Syringes can be used to help epoxy resin reach the deep and far corners of a mold. They help you get epoxy resin into every nook and cranny, resulting in a better product. But just like any other tool, they’ll need to be cleaned before reuse.
So, how do you clean syringes used for epoxy resin? To clean syringes used for epoxy resin, the best way is to clean it before it cures. Use acetone or isopropyl alcohol to dissolve the resin, wash with warm soapy water, then rinse and leave to dry.
Although it may seem too complicated to fully clean a syringe after using it with epoxy resin, it can be done in just a quick few minutes! Cleaning your syringes will help you reuse them and save money in the long run.
How To Clean Uncured Epoxy Resin From A Syringe
The best method for cleaning epoxy resin from a craft syringe is to do it while the epoxy resin is still in its liquid form, before it cures.
To get started, you’ll need to gather a few supplies:
It’s important to always wear gloves when dealing with epoxy resin. Even if your hands aren’t going to touch the resin, you’ll want to protect them in case of accidental touch, or in case of contact with the isopropyl alcohol or acetone.
Once you’ve got gloves on, you’re ready to begin!
- Push plunger all the way down to get out as much epoxy resin from the syringe as possible. Try pulling it up and pushing it down a few times to get it all out.
- Pull out the plunger completely and using either a gloved finger or a rolled up paper towel, wipe around the inside of the syringe cylinder to try and clear out any remaining resin.
- Replace the plunger. Pour some acetone or isopropyl alcohol into one of the disposable cups. Put the tip of the syringe into the acetone or alcohol and pull it up into the syringe, filling the syringe. Allow this to sit for around 30 seconds. This will ensure the alcohol or acetone has time to work on the resin and dissolve it.
- Once 30 seconds have passed, push the alcohol or acetone back into the cup. Repeat this process two or three times to try and flush out as much of the epoxy resin as possible.
- Fill a disposable cup with warm, soapy water. Dip the syringe tip into the soapy water and pull up on the plunger to fill the syringe with soapy water. Push it all back out into the cup. Repeat this process two or three times.
- Fill a disposable cup with warm water that doesn’t have any soap in it. Do a final rinse of your syringe by filling it up with this clean water and pushing it back out.
- When the syringe has been rinsed a couple times, pull out the plunger and lay both parts out to dry on a plastic surface.
Although this may seem like a lot of steps, if you have all your supplies ready before you begin, you can knock the whole process out in about five minutes.
Syringes don’t come cheap, and if you’re someone that uses them frequently with your resin, it will be well worth the time to clean them routinely and get 5-10 uses out of them before you have to replace them.
Be aware that the acetone or isopropyl alcohol may damage the rubber on the plunger, so keep an eye on the state of the rubber. Make sure the syringe is in good working order before using again.
Also be sure that the syringe and plunger have both dried completely before use. Having any remaining water on them when you use them with epoxy resin can damage the resin and affect your application.
How To Clean Cured Epoxy Resin From A Syringe
Since epoxy resin doesn’t stick to a plastic surface, it can sometimes be easier to just wait for it to cure and scrape it off. This is often the best method for cleaning other epoxy resin tools.
If you’d rather wait for the resin to cure before cleaning your syringes, you’re going to need to grab your disposable gloves, paper towels, and a pair of metal tweezers.
- As soon as you’ve finished using the syringe with epoxy resin, try to empty out as much of it as you can. Pull up on the plunger and push it down all the way to push out as much resin from the syringe as will come out.
- Wipe off the tip with a paper towel.
- Stand the syringe upright with the tip in the air and the plunger on a plastic surface. Leave it like this overnight to allow the resin to cure.
- In the morning once the resin has cured, you can try to remove it in one of two ways. First, you can try to remove the resin with the tweezers. Stick them into the syringe tip to loosen it and pull it out.
- The second option is to pull the plunger all the way to the end of the syringe, creating a vacuum of air inside the syringe. With the tip of your metal tweezers, poke a hole into the resin. This will allow air flow that will sick the resin into the vacuum of the syringe. From there, you can take out the plunger and pull out the resin piece with your tweezers.
- If there is any remaining resin around the inside of the syringe, you can flake it off with the tweezers or another utensil such as a thin popsicle stick or just your fingers.
If done correctly, this method can extend the life of your syringes to 5-10 uses, just like the method of cleaning them before the resin cures.
Either way, you’ll be getting much more use out of your syringes to keep them working well throughout multiple projects.
Tips And Tricks For Cleaning A Syringe Used For Epoxy Resin
The number one thing to remember when cleaning a syringe that’s been used for epoxy resin is to keep it upright when you’re done.
Whether you’re allowing the epoxy resin to cure overnight or cleaning the syringe before it cures, it’s best to leave the syringes standing upright on their plungers at all times.
This will help keep your syringe tips from becoming clogged with leftover resin, alcohol, water, or any other substance that may collect there.
It’s also important to remember to always wear gloves during the process. Whether you’re handling cured or uncured resin, it’s best to keep gloves on at all times while cleaning the syringes because uncured epoxy resin is toxic.
Gloves will protect your hands from not just the epoxy resin, but also any alcohol or acetone that may soak into and damage your skin.
If you’re going to clean your syringes before the epoxy resin has had time to cure, be sure to avoid getting uncured resin in your sink. This can cause major and very expensive plumbing issues.
Instead, use disposable cups for any washing and rinsing that needs to occur in the cleaning process. Keep the syringes on a plastic surface away from the sink.
Never try to wash your syringes in the sink. Even if you’ve rinsed the syringe with acetone or isopropyl alcohol several times, you should still do the soap washing step with a cup and not the sink.
This is to prevent any leftover resin that may still be in the syringe from getting into your sink drain and curing, creating a block in your pipes.
Finally, make sure you’re cleaning thoroughly. This may be hard to tell when working with epoxy resin, since it’s usually clear, but do your best.
A good way to clean thoroughly is by repeating some of the steps multiple times, such as the acetone rinse or the soapy water rinse. Repeating these steps helps ensure that you’re getting your syringe as clean as possible.
How To Clean Epoxy Resin Off Of Other Tools
After you’ve cleaned your syringes, you may be wondering the best way to clean up your other tools that you used for epoxy resin.
These can include things like a measuring cup, scraper, leveler, or stirrer stick. You may also need to clean up any accidental resin spill or drips that may have gone outside of your working surface.
To learn more about washing these tools, check out the video below. ArtResin does a great job of providing a step-by-step tutorial of a safe, efficient way to clean up after using epoxy resin.
This tutorial includes cleaning tools used for epoxy resin, cleaning your skin, cleaning your workspace, and disposing of any leftover epoxy resin.
Epoxy resin is a toxic substance, so it’s important to maintain proper cleaning protocols to ensure a safe working environment.