Many of the ingredients used to make soap can be found locally or at the grocery store, and even more can be ordered online for quick delivery.
But maybe you aren’t quite sure about this whole soap-making adventure and don’t want to invest a lot of money into equipment. One of the biggest (and best) investments you’ll make is using a soap mold. Here are some very inexpensive or no-cost soap molds that will get you started.
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This mold uses a standard woodworking miter box to make a basic loaf mold. You’ll need some pieces of wood, a miter box, and some skill with a saw and a screw gun, but it’s a great, inexpensive mold to make.
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Another easy to make loaf mold can be made out of a standard 1/2 gallon cardboard milk carton. Be sure to rinse it out well after you’re done with the milk. Cut one side of the mold out, and you’re good to go. The plastic coating on the inside of the mold is enough to not require you to line the mold—and the easiest way to get the soap out is just to tear open the carton. To fill the milk carton like a loaf mold, make a basic soap recipe that's about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds in its final weight.
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Yogurt containers make great single bar soap molds, making a nice bar that fits well into your hand. If you fill the whole container, you can make two bars by slicing it in half lengthways or down the center.
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Oatmeal or Pringles Container
Pringles cans are great for single batches of soap and like a PVC pipe mold, make a great round bar of soap. Oatmeal containers are great too, and you can slice the bar in half to have a semicircle shape.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
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If you’re looking for a bigger loaf mold than a milk carton, try using a shoebox. Because the cardboard isn’t coated, you’ll need to line the mold. You can do this with either freezer paper or a lightweight kitchen plastic bag. Just put the bag into the box, and make sure that you push down into all of the corners. Wrap the excess plastic out of the box and around to the sides/bottom. Secure the bag with some tape. You might get little wrinkles on your bars of soap from the plastic.
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Like the milk carton and shoebox, you can use a cereal box as a basic slab mold. You’ll need to reinforce the sides with extra tape, and line it with a plastic bag. You’ll only want to pour about 3/4-inch deep with these molds or else the sides of the box will bulge out too much.
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Many nice brands of liquor are sold in commemorative boxes but don’t go home with the customer. Be nice to your local liquor store manager, and you might be able to score one of these.
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Food Storage Containers
While they often have rounded/grooved bottoms, these containers are sturdy enough for a batch of soap and don’t need to be lined.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
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Like the miter box soap mold, this takes a bit of construction. You can have a great mold for just a few dollars that make a perfect round bar of soap. They're great for making loofah soaps.
If it's firm enough to hold the raw soap batter—and flexible enough to allow you to get the soap out of the mold—give it a try! Glass and metal are inflexible and don't work well unless your plastic bag liner allows you to "pull" the soap out. And remember that you don't want the soap coming into contact with anything metal other than stainless steel.
There are marvelous silicone loaf pans, muffin shapes, candy molds, and more in the baking aisle of your home store. Whatever you use—have fun and welcome to the fabulous world of making your own homemade soap.