How can I clean poly residuals from glass jar? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 06-13-2014, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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How can I clean poly residuals from glass jar?

I use a 1/2 pint wide mouth jar for applying polyurethane to my projects. The poly residuals have hardened. Is there a chemical to clean it out?

The worst thing you can do to a piece of wood is
....get blood on it.

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post #2 of 29 Old 06-13-2014, 07:28 AM
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Methylene chloride.

Although, I would just get a new jar...

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OH, wait a minute ............Yep!.............That's what he said!

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post #3 of 29 Old 06-13-2014, 08:17 AM
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Lacquer thinner should do it.






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post #4 of 29 Old 06-13-2014, 08:50 AM
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Lacquer thinner would work slower but would be better than paint stripper. You would have to thoroughly clean the remover out to be sure you didn't get any wax or methylene chloride in your fresh poly. Personally I would look for a new jar.
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post #5 of 29 Old 06-13-2014, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Scotty, I've considered new jars, not out of the question, yet. I'm now using a plastic 3/4 cup food container w/screw lid. If going "disposable", plastic would be cheapest. Chemical cleaning of plastic not viable. If I can clean a glass jar in a few minutes it would save some $ and a trip to the store.

.
C'man, I'm currently "cleaning" the jar with sodium hydroxide as I have no methclor. If it doesn't work, thinner is next.
.
.
About 6 months ago I posted about poly and tung oil gelling and getting hard. Someone suggested purging the container. I put 1 pint of poly in a jar and vacuum sealed it. Same with the tung oil. Both are still like brand new. Also put same in 1/2 pt. jars and purged them. Both like new. I'm trying to devise a way to quickly and efficiently purge the 1/2 pt. wide mouth, then cleaning won't be necessary. Vacuum is good, but a pain in the arse to do.

The worst thing you can do to a piece of wood is
....get blood on it.

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post #6 of 29 Old 06-13-2014, 10:24 AM
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There are a few solvents that every workshop needs (IMO). Maybe not every woodshop, but every handyman's garage.

In order of nastyness:
Isopropyl alcohol
Denatured alcohol
spray can of carb cleaner
Laquer thinner
Acetone

All flammable except carb cleaner, and all require you to be a grownup when using/handling/storing.

Acetone will disolve fiberglass resin. I'm sure it'd make short work of cured one-part poly.

Dave in CT, USA
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post #7 of 29 Old 06-13-2014, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by durdyolman View Post
C'man, I'm currently "cleaning" the jar with sodium hydroxide as I have no methclor. If it doesn't work, thinner is next.
That stuff is lye...very nasty stuff.






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post #8 of 29 Old 06-13-2014, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maylar View Post
There are a few solvents that every workshop needs (IMO). Maybe not every woodshop, but every handyman's garage.

In order of nastyness:
Isopropyl alcohol
Denatured alcohol
spray can of carb cleaner
Laquer thinner
Acetone

All flammable except carb cleaner, and all require you to be a grownup when using/handling/storing.

Acetone will disolve fiberglass resin. I'm sure it'd make short work of cured one-part poly.
Acetone works good for a lot of things, but it just evaporates (makes it cold) so fast, and opens your sinuses way too far.






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post #9 of 29 Old 06-13-2014, 11:29 AM
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Why don't you just clean the jar when you finish applying the finish? Finish that has been opened and/or thinned is difficult to save. The thinner and the exposure to oxygen will start the curing reaction and even if you tightly re-seal the jar, the finish will last only a very short time.

If you are using an oil based finish, the paint thinner solvent will not affect the most plastics. Just pour the left-over finish out, swish some thinner around in the jar and then wipe the inside dry.

If i'm using a container I intend to re-use, I use the jar for cleaning my brush. When the brush is clean, the jar is also.

I'm a little confused about your problem. The correct process with finishes is to pour out what you need into a separate container. Tighly re-seal the original container. Apply the finish from the contain you poured your finish into. When finished discard any leftover--don't try to save it and never pour the leftover back into the original container. It will have become contaminated from dust or other contaminates and will have begun curing. It's a bad practice to "save" used finish more than a month or two.

If you are new to finishing, you might want to buy Understanding Finishing by Bob Flexner. Amazon will have it. This book is the bible of finishing and will go a long way toward learning how to finish properly.

Howie..........
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post #10 of 29 Old 06-13-2014, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
That stuff is lye...very nasty stuff.






