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Brush maintenance?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
My brushes seem to be getting clogged with wax. How do you clean them out? Or do you just replace them? How do you know when its time to replace a brush?
post #2 of 21
That's why I scrape so much. I think someone here in another thread said they ran boiling water over them? Not sure I'd do that with mine, might melt some crucial glue.
post #3 of 21
If it is not a metal brush, wrap it in some kitchen paper towel and put it in the microwave!
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Lindahl View Post

My brushes seem to be getting clogged with wax. How do you clean them out? Or do you just replace them? How do you know when its time to replace a brush?


Don't brush warm wax for one thing.  Look at the very start of this video.  

 

post #5 of 21

Scraping and brushing video.

 

post #6 of 21

Best way to clean brushes is to either blow them with compressed air, or use a shop vac (household vac).

 

Brushes don't last forever, but you can still use a worn brush - it just takes longer.

post #7 of 21

@ Brian

 

A good way to recondition brushes is to pour gasoline into flat container, like a Pyrex, with a flat bottom making the depth around 80% of the length of the bristle you are trying to clean. Place the brushes bristle down and let soak for 15-30 minutes, then let the brushes air dry overnight. They should be ready for another season of use.

 

Maybe I'm stating the obvious, but please keep this cleaning project away from open flames and well within the "no-smoking section"

 

Tom

post #8 of 21
Tom, that would certainly work, but the brushes would almost permanently stink horribly of gasoline. Couldn't I scrub the bristles with a rag soaked with wax remover/base cleaner? What about quickly running boiling water over them? Would that damage whatever holds the bristles in place?
post #9 of 21

@ litterbug

 
The smell of gasoline will dissipate quickly, a few days at most, and you can even use a hair dryer to make the odor disappear quickly. If you want to eliminate odor from the process completely, you can use odorless mineral spirits instead of gasoline, but that just costs more.
 
Trying to scrub the bristles would be ineffective, clearly you can't get to all of them and boiling water will not work as many ski wax components have a melting point that it is higher than the boiling point of water.

 

Tom

post #10 of 21
Thanks! I happen to have mineral spirits lying around, so I'll just use that. I have a sensitive schnozz, so the less odor I start with, the better. I think my paranoia comes from the summer I worked as a camp counselor trainee and spent days on end in the boat shed slapping coat after coat of spar varnish on dozens of oars and paddles and then cleaning everything, including my legs and arms, witih gasoline. eek.gif
post #11 of 21

try the boiling water first.  Then if it doesn't work try the other things.   

It's not like boiling water is some unobtanium material that you can't get easily.  If you have an electric hot water kettle and a bucket, this is a no-brainer.  If you want to use tongs to hold your brush/scrapers even better.

Don't be so quick to dismiss the easiest solution until you've tried it for your specific situation.

 

 

If you are afraid boiling water is going to destroy your glue;  gasoline and those other solvents are going to be equally or more dangerous to your fragile glue. (You use these same solvents to remove adhesives and glues like from stickers)

post #12 of 21

Always vacuum out your brushes after any work.  That works well.  I must admit I have never soaked a brush in any solvent.  If your brush is really waxed up bad you might spray it with this stuff.

 

 

 

 Or soak it a bit with this stuff.    

 

 

 

If you scrape well and don't brush any wax that has not fully cooled first a vacuum works best.  You need to ask why did your brush get so waxed up in the first place?

post #13 of 21

Hmmm, what I do all the time as they're used is clean them by brushing one brush against another brush.  That gets a lot of the gunk out without resorting to liquid cleaners or heat.  After the season I use either wax remover solvent or a heat gun (depending on the brush material) to get all the wax out.  During the season I don't bother since I just keep brushing them through each other.

post #14 of 21

I use a file card as I go.

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post

If you scrape well and don't brush any wax that has not fully cooled first a vacuum works best.  You need to ask why did your brush get so waxed up in the first place?
Um, maybe because I brushed some still-very-warm base prep with my bronze brush? nonono2.gif Don't ask what I was thinking. I got the impression that the OP might have done the same kind of thing. I thought the wax would flake out as I used the brush, but it's so soft that it's still gunky in there.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by litterbug View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post

If you scrape well and don't brush any wax that has not fully cooled first a vacuum works best.  You need to ask why did your brush get so waxed up in the first place?
Um, maybe because I brushed some still-very-warm base prep with my bronze brush? nonono2.gif Don't ask what I was thinking. I got the impression that the OP might have done the same kind of thing. I thought the wax would flake out as I used the brush, but it's so soft that it's still gunky in there.


Yes, that's what happens!  I have seen video for base prep. where the guy is brushing warm wet wax.  I guess if one want's to wax up the brush, that's a good way to do it.  Anyway, not the end of the world, or the brush.  Seems there are many ways to clean them up.  Some folks will put the brush in the freezer, then whack it while it's frozen.  Try that one!   Be good!

post #17 of 21

If you do use gasoline, what do you do with the leftover gasoline?

And, gas might be cheaper elsewhere, but probably not here in CA! ;)

 

I rub my brushes together and also tamp them on the ground. I've also vacuumed then. The freezer method sounds like it could work well, though.

post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post

Yes, that's what happens!  I have seen video for base prep. where the guy is brushing warm wet wax.  I guess if one want's to wax up the brush, that's a good way to do it.  Anyway, not the end of the world, or the brush.  Seems there are many ways to clean them up.  Some folks will put the brush in the freezer, then whack it while it's frozen.  Try that one!   Be good!
I'd swear that something somewhere said to brush the wax when it was still warm, but it's more likely that it said to scrape while warm (which would be correct), but maybe I simply felt like brushing? rolleyes.gif Anyway, I think the base prep left in there is too fine & sticky to flake off, but I'm sticking the brush in the freezer anyway. Can't hurt!
Quote:
Originally Posted by contesstant View Post

If you do use gasoline, what do you do with the leftover gasoline?
And, gas might be cheaper elsewhere, but probably not here in CA! wink.gif

I rub my brushes together and also tamp them on the ground. I've also vacuumed then. The freezer method sounds like it could work well, though.
There is that, isn't there! I usually run a scraper over the other brushes and/or rub them together, then pat them on the bench to get bits to fall out. As far as I'm concerned that's plenty; I don't need immaculate brushes.
post #19 of 21

I should have mentioned that after the guy brushed the still warm soft wax, that then he used a file brush to clean the ski brush.  The whole thing was wacky to me!  Frozen wax should break off the bristles.  Have fun.

post #20 of 21
@ contesstant
 
We are talking about $0.65 of gasoline (at California prices Emoji) or $1.10 of odorless mineral spirits, so its not going to cost much either way.
Once you are done soaking the brushes, you can pour the soaking fluid in a container and save it for future use so as not to just dump it into the ecosystem.
I use leftover gas or solvents like this to kick-start my biannual spring/fall bonfire.
 
 
Tom
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominator Tom View Post
 
@ contesstant
 
We are talking about $0.65 of gasoline (at California prices Emoji) or $1.10 of odorless mineral spirits, so its not going to cost much either way.
Once you are done soaking the brushes, you can pour the soaking fluid in a container and save it for future use so as not to just dump it into the ecosystem.
I use leftover gas or solvents like this to kick-start my biannual spring/fall bonfire.
 
 
Tom

I know, I was being totally facetious mostly because the price of gas here in CA is RIDICULOUS. :D

 

Hmmm, using it for an outdoor fire pit (not sure a bonfire would go over well in military housing!) is a great idea.

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