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Cleaning Molds for Chocolate


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#1 Lior

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 06:46 AM

Host's note: most of these posts have been moved from a discussion that began in the "Report: eG Chocolate and Confections Workshop, 2014" topic (here: http://forums.egulle...-workshop-2014/) to enable a more efficient search of the problem and solution in the future.


I asked a few days ago about Isopropyl alcohol. I can only Ethanol (70%). I was told by the pharmicist that isopropyl cannot be ingested. I am wondering again (sorry) if this is correct and also if I can use the Ethanol alcohol to clean my molds and for applications, instead of Isopropyl.

Second, I read that Sodium Hydoxide is excellent for cleaning molds- anyone know? I have no idea where to get this either! My molds are yucky as they sat around for way too long and it seems the c.b. on it became these tiny white granule-y thingies all over them.

#2 MelissaH

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 07:48 AM

I'd think that isopropanol would evaporate off very quickly, so you aren't actually eating any of it. My concern would be with the nonvolatile impurities, which (again) may or may not be considered safe to ingest in any amount.

 

If the cocoa butter is a fat, is there any chance that you could dissolve it using another oil, whatever you typically keep in your kitchen? Would filling the molds with oil  and letting them sit for a bit soften the cocoa butter crystals to the point where you could dump most of the oil out and then wipe the molds clean? Or what about hot water? IIRC, the phase diagram of cocoa butter doesn't include anything with a melting point too high, so near-boiling water might melt the cocoa butter and allow you to wipe it away. (Conversely, if very hot water doesn't do anything to the granules in your molds, it's probably not cocoa butter gunking them up.)


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#3 Lior

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 08:22 AM

Thanks. I cannot imagine what else it could be (yuck). In the meantime I am doing an experiment. I filled the sink with hottish water, added a cup of vinegar, and emersed some molds, rinsed and they are now drying off. We shall see. I wonder if Ethanol alcohol would then do the same as the Isopr.



#4 Fernwood

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 12:36 PM

I asked a few days ago about Isopropyl alcohol. I can only Ethanol (70%). I was told by the pharmicist that isopropyl cannot be ingested. I am wondering again (sorry) if this is correct and also if I can use the Ethanol alcohol to clean my molds and for applications, instead of Isopropyl.

 

In the US, isopropyl alcohol solution is commonly available as one variety of "rubbing alcohol" ( http://en.wikipedia....Rubbing_alcohol ) and denatured ethanol is another. Denatured alcohols have additives to discourage consumption: the additives are stinky, or bitter, or toxic in some way.  If you have pure alcohol (ethanol or isopropanol), or a solution of nothing but alcohol and water, there should be no residue after the surface is completely dried.  If there is an additive that is less volatile, it may leave an undesirable residue.  Pure isopropyl alcohol should be OK as a solvent that will be evaporated off, but it's not safe to breathe and it should be used in a well-ventilated space.    

 

All of that being said, I'm not sure cocoa butter is very soluble in alcohol-water solutions.  I think I would try hot water, +/- dish soap, and skip the alcohols.  


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#5 Lior

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 12:47 PM

thank you. Yes, so I think hot water and I put some vinegar in and it seems to have done the trick. Thanks.



#6 Kerry Beal

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 12:51 PM

It was isopropyl they were using - surprised me for sure.  The room reeked of it when we first arrived.  But Ruth felt it worked better than 95% ethanol when spraying.



#7 Lior

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 01:03 PM

well I could not find it here in the pharmacy, they only sold the 70% Ethanol. SO it did have a strong smell. Hmmm. Not so sure about this. But curious enough. I wrote to a medical supply place to see if they have it available. While searching the net on it, I found a thread whereby someone swears to only using Sodium Hydoxide in water to clean his molds. Then I saw someone in a video using Drano to clean a really grimy pot...Oy, the places I get to somehow...

Sort of scared about Isopr. that but also a bit curious. Usually I used plain hot water, and only if needed, but now after not touching my molds for soooo long, even the ones I thought were clean looked like a white grainy thing was powdered on. I assume it was c.b. but perhaps not. I washed a few in hot water and vinegar and it seemed to do the trick.



#8 Lior

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:18 AM

I had to share as I had a zillion molds that needed a good cleaning as they had been out of use for way too long  and I searched for good solutions. I read about using sodium hydroxide, dishwashers, etc. Eventually I decided to put them in my dshwasher, set at 65 C (a bit too high but the lower option was 50C). I did not use any detergent, but filled the little cubbyhole for detergent with vinegar, and put vinegar into the place for liquid glass cleaner rinse or whatever that stuff is called. The molds came out just beautifully. I do not see any damage or any issues. 


Edited by Lior, 11 June 2014 - 04:19 AM.


#9 Smithy

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:46 AM

That's good news, Lior. It's gratifying to see that you found an inexpensive and easy solution. Thanks for posting it!
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#10 danield

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 01:56 AM

Hi!

Thank you for sharing this information.

Since i gonna start using polycarbonat molds (chocolate bars), i am very interested in how you all handle your molds.

 

@Lior: After using the dishwasher with vinegar you had to dry and polish the molds before you use them, right?

 

@All: That brings me to the next question i have: do you always polish the molds by hand, before use? Or do you have any tricks that saves time. (polishing every mold every time before use is very time consuming) Do you use cotton for polishing?

 

 

 

edit: I am very sry, already found a thread with most of the information: http://forums.egulle...arbonate-molds/ It was on another Forum so i didnt find it before.


Edited by danield, 12 June 2014 - 02:31 AM.