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Suggestions For Frugal Flux Removal?


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#1 Josie58

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 09:53 PM

I am still at a hobby level of stained glass but selling a few pieces. I was curious about opinions on frugal options for cleaning flux from projects (mainly foil) other than buying commerical flux remover. At this time I am using water soluable gel flux. Two neutralizing methods I have seen listed on web sites are: 1. sudsy ammonia then rinse. 2. vinegar and water. I have several questions.

I have been using using the ammonia/water rinse and it appears to work, but if recommendations are not using commerical glass cleaner with ammonia to clean completed pieces is it a problem at the finish stage? I have not tried vinegar so what is the opinion.

But then if I am using water soluable flux is a chemical cleaning really even required?

When working on lead came what would be the recommendation?


Thanks

#2 Dawnt

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 06:33 AM

Here is a link to a thread with a recipe I posted some time ago. It works well for both foil and lead.

http://www.stainedgl...?showtopic=1816

You can also clean with baking soda and water.

#3 Tod Beall

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 08:43 AM

I generally use dry whiting (calcium carbonate) to clean everything. I use various brushes, rags and sticks. Cheap and simple.

It's generally not good to clean a leaded panel with uncured putty/cement with amonia as it can affect the putty adversely. - Tod

#4 Rebecca

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 10:26 AM

Vinegar doesn't make sense. Flux is acidic, so you want to use a base to neutralize it. Vinegar is acidic, too. It doesn't hurt a copper foiled piece to wash it or use comnmercial cleaners on it. But if it is waxed, cleaners will take the wax off. A leaded piece shouldn't be washed or sprayed with a commercial cleaner.

Rebecca

#5 denetteb

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 12:16 AM

I tried avoiding buying a flux remover as I am a huge cheapo. I read about a number of home options online. I think the one I tried was baking soda and ammonia, a bunch of people suggested it. My piece was a free form wavy, double layer, overlapping random type piece. It turned out HORRIBLE!!!! The solder turned kind of dull and gray looking. Just terrible. Plus I did 3 panels at the same time so I made a mess of all three that used 5 sheets of 12 by 18 glass in total. I emailed a few stained glass people in desperation and ended up using fine steel wool over it all. Given the weird nature of the piece it was a really difficult job. Never again, I bought a bottle of CJ's. However the steel wool left it a cool looking matte type finish which I liked.

#6 Josie58

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 07:10 PM

Here is a link to a thread with a recipe I posted some time ago. It works well for both foil and lead.

http://www.stainedglasstownsquare.com/index.php?showtopic=1816

You can also clean with baking soda and water.



Thanks The recipe kind of reminds me of what we use for removing skunk oil from dogs except its baking soda instead of alcolhol. LOL

#7 Ohiwish

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 12:27 PM

Hi folks,
New to the board here and tought a good 2 cents would get me going. I teach stained glass at a high school outside of Seattle. With 60 kids a day, I cetainly cannot buy the nice 'shop products' that many of us use. An excellent cleaner I have found is an industrial cleaner called 'Jolt'. It MUST be diluted, I use a 30:1 ratio with high school students, dilutes with water. So a gallon goes a loooong way. You may want to make it a bit stronger. I found it a a local custodaial shop, and the best part is, it is only $12.00 per gallon! Kids still have to clean a few times, I must use the jelly 'Ruby' flux so it can't spill, and even with the extra gooeeeness, Jolt does well. Hope it works for you..

Jim

#8 hermieb6

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 02:06 PM

I am still at a hobby level of stained glass but selling a few pieces. I was curious about opinions on frugal options for cleaning flux from projects (mainly foil) other than buying commerical flux remover. At this time I am using water soluable gel flux. Two neutralizing methods I have seen listed on web sites are: 1. sudsy ammonia then rinse. 2. vinegar and water. I have several questions.

