HELP! Silicone mold acting up

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chidfu

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I have a question about silicone molds. I have used mine for about a year now and I haven't had a problem with unmolding till the last 3 batches. Now it suddenly gets stuck to the bottom of the mold and I have a hard time getting the soap out. I checked my recipes over and over again and they seem to be perfectly fine. Also the soap loaf seems to be wetter than usual at the bottom where it gets stuck. The last batch I didn't unmold till 2 weeks later to see if that would improve and it still got stuck. Like I said I haven't had a problem with it in the whole year and now it started acting up. Can silicone mold just get old suddenly? The only other thing I can think of is that the last batch I did before it started acting up was my first batch where I used goats milk, beeswax and honey as ingredients as well as the first batch I stuck in the fridge to avoid overheating due to the sugar content. I appreciate help on this topic. Thank you!
 

shunt2011

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I've been using silicone molds for years and haven't had an issue unless I try to unmold too soon. I do use sodium lactate and can usually unmold in 12 hours or less most times. I use milk in all my soaps but not beeswax.

Maybe if you post your recipe and procedure we can help troubleshoot.
 

penelopejane

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What type of silicone mold do you use? People have had problems with particular brands.

Has the weather been different this year to least year at the same time? People have had problems with curing times in weather extremes.

I've used goats milk and honey and CPOP with no problems. I haven't used beeswax.
 

chidfu

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I have the silicone mold from essential depot. I have been using it without a unmolding problem for the last year and like I said it acted out only with the last 3 batches, right after I made the milk, honey and beeswax batch that I put in the fridge. That batch itself didn't cause any problem unmolding, just after unmolding that one it is when all the trouble started. I only mentioned it because in that batch I usedingredients I hadn't used before.
I do not use sodium lactate in any of my recipe but never had a problem before. Usually I unmold after 2-3 days, depending on how inpatient I am. I did that with 2 of the last 3 batches, and for the 3rd batc I waited even 2 weeks just to check.

The recipes for the first two batches is:

Olive Oil 21.6
Coconut Oil 21.6
Palm Oil 21.6
Castor Oil 7.70
Lavender EO 1.20
Rosemary EO 0.80
Patchouli EO 0.30
Water 24
Lye 10.20
Temp Oil 90 - temp Lye 110

and the last batch that I unfolded after 2 weeks was:

Olive Oil 30
Coconut Oil 30
Palm Oil 30
Castor Oil 10
Amyris EO 1.20
Eucalyptus EO 0.50
Patchouli EO 0.50
Howood 0.50
Cedarwood 0.50
Fir Needle 0.50
Water 34
Sodium Hydroxide 14
Temp Oil 88 - temp Lye 111
Spirulina, cocoa, indigo

Also, this batches I pour into two Essential Depot silicone molds and one of the molds still performs relatively fine...just a slight sticking at the edges,(which is still annoying) whilst the other one really sticks even after 2 weeks.

I just wonder if anyone now what could have caused this sudden change and if it is fixable. I can buy new ones but I would like to know If that can be avoided somehow or if I did something wrong. I have been soaping for 4 years now and I switched to silicone one year ago after I got tired of lining my molds. I just feel like one year is a short lifetime for my beloved molds. Thank you so much
 

penelopejane

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I have the silicone mold from essential depot. I have been using it without a unmolding problem for the last year and like I said it acted out only with the last 3 batches, right after I made the milk, honey and beeswax batch that I put in the fridge. That batch itself didn't cause any problem unmolding, just after unmolding that one it is when all the trouble started. I only mentioned it because in that batch I usedingredients I hadn't used before.
I do not use sodium lactate in any of my recipe but never had a problem before. Usually I unmold after 2-3 days, depending on how inpatient I am. I did that with 2 of the last 3 batches, and for the 3rd batc I waited even 2 weeks just to check.
To me, two weeks to unmold sounds like an incredibly long time. I use silicone (BB's molds) and I unmold Pure castile after 2 days at most and a castile with honey and unmold after 2 days. I do CPOP though. That might make a difference.
 

navigator9

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I've been using my oldest silicone mold for almost ten years, with no problems. The only time I have to wait more than 24 hours to unmold is if the soap hasn't gelled. Gelled soap can be unmolded cleanly the day after you pour. Ungelled soap can take much longer. Two weeks seems excessive, but not being gelled is the first thing that comes to my mind. I CPOP almost every batch, and unmold the next day with no problems.
 

