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Using IPA as a paint stripper or good alternatives ?

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I recently picked up some 99.9% IPA to use for paint stripping.  I recall reading that it works best if diluted with some water - question what %  ?

 

I've used Phoenix Precision Stripper in the past and it works well, but it's very expensive these days.  

 

There's always the older type of brake fluid, DOT 3 or 4 can't remember which was the better, one tended to make some plastics very soft leaving perfect fingerprint imprints on the bare plastic......! 

 

Any comments appreciated.........

 

TIA

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I recently picked up some 99.9% IPA to use for paint stripping.  I recall reading that it works best if diluted with some water - question what %  ?

 

I've used Phoenix Precision Stripper in the past and it works well, but it's very expensive these days.  

 

There's always the older type of brake fluid, DOT 3 or 4 can't remember which was the better, one tended to make some plastics very soft leaving perfect fingerprint imprints on the bare plastic......! 

 

Any comments appreciated.........

 

TIA

 

I find 92-93% is good. And it can be reused.

The next most important thing is patience and an old toothbrush.

 

Cheers,

Mick

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Gogges and gloves essential. IPA is lethal if it gets into the bloodstream. I've actually stopped using it for this reason

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I also don’t dilute, have used it on Dapol and Farish models and it does a great job. Chuck ‘em in for 12ish hours and the finish falls off.

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Careful with IPA on resin bits, if left too long can begin to attack the resin and soften it a bit, I found out the hard way! 

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Gogges and gloves essential. IPA is lethal if it gets into the bloodstream. I've actually stopped using it for this reason

So what do you use instead ?

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I have used IPA in the past without gloves. Perhaps this wasn’t the best course of action but I’m still here, so the use of the word ‘lethal’ is a bit OTT. I will, however be using gloves in the future, it sounds sensible.

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I don’t buy that it’s that dangerous. It’s not nice stuff, obviously, but getting some on skin won’t do you any harm IMO. I’d avoid repeated exposure, and wash your hands thoroughly. I find it dries skin out, not surprising as it’s a very effective degreaser, but if you want something to strip paint it’s unlikely to be something that you’d be happy bathing in or drinking! I’d avoid getting any chemicals in your eyes too!

 

Edit: cross posted with forest - but we clearly agree! I’ve actually used some on a cloth on my hands to remove oil stains before FWIW.

Edited by njee20

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Try Mr Muscle oven cleaner, spray onto model and place overnight in a plastic sandwich bag to keep it from drying.

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Gogges and gloves essential. IPA is lethal if it gets into the bloodstream. I've actually stopped using it for this reason

Interesting ... Do you have evidence for this? I can only find stuff on line about ingesting, where a lethal dose is 200ml. 

 

 

Try Mr Muscle oven cleaner, spray onto model and place overnight in a plastic sandwich bag to keep it from drying.

Yes, this has become my preferred method. 

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Mr Muscle is definitely more toxic than IPA! I wonder if Lochnagar is thinking of something else. Ultimately everything is lethal if it gets into the bloodstream in sufficient quantities!

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Mr Muscle is definitely more toxic than IPA! I wonder if Lochnagar is thinking of something else. Ultimately everything is lethal if it gets into the bloodstream in sufficient quantities!

 

Including the other IPA!

 

Mike.

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Gogges and gloves essential. IPA is lethal if it gets into the bloodstream. I've actually stopped using it for this reason

 

It's not that lethal - it 's the principle active ingredient in hand sanitisers and disinfecting pads, even cosmetics which are intended for direct skin contact. It has a greater effect on the body than ethanol, but methanol is far more lethal. 

 

I'd still recommend gloves and eye protection though as it is absorbed through the skin (although relatively slowly*) and its effects can cause irritation (including rashes and skin dryness and cracking if applied excessively), and of course good ventilation as its vapour also enters the body through inhalation - a easier route into the body than through the skin. 

 

http://dmd.aspetjournals.org/content/26/3/197 (note: you may only see the abstract as it's behind an academic journal paywall)

Edited by sharris

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I looked up the toxicity of propanol. Gizmodo (not a medical-professional source, but I doubt they'd bother to lie) claim it to about 4 times as toxic as ethanol, in the sense that the lethal dose is about 4 times smaller than ethanol.