I have been using using the ammonia/water rinse and it appears to work, but if recommendations are not using commerical glass cleaner with ammonia to clean completed pieces is it a problem at the finish stage? I have not tried vinegar so what is the opinion.

But then if I am using water soluable flux is a chemical cleaning really even required?

When working on lead came what would be the recommendation?


Thanks

Hello To All,

I am a "newbie" to the forum but thought I would share the cheapest way to clean off flux. I learned stained glass from a wonderful woman (who turned out to be my best friend). She has had several stores, done large pieces for churches, homes, etc. for over 35 years. (Switched to fusing jewelry last year---no more pressure for commission pieces.) Told me to go to Sam's and get giant baking soda to clean flux--that is all she has ever used. She also uses it to clean corrosion from pieces. Just plain old baking soda and water (might be more eco friendly than flushing ammonia down the drain along with soft brushes, sponges. Dry with old rags saved over time.

Another hint--if using black patina on brass, add a dash of salt and mix well.

Sorry for long post--everyone says I love to write!!!

Liz

#9 glassiquegirl

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 01:17 PM

wow, i've just been using a grease cutting dish detergent and scrubbies with no problems. Then patina and the glass wax. Been using this method for almost 30 years. For copper foil projects, of course and I never leave a project setting with flux on it. I currently use the Classique 100 brand gel flux. I've used CJs but since the method I've been using seems to work well, why bother paying the extra money.

for lead, just the whiting, brushes and pointy sticks.

#10 Boris_USA

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 10:30 PM

wow, i've just been using a grease cutting dish detergent and scrubbies with no problems. Then patina and the glass wax. Been using this method for almost 30 years. For copper foil projects, of course and I never leave a project setting with flux on it. I currently use the Classique 100 brand gel flux. I've used CJs but since the method I've been using seems to work well, why bother paying the extra money.

for lead, just the whiting, brushes and pointy sticks.


There are tons of suggestions for cleaning flux and glass, and everyone has their own ideas of what works best for them, which is not always the best method. Most of the methods I have seen posted, do in fact, clean and remove dirt and flux. The real question is "How Well." The biggest culpirt I see in cleaning glass pieces, after chemical uses, is the residual "Acids" left, mostly in places where cleaning is hard or almost impossible, like corners, small openings or cracks between glass and foil, or other places. Amonia and detergent do clean well, but does it say on the container, that it neutralizes acids? It never did for me. I have washed pieces with Dawn, and Amonia, then gone over it with Baking Soda and water, and still see white foamy bubbles coming from places, indicating the presence of "Acid." I also know its a "Fact" that it does neutralize acids and is the only common cleaner I have ever seen listed as such, in all fields where acid is a problem. Baking Soda is also midly abrasive and cleans as well as it works on acids. Its even used in pressure washers and can cut barnacles off a boat hull, without damage to the fiberglass. I use it as a pre-wash before I use Dawn to remove any final dirt, oils, or residue.

Its each to their own, on this one, and there are "believers" and "skeptics" but facts are facts, and I like dealing in facts, and hate white crud forming on my work after a few weeks, as acid residue starts working with air moisture, or seeps out of a crack.

My opinion, and what I do, thats cheap, and works for me. Everyone else can do what they do, spend what they want, and use what works for them.

#11 Kaleidoscope

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 11:22 PM

I use LacoBrite (non acid) flux so I don't have the problem of neutralizing acid flux. I also never use an ammonia containing cleaners. As you said to each their own.

#12 Rebecca

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 12:50 PM

Ammonia is a stronger base than baking soda and as such it neutralizes acids. It also reacts with the calcium in the water where I live and leaves a white film on everything. I use CJ's.

Rebecca

#13 Spudnique

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 06:06 PM

Hi gang,
I had a teacher that used Hertel, eco-friendly household cleaner. I've used it for the last few years with good results. I wet my piece, and then wash down with hertel on a wet rag (old towel), then rinse well until soapy feeling is gone. It smells good, and I also use it around the house cleaning the floors.




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