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Help! Problems with Soap Mold!

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kazza38

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Hi All! Help! Please? My husband spent 3 hard working weekends in the shed making me beautiful soap molds out of maranti timber, sealed them with 2 coats sanding sealer then a coat of normal sealer and the soap is leaching into the timber staining it and the soap! Any ideas on what I could do? I don't want all of his hard work to go to waste.
Thanks for any help.
Kazza38
 

Soapmaker Man

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You have to line them. Just sealing the wood is not enough. Take a look at my Etsy site and see how my molds are lined with a permanent liner.

Paul :wink:
 

kazza38

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Soap Mold

Hi Kristen. I am using greaseproof paper. Is that different? I am in Australia and I don't think we have anything called freezer paper. Do you think there might be a difference?

Hi Paul, thanks, I am checking out your etsy site now.

Cheers to you both. I will reply in a minute....

Kazza38
 

kazza38

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permanent liner

Wow Paul, your soap molds look amazing! You should be proud. May I ask, what are your permanent liners made from? I wonder if it's a product we can get here in Oz. It would be so wonderful if I can sort this problem out before revealing the issue to my husband. He put so much hard work into these molds for me. He should have been using the time to practise for his Archery State Championships next month, not making me molds! I am very lucky!

Cheers Paul....

Kazza38
 

Soapmaker Man

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Re: permanent liner

kazza38 said:
Wow Paul, your soap molds look amazing! You should be proud. May I ask, what are your permanent liners made from? I wonder if it's a product we can get here in Oz. It would be so wonderful if I can sort this problem out before revealing the issue to my husband. He put so much hard work into these molds for me. He should have been using the time to practise for his Archery State Championships next month, not making me molds! I am very lucky!

Cheers Paul....

Kazza38
Thank you. :)

HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) It is super slick, heat resistant and chemical resistant.

Paul :wink:
 
G

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kazza38 said:
My husband spent 3 hard working weekends in the shed making me beautiful soap molds out of maranti timber, sealed them with 2 coats sanding sealer then a coat of normal sealer and the soap is leaching into the timber staining it and the soap! Any ideas on what I could do? I don't want all of his hard work to go to waste.
I'm using inexpensive mostly clear pine for my molds. I didn't even bother treating the wood at all. Originally I had been using freezer paper (paper with a thin coat of plastic on one side) but I've switched mostly to the inside of the molds being covered with a layer of silicone kitchen and bath sealer (GE Silicone II). I use a bit of mineral oil as a release agent. I also follow the principle that my molds disassemble or unfold for soap removal and cleaning.

There are definitely at least two schools of mold making. Your husband and Paul have put a great deal of effort into durability and appearance, while I just throw my molds together with inexpensive wood and plan on replacing any molds that don't last. I've already rebuilt parts due to experimenting with different coatings. Of course it helps to have the necessary power tools since most folks are stuck having to buy their molds. Mold making is a side hobby to soap making so I don't mind the labor that goes into making my molds.
 

kazza38

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Thanks all

Thanks all! Your help is great. Greg, you have yet another idea I may use. Thank you. But today I will go to our local plastics store and see if I can find the right type of HDPE and try that way. Maybe I can score some offcuts to try. It would be great to be able to set them up to use 100's of times. I am itching (hahaha) to start producing more and more soap. :lol:

Cheers all

Karen from Oz
 
G

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Karen, have a look and see if you can find the silicone sealer. It's good to experiment with. The secret is to have a wide disposable wedge or blade or putty knife, so that you can cut a wide, smooth swathe. Your soap will have every blemish you have in the silicone, so it is paramount to get a wide, even sweep with no blemishes. This takes some practice. Even after doing 1-2 dozen pieces I'm still learning.

I didn't find HDPE (or maybe I did, I don't know) but I found a durable plastic that I've been using to some good effect, but the silicone has worked better for me. I'm still using the plastic for bottoms because it pops right out of the mold and easily peels off the soap log afterwards.
 

zajanatural

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I would not stain the wood at all. I don't think it is safe to use on the skin. When the soap reaches high temps while in the mold, that is what is causing your stain to bleed into the soap. Lye and wood stain don't mix. I think the grease paper is fine by itself, or as someone else mentioned, silicone. I use caulk from the hardware store to seal some of my molds, I look for the one that can withstand high temps. OR not treat you wood with anything at all and line with paper. There are a few tutorials out there that teach you how to line the mold so it does not leak onto the wood:) Hope that helps!
 
