De-greasers?

AlanG

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I've heard users on here say that the best thing to rub down a model with to remove finger prints etc before painting is 99% alcohol or lighter fluid. But what can you use if you don't have any alcohol (like i don't). Would turps, meths or airbrush cleaner do the job?
 

Archetype

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I use meths. Superb remover of grease and grime and dries very quickly.

I should think any of those will do the job though.
 

Tim Marlow

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Dish soap and water followed by a rinse....removing grease and grime is what dish soap was designed for. Anything else is overkill on a plastic model. Water plus properly designed surfactant is a far better solvent than those mentioned except in specialist cases such as tar spots, and you should not have that on a model in the first place. In addition, the more volatile substances dry rapidly and can actually re-deposit the contaminant somewhere else. Unless you use large quantities of the chemicals you will simply end up with a more comprehensive thin coat over larger area. If themodel is brass or white metal scrub them with cheap Jif/Cif like cleaners. The mild abrasive removes the oxide layer helping paint adhesion. They are also slightly alkaline and therefore neutralise flux deposits from soldering...
 

John Race

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Dish soap and water followed by a rinse....removing grease and grime is what dish soap was designed for. Anything else is overkill on a plastic model. Water plus properly designed surfactant is a far better solvent than those mentioned except in specialist cases such as tar spots, and you should not have that on a model in the first place. In addition, the more volatile substances dry rapidly and can actually re-deposit the contaminant somewhere else. Unless you use large quantities of the chemicals you will simply end up with a more comprehensive thin coat over larger area. If themodel is brass or white metal scrub them with cheap Jif/Cif like cleaners. The mild abrasive removes the oxide layer helping paint adhesion. They are also slightly alkaline and therefore neutralise flux deposits from soldering...
Tim, I used to use the washing up liquid/ water mix , then tried IPA mixed at 30% . Quite often there would still be blotchy areas when spraying after using the IPA, so thanks for your explanation.
Back to the washing up method for me .:thumb2:
John.
 

Paintguy

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Like Tim says, many of the solvents we use for cleaning car panels before painting can actually make things worse if left to evaporate on the surface.
Wipe on, wipe off is a good method to use. One wet cloth to apply the solvent followed immediately by a dry cloth to remove it and any dissolved contaminants.
 

Wouter

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I use lighter fluid and a brush and gently rub the surface. A lot less scary than washing a model full of etch in a bath with soap. Advantage is that it dries up immediately and you can start airbrushing at once.
 

John Race

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I use lighter fluid and a brush and gently rub the surface. A lot less scary than washing a model full of etch in a bath with soap. Advantage is that it dries up immediately and you can start airbrushing at once.
Ooh are matches involved ! :smiling3:
 
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I use isopropanol.Mainly because I can get it for free!.I don’t dilute it and it works a treat.
 

Tim Marlow

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Wouter and Dave, whatever works for you really.....but remember dilute washing up liquid is designed to solvated oil, grease, and detritus and keep it in solution. Organic solvents just dissolve oil and grease, dispersing it in the bulk, so potentially coating everything with a dilute covering...and they are not that good at removing contamination that is water soluble. They can also leach out the plasticisers from the underlying styrene if used neat.... soap and water won’t take paint off pre-painted areas either....
Lighter fluid is a great solvent for humbrol paint when spraying, by the way, but for God’s sake don’t do it, you are basically creating a fuel-air bomb around the model....l worked that out after using it that way for a number of years LOL...
By the way, I use isopropanol in a 40% v/v solution with purified water and a drop of photoflow to clean vinyl records....it’s great at removing nicotine residues and has good antistatic properties and the drop of photoflow means it drains off quickly and cleanly before the residue drys on the record.
 

Ade Close Enough

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Believe it or not I've never washed a sprue or wiped down any model and never ever had a bad reaction.
Maybe I've been lucky or maybe it's down to the primers I use and careful handling.
 

AlanG

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The reason i've asked is because i have naturally greasy hands/fingers which other than wearing disposable gloves all the time, leave a greasy finger print on my surfaces. Normally i don't really have a problem as i don't have a lot of paint lift and also i don't prime. But i am hoping to try and move my model making on a level and so i am taking more care over my seam/joins and also my surface finish.
 
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Tim Marlow

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Hi Kev, glad it helps....

Hi Ade, I always thought it was a benefit of using cellulose primer...the finger grease ends up as part of the paint layer :cool: Water based primers don5 usually like it though....I’ve had one spray session simply bead up on the surface and refuse to cover....and another where it dried with uncovered fingerprints.....now I always wash down the model, and usually use Tamiya cellulose rather than acrylic primer....
 

Jakko

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Believe it or not I've never washed a sprue or wiped down any model and never ever had a bad reaction.
Maybe I've been lucky or maybe it's down to the primers I use and careful handling.
Or it’s just not necessary for the vast majority of models. I’ve only ever had real problems with two models: one a large-scale Monogram Corvette that had mould release agent over a lot of the body, and the other an ICM T-35 whose sprues literally were oily to the touch, and even had pooled residue on the larger, flatter parts. Other than that, I may have washed the odd model or parts of it, but only when I thought it would actually make a difference instead of as a matter of course.
 

Ade Close Enough

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Hi Kev, glad it helps....

Hi Ade, I always thought it was a benefit of using cellulose primer...the finger grease ends up as part of the paint layer :cool: Water based primers don5 usually like it though....I’ve had one spray session simply bead up on the surface and refuse to cover....and another where it dried with uncovered fingerprints.....now I always wash down the model, and usually use Tamiya cellulose rather than acrylic primer....
I only use Halfords Primers be they black, grey or white, I used to use Tamiya primers but for their cost you get three times as much in the Halfords ones.
 

Ian M

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I found not eating chocolate while building helps....
On a more serious note. I always give the hands a good wash and scrub befor hitting the plastic.
I do have a box of latex gloves at the ready for when I start to paint. Heck sometimes I even remember to put one on!
 
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