Care & Maintenance
By taking good care during the cleaning process of your moulds, you can lengthen their lifespan and guarantee a better final product. If you scrape off the excess chocolate after each use, you do not need to wash moulds frequently. Moulds can be washed, using methods below with good results. Polycarbonate moulds have a smooth, compact surface which is perfectly resistant to the regular washing methods. However if the following rules are not observed, the moulds run a risk of creating cracks under stress and deposits of material on the surface. This results eventually in a decreased durability or in less visible consequences, such as swelling or deteriorating surface.
Washing Quick Guide:
- Remove any product residue as much as possible before washing
- Wash the moulds thoroughly with a mild non-toxic detergent
- Ensure moulds are rinsed well to remove any soap residue
- Do not scrub, scratch or scour
- Max temperature during cleaning 60˚C
- Max temperature during drying 70˚- 80˚C
We recommend that your washing system is regularly maintained and checked for any irregularities by the manufacturer. Cleanliness is essential in the whole process. Any loose particles of any kind can, under high pressure, damage the polycarbonate during the cleaning process. If using a household dishwasher to clean your moulds, be careful not to add too much dishwashing detergent. Chocolate only leaves grease but does not stain the moulds. Caustic detergents with a base reaction in water, should not be used. Perfect results can be attained by using warm water and a slightly acidic or alkaline detergent. Temperature should remain around +/- 60˚C at all times. We recommend regular checks during the cleaning process, because too high temperatures may result in hydrolytic deterioration, yet again causing the durability of the mould to decrease.
When the cleaning process is done, the moulds should be rinsed to remove any remaining detergent. If this is not done, a chemical reaction may occur during chocolate moulding, due to residue remaining on the surface of the polycarbonate. Demineralised water should be used to rinse the polycarbonate at a temperature of +/- 60˚C. This is easily dried by using a hot air dryer. Softened water usually has a hardness of 12˚- 35˚f before being treated. Water with a higher hardness than 35˚f, which is then softened can leave marks on the polycarbonate after washing. This damages the moulds themselves and can show on your product when making your chocolates. Under no circumstances should such marks be removed by any forms of machinery, because this can leave scratches on the mould.
The moulds should then be dried thoroughly. A hot-air compressor at around 70˚- 80˚C can also be used for drying larger quantities of moulds. Take care to also completely dry the back of the mould, since this might otherwise cause humidity to transfer on other moulds during storage. This may yet again leave marks upon your product.
Our final advice would be, after the cleaning process, to do a preliminary moulding, to prepare the moulds again for production. This should restore some of the shine on your product. The full veneer of your product will come back over time with every single moulding.