Resin molds are a type of cast that is used to make arts and crafts from epoxy clay, such as coasters, paperweights, jewelry, cutting boards, wall art, statement decoration pieces, and more. While using them is simple, cleaning them may prove to be challenging for most.
This is because resin is sticky by nature and is hard to remove from the mold. Occasionally, bits of resin may get stuck and can ruin the design of your next project. However, with some basic tools and the right techniques, cleaning your resin molds is not as tough as it seems.
In this guide, we will explain how to clean resin molds easily and effectively by using simple products like an affordable store-bought resin cleaner, soap water, wet wipes, acetone, and alcohol. We will also talk about the best cleaning practices and share insights on protecting it from scratches and damage.
1. Remove Leftover Debris From The Mold
First, it’s important to remove any types of debris from the mold, both before and after pouring the resin. This ensures your resin crafts are clean and free from impurities. Here’s how you can do this:
Before Pouring Resin
If you have just taken your mold from your storage, it might have a fine layer of dust on the surface. It is important to remove the dust before you use the mold so that you get a smooth finish for your resin craft.
To effectively remove dust and debris from the mold, use a soft brush, tape, or sticky tack. Once you have removed any dust and debris from the mold, you can proceed to apply your cleaning solution to remove any other impurities that may still be present on the surface.
After Pouring Resin
After using your resin mold for your project, you may notice some remaining residue on the surface even after trying to clean it. This residue may either be hardened on the surface or still sticky. In either case, you can remove this resin by first solidifying it.
To do so, place the mold into the freezer for one or two hours. This will harden the layer of resin and you will easily be able to peel it off with your fingers or with a soft brush, sticky tack, or any type of tape.
As you may not be able to get all the resin out during this step, the next section discusses how to clean resin molds after removing the hard bits of resin.
2. Apply An Effective Cleaning Solution
There are several ways to clean resin molds of impurities and resin residues. We’ve listed several methods below, each with its own instructions that you can follow.
Dedicated Mold Release Solution
One of the most effective ways to clean resin mold is to use a dedicated mold release solution. There are various solutions readily available in the market but the one we prefer is the Castin’ Craft Mold Release and Conditioner, as it’s formulated to easily peel off resin from your mold without damaging it.
It’s a non-stick agent base that offers easy removal of resin and extends the life of your mold. Here is how to use this:
- Apply a thin layer of the mold-release formula. This can be used to either release resin residue present on the surface of the mold or before pouring the epoxy in.
- Let it set for about 10 minutes, before removing the residue with a paper towel or a soft cloth. You may then begin to use your mold.
This is the most cost-effective and simple method to remove resin from your mold. Here’s how to prepare the cleaning solution and how you can use this effectively.
- First, fill a bowl with warm water and add a few drops of dish soap to it. Stir the water with your hands to mix the soap well.
- Then, place the mold inside the bowl and scrub it with a soft bristle brush or a soft sponge. Avoid using a coarse sponge or steel wool to remove the resin as they can damage your mold and affect the quality of your crafts.
- If the resin is too tough to remove, allow the mold to soak in the water for several minutes before scrubbing it again.
Wet wipes can be a good way to clean tiny bits of resin. These are small disposable pieces of cloth that are treated with a cleansing agent. Here is how you can use wet wipes to clean resin molds.
- Start by taking a wet wipe and carefully use it to wipe the resin mold. Make sure the product is fragrance-free to prevent the smell from transferring to your craft.
- Next, pay special attention to the corners of your mold to remove tiny, hidden stains and impurities.
- Repeat the process with new wipes until all traces of resin have been removed.
While wet wipes are convenient, you can also use a more environmentally-friendly alternative, which is a lint-free microfiber cloth. It yields similar results and thoroughly cleans your resin mold.
Acetone is a volatile organic substance that is used in various products like nail polish removers, paint removers, and varnish. This substance can break the bonds in resin, allowing it to lose adhesion so that you may remove it easily. We recommend using acetone for hard-to-remove resin.
