Although common grocery store-type soap is readily available and inexpensive, homemade soap has become a popular DIY project. Why? Many of us want to have more control of the ingredients in the soap we use, a hygienic product we use multiple times a day. Some of us have sensitive skin and find store-bought soaps too harsh or irritating. Others prefer products that use the least amount of synthetic ingredients possible for their health and the environment. To be sure, there are plenty of artisanal, organic, herb-infused, intricately molded soaps available for purchase. You can find them at farmers’ markets and high-profile organic cosmetic lines. While artisan and high-end soaps are desirable, they’re also quite expensive. Because the demand is high for products that express personal identity, artsy individuals have begun making their own soaps. With the DIY process, you have total control over the scent, color, ingredients, process, and shape. And there’s the simple joy of the creation and the satisfaction of holding the final product in hand. Some of us handmake soaps for business, others as gifts or personal use, still others just for the fun of it. So, to make soap at home, check out these great soap molds!
Why buy soap molds?
If you’ve decided to make soap and have the recipe and ingredients you want in front of you, you can’t move a step further without having a soap mold! Soap molds come in all shapes and sizes, even fun colors. And ironically, many soap molds can be used to make baked goods, Jell-o, and candy, as well as soap. Of course, you can take DIY to a new level and make your own soap molds. But purchasing quality-made soap molds is a great way for beginners to play around and see if they like the process. Plus, it saves time and ensures your soap has perfect shaping.
What should you look for in a soap mold?
- Shape: If you’re making soap from scratch, don’t feel like you’re limited to the traditional rectangular or square bars. You can find oval and circle-shaped molds, as well as flowers, animals, seashells, and other designs. Some molds will also have patterns of varying intricacy stamped into them, which can add beautiful and highly specific detailing to your soaps.
- Size: As with shapes, soap molds come in a good variety of sizes. You can find molds that turn out standard-sized bars of soaps, soaps smaller than the palm of your hand, and soaps that weigh several pounds. Keep an eye on the dimensions of a mold you plan to buy, and pick according to the needs of your project or your own personal preferences.
- Material: Silicone soap molds are generally the most popular types, as they are flexible for easy soap bar removal, don’t require a lining to use, come in the greatest variety of shapes, sizes, and patterns, and are easy to clean. Soap does take longer to harden in silicone molds than other types, however. Other common mold materials are plastic and wood. Wooden soap molds are nice and sturdy for professional-looking results, and if you use a cold processing method, they’re great insulators. They require a separate lining to prevent the soap from sticking to the sides and may soften and lose their shape over time. Plastic molds are best for the melt and pour soap-making method and, like their silicone cousins, come in various shapes and sizes. However, they can be difficult to un-mold and are prone to soda ash.
What else should you know before buying soap molds?
You’ll find that soap mold products come in various quantities. Some of the products we review here are single molds, two-piece molds for making eight or twelve, and up to twenty-four soaps. Consider how many molds you want or need and the number of soap bars you’ll want to make at a time, and buy accordingly. Additionally, you’ll come across soap mold products that come with tools like shrink bags for packaging and storing soap or cutting tools for slicing or shaping. Think about how immersive you want your soap-making adventure to be, then get to shopping!
Ozera 2-Pack, 6 Cavities Silicone Soap Molds
A pair of molds for standard-sized bars of soap that are flexible, nonstick, and easy to clean.
Pros: Standard-sized bars of soap exist for a reason, generally 3.75 x 3 x 1 inch. They’re easy to grip comfortably in one hand, yet large enough to last the average household for a good while. If you prefer to stick to this basic shape when making your homemade soaps, this set of pink silicone molds by Ozera has you covered. Each of the two molds has six rectangular 3.8-ounce cavities, allowing you to make batches of 12 soap bars at a time. The molds are nonstick and flexible, promising easy removal; once you’ve completed the soap-making process, all you have to do is flip the mold upside down, give the bottom a small nudge, and the soap will pop right out. The molds are easy to clean and dishwasher safe for extra convenience, able to withstand temperatures as low as -40 degrees and as high as 446 degrees Fahrenheit. This means you can place it in the oven, microwave, freezer, or refrigerator as needed without fear. The silicone material is as durable as it is practical. If desired, these soap molds can double as molds for baked goods like brownies, muffins, pudding, and more.
Cons: The Ozera rectangular-shaped soap molds have lots to offer; however, as one of the three basic shapes, they’re not very fancy. If you’re looking for a more intricate design, move on. You may find the silicone material thinner than you like.
Bottom Line: The first thought we had about the Ozera was, “what you see is what you get.” And that’s not a bad thing; you want transparency, something you can trust. To some, these soap molds may seem boring, but they don’t have to be. Just think about the ingredients you can add: dried citrus slices, flower petals, herbs, bath salts, and so forth. All in all, Ozera’s soap molds are a reliable, inexpensive buy.
ZYTJ 42 oz Rectangular Loaf Soap Mold Kit
A wooden soap mold with a silicone insert that comes with two cutting blades.