G

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I haven't found that exposing the wooden mold to the soap has caused any problems at all for me, although I've been doing it only about 4 weeks (new molds) but I haven't seen any negative effects of getting curing soap on pine. I just wash the mold's parts off after unmolding the soap, using warm running water and a sponge.

Perhaps my molds will deteriorate over a longer time. If so they were cheap and easy to build, and cheap and easy to replace. It does help that I own a table saw and have a Home Depot nearby.

I think it's quite possible that what works for cheap and quick at home (for me) may not be suitable for molds sold retail to soapers (like Paul's molds). Mine is not a commercial application.
 

PrincessMommy

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Lovehound said:
I'm using inexpensive mostly clear pine for my molds. I didn't even bother treating the wood at all. Originally I had been using freezer paper (paper with a thin coat of plastic on one side) but I've switched mostly to the inside of the molds being covered with a layer of silicone kitchen and bath sealer (GE Silicone II). I use a bit of mineral oil as a release agent. I also follow the principle that my molds disassemble or unfold for soap removal and cleaning.
Greg, I'm wondering how the silicone works on molds that can be disassembled? I've made my first mold using hinges and purposely stayed away from the silicone because I didn't think I could get a proper seal.
 
G

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It depends on what your design is and how thick your soap batter is.

My hinged mold has a flat base with four sides that hinge down. The short sides fold inside of the long sides which overlap. I use a flat piece of what might be thin HDPE or might be something else, and I placed that on the bottom before I installed the hinges, so that the sides overlap the edges of the bottom plastic and hold it in place.

I do have thin pieces of the same plastic covering where the corners overlap but that's just due to an earlier version with entire sides of the same plastic, and I didn't want to cut new sides so I just epoxied strips of plastic in the overlap areas so there would be no gaps, but it's a reasonably tight fit. Then I siliconed the remaining part of the sides and the full face of the end pieces.

This mold does not leak with normal soap batter, but during an experiment with transparent soap making--which is as thin as water--the transparent soap started leaking right out, lost at least one-third in the sink. Not a good mold for transparent soap. BTW the transparent batch was in a crock pot and right in the middle of gel the power failed--for six hours!!! I blame the power failure for the transparent soap failure. I'll try again.

So your hinge mold won't leak if it fits reasonably well and you don't pour at zero trace. I've never had ordinary CP soap leak out of it.

The silicone works great, seems to get less sticky each time I use it. Might even get to not needing mineral oil. Only problem I have is that I used the mold several times before applying silicone and a couple places may have had soap preventing the silicone from sticking right. But heck, I've got tons of silicone left over. :)

By the way, ALL of my molds disassemble (except the pipes). It's a good way to go.
 

PrincessMommy

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Lovehound said:
.

I do have thin pieces of the same plastic covering where the corners overlap but that's just due to an earlier version with entire sides of the same plastic, and I didn't want to cut new sides so I just epoxied strips of plastic in the overlap areas so there would be no gaps, but it's a reasonably tight fit. Then I siliconed the remaining part of the sides and the full face of the end pieces.

This mold does not leak with normal soap batter, but during an experiment with transparent soap making--which is as thin as water--the transparent soap started leaking right out, lost at least one-third in the sink. Not a good mold for transparent soap. BTW the transparent batch was in a crock pot and right in the middle of gel the power failed--for six hours!!! I blame the power failure for the transparent soap failure. I'll try again.

So your hinge mold won't leak if it fits reasonably well and you don't pour at zero trace. I've never had ordinary CP soap leak out of it.

The silicone works great, seems to get less sticky each time I use it. Might even get to not needing mineral oil. Only problem I have is that I used the mold several times before applying silicone and a couple places may have had soap preventing the silicone from sticking right. But heck, I've got tons of silicone left over. :)

By the way, ALL of my molds disassemble (except the pipes). It's a good way to go.
I'm having trouble picturing this, but I think I understand you to say that you did silicone your collapsible molds. Interesting to put the hinges on the base. I didn't think of that! Mine have hinges on three sides and I've duct tape the fourth (was going to use a hook and eye but found the duct tape to be tighter). Oh, and I screwed one side on the bottom. This was my first attempt and I'm not exactly a straight cutter :oops: Even though I have a pretty thick trace I think I would have some leakage.
 
G

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Well PM I'll try to post pics soon. I'm in my after dinner funk where I don't want to do anything harder than typing or snoring. :)

Please feel free to remind me if I don't come forth with my design. I intended to do that and it's only my laziness that is in the way.
 

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