- The first step is to pour some acetone into the resin mold. Allow the resin in the mold to soak the acetone for a couple of hours.
- Once the resin has softened and come loose, you can use your hands, a wet wipe, or a silicone scraper to remove it gently.
- For smaller areas, you can use a cotton ball or a cotton swab to apply acetone.
- Once the mold is clean, rinse it with clean water.
Alternatively, you can also use alcohol in place of acetone. It works just as well when it comes to removing substances like resin. We recommend using 99% isopropyl alcohol.
- Begin by spraying the alcohol into the resin mold. It will melt off the resin from the sides of the container. To reach tiny corners, you can use a cotton swab.
- Next, clean off the resin quickly with a soft and dry cloth before it can dry.
- Finally, rinse the mold with clean water once the cleaning is done.
3. Drying Your Resin Mold
No matter what method you use to clean the resin mold, it is important to completely dry it before using it to create your crafts. Pouring resin into a wet mold will result in bubbles causing undesirable defects.
This can be done by simply dabbing dry the resin mold gently with a paper towel. Then, you can place it in a well-ventilated place until it completely dries. Once your mold is completely dry, it is also a good idea to apply a special mold release solution to the mold if you are cleaning it for immediate use.
Doing this will prevent the epoxy from clinging to it, which will lead to easy clean-up afterward. If you are not going to use the resin mold and would be storing it instead, we recommend reading the next and final step below.
4. Store Your Mold Well
You must ensure your resin mold is completely dry before storing it as the moisture may promote mold growth. Also, avoid leaving it out in the open or it will collect dust. Therefore, it’s best to place it in a cool and dry place.
We recommend taking a ziplock or sandwich bag and storing the resin mold inside. Leave a small gap in the opening and press down on the bag to release as much air as possible before sealing.
When allocating a storage location, place the molds on a flat surface. Make sure it is not placed where it could be crushed, deformed, or become damaged.
Tips When Cleaning Your Resin Mold
Let’s take a look at a few tips on how to best clean your resin mold and prevent them from scratching or warping, ensuring that your crafts turn out exactly how you want them to.
- Use Cold or Lukewarm Water – Make sure that you use only cold water or lukewarm water to wash the resin mold. High temperatures can warp your resin mold, causing it to lose its original shape, which may render it unusable for your future crafting projects. Additionally, hot water can cause the resin residue in your mold to cure more quickly and would require significantly more effort to remove it.
- Freeze Resin Residue – Freezing your mold is a good option if there is any wet or sticky resin left on the mold. Wrap your mold securely in plastic to avoid contaminating the surfaces or food in your fridge. Let the mold stay in the fridge for at least one to two hours. This will harden the resin and will allow it to come off in one piece without damaging the mold.
- Wear Protective Gear – Acetone and alcohol are both chemicals that can dry out your skin. To protect your hands from harm, we recommend you wear protective gloves when using these materials. Once cleaned, you should wash the mold in soapy water and allow it to dry before storing it.
- Use Fragrance-Free Wipes – Baby wipes are a good option for cleaning resin molds. However, make sure you get the fragrance-free variety. This will prevent you from leaving the fragrance on the mold, which can transfer to your resin crafts.
- Avoid Scraping With Hard Objects – It can be tempting to use hard objects to scrape off particularly stubborn pieces of mold. However, hard objects like the coarse side of a sponge, steel wool, or hard scrapers can scratch or cut the mold, which can have a negative effect on your future resin projects.
- Avoid Direct Sunlight – Do not place your resin mold in direct sunlight to accelerate the drying process. The heat can distort or deform the shape of the mold. Similarly, avoid using any heat-producing items to dry your mold either, like a hair dryer or tumble dryer, as they can also damage the mold.
Sirinan is a self-proclaimed cleanaholic and the editor-in-chief of Cleaney. Apart from coming with up creative ways to keep her living spaces clean and tidy, she loves to read on rainy days.