Are you an epoxy resin enthusiast? Then chances are you have an amazing repertoire of resin molds that you use to craft aesthetically pleasing trinkets or handmade jewelry. There’s no denying that molds can infuse a thrill into your projects, ushering the perfect opportunity to get your creative juices flowing. However, they require proper care to last for years down the road.
You also can’t deny that molds don’t last a lifetime. That means they wear out after a while. However, they wear out prematurely with the lack of proper care. With that being said, if you’re looking to learn the ins and outs of how to clean resin molds, then this guide is perfect for you.
What You Need to Clean Resin Molds
To get started, let’s explore what you’ll need to get the job done.
1. Soap and Water
As generic as it sounds, the combination of dish soap and water will get the job done effectively. Before each use, ensure you clean the resin molds with a small amount of warm, soapy water.
With their ability to withstand high temperatures, the molds warping during the cleaning process becomes the least of your concerns.
Nonetheless, you should avoid stretching the molds as that may cause accidental damage. It’s also worth noting that toothbrushes, steel wool and scrubbing sponges can leave abrasions on the molds, rendering them useless.
If your silicone mold gets damaged, it’ll leave tiny holes that will cause it to rip when you’re de-molding your next work of art.
2. A Mold Release Agent
It’s worth keeping in mind that resin molds are a non-stick base agent. That means the de-molding process from a new silicone mold is a walk in the park. After some use, the process becomes harder due to the mold release agent.
It’s a substance that manufacturers use when crafting molds. The agent comes in handy in making the production process easier. At the same time, it makes the de-molding process easier at the beginning.
It’s advisable to buy the mold release agent and use it before each resin casting you make to curb complicated de-molding while protecting your resin molds. You can opt for a spray agent and add a thin layer into your resin molds 10-15 minutes before pouring the epoxy resin into the shape. Doing so will ensure the process goes smoothly.
How to Clean Resin Silicone Molds
Armed with insight into what you need to clean your resin molds, let’s walk you through the step-by-step process of how to get the job done effectively.
- Before using the molds, remember to wash them using dish soap and warm water.
- Leave them to air dry before you begin the project.
- Spray a thin layer of the release agent in the mold before pouring.
- After each use, clean the molds using warm water and dish soap. Avoid using solvents, a dishwasher, or a handheld steam cleaner to get the job done.
- Wait for the molds to dry properly before storing them away.
How to Clean Resin Mixing Cups
Now that you know how to clean resin molds, let’s delve into the process of cleaning the mixing cups. The technique differs slightly from cleaning resin molds. To get the ball rolling:
- Put on a pair of latex gloves and wipe off the plastic containers using paper towels. Ensure you wipe off excess resin from the sides and bottom of the container.
- Pour a small amount of acetone or alcohol on a paper towel and wipe the containers again to eliminate stubborn resin residue. Remember that alcohol or acetone won’t get the job done if the resin has dried on the container. In that case, you’ll need to let it soak in acetone or rubbing alcohol to disintegrate it, after which you can wipe it off successfully.
- You have free rein to spread the solvents on the resin residue using a spray bottle and wipe it off afterward. Remember to wear latex gloves during this process as well because acetone or alcohol may cause your skin to absorb the resin.
- Lastly, clean the containers in soapy, hot water and leave them to air dry before storage.
Silicon Mold Care Tips
Let’s explore other maintenance tips that are worth a try.
1. Avoid Exposure to Heat or Fire
Although the thought of popping bubbles from your resin while it’s in the silicone mold may come to mind, it’s a bad idea. Silicone has the uncanny ability to withstand hot temperatures during the curing process.
However, an open flame is an entirely different ballgame. There’s a high likelihood of disintegrating the silicone and fusing it with the epoxy resin. As a result, the mold becomes completely damaged.
In a nutshell, steer clear of an open flame. If you encounter the problem of bubbles in your mixed resin, we recommend torching it in a separate container before pouring it into the desired mold.
2. Tread Carefully When De-Molding
You can now de-mold if you got through the step above without any incidents. Doing so will prolong the life of your molds and is a process that should be done carefully and slowly. After all, the last thing you want is to ruin your hard work with poor de-molding.
As you remove the piece, make sure you don’t stretch the mold as that can dull its surface, leaving it susceptible to tears. Additionally, avoid inverting the mold entirely while popping out the cast.
3. Avoid Over-Pouring
You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter. Based on the epoxy resin at play, avoid pouring more than ½-inch or ¼-inch at a go. Over-pouring can heat the molds excessively, damaging them. Even if they’re designed with high temperatures in mind, there’s a limit on how much heat they can withstand.
Furthermore, over-pouring can result in an incomplete curing process, leaving you with a sticky mess on the surface and an uncured bottom. The ideal thing you can do is pour in layers to protect the molds while lowering the appearance of bubbles in the resin.
By following these steps before and after working with your resin molds, you can keep them spick and span for years on end. Now that you know how to clean resin molds, the ball is in your court to get your creative juices flowing and craft those mesmerizing works of art.