Resin printing is becoming more popular in 3D printing due to its fast printing time, print quality, and durability. As a result, accidental resin spills, which can be challenging to clean up, have become common.
To help, I have been researching the right tools and techniques to remove UV resin spills safely.
To clean up UV resin spills on the skin, wash the affected area with soap and plenty of water. This will help you remove any excess resin, which can harden if left like that. Avoid using isopropyl alcohol, acetone or similar substances since they can thin the resin and make it easier to absorb into your skin.
However, there are some other methods that are also effective. Keep reading to find out all these methods of cleaning up 3D printer resin on clothes, skin, surfaces, and more.
Safety Precautions to Take When Cleaning Up UV Resin Spills
3D printing resin can be potentially dangerous if not handled correctly. That is why you must take all the necessary precautions when cleaning up spills.
Here are some of the most important precautions you should take:
Wear Protective Clothing
They will help protect your arms and body from any resin contact.
Always Work in a Well-Ventilated Area
Resin fumes can be very toxic if inhaled. Ensure that the room you’re working in has adequate airflow.
As an extra precaution, purchase a 3M Rugged Comfort Quick Latch Reusable Respirator from Amazon to protect you from dangerous fumes. It’s easy and comfortable to wear, meaning you can use it for long periods without much discomfort.
Additionally, you can replace its cartridges and filters once they get old to keep the air fresh.
Clean Up Spills Immediately
You should always try to clean up resin spills as soon as they occur to prevent the resin from hardening. Once the resin hardens, it can become quite difficult to remove.
Also, try to keep your children and pets away from the affected area until the spill is totally removed.
Dispose of Any Contaminated Material Correctly
Uncured resin is very toxic to the environment and can kill aquatic life.
Curing the resin using sunlight or UV lamps is advisable, after which you can dispose of the material in sealed plastic bags in your trash bin. Do not pour resin down the drain or wash it off in the sink.
Here is a video explaining the necessary precautions you should take when 3D printing with resin.
Here is another video that gives general tips for containing the mess when carrying out SLA resin 3D printing.
How to Clean Up UV Resin on Skin
One of the main challenges most 3D printing enthusiasts encounter when resin printing is spills on the skin and hands. Generally, cured UV resin is harmless.
However, it is very toxic when it is still liquid. It contains chemicals that can cause irritations to the skin and eyes and are poisonous if ingested.
Additionally, resin curing is an exothermic reaction that can cause chemical burns. That is why cleaning it off your skin as soon as it spills on you is crucial.
Here is an example of a reaction caused by uncured resin.
You should also remove any clothes and shoes if they are contaminated by resin.
There are two ways you can clean resin spills off your skin: They include:
- Using soap and water
- Using baking soda and dish wash soap
Let’s take a closer look at them.
Using Soap and Water
Soap and water is a simple yet effective combination for removing resin from the skin. To clean up UV resin on the skin, take the following steps:
- Put on disposable gloves to protect your hands from the resin. Gloves like the PROMEDIX Nitrile Gloves, which you can find on Amazon, are highly recommended.
- Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from the resin – SolidWork Safety Glasses
- Wipe the area affected with clean paper towels to soak up any excessive resin.
- After that, wash the affected area with mild soap and water. This will prevent it from hardening and becoming difficult to remove.
- Finish off by rinsing it with plenty of water for at least 5 minutes.
- Dispose of any contaminated materials, such as gloves or paper towels.
You should go for something like Dawn Dishwashing Liquid Soap instead of regular hand soap. It contains more surfactants, which makes it much better at removing the resin.
One user said he spilled resin on his skin multiple times while working. To resolve the issue, he finished working and washed his hands thoroughly with dish soap and water.
As a further precaution, he stayed away from sunlight or UV light. This is because resin hardens when exposed to UV light; if it gets in your pores, you can feel irritated and itchy.
Another user commented that one of their gloves broke, and they ended up with resin on their fingers. To clean it off, they used soap and water.
However, some got on their lips since they weren’t thorough enough. They had to shower and scrub themselves again, which fixed the issue.
Someone else suggested Gloves in a Bottle, which is available on Amazon and acts as a safety net if gloves break. It acts as a skin barrier and protects against toxic chemicals.
