January 22, 2017 at 9:34 am #19025PennyParticipant
Molds: unless you want to end up with a boxes full of molds
This is one of three boxes of molds I almost never use. That’s a lot of money wasted.
It’s not really pretty what I’m going to say, but any soaper will probably agree with most of what I’m saying.
They are cute, they are whimsy, but they are a pain in the arse. Not just to fill, but to clean properly between uses. They look great on and in soaps, but they are meh. Piping is great, and looks great with some embeds on top. But, it’s a finicky practice. These two are great for seasonal soaps. And egg hunt soap is great for kids (embeds) and piping is grand for Christmas soaps. But otherwise, my opinion is meh. I do both when I’m bored. Be warned of piping, your “frostin” can have risks of cracking and falling off if you are not careful. And embeds can fall off or out.
Tiny 20g to medium 20-100g individual molds:
These are the ones I’d suggest looking at. They come in many shapes and sizes. Some come single mold or many many. I always make too much soap for my molds, so I use the tiny molds to hold all the extras. I gift these, sample size, a few day travel size… these sizes are also multi-purpose. Lotion bars, beeswax molds, cocoa butter molds for easy grabbing when you make your lippies and more. There are individual larger sizes around 100g, and these make a great sized bar for things like salt soaps.
I used these types of molds for many years until I started wanting to sell some and then I wanted a bigger bar as 100g the complaint was it wasn’t big enough. Best feature of these soaps? No cutting! Worst? Cleaning.
Slab and Loaf Molds 1kg-4kg:
Slab molds are great for somethings, I’ve a few different types, some with the bar impressions like in the picture, and some without. Soaps made in these are on the larger side, so cure time is longer. I do find that doing the patchwork style of soaping is easier in the slab molds, cup style, numerous colours of swirls are all easier in this type of mold. I’ve not yet attempted a type of hanger swirl, it’s on my list! These types of molds make soaping with higher sugar content (like milks, lots of honey) much easier as there is more surface area so easier to keep cool. They are not the easiest of things to cut, and the edges have a harder time to keep neat unless you get your cutting time perfect.
Loaf molds are what most soapers begin with and eventually return to it. I love loaf molds! I find them easier to cut, I love the ability to do mid level swirls, and if you are interested in piping, los more like cake. They are better for things like keeping your soap warm or hot, making your colours more pronounced, but you do notice things like glycerine swirls more in these. Usually, these come with a wooden box for insulation, but also these provide support for the silicone which you do need unless you like the bowing out type of soap.
The black and blue soaps are from the loaf mold and the burgundy one is from a slab.
All in all, I prefer the loaf mold over any other mold. Slabs are a second, and the tiny 20g molds a third.
Hopefully this helps someone make an informed decision on which molds to buy!
Mini edit to the original post: while I love the shape of the slab molds, I much prefer the look of the loaf molds.
This type of swirl, wouldn’t be possible in a slab mold.January 22, 2017 at 9:50 am #19028PennyParticipant
In another post, Cyn asked about loaf molds. Silicone mold inside a wooden mold or just the wooden mold and line it or just the silicone insert.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Silicone insert with wooden box: you’ve got great insulation. If you’ve let the cook time happen just right, the soap slips right out of the silicone. And clean up is wicked easy with this one. Usually, when you buy the loaf mold like the pink one in my picture, they will tell you the volume in grams. Edges will always be defined.
Wooden mold and lined: it gets expensive. All that parchment paper! I cannot even begin to tell you how many molds I’ve broken trying to get my soap out.
Silicone insert: no no no no… just no. Don’t do it. Really. Don’t.
In the picture, you can see how I’ve propped the mold up against the wall, sticks pressed up against the side and a heavy object (in my case water) to keep my mold from bowing out. Yeah. Save yourself the trouble. Please. Don’t buy the insert without the box!
