Cleaning resin 3d prints with Acetone – Due to COVID-19 and Isopropyl Alochol nowhere to be found

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With IPA nowhere to be found due to COVID, I’ve turned to Acetone to clean prints. Check out my thoughts, and safety tips!

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Phrozen Sonic mini
Epax X1
Anycubic Photon
Lotmaxx CH-10:
Longer Orange 30

For terrain I use:
Ender 3
Lotmaxx SC-10

My go to resins:
Epax Water Washable
Elegoo ABS like resin
Siraya Tenacious resin
Esun Water Washable
Elegoo Gray
Siraya Fast
Siraya Tenacious
Siraya Blu


Source: https://cyrrion.com
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45 Comments
  1. Zoku Banniganz says

    I’ve never had any of the issues you mention with acetone even after dunking my bare hands into it several times before I knew it was a hazard. I think you definitely need a respirator and gloves and a well ventilated area but I don’t think you’ll just drop dead if you get a good whiff from across the room. Also I believe I saw a video where acetone was applied to FEP film and it was not affected.

  2. Jakewolfe51 says

    I've only been printing for about a month so IPA was never available. Been using denatured with the good ole pickle strainer (too cheap to buy a station) and it's been working great.

  3. Paul Dominguez Gutierrez says

    Since it evaporates so easily, distill it after washing. With some glassware from eBay, acetone can be distilled leaving behind the resin and collecting the cleaned acetone

  4. t S says

    Could you please do a video on the support you use for your FDM printer I've looked at other Youtubers videos on that for miniatures and I just don't like the supports that come off when I use their settings.

  5. 3D Punk says

    I've done quite a lot of testing on different solvents for cleaning resin prints as well as PLA prints. IPA, Denatured alcohol, acetone, MEK, even toluene and some other nasty industrial cleaners and degreasers. What I've found is that as long as you don't need to keep any structural integrity and you go fast, acetone is a perfectly fine cleaner and works much faster than IPA. I prefer acetone for cleaning just about everything and anywhere I would use 99% IPA I now use denatured alcohol instead.

  6. Phil Nolan says

    I heard good things about Mean Green so I went looking for that at Lowes and couldn't find it even though 2 employees said it was in stock nobody could find it. So I got Simple Green. It seems to work pretty well though the prints are still shiny when cured.

  7. John Lis says

    I have found methyl hydrate works very well. There is very low odour, and the blue gloves don’t melt. It is very toxic if it gets on you, just like the resin but it cleans amazingly. It is very flammable too so be careful.

  8. inkjunkie 101 says

    It won't harm the FEP film I clean my FEP and vat all the time with it.

  9. inkjunkie 101 says

    I've been using acetone for quit awhile now and 100% acetone will melt your gloves but if you add water to it say like a 60/40 it won't melt your gloves and cleans just as good. Also nail polish remover isn't acetone but contains some acetone in it. Nail polish remover will not melt your gloves like 100% acetone will.

  10. Travis Needham says

    You should get sciency!! I am very interested in the science stuff 🙂

  11. Abraka Dabra says

    Aaauuuuch! Acetone does dissolve ABS, Plexiglas, Acrylite, and all methacrylate-based plastics. Since the majority of all 3D-printing resins are based on methacrylates that could spell disaster for your prints! Basically, they get dissolved quite quickly. Acetone should not hurt your FEP film as it is made from Teflon and some PET or PP. But it might get "cloudy".Although… the models after the "donking" should be sticky! Aren't they???

  12. Victor Laster says

    What about denatured alcohol that you can get at any Lowe's or Home Depot. I've been using that for a week now. Seems to work absolutely amazing.

  13. James Shields says

    Have you tried methylated spirits (denatured alcohol in the US)? I've been using as I can't get IPA at present. In my experience it works just as well as IPA, but costs a fraction as much. I'd be very interested in a comparison video.

  14. ashbury137 says

    Do you have a discord or anything set-up (or does anyone in the comments for that matter)??? I'd love to talk shop regarding 3d printing minis. I just recently got the Anycubic Photon and have yet to try out any minis. Being able to pick the brains of some experienced mini printers would be great. Edit: Thank you so much for your content, it's been a big help with getting me started printing in general.

  15. Kneecapper says

    At least in a few more years, when you have the dentures you mention, you will be able to use dental resin to print your own, plus special ones for trick or treat nights ;)Great content as usual- thanks.

