I now use Frankford Arsenal Drop Out Bullet Mold Release Agent on my molds which is
a little costly is there a alternative to that ?
WyrTwister, I have to assume the toothpaste is leaving a film behind which is acting as a release agent but more importantly as a means to fill out the mold. I have never had any luck with aluminum molds with bare cavities.
I just smoke the mold with the paraffin wax when I'm fluxing the pot. I just read above that matches of the none paraffin type were used. Is there something wrong with smoking with the paraffin?? It seams to work well for me.
I suspect the toothpaste is microscopically deburring the mold edges. I've often had the impression that was where bullets stuck, rather than in the middle. It would also polish the surface oxide that forms on the aluminum and may even plug some of its pores. That's speculation on my part, but I agree that once the aluminum mold settles, there doesn't seem to be any need for a coating.
Plus 1 ... a clean mould does not need a releasing agent.I no longer use anything
Cleaners are a good topic. Just a warning that you have to be careful with aluminum because it is etched by the highly alkaline cleaners like Greased Lightening and Fantastic and Formula 409. You want something close to pH neutral if possible. Baby shampoo might work. I find the orange oil-based product called Goo Gone, for removing price stickers and the like, works extremely well. It also evaporates away completely after awhile. Some of the water-based citrus cleaners may be good, too. I'll have to drop some aluminum in some Zep orange cleaner and see how it does?
The reason I like the citrus oil cleaners is my wife set me to trying to get years of cooking oil off her range hood one day. They turned out to be the only thing that would soften that oil and let me wipe it off without harming the paint. Previously I had used a slurry of baking soda and dishwashing liquid to rub it off, which works, but the baking soda is likely too alkaline for aluminum (haven't tried),