If you are looking for advice on which to buy, I’d strongly suggest the insert and box. In a pinch, you can have two molds, and for other projects, you’ll always have beautifully shaped soaps!January 22, 2017 at 12:36 pm #19046
Do you prefer wood molds to silicon reinforced molds for cp? Though I admit, I like the smaller molds for small batch melt and pours. Plus I never considered there might be more soap than mold.
What are the best uses for the loaf silicon molds?January 23, 2017 at 10:08 am #19090
This is the loaf silicone mold I have. It came with the basket, but I think you could buy it without, which I wouldn’t recommend. I found some dividers to use with it on Etsy. I wanted to try the Taiwan and Mantra swirls in a soap, so that’s why I got this mold. Soap is easy enough to unmold, but I still find that lifting my parchment paper liner out of my wooden loaf mold to be much easier.January 23, 2017 at 10:18 am #19091
This is the 9 bar slab mold I got from Brambleberry. You can get it with several different options/add ons. I got the mold with lid and dividers. I did not get the silicone insert, but it comes with that option, if I remember correctly. I think I’ve only made one batch in this mold. I find the 9 bar insert dimensions too big for my taste. When I cut the soap I did make in this mold, the bars were shorter and thicker than what you’d get in a loaf mold. Not that that’s a bad thing, just different. There are certain designs that you need a slab mold for, so that’s why I got this one. I debated between the 12 bar and this one, but ended up with the smaller one. I had also found the silicone mold with dividers, and I wanted to get them both.😊January 23, 2017 at 10:23 am #19092
These are the silicone individual bar molds I have. I have one handy when I’m making soap, in case there’s extra batter I need to do something with. They’re also good for testing new recipes or making milk soaps. You don’t want milk soaps to get too hot after you mold them, so these types of molds are a good option, along with space in your fridge or freezer. You also don’t have to bother with cutting them. Just pop them out of the mold and put them out to cure. These molds can be used for other projects too besides soap.January 23, 2017 at 10:30 am #19093
These are some Wilton candy molds I got at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. I can’t remember which😝. These are good for sample/travel size soaps (making sample sizes of soaps is a good thing because everybody wants to try it out), imbeds (which I have not done), and various other crafty things you might try (like lotion bars, heart shaped crayons for your daughter’s class for Valentine’s Day, etc….).January 23, 2017 at 10:40 am #19094
I have all those molds, but still reach for my wood loaf mold the most. I do have to line it with parchment paper, but I don’t mind doing that. There’s a YouTube video out there showing you how to do it, which made it easier for me. Wood is a better insulator, I think, so if you want your soap to go through gel phase, it works well for that. I like the shape of the bars from a loaf mold, too. They are the perfect size and you can cut them as thick or thin as you like.January 23, 2017 at 10:59 am #19096
Hey! I have the 12 cavity rectangular one! Go me!
So what your telling me is go would or those thick polypropylene ones that don’t stick and only then consider the world of other molds.
So many molds, so little time to fill them all.January 23, 2017 at 12:24 pm #19107
I’d go with a wood loaf mold if you can only get one. You could even get one with a silicone liner, use it with and without, and see which way you like better. That would give you a feel for the silicone mold, and give you an idea if you want another one or not. The molds with the individual cavities are $12.50 each at BB, but I think I got them even cheaper because a sale was going on. So, if you can get those to, go for it! I think they’re handy to have.
Did you just buy the 12 bar or were you using it for melt and pour? Or can you use it for melt and pour? I only did that once and quickly decided I wanted to make my own from scratch. I still use the cheap little plastic molds I bought from Hobby Lobby for the M&P with CP. They make a nice shaped soap.January 23, 2017 at 6:57 pm #19149
I bought it to try melt and pour, but it cp safe. Lol
I’m thinking wood mold, silicon liner option, then choose from there. Maybe 5 lb, with divider to cut in half?January 23, 2017 at 7:11 pm #19156
That, or 3 lb. You don’t realize how heavy oil and water is until you’re lifting a big pot of it to pour in a mold! Maybe I’m just a weakling…January 23, 2017 at 7:47 pm #19159
Hmm start 3 lb, then if needed get a 5 lb. that works
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.