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How do you clean your polycarbonate chocolate molds BEFORE FIRST USE


Yoda
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There's been a lot of debate on cleaning and caring for PC moulds. I've read a lot of post on various sites, forums, but they were usually debating on cleaning/care on regular basis. But, unfortunately, I still face a dilemma, since I couldn't find any that discussed cleaning before first use (mostly just tips about polishing in between uses), so I decided to open this thread. I'm sure future new users will find it helpful as much as me.

 

I purchased a PC mould and would like to clean it before first use. I didn't get any instructions other than it says "wash before use" and "max 60°C.

So, now I know the water mustn't exceed the temp.of 60°C, and that's all.

Surely everyone wants to clean their moulds prior to first use?

 

I've read so many "do not use detergents/ l dishwashing liquids /soaps of any kinds" so I'm really afraid of cleaning it now x)

 

Could experienced users please help me with this conflict, please?

 

Is it ok if I wash it in water (<60°C) and then wipe the cavities with alcohol (using microfiber cloth)? If so, what should be the alcohol percentage (or max. %)? (I've had some plastics shatter before when disinfecting with alcohol, so I'm really cautious now).

 

Thank you so much for any advice!

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I simply use a sponge to wash mine in hot water with soap (I use Dawn, but don't know if it's available in your location), let them airdry, then polish a short time with a microfiber cloth.  I don't use alcohol with any cleaning.  Polycarbonate molds are considered unbreakable (by Chocolate World, for instance).  I can't imagine a situation in which alcohol would cause a mold to shatter.  I'm sure it is possible to break one, but it would take a lot of force.  What company manufactured your mold?  It should provide some perspective to know that many accomplished chocolatiers do not wash their molds between uses at all.  

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10 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

I simply use a sponge to wash mine in hot water with soap (I use Dawn, but don't know if it's available in your location), let them airdry, then polish a short time with a microfiber cloth.  I don't use alcohol with any cleaning.  Polycarbonate molds are considered unbreakable (by Chocolate World, for instance).  I can't imagine a situation in which alcohol would cause a mold to shatter.  I'm sure it is possible to break one, but it would take a lot of force.  What company manufactured your mold?  It should provide some perspective to know that many accomplished chocolatiers do not wash their molds between uses at all.  

Hi Jim D., thank you for sharing your routine with the PC molds.

Mine is from Martellato - looks like a well made and durable mould to me. 

The plastic that shattered wasn't a mold, and I'm not sure what exactly it was made of, but it was some kind of hard plastic. I guess if some people say they use alcohol, polycarbonate must be more durable.

I bought a detergent for manual dishwashing that doesn't have any warning symbols on the label ( like "!", acidity, etc), so I think this could be considered mild (Frosch. We don't have Dawn here). But I noticed it had same aloevera added afterwards so I wasn't sure if I could use it. Maybe I'm just overthinking and overcomplicating, I just don't want to mess it up before I even get to use it once lol.

19 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

It should provide some perspective to know that many accomplished chocolatiers do not wash their molds between uses at all.  

That's exactly what I've been hearing everywhere xD but still, one should obviously clean a mold before putting in chocolate for the first time :) I might wash it with the Frosch afteral. I'm getting too anxious to wait any longer before trying molding for the first time x)

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I rinse to remove any factory dust or contamination, air dry, then polish with cotton balls. 
 

Polycarbonate molds are virtually indestructible in a home setting - your hot water should not be coming out of the tap above 60C - just don’t put them in a dishwasher with a high heating cycle or harsh detergents. 

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