By Jeffrey Dorrian

The first soap mold I ever used was a drawer from an old dresser that was taking up space in my basement. Most soap makers start with some type of rectangular container. It should be at least 3.5 inches high as this will give you a little room for errors. Pvc piping is also popular for making round soap and is available at any hardware store for a nominal cost and you may have in your garage or basement.

Most cardboard boxes will work well as soap molds. Save a few and see which one works best for your volume of soap. You can easily line them with a plastic garbage bag that you have cut along the seams and laid across the box and tucked into the corners. Your soap will slide easily from the mold and you can then peal the bag right off the soap.

If you use a large flat box you can then pour your soap about 1.5 inches thick across the entire surface of the box. When you do it this way, please be sure and give some extra layers of insulation when curing as the large flat surface will dissipate the heat much more quickly than a thicker batch. After 24 hours you can then use cookie cutters to stamp out cute shapes of soap. If the soap is still too moist leave it uncovered for a few hours and it should harden up just enough to allow a nice cut with your cookie cutters.

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Triangle bars are great looking bars that are easy to make. Take your block of soap out of the mold after 24 hours and cut lenghth wise into strips approximately 2.5 inches wide. Start at the end of each strip and make a 45 degree cut from the corner. Next, make another cut in the opposite direction, again at 45 degrees. This makes nice wedges of soap that are very attractive and easy to sell.

If you would like to make soap balls pour your block of soap more than 2 inches thick. Then after 24 hours take you soap out the mold and get an ice scream scoop and start making soap balls. Be sure to wear protective gloves to smooth out the edges. If you have two different soaps available you can scoop large chunks of each and use the contrasting colors to make a truly unique soap ball.

For specialty soap, you can use any extra candy molds you might have in your kitchen. Be sure and use only those that you have no intention of making candy with anymore. I sometimes would use old dessert cups that have a very nice round shape and make a very attractive bar of soap. Examine any and all baking utensils and molds that you aren’t using, these make great improvised molds for soap.

If you have any trouble extracting your soap from molds, let the soap stand in the freezer overnight. The soap will pop out of the mold the next morning. Some soap makers put a thin layer of petroleum jelly into molds that have nooks and crannies. Don’t use shortening as it will start to saponify along with your soap mix.

About the Author: Jeffrey Dorrian is the webmaster at He has been making handmade soap for six years.

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