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.