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Removing Kiln Wash

from the Kiln Shelf

Although it's not as hard to remove as kiln wash that's been fired onto the underside of a piece of glass, removing baked on kiln wash from the kiln shelf can be difficult and time consuming.

Here are a few suggestions to make the task go easier.

1.  Use a paint scraper, wet/dry sandpaper, open-weave sandpaper, or even a scrap piece of glass to clean the shelf.  This works best if you clean the shelves often or after every firing.

2.  An electric sander works very well for cleaning more stubborn problems.  Try a small hand sander or even a larger belt sander. A 60 grit sanding pad of either aluminum oxide or silicon carbide will remove the kiln wash quickest, but regular medium grit sand paper can work also.

3.  Consider switching to a kiln wash formula made for easier removal. Try Hotline's Primo Primer or the 80% alumina hydrate / 20% kaolin recipe on this page.  These can usually be removed with a damp paper towel and a minimum (sometimes none) of scrubbing.

4.  For really stubborn jobs, immerse the kiln shelf in water for a couple of days. The kiln wash will come off fairly easily with a paint scraper.

And remember, it's a good idea to wear a respirator or mask when cleaning shelf primer from your kilns.  While the dust is nuisance dust (rather than more toxic), it can be irritating if inhaled.

Click here for some tips on dealing with dust when you remove kiln wash from the shelf.

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Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

Most of these tips came from posters on the Warm Glass bulletin board. 

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Four Corners International, Inc.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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