BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Soapy Saturday August 29, 2015 Soap Molds


I've been wanting to do something non-bookish on the blog but couldn't think what. I'm not much for cooking, I can't garden worth a darn, and I don't sew, knit,or do anything creative. Then I remembered that I make soaps, bath salts, and sugar scrubs, and that's both creative AND crafty. One Saturday a month, or when I remember :D, I'll share some photos and recipes and chat a bit. I'm by no means an expert, it's a casual hobby, though for a few years I did have an online store. I still sell if you ever want to place an order.

This month I'm talking about molds. No, not the nasty stuff growing in your bathroom that's bad for breathing, but the devices you pour your melted soap base into to give it a shape. You can buy them or make them. The main criteria is that it be able to safely withstand temps of up to 140-150 degrees Fahrenheit. If you get your soap base hotter than that, then you've burnt it. Ideally, it'll be 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit. So your container must be able to withstand that heat without breaking, cracking, or warping.

So what can you use? There are wooden soap molds though I've never used one; metal ones, a pain to get the soap out when it's cured but good and strong; plastic, which tends to warp after a number of uses; PVC pipes, also a nuisance for removing the finished soap; and silicone molds, my favorite. They are super easy to remove soaps from, clean easily, and last a long time. They're also expensive but worth it if you're serious about soap making (I've read that the wooden ones are too) or if there's a shape or style that you will be using regularly.

You can buy molds at the same craft stores where you buy your soap bases, online at soap and crafting sites, or the kitchen aisle of your grocery story or big box store! I've gotten quite a few items there that I use for soaps, especially muffin and cake pans. My friend Elizabeth buys Jello Jiggler kits and uses the Jiggler molds for her soaps.

These have a short life span and you can't easily mass produce a particular design but they're fun and relatively inexpensive.

Then there are the cheap plastic molds specifically for soap that you can buy at Michael's or other craft stores or online. They have a short life span as they inevitably warp or crack and you can only produce a few bars at a time.

 
 

Next up, cake and muffin pans! They can be metal or silicone. This metal train cake pan is a bear to get the soap out of without wrecking the soap in the process. Many bad words were involved while I figured it out. :D Part of the problem with this particular design is how detailed it is. I got this from the baking aisle at Walmart.


After many bad words and one wrecked bar of soap, success was achieved!


Then there are the silicone molds. These come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. The wolf and coyote paw soaps I shared a few months ago were made from silicone molds. Click here for a sample of what's available. They are good for small batches of a design or shape.

I know it's hard to see the little purple mold, it's a curled up cat.


the sleeping cat on top of a circle base of clear glycerin.


For mass production, you want a log style mold or a mold that has multiple cavities of the same shape or design. 

You can also get creative and make your own molds but I haven't done that. You can Google the info or hit up your library or book store for how-to books on soap making.

Take a look around and see what you have or can make or can buy. Candy molds work well too! I go out shopping or just out and about and often look at something and go, "I can use that to make soap!" :D Amazon also has lots of fun molds for cakes, etc. that could be used for soaps so go wild and have fun!

18 comments:

  1. That train soap is fun! And the sleeping cat is adorable! They would make great pressies for someone.

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    1. The train one is popular with moms and grandmoms buying for their kids or grandkids. :)

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  2. Love this post, very informative and fun. I too love the sleeping cat, and how it looks like it's sleeping on a clear pillow. I keep thinking that maybe someday I'll do this for a hobby. My daughter bought me all the supplies for crocheting but after a few days my fingers couldn't handle it, so not for me.

    This looks like fun! I once visited a soap shop and saw her making batching of log shapes she sliced after cured. But she used lye, so that turned me off from doing this. Then you said you can make it without lye so now I'm intrigued, again :)

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    1. Definitely give it a try Rita! Go to Michael's or JoAnne's and buy a kit. That way you aren't investing a lot in supplies if you don't like it. Melt and Pour soap is easy and the soaps you make can be simple or complex; it's up to you.

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  3. This looks like so much fun and I love pretty bath soaps. I've seen a few kits at Michaels and I might just have try one to start playing around with!

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  4. Ever since I saw your other post, I've been meaning to give soap making a try. I keep forgetting though! Now my interest is revved up again and I have no monies. Someday, someday. Great post, Bea!

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    1. Thanks. Keep an eye out for sales and coupons. Do you have Michael's where you live? They often have coupons for 40% off a single item.

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  5. Those are cute molds, especially the first one! Fun to play with colors and what-not with it as well.

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    1. Yep, playing with the colors and scents is lots of fun. I'll be covering those topics next.

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  6. I would never have given another thought to all the cool molds they have out there. Can you say Christmas presents?!?!? This is a great post!

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    1. LOL There are a lot of cool molds. :) I'm glad you liked the post.

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  7. I made soap a few years ago, before kids, and I am just finishing up one of the bars I made. I got some plastic molds when I made mine, but since I only used them once or twice, I haven't noticed cracking or warping yet. I guess if I ever get back to making soap, I will have to look into some silicone molds. I am interested to know about what you use for your soap base and fragrances.

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    1. Hi Heidi,

      I actually talked about bases last month - http://beasbooknook.blogspot.com/2015/07/soapy-saturday-june-25th-2015-melt-and.html

      Currently I buy most of my bases from Brambleberry, expensive but good quality.

      Fragrances are next month's post. :)

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  8. Third try. I really liked the soaps you made & sold me per my order. Dragonsblood like sandal wood, but not as 'beat you over the head and kill your nose' strong. The coffee one, yum!
    I used my purple, scented curled kitty soaps as sachets for years, in the 'wedding favor' mesh bags, before using them as soap. I've continued to use the bags to put tag ends of soap bars into, so I can use them up efficiently; the bag exfoliates as well as helping work up the foam. I even use them on my glasses when I bring them in the shower to wash; it gets the nose pads & hardware clean so they don't get 'copper verdigris' green.

    I'd meant to bring at least the coyote footprint soap, if not the last wolf print, to the gathering this last weekend for Our Hostess Author, but trying to pack light, didn't.

    Must order new ones from you soon, running low on soaps gentle enough to rival Dove, without their dubious advertising history.

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    1. You always have trouble with replying.:(

      I never thought of using the mesh bags to exfoliate, what a great idea! I have noticed that many people use those little cats as sachets; they're just the right size for it.

      Send me an email and we'll get your sorted.

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  9. What a great hobby! The soaps and other bath products are great holiday gifts and stocking stuffers. How many shopping days until Christmas, lol...

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    1. Most years, my family gets soaps and other bath products for Christmas stocking stuffers. I gave them a break last year but this year...:D

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