Silicone Soap Molding

So you’ve been bitten by the soap making bug and you love silicone soap molds. But you wish there was more of a variety in soap molds. Perhaps you are getting ready to launch your own business, and in doing so you want a unique design for your molds. It’s all very understandable and expected; after all you need to be able to set yourself apart from your competition. The soap making world today is full of good old fashioned competition.

Silicone soap molds are wonderful for when you want that special design for a unique soap mold. It actually is quite an easy process. Let’s learn how to make silicone soap molds. First, you need to get RTV silicone (preferably one with a Shore a hardness of 20 or greater for the stability of the mold so your soaps don’t come out twisted if your mold is not flat). Secondly you would need wood, plastic or cardboard strips about 5-9 cm tall. Anything that makes a good corral would work. Last but not least, you need to get some Plaster of Paris.

Once you’ve gathered all the materials you are going to need we can begin. Make sure your environment is well vented, and you are wearing an apron to protect your clothing. Mold making can be a very messy project. Silicone does not come out of carpet well either, so you may want to make sure you are working in a room that is easily cleaned. It’s time to mix the plaster. You will find that it has a pudding like consistency. Once you’ve mixed it completely you are going to pour it into a ready-made container in the shape you choose. You can use just a regular block or you can be creative and carve your own. When you’re done filling the molds, let it set for thirty to forty minutes so it has time to cool. The plaster will gradually warm up as it gradually hardens.

After the hardening process is done, it’s time to unmold your plaster soap. It is crucial to work under a light stream of water so you can smooth any jagged edges on your mold. It also helps to remove debris and keep the cuts smooth. If you need to polish or patch your bar, you can take fresh plaster and lightly dab then smooth a tiny amount over the bar. The plaster will fill in the groove and smooth out once you run it under water. It is advised to make another soap mold that is plain, just in case the engraved mold doesn’t turn out as expected. Accidents happen so it’s a good idea to have another mold in case you drop one or want to change your engraving.

Now you will need to get your design ready to transfer to the plaster. It is best to use a water-based ink in your printer so the design bleeds when it gets wet. Making the designs in another color of ink other than black is advisable because black does not transfer very well. Blue ink transfers best. When placing your design understand that it must be horizontal, so the text will flow in the right direction.

Once the design is damp and placed on the plaster, press down on the paper with a wet finger until you can barely see the design bleed through the back of the paper. Just make sure you don’t use too much water. But if you do, lay the plaster on a dry towel for a few minutes to soak up the moisture.

Engrave the design by carefully carving into the plaster where the pattern has left the imprint of ink. The ink itself will eventually fade. It is best to be quick since the ink could fade before you have time to finish. If you think you don’t have enough time, then go over the design just enough to leave an imprint you can use as a guide. When engraving it is always a smart idea to do a little at a time and go deeper with each pass. This is a vital step that will help you keep from breaking the plaster. There are all kinds of tools you can use to carve plaster. Small screwdrivers with a flat edge, needles, and tweezers are just a few. Keeping the plaster moist while working with it, will make it easier to carve and prevent chipping.

When you are finished carving, rinse the plaster and set it down on a towel to dry excess water. You don’t need to towel dry it and it’s not recommended. The lint from the towel will stick to the mold and keep your soap from having a smooth surface. Since the plaster is somewhat porous, you don’t need to dry it directly, the towel will pull the moisture form the surface. Next, set your frames up on a sheet of paper leaving 5 to 10mm around the model. Use tape to seal any cracks, corners and edges. You can use putty or hot glue if you prefer.

Finally, you are ready to pour the silicone. To keep bubbles from forming in your mold, rub silicone into the details of your carving then place the frame. It’s best to pour the silicone in a thin stream around the sides and slowly fill in the mold. Once you are done pouring, just leave your tools and anything that has silicone on it. Let the silicone harden then you can clean it off easily. After the silicone has hardened, you can unmold it and trim any scraps.

If you want an even more rustic mold, there are wooden soap molds with silicone liners as well. The process of making them is different, but the outcome is the same. For those enterprising individuals that want to own their own business, or just create homemade organic soaps, silicone soap molds are highly needed. There are businesses that make the molds for you. But once you learn how to make them for yourself the possibilities are endless. You can create your own logo and have it impressed into every bar of soap. You can even be creative and come up with soap that unique to your very own brand.