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Simple Green 1st stage cleaing works great

A few months ago, there was a discussion re: using cleaners other than IPA to extend the life of IPA. “Simple Green” was suggested as it’s cheap and readily available. I bought a 2.5 gallon jug from Home Depot for $19 and change, including delivery, and poured it in 1 of the FL post-printing containers. This stuff works great! As you can see from the photo, Grey Pro “sludge” accumulates at the bottom and the slight greenish tint in the 2nd container with 99% used IPA from the Form Wash captures a little more. The Form Wash IPA lasts much longer by using the SG in the 1st stage. I highly recommend this.

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Forgot to attach pic in previous post.

The only thing I would worry about and I would caution people on is …ll.what is your disposal practices for this? At least with IPA you can leave it out in the sun evaporate it out and then throw away the purely cured plastic from the sun! I don’t believe simple green will evaporate the same way… ?

I drain Simple Green into another container, scrape out the resin and spread it out on cardboard to cure in the sun, then toss in trash when it’s hard. Wipe the residue from the original container, let it cure in the sun, and refill with SG. Simple Green doesn’t hold resin in solution like IPA. I’ve used the same SG for several months and it seems to be just as strong as first.

PIty Simple Green is soooo expensive over here in the UK - £85 (about $115) for the same 2.5USG bottle, or would have liked to give it a try myself!

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Yes, that’s pricey but since it lasts so long, can be reused because the resin doesn’t saturate the solution, and it lengthens the FormWash IPA at least 3x, it might be worthwhile to get a gallon of it. I still have about half of the 2.5 gallon jug left after first opening it a year ago. It does an amazing job cleaning off the gooey Grey Pro resin and even better job cleaning Clear resin because that viscosity is much less.

You should be able to find the equivalent degreaser in the UK. Maybe it isn’t called simple green, but there are more than a handful essentially-equivalent degreasers available at various home improvement stores here in North America.

just to be clear…this isn’t made to be put in form-wash…correct? but used as a pre rinse in a separate container … ?
since simple green doesn’t evaporate …i still dont know what your doing about disposal…sure you can filter it but how are you separating the sludge that fell out of suspension?

Correct … it is a 1st stage wash after printing. Does not go in Form Wash. The sludge is so heavy that it settles to the bottom and doesn’t stay in solution like resin in IPA. I strain the Simple Green thru 2 layers of paper towels over a strainer into another container, then scrape the sludge onto a sheet of cardboard and set in the sun to harden. The paper towels capture particles and those also put in the sun. Sifted SG is reused. There is no uncured resin going in the trash.

does the sludge actually harden abd cure? i would think the simple green wouldn’t evaporate in the sludge mixture

The sludge hardens in the sun if spread out in thin layers. Since it’s a sludge coming out of the SG container, it’s self-leveling on a large sheet of cardboard and the sun cures it thoroughly. SG residue on the paper towels evaporates, leaving the GreyPro resin captures in those to harden, too. Everything that goes in the trash is hard/cured.

Does the Simple Green actually help dissolve/loosen the resin or is it more an act of mechanically removing it?

I’m trying to work out if a solution with Fairy Liquid would do the same thing or whether SG has something special - maybe will have to try some experiments :wink:

The SG acts like a normal cleaner that loosens the excess resin where if falls to the bottom of the bucket.

I use FormLabs’ post processing 2-bucket stand. SG is in lefthand bucket with printed parts resting on the lift-out perforated tray. Parts stay in SG overnight to get a good soak. After draining those parts, drain off excess SG then transfer parts to the righthand bucket with tweezers where used 99% IPA from the Form3 printer cleans off some of the residue left from the SG bath. I remove supports between buckets to keep the first IPA bath as clean as possible. After a quick swish in that tank, just a few seconds, the parts go into FormWash for 10 minutes.

I’ve read that “MEAN GREEN” may also work like Simple Green but, since SG is cheap here in the US and it works, I don’t plan on testing something different,

I discovered the use of SG sometime last summer (july of 21) , and I gotta say using it in the ultrasonic bath works flawlessly. Just be certain to clean it out regularly, easily extends the lifespan of the IPA by almost double in my usage.

Which exact product was that? I see that SG has a lot of products, like all purpose cleaner, yellow degreaser etc. How much do you dilute it, since this is concentrated?

This is what I use right from the jug, no dilution. I bought this for about $20 at Home Depot last December. Still have about half of previous 2.5gallon jug that I bought a few months earlier. Since the resin falls out of solution, I pour SG thru 2 layers of paper towels in a strainer and re-use. The sludge is spread out on cardboard in the sun to evaporate cleaner and UV-cure resin, then tossed in trash once hard.

RD-lab: is IPA still needed after an SG bath in your ultrasonic cleaner or can water be used in the FormWash instead of IPA? What is your ultrasonic tank maker and item number (I’m interested in replacing a soaking SG bath with a mechanically active option like yours).

water won’t work, you still need to use either TPM or IPA.
I tried the soaking method, and had no luck with it, the ultrasonic tank was an idea I had stumbled across on youtube

  • use simple green or mean green … 4 parts green, to 1 part water is what I use.

it is more an act of mechanically removing it.
Simple / Mean Green doesn’t actually dissolve anything, which is why it can be re-used

How long are you letting them soak in simple green? I am very tempted to try this out!