As a resin mold enthusiast, you might have an impressive array of silicone molds in your collection. Truth be told, these molds will wear out in time unless you give them proper care and cleaning. Emphasis must be given on the word “proper” as there is a right way to clean these molds if you want them to last longer.
What is the best way to clean silicone molds?
When cleaning silicone molds, you do not need specialized tools or cleaning products. You only need basic items, such as the following.
Use Soap and Water
You don’t need any special product for cleaning silicone molds. Soap and warm water is all you need.
After every use, it is important to clean silicone molds right away. The silicone material is designed to withstand extremely high temperatures. Thus, you don’t need to worry about the molds warping when you wash them. One thing you need to be wary of is stretching the molds too much during the washing process. Be extra careful when handling them as you rinse them with soapy, warm water to ensure that you do not cause damage.
Use Mold Release Agent
Silicone is a non-stick base agent and is designed to not stick to any surface. After some use, however, it becomes harder to demold your silicone resin molds.
A substance known as a release agent is used during the manufacturing process to make it easier to create molds. It is recommended that you purchase this substance and to use it before casting in order to give an extra layer of protection to your resin molds. This will make the demolding process seamless.
You can spray a small amount of the substance onto the molds before pouring the epoxy resin. This will make it easier for you to remove the newly formed item from the mold.
This method is proven to extend the life of your molds.
How do you clean silicone resin molds?
If you have any questions about the proper way to clean silicone resin molds, check out these frequently asked questions.
Can you use heat when cleaning silicone molds?
Heat is an essential component that helps breakdown tough stains. Yes, you can use heat for cleaning silicone molds but be careful that you do not exceed the temperature that is required to sanitize this object. It is best to use warm water and not extremely hot water when cleaning.
How do you clean stubborn resin residue?
You may use a small amount of acetone or rubbing alcohol to get rid of stubborn resin residue, but do not apply it directly onto the mold. Put a small quantity of alcohol or acetone on a paper towel and use it to wipe the area where there is a stubborn resin residue.
How long do resin molds last?
Resin molds are designed to last for many years, but proper care is important to maximize its shelf life.
How do you keep resin from sticking to the mold?
You can use a mold release agent to make demolding easier without causing damage to the mold. You can also use other items such as wax and parchment paper, and polypropylene plastics.
Can you use a degreaser or lubricant for mold release?
No. While these products are designed to penetrate rust and won’t cause damage to human skin, it can actually cause damage to mold.
Dos and don’ts when cleaning silicone molds
To simplify the cleaning process of silicone molds, here are some guidelines that you need to keep in mind at all times.
- DO clean your molds immediately after use.
- DO keep the molds in a vertical position and in a single, flat layer.
- DO store the molds in a cool, dry place.
- DO keep the molds away from direct sunlight, ultraviolet light, or freezing temperatures.
- DO use a plastic wrap for wrapping the molds after use and store them away from dust.
- DO store it away from sharp tools and objects.
- DO use a mold release agent to make it easier to unmold the castings later.
- DO make sure that the molds are completely dry before storing them.
- DO NOT reverse the mold inside out when drying.
- DO NOT pull at the molds too hard as it could result in tearing them.
- DO NOT open the mold without concrete.
- DO NOT squeeze, lay them on their sides, or stack anything on the molds.
- DO NOT keep the concrete casting inside the mold longer than necessary.
- DO NOT use solvents when cleaning the molds.
- DO NOT put molds in a dishwasher.
- DO NOT use boiling water to wash your molds.
The best way to extend the life of silicone molds is with proper care and cleaning. This is an important preventative step because you won’t get much use of them once they are damaged.