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I'll be careful

The worst thing you can do to a piece of wood is
....get blood on it.

Dr. Durdy Olman, Phd. (BS)
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post #11 of 29 Old 06-13-2014, 11:32 AM
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I'll be careful
And remember...don't run with a scissors in your hand.





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post #12 of 29 Old 06-13-2014, 06:44 PM
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I'll be careful
Sodium Hydroxide is pretty sneaky. You can handle it, work with it with your bare hands because it doesn't burn. Then two or three days later your hands crack open and bleed. I hate getting it on my skin. It seems like you have to wash forever to get the stuff off.
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post #13 of 29 Old 06-13-2014, 09:48 PM
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Have you considered using a plastic liner for your jar? Maybe even a ziplock bag that you could seal?

Just throwing out an idea. I see some places sell plastic bag liners for spray guns, so it came to mind.
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post #14 of 29 Old 06-13-2014, 10:23 PM
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I suggest you increase your diet of tomato sauce, pickles, and jelly. Problem solved!
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post #15 of 29 Old 06-14-2014, 12:57 PM
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What does it say on the poly label about clean-up?
If nothing, check the mfgr's website for correct info.
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post #16 of 29 Old 06-14-2014, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Sodium Hydroxide is pretty sneaky. You can handle it, work with it with your bare hands because it doesn't burn. Then two or three days later your hands crack open and bleed. I hate getting it on my skin. It seems like you have to wash forever to get the stuff off.
.
.
I wore nitrile gloves, and used more water than necessary to clean up the mess. All is well.

The worst thing you can do to a piece of wood is
....get blood on it.

Dr. Durdy Olman, Phd. (BS)
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post #17 of 29 Old 06-14-2014, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HowardAcheson View Post
Why don't you just clean the jar when you finish applying the finish? Finish that has been opened and/or thinned is difficult to save. The thinner and the exposure to oxygen will start the curing reaction and even if you tightly re-seal the jar, the finish will last only a very short time.

If you are using an oil based finish, the paint thinner solvent will not affect the most plastics. Just pour the left-over finish out, swish some thinner around in the jar and then wipe the inside dry.

If i'm using a container I intend to re-use, I use the jar for cleaning my brush. When the brush is clean, the jar is also.

I'm a little confused about your problem. The correct process with finishes is to pour out what you need into a separate container. Tighly re-seal the original container. Apply the finish from the contain you poured your finish into. When finished discard any leftover--don't try to save it and never pour the leftover back into the original container. It will have become contaminated from dust or other contaminates and will have begun curing. It's a bad practice to "save" used finish more than a month or two.

If you are new to finishing, you might want to buy Understanding Finishing by Bob Flexner. Amazon will have it. This book is the bible of finishing and will go a long way toward learning how to finish properly.
.
.
I'm not sure if I should dignify this post with a response.

The worst thing you can do to a piece of wood is
....get blood on it.

Dr. Durdy Olman, Phd. (BS)
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post #18 of 29 Old 06-14-2014, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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The sodium hydroxide "cleaned up" the mess, or at least got it to where I could scrape/wipe it out. All new jar now. tyvm

The worst thing you can do to a piece of wood is
....get blood on it.

Dr. Durdy Olman, Phd. (BS)
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post #19 of 29 Old 06-14-2014, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by durdyolman View Post
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I wore nitrile gloves, and used more water than necessary to clean up the mess. All is well.
Lye (sodium hydroxide) is highly caustic, and can burn skin upon contact. It's what used in oven cleaner and drain cleaner. Statements like "You can handle it, work with it with your bare hands because it doesn't burn" are unfounded and should be ignored, and label warnings followed. Wearing gloves is a good thing, but getting it on other areas, especially in the eyes can cause blindness.

As for oil base polyurethane cleanup, if wet, mineral spirits or naptha will be a good solvent. If dried, lacquer thinner would be a safer solvent and would work well.






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post #20 of 29 Old 06-15-2014, 11:00 AM
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>>>> I'm not sure if I should dignify this post with a response.

What is your problem with my response? There is nothing derogatory or incorrect as far as I can tell.

I ran a cabinet/finishing shop for a number of years and taught wood working periodically over a period of time and I did not intend to ruffle anyone's feathers.

Howie..........

Last edited by HowardAcheson; 06-15-2014 at 11:05 AM.
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