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Tips for Removing Soap from Plastic Molds

Tips for Removing Melt & Pour Soap from Plastic Molds

Most of the time it is fairly easy to remove melt and pour soap from plastic molds, however, every once in awhile you might get a stubborn batch that isn't as easy to remove.  Here is our list of tips to ensure that your soap will come out easily:

Tip #1:  When pouring your soap into the mold when it is in its liquid form, make sure to fill each cavity of the mold all the way to the top.  This will make unmolding more simple.

Tip #2:  Make sure that your soap has completely dried and hardened.  We recommend letting your soap sit in the mold to harden for at least 12 to 24 hours after pouring.  The time depends on the size of the soap, but it should be completely hard to the touch before you try to remove it from the mold.

Melt and pour soapTip #3:  Place your molded soap into the freezer for 30 minutes.  The mold will expand as it warms back up to room temperature.

Tip #4:  Run the bottom of the mold (which would be the top of your soap when it is unmolded) under warm water.  Be sure not to get any water on the soap itself.

Tip #5:  If all else fails, use a hair dryer to slightly warm the soap from the bottom of the mold.   Make sure you don't heat it too hot, as you don't want the soap to only want it to get slightly soft.

After you feel like your soap is loose enough, turn the mold over and using pressure from both of your thumbs, press the soap out of the mold.  It should now come out very easily!

Tips for Removing Cold Process Soap from Plastic Molds

You definitely can use plastic molds to make cold process soap.  Many CP (cold process) soap makers like plastic molds for the beautiful detail they provide; however, it can be slightly more bothersome to remove CP soap from plastic molds, but it can be done.  Here are some tips that we've learned that help when removing CP soap from plastic molds:

Tip #1:  Have patience!  Since it's not as easy for air to get to your CP soap when using plastic molds, it does require that you allow it to sit in the mold to harden longer.  It can take up to 2 weeks before you might be able to remove CP soap from a plastic mold.  You can test to see if the soap is hard enough by trying to remove one.  If it starts to bend or crack, then you know you need to wait a day or two longer.

Tip #2:  Use a CP soap recipe that contains a lot of hard oils.  Some examples of hard oils include coconut oil, palm oil, cocoa butter and shea butter.  We recommend to stay away from soft oil CP soap recipes if using a plastic mold.  Examples of soft oils are sweet almond oil and olive oil.

Tip #3:  Try adding sodium lactate to your cool lye water.  The recommended amount to use is 1 teaspoon per pound of oils in your recipe.  Sodium lactate is the sodium salt of lactic acid.  It basically will make your soap harder which in turn makes it easier to remove from a plastic mold.

Once your CP soap is ready to remove from the mold, simply break the seal between the soap and the mold by pulling gently on the sides.  Then turn the mold over and push gently from the bottom using even pressure from both thumbs.  If your soap is hard enough, it will come out smoothly with the details still intact.  If you are still experiencing difficulty, you can try putting it into the freezer for 30 minutes, cool back down to room temperature and then retry unmolding.

3 thoughts on “Tips for Removing Soap from Plastic Molds”

  • Dee

    Hello - I do M&P only. I purchased 6 heavy duty plastic molds from a supplier who sells Milky Way molds. I wanted a large bar with a good design. I have spent many hours trying to find a way (that actually works) to release the soap from the mold. I have tried many ways. After reading your article I decided to give it another try. This is what I did.

    With the help of a clean (watercolor) paint brush. I smeared Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline brand) on the entire inside of each mold. Then I poured my soap in each cavity. I let it sit on the counter for about 4 hours. I later slipped it in a little plastic bag and placed it in the freezer for about 40 minutes. After taking it out of the freezer, I placed the mold, with the soap side down on my table. I waved the heat gun over the back and the side of the mold, a few times. Making sure that the heat gun was about the same distance as you would using a hairdryer.
    With just a little pressure.....the soap came out...perfect.

    Thank you very much sharing options with us wanna-be soap makers.

    Wishing you continued success in your business. Best regards

  • Melissa

    Could you spray a light layer of Pam in your melt and pour soap to make removal easier, or will it damage the soap? Or brush a tiny little bit of olive oil in the mold before you pour?


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