Gloves in a bottle also hydrates the skin and prevents it from drying out after long periods under gloves.
Another user added that they use Cherry Bomb in addition to soap and water since it has pumice, which is really good at agitation. They then finished up by using soap and water afterward, and it did a great job.
A user who had accidentally spilled 3D printer resin on his skin recommended avoiding scented products when cleaning UV resin off their skin. This is because they can easily cause a reaction.
Use Baking Soda and Dishwashing Soap
Another method you can use to clean 3D printer resin off your skin is by using baking soda and dishwashing soap. Baking soda is good at absorbing resin, making it easier to remove.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
- You should first start by wearing protective disposable gloves. As I mentioned earlier, nitrile gloves will work fine.
- Soak up any excess resin from your skin with paper towels or microfiber cloths.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the affected area and rub it in with your fingers.
- Pour some liquid dish detergent onto the area and scrub it gently.
- Once you’re done, rinse the area with clean water.
- Repeat this process until all the resin is removed.
- Dispose of the contaminated paper towels or microfiber clothing accordingly.
One user who didn’t cautiously handle their Elegoo Grey 3D Printer Resin bottle said it leaked out of its sealed plastic bag and onto their fingers. They didn’t even realize it until it gave them a caustic burn.
They had to pour baking soda on their fingers and scrub it off using dish detergent to fix the issue. However, they weren’t completely sure if the leak came from the bottle or some unmixed powder chemical from the factory.
Either way, they started to take preventive measures such as wearing gloves when operating their resin 3D printer and handling resin bottles.
As an added point, you should always look up your particular resin’s MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet). Once you find it, follow its instructions to clean up spilled resin.
Avoid Using Isopropyl Alcohol, Acetone, or any Similar Solvent
Avoid using isopropyl alcohol, acetone, hand sanitizer, or any similar solvent to clean resin off your skin. Although several users state that they use these solvents to get resin off their skin, they usually risk escalating the problem.
This is because these solvents dissolve the resin. This makes it easier for the skin to absorb it and can result in allergies.
One user who had been SLA printing for nearly five years advised against using IPA to clean up resin spills on your skin. He explained that IPA dissolves resin particles into smaller molecules, making it easier to dissolve into the skin.
Additionally, he said that you should never use hand sanitizer (which also contains alcohol)and instead go for soap and water. You can follow the procedure I outlined before.
Another user commented that you should avoid acetone as it might dry out the skin’s natural barrier, making you susceptible to allergic dermatitis. They instead recommended a good, soapy hand wash.
How to Get UV Resin Out of Clothes
Another challenge you will face regarding SLA 3D printing is resin accidentally spilling on your clothes.
If you spill 3D printer resin on your clothes, it is important to remove it quickly. This will prevent it from permanently damaging your clothes or seeping into the skin and causing irritation.
Here are some ways to remove 3D printer resin from your clothes.
Using Isopropyl Alcohol
You can get rid of 3D printer resin on clothes by using isopropyl alcohol. However, this method is suitable when the resin in question is small.
Here’s how to do it:
- Remove the contaminated clothes as soon as possible.
- Like every other method I have mentioned, you must first wear gloves and other protective clothing, such as aprons. Use nitrile gloves, as they are resistant to chemicals.
- Soak the stained area in isopropyl alcohol or rub some into the affected area using a cotton ball.
- Scrub the affected area with a soft brush until the resin is removed.
- Finally, hand-wash the clothes using warm water and a detergent like Dawn Dish Liquid. Do not throw them in the washing machine, as you risk contaminating it with toxic resin.
- For the same reason, do not wash resin-stained clothes with your other clothes. Wash them separately.
- After that, put them out in the sun so any resin left cures.
One user who had spilled a single drop of water-washable resin on their clothes wanted to know how to get it out. Another user recommended soaking the stain in isopropyl alcohol.
Your clothes may get discolored by IPA during this process. After this, you can wash it using soap and water while ensuring that you don’t put raw resin down the drain.
Someone also added that cleaning out your clothes immediately is advisable to ensure that the resin doesn’t get cured into the fibers because that will be irreversible.
