The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

June 7, 2010

Switch to Stainless Steel Popsicle Molds Instead of Plastic

Every summer, moms write to me and ask how I would make popsicles without plastic.  Until now, silicone popsicle molds were the only alternative to plastic. But is silicone safe? It is a synthetic polymer made from silicon (sand) which is commonly recognized to be inert. But my concern is not the polymer itself, but (as with plastics) the additives and fillers in the silicone and the question of whether or not they can leach out. What colorants are used to create those bright colors and what chemicals are they made from? I’m not saying that silicone popsicle molds are not safe. I’m saying that I don’t know and would rather err on the side of caution.

Stainless Steel Popsicle Option

Two months ago, Carolyn Cameron from Onyx Productions (whose online store is called Tickle Trunk) contacted me about the new stainless steel popsicle mold she had developed. Finally, a better alternative for Fake Plastic Fish readers. I asked her to send me a set to review, and finally this weekend, the weather was warm enough for me to want to give them a try.

The set comes with several parts:

stainless steel popsicle molds

stainless steel popsicle molds

(Note: Carolyn just let me know that the stand is actually upside down in this picture. Oops. It worked just fine anyway.)

1) A steel rack for holding the molds
2) Stainless steel molds
3) Stainless steel lids
4) Wooden popsicle sticks
5) Removable Silicone rings (to keep the sticks in place)

I made my popsicles from strawberries that are overflowing at the farmers market right now. My recipe: 1-1/2 cups cut strawberries, 1-1/2 cups water, 1/4 cup sugar, and a splash of vanilla. I blended it all up and filled the stainless steel molds. Within a few hours, the popsicles were ready for the test.

I ran one mold under warm water for no more than 1 or 2 seconds, and the popsicle slid out easily, held together well, and tasted great.

stainless steel popsicle molds

Pros and Cons

Obviously, the great thing about stainless steel popsicle molds is that they don’t contain chemicals that can leach into their contents. For parents, that’s a huge plus.

But there are a few aspects to the set that I would prefer were different. First, the steel stand is actually coated with polyethylene plastic. And unfortunately, the coating on the stand that I received was peeling off a bit.

stainless steel popsicle molds

stainless steel popsicle molds

Carolyn apologized and assured me, after checking the rest of her inventory, that the coating on all of the other stands was fine. But of course, this is Fake Plastic Fish, and I’m always concerned about plastics in our environment. Here’s what Carolyn said about the reason for the coating and how it’s made:

The coating is a non toxic polyethylene coating, (what they use in refrigerators and freezers shelves) that has been tested by a CNAS and Ilac – MRA accredited lab. Our coating was tested for lead, mercury and a whole list of other things – it passed with flying colours as per the RoHS Directive 2002/95/EC and subsequent amendments. (its safe)

We tried to have all components of the popsicle mold steel, and by having this protective coating on the stand it allowed us to do so. I’ve lost count of how many prototypes we had made! And as I mentioned, having [the stand] made out of stainless made it much too expensive, and plastic is just not an option. As it is, our mold is not cheap – but it will be the last one you ever have to buy.

Since I don’t have kids clamoring for popsicles, and since I’m not a big popsicle eater anyway, I personally wouldn’t buy a set like this with a plastic-coated stand. But obviously, I do use other durable goods made with plastic (like the keyboard I’m typing on right now) so the point is that we each have to decide what products are important to us and which plastics we are willing to live with.

The only other criticism I have regards the disposable wooden sticks, which the instructions state should not be reused. Personally, I think I would go ahead and wash and reuse them. But Carolyn has found a waste-free way around this dilemma too. She is in the process of manufacturing reuseable bamboo popsicle sticks finished with food safe vegetable oil and wax, but right now she’s not sure when they will be available.

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12 years ago

Late post, I know, but I was looking for popsicle mold info for a friend who uses plastic molds when I stumbled upon this blog.

My solution so far has been to use Libby Gibralter juice glasses. Since they have a flat bottom they support themselves. Add a popsicle stick to the middle and freeze. Viola! When you are ready for a treat just pull it out to warm and run a knife around the edges to release. My 5 year old loves them.

12 years ago

Wow what a great idea, I will be looking for a set of these. If am not a lucky winner I will be shopping for sure.

12 years ago

I have one of these, and ADORE it! It lives in my freezer and the molds come out as they’re used and get stored in the silverware drawer until they’re all used. My 4 yo daughter loves helping me concoct recipes for new pops. Mostly I use smoothies and sneak in some soy protein powder to give them a little more punch nutritionally. I highly recommend them.

Nanette Burkhart
12 years ago

Can you give me the site of where I can buy the stainless steal popsicle holder on line? Thank you! :)

12 years ago

Fresh lemonade from lemons on our neighbor’s tree. (They share willingly!)