 

Put that another way, one shot-glass of the stuff would be about the same as eight of vodka. I don't think getting some on your hands is going to to give you anything like that high a dose through your skin, so I count it as pretty safe when used in a soaking bath. Just keep it well away from children and pets.

 

I would be slightly more cautious about breathing an aerosol of propanol from spraying, as I guess that it would be absorbed easily through the lungs and I don't know what concentration builds up when spraying indoors. But it's likely much, much safer than enamel thinners, white spirits, or the xylene-based stuff used to clean airbrushes.

 

PS: airbrush cleaner, like "Liquid Reamer" is also a very strong paint-stripper and acts in seconds rather than hours.

Edited by Guy Rixon

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I read (In BRM I think) that Dettol can be used as a paint stripper.

I tried it with success on some old Lima bodies & some painted WIlls kits. It needs a couple of soakings to get a fairly clean bare plastic but it does not seem to affect the plastic itself or the glue which the Wills kit was held together with.

Fairly cheap & easily available too.

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Thanks for all the replies.  Another question - I've noticed on some recent Bachmann models the adhesive used to stick the glazing in is far stronger than what was used in the past.  Will 10% diluted IPA  affect/mark the glazing if left in place  ?  I've read somewhere that if a glazed bodyshell is placed in the freezer overnight, the glazing will come out more easily ? 

Comments ........

 

TIA

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My primary usage of IPA as a stripper is on Farish coach bodies, some of which are still made of clear plastic with liveries printed on - I can confirm no issue for the plastic even if left for several days. I had one mk2 go very cloudy, and to this day I'm unsure on why. Have stripped over 100 coaches. Assuming the glazing is similar to the stuff they make the coaches from then I'd not expect any ill effects.

 

In fact I've never had any ill effects using IPA, touch wood...!

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For me it's 2 pints of a decent IPA like Thornbridge Jaipur, then use a cheap oven cleaner that contains sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) on the model. I find short applications of 30 mins followed by a rinse and reapplication if necessary. Additional IPA may be required after the model has been successfully cleaned. 

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I read (In BRM I think) that Dettol can be used as a paint stripper.

I tried it with success on some old Lima bodies & some painted WIlls kits. It needs a couple of soakings to get a fairly clean bare plastic but it does not seem to affect the plastic itself or the glue which the Wills kit was held together with.

Fairly cheap & easily available too.

I've been using Dettol for years to strip paint - has to be the original brown colour.  Fill up an old coffee jar and sit the model in it, seal over the top (I use cheap latex gloves) and leave overnight.   Scrub off with an old toothbrush but dont apply water until you've scrubbed off as much as you can as it seems to congeal the loose paint.  Wash the shell down with warm water.  Repeat as necessary, the Dettol can be used a good few times.  

 

I haven't had any reaction in 20+ years of using, across multiple makes

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I have certainly used Dettol but as teacupteacup states things can get messy during cleanup. I then moved on to IPA and prefer it. Caustic Soda has been mentioned and originally I used Caustic Soda crystals in hot water to strip paint.

 

One thing IPA seems to manage is removing Halfords' Primer which has proved very useful.

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I have certainly used Dettol but as teacupteacup states things can get messy during cleanup. I then moved on to IPA and prefer it. Caustic Soda has been mentioned and originally I used Caustic Soda crystals in hot water to strip paint.

 

One thing IPA seems to manage is removing Halfords' Primer which has proved very useful.

Ah yes its certainly messy during clean up!!!  The main reason I use it is availability, and its pretty cheap

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I have just 'discovered' Detol and I am very happy so far.  Seems to be very gentle on all medias I have tried it on (plastic, metal, insulation on wires, plunger pick-ups, plastic strip superglued to whiter metal casting).  Unfortunately this is not always the case with the so called 'gentle' strippers that are available to us in the GWN.  Only disadvantage I can see it does take time as others have mentioned.

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We use IPA at work for cleaning down Hydraulic Disc brakes both Mineral and DOT (NASTY NASTY STUFF)  after bleeding them. I always glove up and use glasses at it dries the skin out making it go white.

I ALWAYS use protection  when using it as a paint stripper to for the same reasons.  

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