Loaf molds, best material to use?

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ItsForrest

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If you have used different kinds of loaf molds, how do they compare?
By that I mean wood molds vs. white HDPE plastic molds.

I'm putting this in the lye soap forum since I only do CP at this time. Not too concerned how they might perform with MP.

I need to make a few more loaf molds. I'm trying to decide whether it's worth the extra cost and effort to get some sheets of HDPE this time around.

The molds I am using now are molds that I made with pine boards from the local hardware store. I have a good system down for cutting and folding freezer paper for lining them. It takes 15 or 20 minutes to line 4 molds.

I have read that the plastic molds still need to either be lined like the wood molds or sprayed with something like food grade silicone. Is this true or do they release ok clean?
 

jcandleattic

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Wood molds you HAVE to line, HDPE - depending on how seasoned the mold is and how much water is used may not need to be lined. Some people don't have luck with an unlined HDPE mold no matter what tricks they employ. Some do.
Your question do they release clean? Again depends on many factors.

I have a good system down for cutting and folding freezer paper for lining them. It takes 15 or 20 minutes to line 4 molds.
Get a template. I can line a mold with my template in under a minute each.
 

ItsForrest

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Wood molds you HAVE to line, HDPE - depending on how seasoned the mold is and how much water is used may not need to be lined. Some people don't have luck with an unlined HDPE mold no matter what tricks they employ. Some do.
Your question do they release clean? Again depends on many factors.


Get a template. I can line a mold with my template in under a minute each.
So it sounds like the silicone molds I used before I made my current molds. Sometimes they would release & sometimes it was impossible to get the soap out undamaged. With the wood molds at least I can pop the sides open and pull out the soap undamaged holding it with the liner paper, even if it is a bit soft. And if it is too soft to cut, I can set it aside, refill the mold and carry on.

I do have a template of sorts. I cut a block just a smidge smaller than the molds that I fold the paper over to get the crease lines, then make a a few slices and snips before tucking it into the mold. From pulling the paper off the roll to taping the corners to the mold, under a minute seems impossible for my creaky, aging hands. Now you have curious though so I'll have to time my process to see how long it really takes me. 15 to 20 minutes was just a guess.

Anyway, from what you're saying, I don't see a clear advantage to plastic over wood. Warping has not been an issue. Cleaning is not an issue - especially since I'm lining so contaminating the soap seems unlikely at best. HDPE is less available than wood and is 50 to 100% more expensive. And since I would still have to line them there is no work time advantage. I'll just make more wood molds so I can do more soap each session.
 

jcandleattic

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So it sounds like the silicone molds I used before I made my current molds.
My silicone molds are my best friend - come out nice clean, easy every time. The only time I have problems is if for some reason my soap doesnt' gel, but that's rare as I wrap in towels and they almost always gel for me.
 

shunt2011

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I've used wooden molds that I lined with freezer paper, HDPE molds (hated them/sold them) and finally silicone lined wooden molds (my best friends). I have 6 from Nurture Soap (my favorite) and 6 from Brambleberry (my ex husband made the wooden molds to hold the Brambleberry liners). The only time I have to line molds are my large slabs when I want to make large batches.
 
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penelopejane

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If I were you I’d think about making wooden molds that will fit nurture silicone liners. Then, eventually, you can buy the silicone liners. If you buy a couple of liners you could make one loaf after the other. I can I mold my recipes in 12 hours so I have no problem with time.

I love my nurture silicone liners.
 

maxine289

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I started out lining wood molds. No only did it take a long time but my edges weren't always straight. I also used silicone molds but they tended to bow. I found lining wood molds so time consuming and frustrating that I got some wood molds with silicone liners from Nurture Soap. BEST.DESICION. EVER. Corners and edges are clean and crisp, soap releases easily, and getting started on a batch was quick since I didn't have to fool around with liner paper.
 

ItsForrest

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Thanks for the input. Once again, it sounds like HDPE molds are not worth the extra cost and effort vs. buying wood at the local hardware store.

As far as the silicone liners go, thanks for the suggestions. I guess the old saying goes here that you go with what works best for you. My previous set of milds were wood molds with silicone liners. (I wrote silicone molds above but they were wood molds with silicone liners.) I struggled so much getting soap out of them without damage that I swore I would never use one again. I can line with freezer paper in less time than it ever took to separate a silicone liner from a loaf, and with less damage to the loaf. Also, even more than a year after last using them, they still smell like a rancid mix of all the FOs and EOs I ever used in them.

Perhaps the Nurture liners are better. For the cost of liners and new molds to fit them to find out, I'll pass for now.
 

penelopejane

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Thanks for the input. Once again, it sounds like HDPE molds are not worth the extra cost and effort vs. buying wood at the local hardware store.

As far as the silicone liners go, thanks for the suggestions. I guess the old saying goes here that you go with what works best for you. My previous set of milds were wood molds with silicone liners. (I wrote silicone molds above but they were wood molds with silicone liners.) I struggled so much getting soap out of them without damage that I swore I would never use one again. I can line with freezer paper in less time than it ever took to separate a silicone liner from a loaf, and with less damage to the loaf. Also, even more than a year after last using them, they still smell like a rancid mix of all the FOs and EOs I ever used in them.

Perhaps the Nurture liners are better. For the cost of liners and new molds to fit them to find out, I'll pass for now.
Sounds like you were using cheap silicone liners.
If you make your new timber molds the right size to fit the nurture liners (and there are many different sizes) you can have the best of both worlds when you eventually buy nurture liners. You won't be disappointed with nurture silicone liners. I have been using them for 3 years now and never have a problem unmolding them no matter what the recipe.

Here is the thread about the timber molds I made to fit the nurture silicone liners: https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/making-timber-molds.64078/
 
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shunt2011

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I've been using Nurture since she started selling them. I have the same liners and just have the basic mold (didn't get the fancy one). Unfortunately, she changed the mold and liner a couple 2-3 years ago and they don't fit in my molds so going to invest in a couple more of the 7.5 lb basic mold.
 

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