  16. Tha Nerd Life says

    I’ve switched exclusively to acetone now. Cleans quick and it lasts forever

  17. Carsen Heit says

    Love your posters!

  18. Darren Tarbard says

    Acetone is commonly used as nail polish remover, it's not that dangerous in small doses. Thanks for the video though I will have to start using acetone too.

  19. Mad Kiefer says

    For hobbyist certainly okay. For someone who prints 20-40 items at the same time, tedious since you cannot leave them in Aceton for long.I wash my stuff in a "bucket" and stir it for 30 to 45 seconds, using bioethanol. Perfect for cleaning. I let them air dry afterwards on paper towels. Comes out great!I found bio ethanol to be better than IPA. I've tried window shield cleaner and wasn't impressed. I've yet to try Meister Proper (Mr. Clean) with Ultra Sonic, but I doubt it's any good.Aceton, while I understand the option, is not going to be in my household for the reason that it IS more volatile then the above – I also understand why you and others turn to it, of course. :)So, good content, while not for everyone.Also! Please note that these videos may not fit some countries with stronger regulations. Germany, for example.

  20. hmx says

    Acetone isn't that bad if you treat it with respect as you should with any chemical. Acetone will degrade nitrile gloves but unless you are using exceptionally thin gloves, it should last long enough to remove prints from a bath. I've used acetone for years, maybe a decade now and standard issue in most chem labs is nitrile, 5 mil I believe. Acetone shouldn't do anything to FEP, Teflon or most other fluorinated polymer. When in doubt, check chemical compatibility charts for the polymer of interest. It may smell bad, but the bigest danger from acetone vapors are unsuspected ignition sources or absent-minded lab techs dumping strong oxidizers into a carboy of it. Both can end with a boom, not much fun. And it loves water, will disolve the oil on your skin and long-term exposure can lead to skin issues.That being said, it is a great solvent. If you use a secondary container, metal or glass are best followed by HDPE. Over time, it will dissolve the HDPE just like it does nitrile gloves so I would stick with glass(beakers in my case) or metal bain maries. Get yourself a nice metal strainer, dunk in acetone to remove the majority of the lose uncured resin and then scrub it in something else. Household cleaners are a great choice. And please, let the acetone fully evaporate if you plan to rinse the model under a faucet as it can be detrimental to aquatic life. If you need to get rid of acetone, allow it to evaporate or bottle it up and take it to a local chem disposal site.Extra-credit: Do not store acetone with oxidizers such as drain cleaners based on sulfuric acid or hydrogen peroxide. There are a lot of others that I know I am missing, but those are the two that come to mind and are readily available for people to purchase.

  21. Yanick Godard says

    Nice, I asked for a guide in a post on facebook and here it is. Greg, you are the man. Thanks.

  22. ArtSurroundsYouAll says

    Ultrasonic bath with fairy platinum works fantastic, no harmful chemicals, no bad odours, no dangerous waste poured down the sink and a great finish to the resin print.

  23. dethmonky3193 says

    Metal tongs and you won't need any gloves.

  24. Aaron Smith says

    It's mostly safe, don't be scurred. Girls use this all the time on their nails.

  25. printer modeler says

    No matter what I do I always have shiny spots in all the nook and crannies. I dunk it in a pickle strainer with mean green, pull it out and then use spray away on the model and scrub with a paint brush, rinse it off with water and put in a ultrasonic cleaner with heated mean green for 10 minutes. Still had those shiny spots so now I just put it in the ultrasonic for 10 minutes and say screw it. Anybody else have success stories with acetone. Judging from the video it seems so much easier. Just dunk it in there, brush a little, swish in there again and you're good to go. And its easier to get rid of too. Anyway if this really works that well I'm going to hate the fact that I wasted money on that ultrasonic cleaner

  26. printer modeler says

    So is that a little plastic sandwich container. Won't the acetone eat through that?

  27. SamBalducci says

    Denatured Alcohol, Mean Green, LA Awesome are all available so I do not see the point of using Acetone with all the downsides

  28. Ernesto Cabello says

    I've been using simple green. Works great. Acetone is too nasty imho. Works but not necessary

  29. Nathan Webster says

    I use Methylated spirit, works very well but it does seem to dry a print out quicker than IPA so I limit how long it stays in the spirit to avoid cracking. 30-90 seconds is sufficient

  30. Alan Chapman says

    acetone will dissolve acrylic. It is used to assemble acrylic parts. Only put in in polypropylene containers. It will also dissolve superglue.

