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.
Tip #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 melt...you 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.