Susie

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I have only ever had a sticking problem in ungelled soaps, also. My cure (thanks to someone on here) is to pop the mold into the freezer for a couple of hours before attempting to unmold. You can also add 1 tsp PPO of finely ground table salt or sea salt PPO to help firm those soaps.
 

newbie

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Not gelling would contribute and even leaving it in the mold for a long time may not help as much as you think it ought to because there is no way for the soap to dry out a little other than at the top. Adding sugars can make soaps softer, so that may compound the problem. I would try gelling one and seeing if there is a difference. If you really don't want to gel, then freezing, unmolding and allowing it to thaw before cutting is the way to go.
 

chidfu

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Thank you all for the responses.
I guess I didn't explain myself well. The honey, milk soap that I put in the fridge to avoid gel phase did unmold just fine. It was after that batch when the problem started. With my regular, "normal" batches that didn't cause problems before. All of those went through gel phase and stuck to the mold. Same recipe as always, so I was wondering if anyone ever heard of a mold gone bad. I can not explain it otherwise. Like I said before no problem with usual recipes using that mold for 1 year then suddenly sticking to mold.
 

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I haven't had mold just go bad, so to speak, after a batch. It does seem odd though that you'd suddenly have the problem. Have you tried rubbing with mineral oil first, if you want to keep using that mold?
 
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penelopejane

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It seems that some silicone molds gets really overheated once (CPOPing at too high a temp or mix overheating) it can cause those bubble marks on the side for every subsequent batch. If your honey soap really over headed before the fridge had a chance to cool it that might be the problem.
 
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TeresaT

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I have no solutions for you. However, I have two suggestions. First, if it was me, I would soak the mold in hot extra-soapy water (Dawn dish washing liquid is a soaper's best friend) for an hour or two. This way I would be totally sure that any oils that might still be coating the silicone are gone. I know I wash my molds really well after each use; however, they always smell of the fragrance oils. If I am unable to get the fragrance residue out of the silicone, what other microscopic residue am I missing? Then I'd make another batch with my normal oils and do everything normally to check the mold out again. If it still sticks, then I would contact ED and explain what happened to them to see if they have any suggestions or have had any other issues with mold failures after a period of time or a specific recipe. They may be able to shed some light on the situation. If it doesn't stick, then I would assume that there was some kind of gremlin stuck to the silicone that wasn't coming off until the long hot'n'sudsy date with Dawn. (The final try may be a silicone spray; however, that may just make your mold worse.) Good luck. I hope you figure your issue out soon. A mold is a terrible thing to waste.
 

chidfu

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I did as you all instructed and cleaned the molds throughly, made the same recipe again and tried to unmold after 2 days. I must say it performed way better. One of the molds released without a problem, The second mold was still sticking at the edges so I tried putting it in the freezer. (something I never had to do before) After approximately one hour the mold released fairly easily, even though it left some marks at the edges. It definitely improved though. It can be that after uses I got overconfident with the cleaning progress and didn’t do it throughly enough. I tried it one more time with intense cleaning to see if the mold would start acting normal again. it is still not performing as well as it used to. It still sticks on the edges even after putting it in the freezer and it ruins the smooth surface of the batch. It leaves me unsatisfied especially because I know how well it used to perform. I inspected the mold and I don’t see any defects on the surface itself.

Anyway, Essential Depot was very helpful and after walking me through some trouble shooting and not being able to improve the performance they ar replacing the mold for me.

Really great service!

Thank you all so much for your help and replies!
 

TeriDk

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Could the inside of your mold be damaged or have some type of film such as soap residue? I've had the corners stick a bit with my ED mold even though I clean them well.
 
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