Rachel Burnside
12 years ago

I have seen these on, and I agree with you about the wooden stick part. The one reason I haven’t jumped at these yet is because I would really like the base and handle to be all one piece. Reuse and durability are what I do like about the idea of the stainless steel molds, but I don’t want to have to buy popsicle sticks over and over. A push-out from the top might be handy, too.

12 years ago

I want these babies!
An avocado fudgesicle must be made in them!

Dawn Ferrell
12 years ago

I assume the mold has already been given away but I do not see it posted. Just last week I was looking for popsicle molds in our local stores and lamented that it would be nice if there was a stainless steel version available. I converted/ing from plastic to glass over the last year. Anyway, I just did a search for the stainless steel molds and found your site. I will following you through Facebook from now on. I make fruit smoothies (mostly with berries and most mornings) and want to make popsicles with the leftovers for a late day snack. Thanks for listening. Take care. –Dawn

12 years ago

We like homemade ice cream, smoothies, and frozen grapes.

The Crunchy Conscience
12 years ago

Raspberries from the garden. Doesn’t get any more waste free than that! If I have a sweet tooth, we’ll make homemade frozen yogurt and top with fresh fruit.

12 years ago

Ooh! Are you still accepting entries?
We love the fresh berries from our own garden, but I dream all winter of the peaches at the local u-pick… sweet, tangy, and so very perishable. Nothing like eating them one after another with the juice running down your chin and arm. Oh dear. Still a bit of a wait this year, and I’m already drooling. Urchin came with us to pick last year, but this will be his first summer of solid food and I am so excited to share it all with him (popsicles included)!

12 years ago

Just found your site searching for bpa info- was
saddened to see it reaches into toothpaste tubes.
Do they make stainless ice trays?

12 years ago

Me, me. I want this! Please, next time, give us a suggestion for ice cubes. I want to toss my plastic trays.

12 years ago

Favorite waste free summer treat- Watermelon!

12 years ago

I follow you on twitter as @bodhi_bear

12 years ago

In prepping for our recent homebirth there were many plastic items we had to have in our home that I did not want. I did get a plastic set of popsicle molds in the end but would have preferred not to. I do agree about the sticks and rack but love that the popsicles are not encased in plastic here.

My fave waste-free summer treat… cool mint tea with mint from the garden.

Lianne Lavoie
12 years ago

I already follow you on Twitter and Facebook. :)

I love watermelon! Though I’m not sure you can call something waste-free that comes from who knows how far away… This summer I’m trying to grow watermelon in my garden, though, so that would solve that problem!

12 years ago

Ice cream, but a new rule has been instituted this year! We cant have it at home, it must be a treat we go to (otherwise we eat it too much & it cuts down on waste).

Also a twitter follower :)

12 years ago

Oh this would be great. We have a plastic mold that I don’t like using… But the kids love eating. Great alternative!!

12 years ago

We’ve decided to tough out the summer without AC, so I would love to make some homemade popsicles with this mold! Something we like for a cool treat: put grapes, strawberries & pineapple chunks on bamboo skewers and freeze. Easy & healthy!

12 years ago

would love to win!!
think my daisies icecream wpild taste a lot better in non-plastic popsicle molds ;)!

12 years ago

I’m SO in the market for a Popsicle mold right now! I’m refusing to buy a brand new one (especially plastic and I don’t trust the silicon either). I’m currently using one old skinny glass I found at a garage sale and a (gasp) plastic spoon. Okay but the spoon is getting used until it has no more life :) My husband brought it home from a lunch out.

Anyway ~ I’ve been pouring the extra smoothie into it and making my 5 yr old a popsicle, she’s been thrilled. It would be fun to make more than one at a time!

Our favorite summer treat is smoothies. Followed closely by anything I can pull out of the garden and munch on!

Sarah in Indiana
12 years ago

Oh, I’d love those. It’s not something I’d buy for myself either, since I don’t have kids yet. But I have a weakness for frozen treats, and I hope to have kids one day, so some long-lasting, reusable, non-plastic popsicle molds would be great!

Right now for a waste-free summer treat, I’m loving adding mint from the backyard to our iced tea.

Debra Baida
12 years ago

With all those luscious summer fruits competing as favorite treats, my other favorite is melting ice cubes. You know, when they get to that just so degree of meltedness when you have to chomp on them. Ahh…

Elizabeth Brunner
12 years ago

I am also a fan of frozen grapes and frozen bananas. I really like how your detailed and fair review held the manufacturer responsible for the polyethylene coating, while also letting her explain that choice in her own words. (I’ve made some significant changes to my consumer behavior since discovering your blog last week.)