Pros: For the soap-maker beginner or veteran who wants to branch out from the common silicone melt-and-pour trays, this 42-ounce soap loaf mold by ZYTJ offers the right tools and inspiration. The wooden box and silicone mold insert team up well for both cold press and melt-and-pour small-batch soaps. Why wood, you ask? Because it allows the bar to retain the rectangular shape as it congeals. The silicone is thick and flexible, a good combination for removing the soap, even if it’s not completely hardened. The design is large and deep and makes around eight 2.25-inch thick bars. And you don’t have to fill the loaf to the top to still produce thick bars. Don’t forget; you also get two stainless steel cutters; one is wavy if you want to give the bar edges texture.
Cons: Sometimes, it’s difficult to find flaws or drawbacks to a product. This is one of those instances. If you want your soaps to be true rectangles, you may have to put in some extra effort and shave or bevel the edges. There is some apparent slack between the silicone insert and the wooden box.
Bottom Line: This rectangular loaf soap mold kit comes with the tools you need once you’ve mixed your batch to complete the process. ZYTJ threw in great materials to create their kit: a quality silicone insert, a wooden box, and stainless steel cutters which are not only valuable for their utility but their styling tools, too. The silicone insert is easy to clean, and the box works well to provide stability as your soap forms. It looks nice, has a low price, and is a quality product.
Sntieecr 24 Pieces 12 Shapes Silicone Soap Molds Set
An assortment of pretty and fun soap mold shapes, from roses to mini cupcakes to simple squares.
Pros: In this silicone soap mold set, design takes center stage. Sntieecr takes advantage of the many benefits of silicone for their molds: flexibility, easy cleaning, and eco-friendliness. Soft silicone won’t crack or cause the soap to stick when you remove your finished, fun-shaped soaps. There are flower, heart, circle, oval, and rose molds. A few of them feature short imprinted messages, like “Thank You,” “100% Handmade,” and “Soap.” There’s variation in sizes, but they make well-sized hand soaps for the bathroom or kitchen sink.
Cons: Ironically, when you work with assorted shaped molds versus a loaf mold, for example, you have greater shape variety; however, you’re more limited in ingredients to add because of their smaller, more intricate shapes. With all the variety, you may find that you don’t ever use specific molds.
Bottom Line: If you discover you prefer some shapes over others and are troubled that you won’t use the whole set, invite friends over for a soap-making party. Get creative with the process. Maybe try dying your soap mixture in a rainbow of colors if you find the molds too small to add dried rosebuds, for example, and risk tipping the soap to rosebuds ratio. These soap molds utilize quality material and offer enjoyable designs.
Silly Pops Rectangle Silicone Soap Molds with Mixed Patterns
A mold for making rectangular soap bars stamped with lacy, vintage patterns and designs.
Pros: Do you like regular bar soaps over fancy-shaped soaps but still want to add elegance to your handmade creations? If so, Silly Pops has you covered with their vintage-style silicone soap mold designs featuring six imprinted patterns: butterfly, heart, tree, dolphin, moon, and sun. You get two of each pattern, for a total of 12. The molds are made from the highest-quality food-grade silicone that’s cold- and heat-resistant, food-grade, and sturdy yet flexible. They won’t crack or break over long-term usage and are easy to clean. If you use them to make desserts, baked goods, or Jell-o besides the soap, the silicone won’t leave a funny taste behind on your food. The flexibility of the molds provides a nonstick surface, so soaps pop right out with one small push from the bottom. They’re also great for body lotion bars and candles as well as soaps.
Cons: You may find that the imprints are too faint when you make your first batch. As a preventative measure, make sure the molded soaps are firmly set. Doing so allows the soap to take up the imprint. Making sure the soap is completely set before removal may also mitigate the problems of soap sticking to the mold upon removal.
Bottom Line: The designs in this set are more than beautiful, and they’ll feel like classy vintage bars of soap. The final 3.7-ounce product fits perfectly in the palm of the hand.
SJ Silicone Massage Bar Soap Molds
An ingenious mold design for making massage soap bars with nubs to target sore muscles.
Pros: SJ married two essential body care modalities—soap and massage—with these soap mold trays. They’re made of 100% food-grade, eco-friendly, nontoxic, tasteless silicone. The material is also BPA-free and microwave, oven, and dishwasher safe. But why does it matter if the molds are microwave and oven-safe, you ask? Because you can use the oval-shaped molds to make edible stuff with them, too. They’re temperature safe from -104 to 446 degrees Fahrenheit for pouring hot Jell-o mix, baking small cakes, cookies, freezing your goodies for later, and so forth. Now, let’s get back to the massage soap bar-making. It’s important you know the dimensions before buying because you want to be sure that the 13 nubs per bar are sufficiently sized for a shower or bath massage. The molds are 11.22 by 4.22 by 1.75 inches, and the volume of each cavity is 5 ounces.
Cons: You may be puzzled over how to use the molds for making desserts. They’re oddly shaped, to be sure. You may find the nubs to be a little too much or too little during a massage. It depends on your preferences.
Bottom Line: If you like massage, these molds are for you! This amazing product by SJ offers the quality material you want for hand-making personal care products.
The art of making soap involves creativity and challenges you to learn about materials you may have never worked with before, like resin, herbs, oils, and lye. The process can also be a fun project for kids learning about measurements, proportions, and collaboration. Making soap by hand ends on a high note with tactile proof of your artistry and chemistry that you can share with others. And a meaningful craft deserves quality tools—in this case, the soap mold products we’ve reviewed. From the variety of soap mold shapes and sizes, designs, and themes, you’re sure to find a mold that works for you.