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Abdul Rahman Jamous

how to clean a super dirty slate?

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Hi guys! 

 

well, my slate got very dirty so I decided to clean everything by using dettol solution. The solution has created a chemical layer that lied between the surface of the whiteboard and the ink, so the ink has became permanent. 

 

I have watched some YouTube videos and the videos recommended  me to use a 90% Alcohol solution but unfortunately such a thing is not available in Saudi Arabia. I managed to get a 70% solution but it didn't work. I tried using toothpaste but it also didn't work. the final thing I tried was using a solution provided by zeiss and it just added salt to injury and made things absolutely worse. 

may you tell me how to make it usable again?  

WhatsApp Image 2020-01-19 at 18.01.11.jpeg

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You propably have already tested this. But try getting a marker and fill in the dirty parts with new "paint". Then wipe. Usually works!

 

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isopropyl alcohol usually works for permanent markers. You should be able to get 100% stuff easily because it is not suitable for consumption /is dangerous to drink so is probably not regulated in Saudi Arabia I believe. it has the additional benefit of being usually very pure unlike ethanol products which contain denaturing agents like methanol or other stuff.

acetone or toluene or xylene could work if isopropanol is not enough. these may heavily dissolve plastic so use with extreme caution. Petrol/gasoline could also work but I would not try it unless absolutely necessary.

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I certainly wouldn't use acetone, toluene or xylene. The latter two are hazardous. Acetone isn't non-hazardous, but it will have a terrible effect on the plastic. Strongly suspect alcohol (which might just be "surgical spirit" and is not drinkable) or petrol will work.

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55 minutes ago, Phil Rhodes said:

I certainly wouldn't use acetone, toluene or xylene. The latter two are hazardous. Acetone isn't non-hazardous, but it will have a terrible effect on the plastic. Strongly suspect alcohol (which might just be "surgical spirit" and is not drinkable) or petrol will work.

I thought that the problem was having some kind of coating layer which has formed on top of the original ink and cannot be dissolved with simple ethanol. Seems to be that the problem is that black spot which needs to be get rid of to make the slate clearly readable again. So the best approach is to just test other solvents from mildest to strongest until some of them works. A little bit of dissolved plastic would probably be tolerated if the black spot goes away :) 

Every chemical can be handled with proper safety measures. In case of this type of bentzene derivatives it should be enough to have a respirator and protective clothing including proper rubber gloves. Petrol contains bentzene derivatives too and would be bad to get on skin or to breathe the fumes.

Acetone is milder and isopropanol among the mildest there is which is why it would be best to try it first and if it does not work, then acetone very carefully applied to limit the surface damage.

One possibility would be to use very fine sandpaper to take the surface layer away to get to the black color layer and then remove the color with isopropanol

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Every AC here uses TF90 (Inhibisol Cleaning Solvent)

I'd avoid using anything as harsh as acetone or sand paper.

That also looks like a fairly low quality board, the acetate might have already broken down making cleaning almost impossible. Pretty common with boards from amazon.

I understand it can be tricky to source higher quality boards at a reasonable price point but my board cost me £60 and has lasted 5 years so far and will last another 5 easily. Even if the board breaks the resin sticks will be going strong. Before that I'd go through an amazon board every 4 to 6 months.

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Much as I'm aware of the fashion factor in film and TV equipment, I'm bound to point out that acrylic or polycarbonate sheet is not an exotic material and there is unlikely to be any detectable offset in surface quality between the cheapest and the most expensive.

If the surface becomes rough for any reason it will become harder to clean and that may happen with use, but the idea that paying more for a piece of plastic sheet is likely to yield any detectable dividend is fanciful in the extreme.

P

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Absolutely true Phil, the problem often lies with lower quality boards not using polycarbonate or acrylic but a lower grade plastic with a coating, which degrades fairly quickly. They are often also quite thin pieces of plastic so are more likely to snap (as many of mine did). The right material should be no more than £5 raw, getting them engraved and painted is what usually costs the money.

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That plain, unmarked/unetched board in the photo could just be replaced.  I mean just cut a new acrylic piece and drill some holes.

Cheapest way to get small pieces of acrylic is to visit someone using the material, like someone building shop displays, signs....they will be throwing out pieces this size.

Edited by Gregg MacPherson
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We had the same problem with our slates.
Once someone tried to clean it with acetone and it ruined the whole thing but I figured a better way. The one that has been mentioned above filling in everything with another marker and then wipe it off again.

But I do agree that it's probably the cheap ones that are problematic. I've never had this happen with a better one.

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On 1/23/2020 at 3:04 PM, Chris Steel said:

Every AC here uses TF90 (Inhibisol Cleaning Solvent)

I'd avoid using anything as harsh as acetone or sand paper.

That also looks like a fairly low quality board, the acetate might have already broken down making cleaning almost impossible. Pretty common with boards from amazon.

I understand it can be tricky to source higher quality boards at a reasonable price point but my board cost me £60 and has lasted 5 years so far and will last another 5 easily. Even if the board breaks the resin sticks will be going strong. Before that I'd go through an amazon board every 4 to 6 months.

You are absolutely right. 

 

After the disaster, the 1st AC handed me a high quality slate and I absolutely fell in love with it. The slate was very convenient to use and it was very easy to clean. hopefully he will allow me to use for the next projects.

 

But still, may you tell me the brand and the model of the slate you use?  

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On 1/24/2020 at 12:27 AM, Gregg MacPherson said:

That plain, unmarked/unetched board in the photo could just be replaced.  I mean just cut a new acrylic piece and drill some holes.

Cheapest way to get small pieces of acrylic is to visit someone using the material, like someone building shop displays, signs....they will be throwing out pieces this size.

Brilliant!

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