12 years ago

My kids like to stick a small glass of OJ into the freezer with a spoon in it. OJ popsicles! Yum! I follow you on FB and Twitter. Spreading the word!

12 years ago

My favorite summer treat is ice cream in a cone! (No plastic required, yum!)

12 years ago

Cucumbers straight from my tiny square-foot garden, still warm from the sunshine. Sometimes I splash on a little red wine vinegar from the giant jug at the restaurant where I work. I do love making popsicles, too, but my set is plastic. :( Thanks for your informative blog!

12 years ago

my favorite wastless summer snack is raspberries off our own bushes! or any summer fruit!!!:D
And I’m already a fan on facebook!!

12 years ago

I’m following you in twitter. @reneejross

12 years ago

Our favorite summer treat is ripe watermelon. great for snacking and also I make a mean watermelon martini with frozen watermelon. Yum.

12 years ago

Greetings! I’m a fan on Facebook and a follower on Twitter. My favorite waste-free summer treat is melon. :D

12 years ago

Hi Beth,

Our favorite waste free summer treat is watermelon!

I’m a fan of the Fake Plastic Fish Facebook page and am following Fake Plastic Fish on Twitter.

Thanks for the opportunity to win that dreamy popsicle maker!


rachel wase
12 years ago

our favorite summer treat is frozen bananas. instead of using popsicle sticks I just stick a small child’s fork into them and dip them in melted chocolate chips.

12 years ago

I’m already a fan on FB. One of my favorite waste-free summer treat is watermelon!! When we’re done eating it, we throw the rinds in the compost pile!!

12 years ago

Those seem brilliant! I’ve been looking for something just like that for a while now! I’d love to win them…and my favorite waste free summer treat has very recently become frozen banana “ice cream!!” You have to try it! ;-)

Angie LaMunyon
12 years ago

I am also a facebook fan and twitter follower.

Angie LaMunyon
12 years ago

I love just about all fruit, but my all-time favorite is watermelon. I also love icecream and popsicles and have been looking for a stainless steel mold for a while. Thanks!

12 years ago

I would love this, unfortunately, I have no waste-free summer snacks. My kids have sensory issues and a large amount of food allergies, and I’m usually buying anything I can to persuade them to eat. This would be such a great way to sneak a healthy snack into their diet without them knowing it.

12 years ago

My favorite would be frozen grapes or strawberries. Buy them at Farmers Market and then pop them in the freezer. They make a great quick sweet treat…and my kids love them too!

Facebook fan and Twitter follower ;)

12 years ago

For me, it would have to be any type of fresh fruit, whatever is seasonal and dripping with natural juices, like watermelon or nectarines. No artificial sweeteners here! I am liking the idea of this popsicle stand/mold set, because while trying to live garbage free, I am trying to give up all those prepackaged ice cream novelties.

12 years ago

I follow you on FB and would love to replace my plastic molds !

Erin Hardey
12 years ago

I just found this site, and am becoming a fan on facebook. Totally awesome. I’d love to win these!

Ashley C
12 years ago

*Facebook fan here* :)

My favorite no waste treat is picking veggies/fruits right off the plant/tree! Cant get any more waste free! And if theres any little bits we dont eat like stem, we toss it right onto the compost pile :) Nothing like a warm tomato right off the vine!

The Nurturing Pirate
12 years ago

Oooh, I would LOVE this! I spent *countless* hours last summer trying to find non-plastic popsicle molds – with no success. Very excited to see this.

12 years ago

Along with many others loving fruits, we love the strawberries that grow on our porch – sweetest bits of goodness around! Homemade ice cream rocks, too.

My big thought in reading your post was: Why use wooden sticks at all? Why not use a spoon or stainless steel alternative for the handle? Also, the handle could be formed into a drip-cup so none of the popsicle-goodness will be lost. Just a thought!

I can’t say we’re the best at being waste-free or plastic-free in my house. We are tons better than we used to be, and I continue to “improve” the family’s approach to sustainable living regularly. :)

12 years ago

This stainless steel popsicle mold is ingenious! My boyfriend and I are ridding our lives or as much plastic as possible, as challenging as it may sometimes be! My favorite plastic free summer treat is fresh PEI strawberries! My boyfriend’s family has a strawberry farm on Prince Edward Island, Canada, and every July/August, I get to reap the delicious benefits! Also, the great jams, jellies pies and shortcakes! And the tops can go right in the compost, which gets broken down to feed the vegetable gardens… waste at all! I hope I win! :-)

12 years ago

I would love to win a set!! We love popsicles, but I haven’t bought any in quite some time and would love to make them homemade… but don’t want those plastic molds! I follow you on facebook!

12 years ago

Ice cream.