Another user was inquiring whether he could just throw his clothes in the washing machine if they spilled resin on them. The general consensus was that he needed to immediately rinse the affected area with alcohol and hand-wash the clothing separately.
He was also advised to avoid cleaning the stained clothing in the washing machine to avoid contaminating it. They also needed to purchase a lab coat when working with resin in the future.
However, if a large amount of 3D printer resin spills on your clothes, you should get rid of them. You can leave them out in the sun to cure and then throw them away.
This is because it may take more work to get all the resin out. It also helps to avoid contaminating your other clothes or the washing machine.
How to Clean Up UV Resin Spills
Many users experience UV resin spills when 3D printing. This could damage the printer’s screen or other surfaces if not cleaned up promptly. I will look at some ways you can clean up resin spills on various surfaces.
Cleaning Resin Spills on a Carpet Using IPA and UV Light
The procedure for cleaning resin spills on a carpet is very straightforward:
- Put on some safety gear to protect you in case resin splatters on you while you’re cleaning it off. These include nitrile gloves, an apron, a respirator, safety goggles, and a long-sleeve top.
- Alternatively, instead of a long-sleeve shirt, you can get the Somotersea Chemical Resistant Industrial Apron and Sleeves. It is effective in preventing resin spills on your hands and body.
- Use paper towels to soak up as much uncured resin as you can. This will prevent it from spreading any further.
- Dip a clean cloth or paper towel into isopropyl alcohol and gently press it into the affected area to work the alcohol into the resin.
- Use clean paper towels or a clean cloth to soak the alcohol and the dissolved resin.
- Repeat this process until all the resin comes off.
- Rinse the carpet with water. If it is removable, put it in the sun or use a UV lamp to cure any remaining residue.
- Dispose of soaked-up paper towels properly by curing them with a UV lamp or sunlight and throwing them in the garbage bin.
One user inquired whether cleaning a resin-stained carpet with soapy water and paper towels would help eliminate potential risks.
A user said they would need to blot the affected area with paper towels soaked in alcohol to remove all the resin. If that didn’t remove all the resin, they could use a UV flashlight or get the carpet into direct sunlight to cure the resin.
This would help to solidify the resin and make it easier to remove. However, removing it might ruin the carpet.
So, it might be necessary to cut off the affected area of the carpet, dispose of it, and replace it with a matching one.
Cleaning Resin Spills on the Printer Screen
It is common for resin to spill and leak onto the printer’s screen. In some cases, the resin may cure, thus obstructing the UV light.
The effective method for cleaning resin spills on the screen is:
Using IPA or Acetone and a Plastic Scraper
You can clean off UV resin spills from the screen using IPA and a plastic razor by following this process:
- As usual, wear all the protective gear I have mentioned before in the article.
- Soak some paper towels or a clean cloth in IPA or Acetone and gently place them over the resin spill on the screen.
- After leaving it on the screen for approximately 15-20 minutes, the resin should have softened.
- Scrape off the resin gently using a plastic razor like the Foshio Plastic Razor Blade Scraper scraping tool, which you can find on Amazon. The plastic blade won’t damage your LCD like a metal one.
- Clean off the screen using a set of clean paper towels to remove any residue.
- Dispose of the used paper towels or cloths properly by laying them out in the sun until the solvents evaporate and the resin cures. Next, dispose of them in an outside trash container.
One user spilled too much resin onto their Anycubic Photon Mono printer, which leaked onto the screen and solidified.
Someone mentioned that they needed to soften the spill by placing a microfiber cloth soaked in warm water on the screen, followed by a microfiber cloth soaked in IPA. Once the resin had softened, they needed to use a plastic scraper to peel off the resin bit by bit.
Another user who had resin spills that had solidified on his resin tank said that they used Acetone, and it worked perfectly for them.
They started by bathing some paper towels in acetone, placing them on the affected area, and wrapping them in some plastic film for 50 minutes. Once the resin softened, they scraped all of it off, and the screen looked like new.
This video by Uncle Jessy illustrates how you can use IPA and a plastic razor to get resin spills off surfaces.
If you’re working with UV resin, you’ll need to know that spills are pretty much unavoidable. However, if you use the cleaning tips and techniques above, you should make short work of them.