As a proper epoxy resin enthusiast, I’m pretty sure you have an impressive repertoire of resin molds that you use to create beautiful handmade jewelry or different trinkets.
While molds can make your projects fun, giving you the chance to totally unleash your creativity, you also have to care for them properly if you want them to last longer.
Truth be told, you should be aware that molds are not everlasting. They will wear out in time, even when you clean them properly. They will wear out even faster if you don’t care for them properly.
We’ve prepared a comprehensive guide for you on how to clean resin molds so that you can enjoy using them for years to come.
What products to use to clean resin properly
You’ll only need a few things to keep your silicone molds in tip top shape. Let’s start with the basics:
Soap & Water
Yes, it’s that simple!
Soap and warm water are your molds’ best friends. Before each use, make sure to clean the silicone molds with a small amount of dish soap and warm water.
Silicone can withstand high temperatures without a problem, so you don’t have to worry about the molds warping while washing them. However, you should be careful not to stretch the mold in any way, as that could result in unwanted damage.
While we’re talking about things you should never do, make sure to never ever use these items when cleaning your molds: scrubbing sponges, steel wool, toothbrushes. Any kind of abrasive surface can scratch, or even tear the silicone, rendering it useless.
If your silicone mold gets damaged, it will leave some small holes that will cause it to tear open when you are demolding your next work of art.
Mold release agent
Here’s the thing you should know about silicone: it’s a non-stick base agent.
In other words, it’s easy to demold from a new silicone mold, but after some use, the process becomes harder.
This is because of something called a release agent, a substance manufacturers use when creating the molds. The release agent is used to simplify the production process, and it also helps you demold easier at the beginning.
We recommend purchasing such a substance and using it before every casting you make in order to protect your resin molds and avoid complicated demolding.
You can buy a spray release agent and add a thin layer of it on your resin molds about 10 minutes before pouring the epoxy resin into the shape.
It will make things so much easier!
How to clean resin silicone molds
Now that you know what to use in order to clean your resin molds, let’s see what steps you should always follow:
- Always wash the molds before using them with soap and water.
- Allow them to dry completely before starting the project.
- Spray a thin layer of release agent inside the mold before pouring.
- Wash it again after you’ve finished using it. Don’t use solvents to clean the molds, and don’t put them in the dishwasher.
- Wait for the molds to dry properly before storing them away.
How do you clean resin mixing cups?
While we're at it, let’s also discuss the proper cleaning of your mixing cups. The process is a bit different from cleaning resin molds.
Here’s what you should know:
- Put your gloves on and wipe off the plastic containers with paper towels. Make sure to wipe off any excess resin both from the bottom and the sides of the container.
- Use a bit of rubbing alcohol or acetone. Put a small quantity on the paper towel and wipe again to get rid of any stubborn resin residue.
- If the resin has dried on the container, just wiping it off with alcohol or acetone won’t do. You will need to let the cured resin residue soak in the rubbing alcohol/acetone in order for it to break down and be able to clean it.
- You can also use a spray bottle to spread the solvents on the resin residue and wipe it off afterwards. Make sure to wear gloves throughout this process, as both rubbing alcohol and acetone can cause your skin to absorb resin.
- Last step is to wash the containers in hot, soapy water, and then let them dry before storing.
Other silicone mold care tips
Don’t mix molds and fire or heat.
Maybe you want to pop some bubbles from your resin while it’s still in the silicone mold. Contrary to what you might think (or some advice you might find online), that’s a bad idea.
Silicone can withstand the hot temperatures generated during the curing process, but an open flame is another story.
You risk breaking down the silicone, fusing it with the epoxy resin and completely damaging both the mold and the project.
Simply put, step away from the fire!
If you have issues with bubbles in your mixed resin, it’s better to torch it in a different container first, and, only afterwards, pour it into the desired mold.
Be careful when demolding
Phew! You made it here without any incidents. Now it’s time to demold. In order to prolong the life of your molds, the demolding process should be done slowly and carefully. You wouldn’t want a sloppy demolding to ruin all your hard work.
Remove the piece without stretching the mold in any way, as this can dull the mold’s surface and make it more prone to tears. Try not to invert the mold completely either while you are popping out the cast.
Follow the product specifications at all times. Depending on the epoxy resin you’re working with, don’t pour more than ¼” or ½” at a time.
Overpouring can heat up the molds way too much, causing damage to them. Even if the molds are designed to withstand heat, there is a limit to how much heat they can actually take.
More so, over pouring can lead to an incomplete curing process, leaving you with a sticky mess, solid on the surface, but uncured at the bottom of the mold.
The best thing to do is pour in layers. This will protect the molds, and it also reduces the appearance of bubbles in the resin.
If you follow these steps before and after working with your resin molds, you’ll be able to keep them in great condition for a longer period of time.
You’re now well-versed in how to clean your resin molds. All that’s left to do is to find your inspiration and start creating those mesmerizing works of art.
After all, clean molds are happy molds, and happy molds give the best creations.