How can I safely remove shellac from cast iron cookie cutters?

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My mom bought these cast iron cookie molds at a flea market and later realized they had some kind of shellac or varnish on them. Is there any way to remove the shellac and keep the integrity of the molds?

q how can i safely remove shellac from cast iron cookie cutters
  5 answers
  • Beverly Clement Beverly Clement on Dec 02, 2018

    There are a lot of brands of varnish and shellac removers on the market. Go to your hardware store and ask for them.

  • William William on Dec 02, 2018

    Denatured alcohol is the best product for removing shellac. Wear rubber gloves and use a paint brush to apply the denatured alcohol. The shellac should dissolve so it can be wiped off.

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    • Jackie O'Sullivan Jackie O'Sullivan on Dec 03, 2018

      Are you sure it's shellac? That is a natural product, used in wood finishing. I doubt it would stick to cast iron without flaking. William is correct about denatured alcohol, which is what the flakes are dissolved in before application, and what is also used for removal.

  • Dorrie Dorrie on Dec 03, 2018

    I don't know anything about removing shellac, but as a baker and collector of kitchenware I think what you have there is an antique chocolate mold. Usually a cookie mold will be very shallow and made from some form of pottery. The pottery will allow for easy removal of imprinted dough with the use of flour and chilling if necessary. Look up antique chocolate molds; they are beautiful and very collectible! Mom got a great find!


    Dorrie

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Dec 03, 2018

    Candy molds. Are you sure it's not just the seasoning on cast iron it will build up thick over time to look like it's coated. I'd just test a spot first. You may ruin finish and mold, cast iron is porous. Here's cast Iron care to reseason them https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-season-a-cast-iron-baking-mold-1135964 these sell online anywhere from 25.00-150.00

  • Krafty Kathy Krafty Kathy on Dec 03, 2018

    It looks like cast iron to me. Something to comsider is whether you want to use it for food prep or display as an antique. You wouldn't want to strip the piece with a toxic cleaner for using with food because porous cast iron will hold those chemicals and might rust. Antiques are often devalued if their patina is stripped by harsh cleaning. If cast iron you will need to reseason it if you clean it to prevent rust.

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