You invest your time and efforts in selecting the right resin for your projects. How to you store your resin to give it the best shelf life? Here are a few of my resin storage tips.
Only buy enough resin you can comfortably use in half the amount of time of the expected shelf life
Epoxy resins generally have a shelf life of one year. You should only buy enough that you can comfortably use within six months. It should stay good for a year, but the reason I tell you six months is that when you get to six months and a day, are you going to toss it out? No, of course not. But hopefully, by the time you are done using it, you are still short of the one-year deadline.
You should also know that different resins have different shelf lives. Polyester resins only last six months. After that, they can start to harden in the can, even without any hardener added. Some polyurethanes only have a shelf life of three months. If you don’t know the shelf life of the resin you want to buy or are already using, ask.
Write the date you open the resin kit on the packaging
Who hasn’t bought products only to find them in a closet or box months later and think “I totally forgot I had this resin kit.” I write the date of first opening the kit on the box in addition to keeping a running tally on a whiteboard on the resins I have open and about how much is left. It’s a great reminder about what I’ve opened, what I’ve used, and how much longer I’ve got to use it.
Keep resin out of direct sunlight and in a consistent 60 to 80 F temperature.
Inside a closet in a climate-controlled area is a great way to store resin. UV light exposure will speed up the yellowing. Large temperature swings will allow condensation to form inside the lid and drip into your resin. Resin HATES water and may not cure when mixed. Never store resin kits in your freezer. Epoxies can develop crystals if they are kept at temperatures at less than 60 F. While resin isn’t typically flammable, I wouldn’t store it near anything that could be flammable.
Store resin upright and in its original box or outer packaging
Upright is obviously important because you want to prevent resin leaks. Keep it in the original packaging in case there is a problem. In addition to instructions and manufacturer information, it may also contain production/lot information. The manufacturer may ask you for this if you have problems with your resin.
I also like to keep any of my liquid resin products (resin, hardener, colorants, etc.) in a plastic bin in my closet. Should there be a leak or spill, it is contained and not dripping down shelves making an even bigger mess.
While smaller cups or other containers are great for working with small quantities of resin (especially if you buy it in large containers), don’t store your resin in these containers. Resin and hardener are sold in special plastic vessels that are designed not to break down with constant chemical exposure. Not all plastic items are designed for this purpose.
Don’t pour resin components back into the original containers
To keep from contaminating your large stock of product, don’t pour unused resin or hardener back into the original bottles.
What do you do if your resin and/or hardener are yellow?
Don’t panic. All resins eventually yellow. In addition to it happening from UV light exposure, it also happens because oxygen gets introduced into the bottles once the seal is broken and the cap removed. For future purchases, you may want to switch to smaller size kits to allow you to use up a kit completely before it has time to yellow.
If you have yellow resin and it’s been properly stored, more than likely it’s going to cure without any problems but will cure with a yellow tint. If you have a project that needs colored resin, this is a great time to use it. You can see what I’m talking about here: What to do with yellowing resin?
If you do decide to dispose of your resin, please do it properly. I have some resin disposal tips for you too. How to clean up resin.
What else should you know about the best way to store resin?
The shelf life of resin and hardener start the day they are manufactured. Always look for the freshest product possible when making your purchase. It’s my rule at Resin Obsession that we never stock more than one to three months of product at once. We want to make sure you have the longest shelf life possible when you make your resin purchase!
What else do you consider when storing resin?
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