  31. Joe Caiozzo says

    Ill get sciencey. I am a chemist by degree, education, and profession. Use acetone in a well ventilated area, away from flame, and with eye and hand protection. This is the exact same recommendation for most household solvents. Acetone actually poses little to no health hazards with typical exposure. Too much misinformation about toxicity of the chemicals used in 3D printing. It is a major disservice to the hobby. Also, acetone and MEK will destroy most plastics. Denatured alcohol works very well and wont damage plastic. I totally respect your contributions to the 3D printing community’s and highly value your content.

  32. Chuck Lamb says

    As a Chemist I would NOT use Acetone. It sucks the oil out of you skin. You need to use proper PE.Watch videos from Uncle Jessy for alternatives to IPA. Again stay away from Acetone!

  33. Aaron Bono says

    What about using tweezers or tongs so you don't have to get your fingers into the acetone?

  34. Tony Wharton says

    A good quality windshield washer is perfect for cleaning resin.

  35. Joshua Lev says

    I actually use LA’s awesome cleaner when I first started, and I just had to leave it in the solution longer. Then after removing supports washed it with warm soapy water and it cleaned up nicely a few nubs were left but they cleaned off nicely with his settings.

  36. qwerty2008100 says

    I work in fiberglass and we use copious amounts of acetone. It is the best hand/tool cleaner for resin. I've never thought of using it for printing. Fully cured resin shouldn't be affected, but partially curred resin such as a model straight off the printer could be severely damaged by it. As far as gloves go, I never use them (I use acetone as a hand cleaner at work) when using acetone. It will dry out your skin a little, but it's usually just a minor irritation if anything. Moving on, I'll talk a little about storage. Acetone will disolve certain plastics. ABS and polystyrene will disolve immediately with contact. You can actually make a sort of glue by dissolving ABS in acetone. Polystyrene will turn into a moldable blob that will re-harden when it dries. PET will last a while longer with exposure, but will eventually begin to crack. Polypropylene will not be damaged by acetone and is the best plastic for acetone storage. Acetone will strip most paints so avoid using it on painted surfaces. Always use it in a well ventilated area because the fumes are quite strong and can cause headaches and dizziness. Do NOT get it in your eyes or mouth. It will burn like hell. I've never had and permanent damage caused, but I can tell you that it's not pleasant. Also one last thing. If using a coffee mug for acetone. Make sure to make a clear distinction between it and whatever beverage you may be drinking at the time.

  37. Henrique Portela says

    thank you greg. acetone was a gamer changer for me! i'm my city its hard to find IPA.

  38. Chancellor says

    Acetone WILL melt plastic if left in long enough….I am sorry I know how people complain about resin odor so I cant understand for the life of me why anyone would use Acetone. I understand covid has put a crunch on IPA but I am sure the same place you get Acetone you could get Denatured Alcohol and its much cheaper and not near as harsh.

  39. Hyo's World says

    I just backed Bloodfields last night. I'm glad there's not long to wait, it looks great! Nice video, I was wondering about this.

  40. Jack Summers says

    Ethyl Acetate (non acetone nailpolish remover or MEK replacement) will also work well for cleaning prints and will be less aggressive on the cured resin-though still requiring a shorter rinse.

  41. West Side says

    I use bio ethanol. beter for the environment

  42. Ravens Gate Games says

    Great information! Thanks. My first resin printer is being delivered within the next few days, so I'll be looking for materials for cleaning prints. Thanks again, mate!

  43. Jason Ptacek says

    I believe it. I used acetone vapor to smooth PLA/ABS prints and if you leave them in too long it can turn them melty. It can also cause filament discoloration if you submerge them in liquid acetone. Acetone is a very useful chemical to have around.

  44. Ed Obarowski says

    Nice alternative to IPA, but I definitely wouldn't use it on your FEP, especially with the newer vats that are not metal. Acetone will melt ABS, and an acetone vapor bath is how you smooth a FDM print made with ABS. It's nasty stuff, and you might want to make an update, or addendum to your video to wear not just a mask, but a proper mask rated for it, and in a well ventilated area. Once again, great video. Never thought to try it on resin prints but it does make sense.

  45. Dave Jezek says

    I've been using Acetone for quite a while now for the same reasons, and was always a little bit nervous that no one else had been talking about this. Thanks for the video!

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