to insulate during the 24 hour saponification period.

How to make soap moldsLining your soap molds before use is essential to being able to get your soap out of the mold. If you don’t line your mold, your soap will get stuck. I used to cut parchment paper to line my molds as demonstrated in this the same process that this tutorial by Inner Earth blog uses with contact paper. Basically you fold the paper in a way that is similar to wrapping a present but with an open top. However, parchment paper and contact paper can be expensive and the process for lining molds this way can be tedious and time consuming especially if you are making multiple or large batches at once. Because of this, and due to the stiffness and occasional pain in my hands from the fibro, I use trash bags to line my molds. If you’re practical and don’t mind a few minor creases on the sides and bottom of your soap, then this method may be the one for you.

I got this ideas from another local soapmaker who I used to sell alongside at our local Farmer’s Market. She used large 20 gallon kitchen trash bags to line her molds, then once she unmolded the soaps, she’d re-use the trash bags for actual trash. (Plus the soap gave them a nice, fresh scent.) What I use are thin, clear office trash bags. I bought a huge box of 1000 10 gallon light duty commercial trash bags to line my molds with as they a lot less expensive than parchment paper and can be used again for my office trash. (They are super cheap at Sam’s Club and office supply stores.) To line a mold I simply unfold the bag – but don’t open it – press it into the mold and then tape the outer edges where the bag folds over the outside of the mold to keep it in place. This method is gentle on hands and super quick. I can now line all nine of my molds in 5 minutes or less. Of course, how you choose to line your molds is personal preference. I recommend doing whatever works best for you.

Once your soap has set you simply lift the soap from the mold and peel off the liner, cut into bars and allow to cure a minimum of 3-4 weeks.

To use these molds for melt and pour glycerin soap, simply line with trash bags as indicated for cold process soap.

Looking for lye?

On a side note, I wanted to share with you where to buy sodium hydroxide (lye) for making your soap. You used to be able to buy Roebic brand lye from Lowe’s. 2lb. ran $8.99. Several months ago I noticed that their price for a 2lb. container of Roebic lye had gone up to $16. Recently, they stopped carrying it all together. I imagine this has something to do with the illegal meth labs that seem to be sprouting up everywhere. Therefore what I recommend is to look in your local yellow pages for a local chemical supply company. I am lucky enough to have one in my hometown called ChemSolv. ChemSolv sells 99% pure sodium hydroxide (which is suitable for soapmaking) in 55lb. bags. These bags with tax – in case you don’t have a resale license – runs $38 and change. They currently have locations in Roanoke, VA (my hometown), Colonial Heights, VA, Piney Flats, TN and Rock Hill, SC. I purchase what they call caustic soda beads.

If you don’t have a chemical supply store near you, you can buy 2lb. containers of Food Grade Sodium Hydroxide from AmazonHow to make soap molds. Even with shipping, these containers run cheaper than 2lb. containers of Roebic brand lye from Lowe’s – assuming your store still carries it. Plus, currently if buy 5 2lb. containers of lye, you receive $5 off your purchase. You can also find Potassium Hydroxide Flakes for liquid soapmaking available through the same company through Amazon with the same deal. Other brands of lye you can use include Red Hot Devil Lye Caustic Soda Beads and RED CROWN High Test Lye .

If you are just venturing into making homemade soap and want to learn how to make soap, be sure to visit my DIY Cold Process Soapmaking Tutorial. Or if you’re looking for skin conditioning bar of handmade soap, check out my Skin Loving Natural Cold Process Soap Recipe. (It will fit into one of the wooden soap molds described above but will make large square bars – about 5 1/2oz. – 6oz. each – rather than rectangular bars of soap.)

Benefits

Increase Production

Our Tube Mold Systems coupled with our Air and Manual soap cutters allow you to; Cut hundreds of bars in minutes! Thousands per day!

Save Time & Money

Less labor, Less cost per bar. Cut thousands of bars a day with one person!

Increase Profit

Less labor and time means less cost per bar-Equals More Profit!

Custom Designed for You!

We custom make your soap molds to your Specifications.

Built to Last

Made to last from tough, high density plastic, easy to clean, No maintenance.
Easy to disassemble and de-mold.

Want to Know More?

Find answers to questions like these and more:

Related Products

EZ Fill Tube Soap Mold Systems

Make Multiple Loaves at Once.

Available in these 4 Diameters.

Dual EZ Fill Tube Soap Mold Systems

Make 2 Different Size Round Loaves at Once.

Available in these 3 Diameter Combinations.

Single Tube Soap Molds

Available in these 4 Diameters.

Tube Soap Mold Accessories

Other Soap Molds Available from SoapEquipment.com

For the Handcrafted Soapmaker, these are the ultimate soap molds.

Tough, durable, easy to clean, assemble and de-mold. Discounts available for multiple quantities.

