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Poppy Swap Forum (Home) » Herbal Crafting and Medicine Making

Soap Making?

  • Genita

I am about to try to make lye soap for the first time.I was going to use a 12 bar silicone mold but the company will be out of stock until the end of this month.I was wondering if silicone molds are a good choice or should I just go with a wood mold?Help!

Replies to this topic

Silicone molds are great, but for your first batch you can use just about anything. 

Waxed milk cartons work really well.  Shoe boxes lined with plastic wrap are great because they don't have seams.  Wooden molds are wonderful too - but you don't NEED them to make a batch of soap :-)

  • NVICKERY1
  • NVICKERY1

I love the silicon molds!!!

  • Genita
  • Genita

Thanks for the help!I guess Im a little nervous because I read soap making horror stories on the net.I just want to make sure I get it right.Im sure I will come up with some more questions soon,so get ready! 

  • momevans4x
  • momevans4x

I use drawer organizers from Walmart till my husband can make me some molds. I've been making soap for 13 years, so maybe in another 13 he'll finish! lol Seriously, I have used old plastic tubs (for really huge batches- poured about 5" thick) and muffin tins for smaller ones. I find the drawer liners make nice tight corners and hold a 5# batch really well. They only cost $2.47 to boot, and are about 13" long, 6" wide, and 2" deep. Now, I do hand-cut bars. I have never felt the need for fancy or perfect molds. I like the look of rugged bars in the soapdish. You know, soap balls are fun too! One thing to remember that's really important is if you don't use fancy silicone molds, grease your mold well. Lining with parchment is a good idea too; overhung the sides so you can lift the big bar out.

I've been making soap for 22 years. That's a lot of soap! My husband makes my wood log molds. For Christmas, I'm not only cutting bars, but I'm making soap "cakes." In my Grandma's era, they called soap bars cakes of soap. Grandma gave me my first soap recipe, so this is a shout out to her (she's in heaven).....soap in a silicone bundt cake pan. I do in the mold hot process with these soaps so that I can take them out of the mold the next day and they're fully saponified and ready to give as gifts and use right away. You make your soap just as you would using the cold process method, pour the soap in the mold, pop it into a 190 degree oven for 45 minutes and wa la! Soap on the go. It probably will look gelled and perhaps transparent in places. No worries. It firms up as it cools and when it's fully cooled, it's ready to come out of the mold.

"Step over to the Wild Side, where the plants have always been 'Green.'" S. Jordan
http://www.cedarmountainherbs.com

It's really not as scary as some make it out to be. I always keep vinegar on hand in case I do get some lye on me, that neutralizes it. And it's fun to use whatever is on hand for molds. The milk cartons are great and they don't stick at all!

http://www.wildly-natural-skin-care.com
~Learn about naturally caring for your skin with the wild flair and passion of the green Earth~
  • Genita
  • Genita

I have made 7 batches of soap and have learned that it's not hard at all.I have even managed to sell alot of it! I ended up using a wooden planter box and it has worked out perfect,my husband also made me another wooden mold to use. I am really enjoying making it and trying out different essential oils and using herbs from my garden. My little mind has been working overtime thinking of all the different things to try!

Soap is not hard to make. Once you get the general feel of it, you'll be able to make so many variations with fixed oils, essential oils, herbs, clays and  more. I mostly make HP, although will CP on occasion. If you get worried that the lye will interact with the medicinal properties of the herbal oils (which they will to some degree), you can always add the medicinal oils after the cook. What you will have to do is make sure that the amount of fixed oils in your formula (plain palm, coconut, etc) will bond with all the lye molecules during the cook so that there will not be any free lye in the cooked soap. Meaning, don't subtract the amount of oils needed to fully bond with the lye because once you're done cooking, adding oils will not bond with the lye unless you give the soap more time before using. The purpose of HP is to be able to use it right away and not have to wait the saponification time that CP requires. So....what you can do is super fat your cooked soap with a small amount medicinal oils which will keep their properties and have the bonus of making the soap extra moisturizing. Say your formula is for 85 oz of fixed oils, you can add up to 4 oz of medicinal oils after the cook. More than that and you will have a soap that may be mushier than you'd like (won't harden all the way up) or dissolve too quickly. What I've done over the years, and still do, is make little quarter batches to try out a new formula and see how it goes. Formula tweaking is fun!

And by the way.... don't take soap horror stories from the internet too seriously. There's a ton of information out there to scare a person unnecessarily. Not everything is true.

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