How to Unmold Jello

December 23, 2013Allison Murray
How to Unmold Jello


Sometimes I get some very interesting reader emails. In the last few weeks I was asked if I knew how to get a molded Jello out of the mold. Well, to specify, the reader could get the Jello out, but not in one solid, wiggling piece. I’m not quite sure why she thought to get in touch with me about how to unmold Jello, but I’m honored that she did and I’m glad to say my advice proved sound and she’s now molding with the best of them!

Since I just so happen to have a nasty head cold which gives me a terrible on-fire kind of sore throat, I’m in the market for cold things that have no dairy in them. Popsicles and Jello top the list for me every cold season. So when I was digging through my boxes of Jello to make some therapeutic desserts :) I decided to dig out one of my molds and do a quickie tips:

  • Even if you figure  your pan is clean, give it a quick wash. With all of the intricate little crevices there is a good chance that something got up in there.
  • I’ve been told that some grease their pans. I do not. That seems icky to me but feel free to give it a go.
  • Make your Jello firmer than you normally would. A normal package calls for 2 cups of water, one boiling and one cold. Instead I just use 1.5 cups of boiling water and call it done. Toss in the fridge to cool.
  • If layering your jello, allow at least an hour between each.
  • Let the Jello sit in the fridge at least overnight before trying to remove from the mold.

And now for the very simple how to:


Put hot water into your sink or a bowl that is larger than your mold. Fill about halfway. Dip your mold into the water. Count to three. Remove and use your fingers to gently pull the gelatin from the inside of the mold. It should give easily. If not, give it another few seconds and try again. REMEMBER that Jello will melt so the longer you keep inside of the hot water the more of the outer surface will melt on you and you’ll have a mess on your hands. Turn the mold over onto your plate or serving dish and clean up any little bits of melted liquid that came with it. Place in the refrigerator for about an hour to make sure it is reset.

Oh, and before I go, I decided to make an ombre Jello mold! I layered four boxes of Jello going: orange, peach, cranberry, raspberry to get the lovely color you see in the photo at the top. 

Will you be molding Jello? It’s kitschy fun and great for the holidays and double bonus that it makes me feel like I belong in red lipstick and a fancy apron while in the kitchen :) My nephews and I will be using a vintage wreath mold for Christmas jello tomorrow! Happy unmolding!

Comments (5)

  • Robin

    December 23, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    I am not much of jello eater, but I am making a traditional English Christmas Pudding on Christmas and I think I will probably want to use this tip in unmolding the pudding!! Thanks for this!

  • Kathleen

    April 14, 2015 at 2:08 PM

    I’ve never made jello molds. I have some vintage aluminum jello molds that I want to use, individual serving size. Have you had success in using sugar free jello for molds? Thank you.

    1. Allison Murray

      April 14, 2015 at 6:31 PM

      Honestly I’m allergic to aspartame so I’ve never even had sugar free jello. I would think it should work the same but I’d do a trial run before planning on making any for picnics!

  • Jamie

    April 24, 2016 at 10:37 AM

    Thanks! Worked great on the plastic mold I was having issues with. The silicone mold, no major issues, the hard plastic skull mold wasnt giving in. Took a few extra dips in hot water (thick plastic) but the facial feature was all there.

  • Jeanette Bishop

    August 31, 2017 at 1:07 PM

    Glad you said not to oil the mold. I’ve never done that either. I’ve made a lot of molds years ago but am starting to do one today for my daughter’s sixtieth birthday party–a shrimp aspic made with lemon Jello and V8 juice. I remember that I always rinsed the mold before filling it, and leaving it wet to fill. To release, dip in hot water for three seconds, just as you said, and then I turn the serving dish over the top, and turn them over together, (hanging on tight of course) . I never expect it to work, but it always does. Gelatin molding is not so popular any more as it was in the fifties. But it’s still good and adds a lot to a buffet even if it just sits there.

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