Click Images to Enlarge

EZ 3″ Fill Tube Mold

Tube Mold Systems

2″ holds 40 tubes

2.5″ holds 24 tubes

3″ holds 24 tubes

4″ holds 15 tubes

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Look similar except for the number of tubes.

Aligning Top Seal

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All Tube Mold Systems

Look similar except for the number of tubes.

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All Tube Mold Systems

Look similar except for the number of tubes.

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Teflon Liner Sheets

EZ Fill 3″ (76mm) Tube Mold System

$1,224.00 ea

Are you tired of pouring one tube at a time? Are you having to freeze the soap to get it out of the pipe? Are you having trouble trying to stand them up or pour into them? or in general, just wishing you hadn’t started making Round Soap Bars? No More Worries!

Here is a fast, efficient way for you to pour CP or M&P, Round Soap Bars almost as quickly as pouring a hundred pound block of soap for an Air Soap Cutter�.

Description

This is the ultimate in pouring Round Soap Bars, especially when used with our 80 Quart Pot Tipper.

For perfect multiple logs of Melt and Pour or Cold Processed.

Simply insert our special Mold Release Liner into each tube. Our liner is pre-cut to the tube length so there is very little cutting needed. Lay your rubber seal on top of the tubes, lay the stainless steel pouring tray on top of the seal and fasten down. Your ready to pour!

If you don’t want to pour all 24 tubes, we included a Pour Divider to allow you to pour 4, 8, 12, 16 or 20 tubes. It is so simple!

Using unique soap molds can make soap making even more fun then it already is and going against the grain can also help distinguish your soaps from everyone else’s.

Some soap makers actually prefer the simplistic and predictable look of the classic soap bar, but molds for soap making don’t necessarily have to be basic.

Are you the artsy and creative type? You may just like experimenting with different ways to shape your soap. This page gives you an overview of a few different types of unique soap molds and will hopefully spark some of your own original ideas.

*Your information is SAFE with us!

Do you want to know how to make soap molds that stand out from the crowd? Just follow my guidelines, and try to think outside the box!

PVC Soap Molds – How to Make Soap Molds that are Both Fun and Cheap

In the past, I have used simple PVC pipe to create wonderfully shaped soaps. The circular form of the final product is very different and refreshing from the normal rectangular bar.

Learning how to make soap molds out of PVC is extremely easy and only require 5 inexpensive pieces:

  1. The PVC pipe
  2. Wooden cutting board
  3. Funnel
  4. ladle
  5. plastic wrap

After about 24 – 48 hours, the soap will be hard enough to remove from this unique soap mold. Unwrap the towels, take off the plastic wrap and slide the soap out of the PVC pipe. Make sure you are wearing your rubber gloves because at this point the soap could be still a bit caustic.

Removing the soap can sometimes be a little tricky. If you are having a hard time, try to push the soap through using a bottle or jar. Alternatively, you can cool the soap in a refrigerator for about an hour which will cause it to contract just enough to slip out easily. One trick that some soap makers use is to line the pvc soap mold with petroleum Jelly before pouring in the soap. This makes it much easier to remove your product later on.

Once you have removed the soap from its mold, use a soap cutter to slice it into even pieces. Place each soap piece on a rack so that air can circulate around it as it further cures for about 4-8 weeks depending on the recipe.

After your ph level test checks out, you are ready to use or sell your new homemade soap. This type of molding method is also a great way for soap makers on a budget who can’t afford anything fancy to shape their soaps.

Clam Shell Soap Mold

You can also create unique soap molds using real clam shells. Just like making PVC soap molds, The process is extremely simple:

  1. Create your soap as usual, using either the cold process method or melt and pour technique.
  2. Take a few seashells from your collection (if you have one) or buy them from a craft store and thoroughly scrub it with an antibacterial agent and rinse with water.
  3. Pour the liquefied soap into each shell being careful not to spill.
  4. Wrap each soap filled clam shell soap mold with plastic wrap.
  5. Line the shells in the bottom of a shallow box.
  6. Cover the box with plastic wrap.
  7. wrap the box with about 6-8 towels.
  8. After 24 – 48 hours, when the soap is solid but not fully cured, remove the soap from the molds.
  9. Place each seashell shaped soap on a rack to further cure for about 4 – 8 weeks

You can use or sell your new homemade soaps after the ph level test checks out.

Buying Unique Soap Molds

Are you looking for something original, but can’t think of anything for yourself? Maybe you want a mold that will blow your socks off with its originality and creativity. As you know, some tasks are beyond what you can accomplish with merely supplies laying around the house and your own two hands.

Luckily, there are many unique soap molds that are available for the homemade soap maker to purchase. Here’s just a fraction of them:

  1. 3D soap molds – Definitely the most fun and creative to work with.
  2. Animal molds
  3. Holiday molds
  4. Religious symbol molds
  5. Flower molds
  6. And many more.

