The Insta-Mold Process
Techniques in Making Professional Insta-Mold Ear Molds and Hearing
The following step-by-step instructions will
show how easy it is to make Insta-Mold "On-The-Spot" ear plugs for
water and noise protection, as well as ear impressions for laboratory
Read the following instructions completely,
carefully, and be cautious when fitting Insta-Mold ear protectors.
Usually a little practice is needed with the initial first 2-5 molds,
but once the procedure is learned, the results are truly outstanding.
Well-planned procedures and compliance with
our instructions are also important to achieve desired results and
will give you the confidence your clients look for in a professional
product. Make a few practice molds and finish them to the best of
your ability. Usually the difference between a well fitted, attractive
mold and an ill fitted mold is just a small matter easily corrected
when the faults are recognized. Insta-Mold ear molds and hearing
protection earplugs will only be as good as your impression techniques.
So it is extremely important that the rules outlined below are followed
(Precautionary Note: If a client has
any history of recent surgery or any other ear problems, medical
clearance must be obtained before making earplugs)
1. Examine Client's Ear
Use otoscope or video otoscope to examine client's
ear canal. If there are any indications of excessive (dried) earwax,
reports of surgery to the ear, or any other contradictions, have
client seek a medical source or physician's care products for clearance
before proceeding. If ear has minimal earwax, proceed in gently
cleaning with dry cotton swab.
2. Swab Outer Ear
When client is free from problems, swab outer
ear with Hand Lotion provided in Starter Kit. Place a few drops
of lotion on a cotton swabÉ do not saturate. This step lubricates
the ear canal and cleans it from any debris which might be left
on the finished product. DO NOT STICK SWAB BEYOND FIRST BEND IN
EAR CANAL. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO SEE END OF COTTON SWAB WHILE IN
USE. REMOVE EXCESS OIL WITH CLEAN SWAB. If there is excessive hair
in canal, use extra oil.
3. Insertion of Otoblock
Insta-Mold strongly recommends the use of an "appropriately
size" otoblock in the Insta-Mold Process. The foam block protects
the eardrum and helps spread the Insta-Mold evenly in the ear canal
for a tighter seal. Insert the otoblock just past the first bend of
the ear canal, or to appropriate spot where good length will be achieved
if ear canal is straight. This will permit the ear mold to have enough
canal length for adequate sealing, and if you need to cut off a portion
of the ear canal during final processing, there is still enough remaining
for a good fit.
4. Measuring and Mixing Insta-Mold Instant Silicones
Since Insta-Mold Instant Silicones are temperature dependent, keep
in mind that working in hotter climates will inherently increase
the curing rate. Colder climates will have the opposite effect.
If you need a quicker cure time, add additional Hardener Paste drops
to the "Original" material. For the "Featherweight" material, warm
the mixture in your hands by creating friction by rubbing your hands
Insta-Mold II "Original"
A. Measuring Putty
Your initial order of Insta-Mold II "Original" silicone includes
a set of spoons. This set includes one 1/2 teaspoon and one 1 teaspoon.
Lightly lubricate fingertips with Hand Lotion.
Rub lotion onto fingertips and do not over lubricate. Using only
oily fingertips, lubricate bowl of measuring spoon. Scoop one level
teaspoon of material from Insta-Mold II putty jar. Smooth out putty
with finger to level spoonful before removal from spoon. If ear
is a bit larger, take additional material
B. Add Hardener Paste
Remove Insta-Mold II mix from measuring spoon and flatten on finger
tips. Remove Hardener Paste from zip-lock bag and unscrew cap and
remove pin. Place a slight crater in center of flattened mix. Apply
proper number of Hardener Paste drops on material. Usually 3 drops
for _ teaspoon, 6 drops for 1 teaspoon. (Replace cap and pin back
onto Hardener Paste bottle as soon as possible, unless in continuous
use. Do not screw cap down too tightly after reinserting pin. Over
tightening will cause pin to be pushed down into hole of bottle).
Place Hardener Paste back into zip-lock bag to seal it from air
and to add longer life.
Begin by folding silicone putty material in half and then start
kneeding Hardener Paste into putty mix by folding and stretching
until Hardener Paste is thoroughly mixed. This process will usually
take approximately 20-30 seconds.
Insta-Mold Floatable "Featherweight"
With every order of Insta-Mold Featherweight Instant Silicones,
you will receive two sets of measuring spoons. Each set consists
of a _ teaspoon and a _ teaspoon measurement sizes for use with
appropriately sized ears. One set is marked "A" and one set
will be marked "B". Always use the appropriate spoon with the
corresponding jar as contaminating Part A with Part B will result
in a chemical reaction to occur and the material to cure on you
in the jar.
