Dopping-tips-cleaning-epoxy-mess

by Kathryn on December 22, 2013

in Dopping Techniques,Gemology

Clean-up of Messy Epoxy Tubes and Mixing Surfaces

by Glenn Ruminson (FACETS Mar 2005).

I got tired of getting my fingers gummed up from leaking epoxy and hardener tubes. I avoid the mess by slipping a 2″ by 3″ polyethylene bag over the bottom end of the tube — all the mess stays inside the bag.

This is probably not new to a lot of you, but I also discovered that ethyl alcohol (sold as denatured alcohol or shellac thinner–editor) will dissolve epoxy, hardener, and mixed but still soft epoxy-hardener. A squart of alcohol plus scrubbing with a paper towel makes quick and easy cleaning of sticky fingers, or your mixing surface, as long as you do this before the epoxy hardens. Cut a paper towel into 2″ by 2″ sections for ease of use in cleaning up epoxy messes. I also find these sections useful in blotting water and debris off stones before checking my cutting progress.

Comment by Jay Meredith November 26, 2016
Acetone will dissolve CA glue and soften cured epoxy if the item is soaked overnight. For really tough cured epoxy, you can use a stronger solvent, such as ATTAC floor stripper or Kleen-Strip  Aircraft Remover paint stripper (available in auto parts stores), but USE CAUTION with these products because they contain methylene chloride and other carcinogenic solvents.

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