Don’t forget, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have!

Introduction: Custom Soap Mold

Hi All.
First instructable so bear with me.

Last year my wife out of work and bored so she started making soaps and beads etc.
She was getting bored with the molds she could buy commercially so I decided to try and make some for her.

Step 1: Materials

The materials I used where either laying around the house or picked up at Michael’s. But I am sure any crafts store will carry what you need. The only thing I bought was the mold builder latex. I think it was about $15 for the tub and I get about 5 molds out of it.
So my cost for the mold was under $5. The Buddha head was on clearance for $1 or $2 I think.

Paper Plate
Cheap Paint Brush
Scrap of wood (About the size of a bar of soap or whatever size you want your soap to be)
Elmer’s Glue
Accent piece for the soap ( I used a Buddha Head ’cause that’s how we roll)
Castin Craft brand Mold Builder – Liquid Latex Rubber

Optional:
Additional scraps of wood for a box
Foam Fill
Plastic garbage bag
Mold release for the actual pouring of soap.

I make a wooden box to hold the mold while it sets. This is just a box made out of scrap 1X6 with a top and bottom.
I don’t have pictures of making the box but hey its a box.

Step 2: Set the Wood and Cover With Glue

So lets get started. Grab your paper plate and glue. You need to put a small dab of glue on the center of the plate. Put your wood block on the plate in the center. Let the glue dry. This step is not absolutely needed but it will help stop the piece of wood from sliding around.
Once your wood block is stable start painting the wood block with the Elmer’s glue. You want to cover the entire block and the space between the block and the plate. This will be the base for your mold so take your time and make sure there are no bubble. The reason for the glue is it creates a smooth surface for the mold builder. Take extra time on the cut edges with the grain showing and make sure it is smooth. You don’t want the mold builder being able to grab any of the grain or it will be very hard to remove.
When you are done with the glue layer, but before the glue dries on top, place your accent piece and give it a thin coat of glue as well.

Step 3: Applying the Mold Builder

After your glue base is dry you need to apply the Mold Builder. This step should be done outside as the mold builder has a very strong odor.
Paint the mold builder onto your wooden block just like you did with the Elmer’s Glue. Take extra time on the first coat to make sure there are no bubble. This first coat is actually going to be your soap mold base. The additional coats build up the thickness of the mold.
The more coats you put on the stronger your finished mold will be. I do at least 6 coats. Allowing dry time in between each coat. Read the instructions for your particular mold builder to determine proper dry time. You can put your mold out in the sun to help dry the mold builder as well.
Make sure with each coat you get the paper plate as well. I like to put about a 2″ area around the mold.
After 6 or more coats let your mold dry completely.
Note: This is not a 1 day project. The actual steps only take a few minute but the drying take time.

Step 4: Demolding the Mold

Now that you have given your mold plenty of time to dry completely you want to cut the paper plate around the mold.
Cut about 2 inches all the way around the mold. Gently peel the mold from the paper plate (Leave the paper plate attached for now if you are going to make the optional box in the next step.) You may want to put some baby powder or Talcum powder on the mold to keep it from sticking to itself.
No gently peel the mold away from the piece of wood. Take your time here.
Now you have a custom soap mold. Congrats !!

Step 5: Optional Pour Box

The mold is not super stiff and when I try to pour soap it would warp.
You can actually build a frame into the mold using popsicle sticks by adding them into the mold around layer 3 then building up over them. I have had mixed results with this method.

My preferred way to do it is to build a box for the mold.
I don’t have pictures but you build a box about an inch wider on each side of the mold. So if your mold is 2 X 4 X 1 you will build a box 3 X 5 X 2. Screw the sides and bottom together. Screw the top on but then remove it leaving the screws partially in so it will be easier to put back on.
Place the wood back in the mold and carefully wrap it in a plastic bag with the bag going around the plate.
Fill the box about 1/2 way with expanding foam and as the foam starts to rise you want to put the mold in with a little bit sticking above the edge of the box. Put the lid back on and screw it down. Give it time to dry and when you take the top off you should have a stable place to hold the mold while you pour it.

Step 6: Finished Soap

Finished soap.
Thanks for looking !!

What’s the best soap molds to make handmade soap?

If you’ve started soap making or the idea of making soap has just piqued your interest then I’m sure you’re on the hunt for the best soap molds! It might sound crazy to some, but a beautifully made bar of soap is an achievement worth seeking.

Coming from experience there’s a world of soap molds out there. But, choosing the right soap molds can make all the difference in the final product and honestly your enjoyment in soap making. (If you’ve ever got soap stuck in a mold, that you know just what I mean…)

Once you find the best soap molds for soap making, you’ll discover it’s easier than ever to make batch after batch of handmade soap!

