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I just made a batch of chocolates that taste great, but have bloom.  I am suspecting the problem is the molds were not properly cleaned as there was no bloom on the chocolate on the bottom of the chocolates.  I have had similiar problems before.

Does anybody have a suggestion for how to clean the molds really well by hand (I don't have a dishwasher), or is there a good cleaning solution to use?




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hot water and airgun ;-)

Someone came to me asking about sourcing ammonium hydroxide. I can find semiconductor grade, 99.5% pure 29% dilution - but the MSDS is pretty frightening for a product at that concentration.

What are people sourcing for the original strength before diluting to what level?


A while ago I put a post in here that we use Ammonium Hydroxide to clean our molds.  THIS IS WRONG!!!  What I meant to write is that we use a solution of water and degreaser containing SODIUM HYDROXIDE.




Sincerest apologies everyone.


Ahhh, Brad - that makes so much more sense. I am glad this got straightened out - ammonium hydroxide is pretty nasty stuff. Not that sodium hydroxide (aka lye, caustic soda) is a cakewalk.

Please note, everyone, that this provides a very good reason to RTFM (that is, read the material safety data sheet, or MSDS) on any chemical you are considering using. I was looking at the MSDS for ammonium hydroxide and wondered what others knew about it that I couldn't find out.

In doing some follow up research on sodium hydroxide I ran across the following (Red Lightning degreaser), which might be a good (and perhaps safer and easier to handle) alternative for anyone who's at all skittish about using lye as a degreaser. I plan to try it - and I will let people know what I find out.

Don't use it straight.  It can be considerably diluted in warm water, removes ALL cocoa butter very nicely with almost no effort.  The molds will feel slippery when being rinsed, and you'll see the water sheet right off of them.  No spots. We take a bit extra care and use a hair dryer to blow off the remaining few spots.

Yes, that does make more sense --- now to figure out what to do with half a gallon of janitorial strength ammonium hydroxide :)  Glad this got sorted out before i started looking for the stronger stuff (I used to work with concentrated NH4OH at my old job and it fumes when you open the bottle...nasty stuff to use even with a fume hood.)

Brad, you are referring to Red Lightening that Clay mentioned in your most recent post of approx. 14 hours ago?

I picked up some deep fryer cleaner (sodium hydroxide-based) today from smart and final and used it at 1 cup per 1 gallon water and it worked great.  it doesn't list concentration of NaOH. its not the cheapest stuff at $10/gallon but its worth the $1 in cleaning materials to not have to cotton ball all of my molds.

brad...that's what i thought and was suspicious for :)

Hi All, 

we finally got our supply of Sodium Hydoxide, 25 l drum with a dil. of 40%

We tried a cup in about 40 lit of warm water and i must say it went so quick! my employees loved it! in few minutes we washed everything.

The rinsing part was a bit of issue: the molds after 2 rinse still have a slippery feel, not the "squicky" one as i was expecting.

@Brad and any one else: do i need to rinse them more or reduce the amount of Sodium or is just normal?

thanks in advance! 

Bloom can form on molded chocolates if the the molds were previously used with compound coating or white chocolate and then used with real chocolate. The fats are not compatible and will react to form bloom.

As far as cleaning, hot water and Dawn Dish Washing Liquid works the best. Dawn cuts the oil in the chocolate. Just completely dry and you are ready to go. if you want to disinfect after washing, use 1 capful of Clorox Bleach to a gallon of water and dip the mold before drying with lint free towels.

Don't use a hair dryer, it can warp the molds if the are plastic.


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