(It is also extremely important to keep the
Featherweight batch numbers together. Whenever Featherweight silicones
are ordered, you will always receive matching batch numbers. We
cannot guarantee results unless you follow this guideline).
Lightly lubricate fingertips with Hand Lotion.
Rub lotion onto fingertips and do not over lubricate. Using only
oily fingertips, lubricate both bowls of measuring spoons. Fill
spoon "A" with appropriate amount of Featherweight material from
jar "A," and level off if necessary. To avoid cross contamination,
wipe excess silicone off of hand before measuring Part "B." Using
the same sized spoon, measure Part "B." Remove Part "A" and Part
"B" from respectful spoons and place into palm of hand. (Reminder:
Part "A" will always be the white material. Part "B" will be your
B. Mixing Material Together
Combine the equal amounts together in your hand and stretch and
kneed the material together until they make a uniform color and
texture. This process will usually take approximately 20-30 seconds.
5. Syringing into Ear
(Before continuing, it is imperative to carefully
place an appropriately sized otoblock into the ear canal to confine
the flow of silicone material. If you have not done this step, stop
now and return to Step 3 before proceeding)
While any type of silicone syringe is acceptable,
Insta-MoldWest recommends its deluxe syringe. This syringe allows
for easier injecting and offers less waste to the dispenser.
Place mixed silicone material into cup and barrel
of deluxe syringe. Make sure the collar of the plunger is at the
tip of the plunger and proceed to place collar on top of silicone
material. Press the collar all the way into the cup of the syringe
which will push the silicone material into barrel of syringe. Depress
plunger into the barrel pushing material to tip of syringe.
Place the tip of the syringe in the ear canal
up against the otoblock. Inject the silicone material with steady
pressure and slowly withdraw the syringe as the ear canal fills.
(Note: Do not withdraw syringe to quickly as this will result
in gaps and error to form in ear canal. Also important is to not
depress plunger quickly as this will result in either trapping air
pressure in between the silicone material and eardrum causing an
uncomfortable feeling for your client, or will result in the silicone
material to slip past the otoblock and possibly cause harm to the
Making sure to keep the tip of the syringe buried
in the material, the remaining material is used to fill the helix
and concha (bowl of the ear). Do not "decorate a cake" by walking
the syringe from the ear canal to the helix and back down to the
concha. This will result in uneven distribution and make gaps and
cracks to form in material or ear mold.
For professional looking ear molds, it is important
to keep the mold flush or even to the outer bowl of the ear. This
will also make for easier modifying and finishing later on in the
6. Smoothing Out the Face
While the silicone is still soft, the outer face of the ear mold
can be smoothed out with your finger to remove any creases and shaped
appropriately for a professional look. To improve the smoothing
process, place a drop of Hand Lotion on your fingertip and smooth
with gentle pressure. This step will remove any fingerprints you
might have left behind during shaping.
Be sure to minimize Hand Lotion use if you are
going to insert Identi-Tabs or Handles.
7. Placement of Identi-Tabs
To better identify the left ear from the right, Insta-Mold has developed
a blue, circular disk, which appears on the outside of the left
ear mold. These markers are called Identi-Tabs and their use permits
easier identification of each hearing protector in addition to improving
the ability to police their use, especially in industrial settings.
Identi-Tabs are easy to use. After you have
smoothed out your ear mold, depress the blue Identi-Tab in the outer
surface of the left earplug before it starts to cure. Be certain
the outside surface of the Identi-Tab is level or below the outside
surface of the ear mold. You may smooth the outside surface again
as in Step 6.
8. Placement of Handles
Handles are a convenient way to identify and use as options in your
ear molding techniques.
Using a blue handle for the left ear and a red
handle for the red ear, proceed by inserting the top of the "T"
shaped handle into the uncured silicone material. Work the extra
material around the ends so that the wedge part is the only thing
exposed. (For a secure handle, bury into silicone material up to
9. Removing the Ear Mold, Trimming and Shaping
For best results, leave silicone material in ear for as long as
possible. This will allow for increased physical properties, less
chance of breakage and greater memory. On average, after seven to
ten minutes the mold can be removed from the ear.
Break the seal in the helix by pulling back
on the top of the ear and grab the top of the mold. Remove by rotating
the top of the mold towards the nose slowly until free from the
ear canal. Holding onto the otoblock string while removing is also
encouraged, as it will help release the mold from the ear canal.
Once the ear mold is removed, and is fully cured,
pull the otoblock off of the end and discard. If otoblock strings
are incorporated into mold, cut otoblock off with razor blade and
pull strings from face. They should release themselves fairly easily.