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience, read full disclosure policy.

Why Make Handmade Soap?

Frankly, a bar of soap can change your life in many ways.

Rather it be to:

– live a more zero-waste lifestyle

– start a side-hustle

– makeover your skin care routine with only natural ingredients

– start a new hobby

Or all the above, in my case, soap making is purposeful, frugal, and creative. I have been hooked since my first soap making experience. And I know your life will be enriched from learning how to make soap too! But, it all comes down to using the best soap molds.

P.S. If you’re new soap making don’t miss all the free soap making guides and cheat sheets in the Simple Living Library.

What Are The Best Soap Molds?

It’s incredible how many different shapes, sizes, and styles soap molds come in. Just like the variety of melt and pour soap bases, there’s an extensive amount of soap molds. On top of that, there’s also a choice of material from wood to silicone and metal to plastic.

I have tried them all and now I’m ready to share with you the best soap molds I’ve used!

How to Choose a Soap Mold:

Silicone, wood, metal, plastic, heck, even kitchenware can be used as a soap mold. But, choosing the right soap mold can ensure your success, save money, and make the process so much easier!

For me, when it comes to choosing a soap mold, I want a mold that is easy to use, easy to clean up, and can be used again and again.

Are you ready? Let’s dive into each type of soap mold and which ones made it into my recommended soap making supplies!

Plastic Soap Molds

Plastic soap molds are the most inexpensive of all to make soap. They come in intricate designs and are sold in packs of single molds as well as trays. You’ve probably come across these at your local craft store, as did I.

I brought home a plastic tray mold with pretty French words and detailed icons. And I couldn’t wait to use it!

But, when the time came to pop the soaps out – it ruined them. The intricate designs didn’t pop out with the soap bars and the French words weren’t really legible. To make matters worse, the plastic mold even cracked in one corner. Rendering it useless to try again.

The same happened when I tried to use plastic molds for bath bombs too. The plastic molds cracked or busted under the weight of the bath bombs. That being said, steer clear of plastic molds. There’s a reason they’re cheap.

Metal Soap Molds

I have a treasured Amana Recipe cookbook dating back to the 1940s from the Amana Colonies. It’s their bread and cookies recipes that I adore. But, inside the book there are so many unusual, yet clever tips to be found. Like saving bread crumbs and bacon grease. But, one such tip mentioned the use of a bread loaf pan as a soap mold lined with butcher paper A.K.A parchment paper.

This gave me ideas to use my mother’s vintage biscuit, tart, and Jello molds to make soap…

I made these gorgeous jasmine aloe vera soaps poured directly into mini stainless steel tart pans. I didn’t have much trouble getting the soap out as the aloe vera soap base is kind of tacky.

But, when I made soap again in these tins with a shea butter base – they got stuck! I tried all kinds of things to get them out. The fridge, freezer, and lots of pounding on my cutting board finally produced a result.

So, I would either line your metal soap molds or only make glycerin soap in them.

But be aware if you’re using a metal container as soap mold make sure you avoid all of the types of metal listed below. Because, the metals can react with the lye in the soap causing harmful gases to be released.

Metal Types to Avoid for Soap Making:

Stainless steel, on the other hand, is safe to use as a soap mold.

Silicone Soap Molds

Silicone molds have become very popular for making all things including soap. And to my surprise silicone is non-toxic. It doesn’t need any lining, won’t every crack or shatter like plastic. And silicone soap molds will last for years, so you can use them over and over again(be still my green heart).

Every silicone mold I’ve used has been super easy to pop the soap out when it’s cured. All it takes is a tug from the side and push from the bottom of the mold to release a soap bar. They are fairly simple to clean too and perfect for small to medium soap batches. All in all, they are the best soap molds I’ve ever used!

In fact, I have so many silicone soap molds now, that I had to dedicate a large container and shelf in my studio closet just for them. Square, round, oval, honey bees, roses, snowflakes, and pumpkins, and the list goes on. Let me share several of these with you as well as examples of using each type.

24 Plus Soap Molds and Recipes – Starting with Standard Soap Molds

If you’re looking to make soap start here with 24 plus soap molds and recipes for each! These standard types are the best soap molds for a traditional appeal. You’ll find these sizes and shapes are most often used to make handmade soap.

Square and Rectangle Soap Molds

Call them basic if you wish, but square and rectangle silicone soap molds are far from basic. Each can be used to layer unique colors or used to slice into smaller parts to embed into soap bars. And you have the flexibility to make just one soap bar, a small batch, or half a dozen with a single soap mold!

Where To Buy:

– square silicone mold: single try of 6 squares

– 3 pack of 6 squares silicone soap molds

– rectangle silicone mold: 2 pack of 6 rectangles

Soap recipes using standard soap molds: