Guest Author - Winsome Tapper
Plastic molds used for melt and pour soapmaking are found in abundant quantities on the internet and from craft stores. Though these kinds of molds are so readily available yet there is a big distinction between molds that are of high quality and those that are not.
Having good soap molds is important especially if one makes soap as a business. Too often molds are relegated as an after thought especially when juxtaposed to a fantastic recipe and killer fragrance/EO mixtures. After making soap for a while, what becomes clear though is the need to have a stock of good molds to make consistently attractive and intact melt and pour soap.
Here are some things to consider when choosing the right mold for the job:
1. How often the mold will be used. Consistent use with a high pouring temperature degrades molds that are flimsy. In addition some fragrance oils, and essential oils applied directly to molds degrades the mold because of the various chemical components they contain. Most plastic molds are made of petroleum products which tend to degrade in the presence of certain strong chemicals used in soapmaking.
TIP: Find out from the manufacturer the lifespan of the mold with continuous use and the suggested pouring temperatures. Also, find out if the plastic can be degraded with contact from certain chemicals, like essential oils and fragrance oils. In addition when using, be sure to completely mix fragrance oils and essential oils into soap mixture then cool to luke warm before pouring into soap mold.
If the soap has to be cooled down in the refrigerator then put it in the lower part of the refrigerator rather than the freezer. Sudden temperature changes and switching from hot to cold temperature causes the plastic to crack and even shatter so ease into temperature changes gradually.
2. Flexible material vs. nonflexible: Molds for melt and pour soaps usually have to be manipulated in some form to facilitate ease of unmolding soap. This is especially true for very tiny molds with lots of details. Some of the best molds, though costly are made from natural latex and silicone. Kits are available to create your own custom molds from small objects and custom art casts.
My experience is that the more flexible the mold is, the easier it is to unmold the soap. Check out the sources listed below for some of the best molds for melt and pour soaps.
Where to Buy Melt and Pour Molds and Moldmaking Material
Chase Molds has some of the most creative molds. They carry one of my favorite flexible material tub molds and hundreds of bar soap molds. Their designs range from butter molds and wedding cake soap molds to even flapper girl molds.
Environmental Technology Inc is the place to visit for supplies to create your own molds.