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Silicone candle molds offer some clear advantages, and a few disadvantages, to the hobby or small-business chandler. Some pros of silicone molds include a non-stick surface, easy release of finished candles, and abundance of available mold shapes. Cons include mild instability, scent retention, and an easily damaged surface.
Molds made from silicone can be found anywhere candle-making supplies are sold and can be used with different types of wax and soap. Silicone molds are not restricted to smooth, solid shapes like their metal counterparts, thanks to the flexibility of the mold material. Molds made from silicone can produce candles in any shape or size, with dimensional and protruding elements that would be impossible to include in a traditional metal mold.
Since silicone candle molds have a flexible, non-stick surface, complete candles are easily removed from the mold. Once a candle has cooled, the mold can be flexed and the candle will pop right out. This flexibility allows for a perfectly molded shape every time. Finished candles must be completely cool for clean removal and can be placed in the freezer for a few minutes to ease release, if needed.
Silicone candle molds are made by pouring liquid silicone around an object. Once the silicone has dried, it is removed from the original and can be used to make candles or soaps that are exact replicas of the original object. Silicone molds can be made in almost any shape, as long as an opening is left to remove the finished candle. Original designs can be modeled in based clay, then cast in silicone to make custom molds for candle making.
While silicone candle molds are useful in many ways, they do have a few disadvantages. Molds can buckle if moved before the wax is cool, causing a distortion of the image. Some molds are thinner than others, and can be unstable and sag when wax is poured; placing the mold inside a support, like a small cardboard box, can eliminate this problem.
For candle makers who prefer to create heavily scented finished products, silicone candle molds can retain scent over time. This may or may not present a problem, depending on the degree of scent used and desired. Unscented candles are most likely to be altered by a mold that retains scent, making it difficult to produce a truly unscented candle with such a mold.
I use silicone molds for soap and have had a problem getting the scents out of them after I use them several times.
After awhile all of my soap started to smell like one scent and I figured out it was the molds that were retaining some of the stronger scents.
This was frustrating because these molds can be a bit pricey to buy. Does anyone have any suggestions how you can avoid this?
This is the only con I have found to using silicone molds. They have made soap making so much more enjoyable because I don't have to worry so much about how the product will look when I remove it from the mold.
@bagley79 - I agree with you as far as how much easier it is to remove something from a silicone mold than from other candle making molds.
Depending on how detailed the mold is, there are still times when I need a little bit of help. Most of the craft stores sell sprays that you can spray the mold with which will help you with the release.
One website I was on said you could even spray the mold with some olive oil, but I have never tried this.
Placing the mold in the freezer for a few minutes before you are ready to remove it helps as well. This just makes the whole process a little bit easier.
When I use taper candle molds, I don't worry about it as they are smooth and easy to remove. I only use these tips when I have a mold that has a lot of detail to it.
I use beeswax from my honeybees to make pure beeswax candles. When you have something that smells this good, you don't need to worry about adding any extra scent to it.
Beeswax also burns slow and will burn for a long time without leaving behind any soot. When I first started doing this, I would use plastic candle molds, but these can be very hard to release out of the mold.
Once I started using silicone molds for candles, I haven't used anything else. The candles are so easy to remove and I don't have to worry about part of the candle being stuck in the mold and ruining the look of the candle.
The only disadvantage I have found is that they can be more expensive. I have found this to be worth it though as they also seem to last much longer.
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