After my new book, Simple & Natural Soapmaking, came out, I started getting a lot of questions asking where I bought the variety of molds used to make the soaps in the book.
So this week, I rounded up a list of 15+ soap molds that I’ve personally purchased, used, and found to be both pretty and practical.
(As I find and try out new molds in the future, I’ll keep adding to this list, hence the “15+” part of the title!)
Before I get into the list, just a few quick tips when working with decorative silicone soap molds:
Use a Water Discount – It’s an excellent habit to run a soap recipe through a lye calculator and make sure the oils and lye numbers are correct, but soapcalc’s default number of 38% water is on the high side, especially if you’re making palm-free soaps. You’ll notice all of my cold process soap recipes have some type of water discount (reduced water amount). If you use the lye calculator at Majestic Mountain Sage (my favorite), choose a number in the middle of the range. If you prefer SoapCalc, try using a maximum of 33% water. (Water amount is very flexible; don’t be afraid to experiment to find the amount that YOU like best!)
Use Sodium Lactate or Salt – Add 1 tsp of sodium lactate PPO (per pound of oil in your recipe) to the cooled lye solution, or 1/2 tsp table salt PPO to the hot lye solution. These two ingredients help harden the soap and makes it unmold so much easier; especially useful for castile, bastille or palm-free soaps!
Place Mini Molds on a Tray – Once filled, individual molds are hard to move around without spilling. Before pouring the soap batter into the molds, arrange them on a tray or baking sheet lined with wax paper so you can easily move them to a new spot if needed.
Pour Thin for Smooth Surfaces – To get the smoothest surface on the bottom of individual finished soaps, pour while the soap batter is still thin. If you wait for a thicker trace, you’ll need to smooth carefully across the top of the filled mold with a spatula to help remove ridges and uneven textures. Pouring while the soap batter is on the thin side will also help the soap batter fill into each design crevice, ensuring a clean clear pattern on the finished soap.
Freeze if Stuck – If you find your soap is stuck in its mold even after several days, pop it in the freezer for several hours and then try unmolding again.
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This mold from Amazon makes a beautiful rose design on your soap, though the final bars do end up an odd-size. It will almost hold a 2.5 lb batch of soap (with about 28 oz of oil in the recipe.) If you cut the bars so the rose design is going across the top, as shown in the photos above, you’ll get five chunky and extra-thick bars of soap. Or, make a smaller batch of soap and only fill the mold partially, for thinner bars of soap.
This butterfly mold and this flower mold are both made of high quality silicone. Unlike many individual silicone molds, they aren’t extra soft and squishy, so they’re easier to move around once filled. I find that soaps pop right out of these within 24 to 48 hours. The size is very nice – the square butterfly soap mold is abt 2.95″ by 2.95″ (3.5 oz soap), while the round flower mold is abt 3.5″ across (4.6 oz soap).
Recipes shown are Red Rooibos & Rhassoul Clay Soap and French Clay & Yogurt Soap, both from my Simple & Natural Soapmaking print book.
These two molds are made of a soft thick silicone and release soap like a dream! Be sure to place them on a flat tray or wax paper lined baking sheet before pouring because one they’re filled, they’re not as easy to move as other mold types. The “Natural” soap mold (found HERE) is sized 2.7″ x 2.1″ x 1.4″ (6.9 cm x 5.5 cm x 3.6 cm). The “Life is Good” mold (found HERE) is sized 3″ x 2.5″ x 1.4″ (7.7 cm x 6.3 cm x 3.6 cm). Longzang molds usually ship from China, so expect a wait time of a few weeks.
Recipe shown is freshly unmolded Soothing Comfrey & Aloe Soap from my Simple & Natural Soapmaking print book.
The small individual mold on the left (found HERE) features a honeycomb pattern with a single bee on top. It’s also made by Longzang and soap unmolds from it super easy. The size is 2.5″ x 2.5″ x 1.1″ (6.5 cm x 6.5 cm x 3 cm).
The mold on the right (found HERE) is a rectangular loaf mold, made in the same style as the rectangular 3D rose mold at the top of this list. It will almost hold a 2.5 lb batch of soap (with about 28 oz of oil in the recipe.) If you cut the bars so the bee design is going across the top, as shown in the photo above, you’ll get five chunky and extra-thick bars of soap. Or, make a smaller batch of soap and only fill the mold partially, for thinner bars of soap.
The square soap shown is a test batch of soap colored with woad and the round one is Easiest Ever Castile Soap from my Simple & Natural Soapmaking print book.
Normally, I don’t recommend clear plastic molds for cold process soapmaking. They tend to stick and can sometimes take weeks until the soap can be unmolded; it can be frustrating. However, this sand dollar mold from Bramble Berry does really well with brine soap recipes (soaps that have a high amount of salt in the lye solution, resulting in an extra hard bar of soap.) This mold also makes fantastic bath bombs!
The embossed floral soap in the left photo was made with another individual Longzang mold (you can find it here). The plain oval soaps shown in both photos were made with a 6 bar mold I bought (here) from Bramble Berry.
Recipe shown on the left is Creamy Shea Butter Bastille Soap, and the one on the right is Vanilla Bean & Egg Yolk Soap, both recipes in my Simple & Natural Soapmaking print book.
I bought the individual mold for the soap on the left from Bebe’s Collection; they’re an overseas supplier and the only source of stoneseed/gromwell root (a natural soap colorant) that I could find. It’s a very nice mold, though I discovered that the lettering isn’t always defined well if you remove the soap too soon; so make sure you let it stay in the mold at least a day or two, or use sodium lactate in the cooled lye solution.
The soap on the right was made with a Longzang Life Tree mold (found here). It makes a small bar that’s perfect for a sample size or guest soap.
Recipe shown on the left is Soothing Comfrey & Aloe Soap, while the recipe on the right is Weedy Greens Jewelweed & Plantain Soap, both found in my Simple & Natural Soapmaking print book.
This silicone soap mold by Freshware makes 6 soaps at a time. If you’re working with a recipe high in olive or other soft oils (like castile or bastille soaps), then I suggest adding sodium lactate to your cooled lye solution or it might not unmold as cleanly as you’d like. It might also need an extra day or two in the mold, depending on the water amount in your recipe.
You can find the Sunflower Soap Recipe, shown in the photo above, HERE on my site.
This six-cavity soap mold makes small thin bars of soap, perfect for samples or guest bars. This mold is similar to the sunflower soap mold above in that the soap can tend to stick in the design unless you use sodium lactate or leave it in the mold for an extra few days.
The soap shown is Basic Brine Bar in my Natural Soap Making ebook.
This is another individual silicone Longzang soap mold I picked up at Amazon. It does well with cold process soap, but like some of the others on this list, will give best results if you add sodium lactate or salt to the lye solution.
Don’t have a copy of my print book, Simple & Natural Soapmaking yet?
You can buy it from the following places, or ask your favorite bookstore to order it for you:
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