(Note: If the ear molds are removed to soon and seem soft, place
them on a foam sponge and let them stand to cure for a few more
minutes before removing otoblocks from the ear canal ends)
If ear canal has not been measured and cut with
razor blade, cut flat. Remember that length is important for greater
fit, so do not cut the ear canal too short or the ear mold will
not function to the best of its abilities.
Proceed to trim or buff the ear canal with cuticle
scissors or Dremel tool. If the outer surface needs attention at
this time, trim and buff now. (Remember, Insta-Mold does not recommend
trying to smooth out any imperfections that come in contact with
the inside of the ear. This would eliminate one of the greatest
advantages of the Insta-Mold ProcessÉ the Tissue-to-Tissue Fit!!!)
Clean off any excess earwax which may have adhered
to the ear mold during curing with a cotton swab.
If you are in a rapid turn around setting, now
is a good time to instruct the client on inserting and removing
his/her ear molds and to review the use and care instructions.
10. Applying the Insta-Seal Plus Silicone Koter
Insta-Seal Plus is the perfect finishing step for your ear molds.
Not only does the Insta-Seal Plus give your molds a smooth, professional,
and shiny look, it also helps keep them clean, last longer and can
be used to repair cracks or separations. In addition, Insta-Seal
Plus can be used to tighten or retighten your molds for more protection
against water, noise, and acoustic feedback.
Before applying Insta-Seal Plus, clean off excess
body oils, earwax and Hand Lotion with cotton swab. Once cleaned
of obstructions, insert toothpick into ear mold. Best spots for
handled plugs is next to the hand. Best spot for flat ear molds
is underside of bottom of mold (see picture).
Remove cap to Insta-Seal Plus bottle and pour
_ into the plastic dipping cup provided in your Starter Kit. Proceed
to briefly dip the entire ear mold into the dipping cup and rotate
to cover the entire surface of the mold. When this is accomplished,
remove the ear mold from the dipping cup and let the excess silicone
liquid drain back into cup before placing ear mold into foam sponge
for drying. Use cotton swab to catch excess drips once placed in
Pour excess Insta-Seal Plus back into bottle
and screw cap back into place. Since Insta-Seal Plus reacts with
air contact, it is important to watch how many times you are dipping.
Too many steps like this will encourage the Koter to gel up. Another
method to apply the Insta-Seal Plus Koter is to "paint" it on by
using a cotton swab. This reduces the contact with the air and possibly
contamination by pouring the excess back into the bottle. This procedure
also takes longer and can leave the mold with uneven drying times.
(Note: Using Insta-Seal Plus with Featherweight
Floatable Silicone is strongly recommended after "full cure" has
taken place. If applied before "full cure" is established, Insta-Seal
Plus has a greater chance of peeling off)
Repairing Cracks and Separations
Cracks, separations and even cuts can be easily repaired with Insta-Seal
Plus. First, apply the koter liberally with a cotton swab to the
center of the split. Wait for 30 seconds and then press the two
sides of the split together. Continue to hold in this position for
approximately two minutes to create a seal which will "bond" the
split together. Then apply a coating of Insta-Seal Plus over the
entire mold. The repair will be welded securely in several hours.
It is important not to test or tamper with the repair during this
Note: Insta-Seal Plus can be used to repair
almost any type of damage which can occur to an ear mold, and can
also be used to build-up loose fitting molds. Therefore, you will
be able to repair, instead of replace, any Insta-Mold Instant Silicone
hearing protector and realize a savings in time money and client
Stick toothpick with coated mold into corkboard, cardboard or foam
sponge to let dry for at least five minutes. Drying times will be
enhanced with hotter temperatures and calm breezes. Your Insta-Mold
hearing protector will fully cure in 24 hours. Instruct your clients
to let the Insta-Seal Plus Koter dissipate for at least 3-4 hours
before trying them on.
12. Inserting Cords into the Handles
Cords are handy for the clients who want to drap their plugs over
their shoulders or hang them in their lockers when not in use. To
insert a cord, simply double loop the tip of the cord through the
hole in the Handle. This allows for easy removal when cleaning or
installing a new cord.
You have now finished making an Insta-Mold hearing protector. Remind
the client that he cannot wear the molds for at least another 3-4
hours as the Insta-Seal Koter will need this time to dissipate.
If you give the client an E.A.R., Inc./Insta-Mold pouch, remind
them how to find additional products and hearing protection devices
which you can provide him/her at a later date if desired.
14. Advanced Techniques - Coming Soon
For advanced ear molding techniques like making
swirls, boring holes, insertion of snap rings and preformed tubing,
as well as many more fun and interesting things you can do with
Insta-Mold Instant Silicones, please click