cleaning epoxy pumps

Well it is getting too cold for epoxy at my unheated unelectrified building site.  I have a little work left to do (98% of construction is done) and will have to put it off until the weather warms up in the spring.

I have a little resin and hardener left in each container that I hope to use up in the spring.  Those jugs will be moved home to a warm spot.  However in each jug there is presently a MAS epoxy pump.  I need to remove those pumps.  

Does anyone have any thoughts on how to clean the pumps without creating a toxic mess so that I can cap the jugs and store the epoxy and the pumps for the winter ?


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RE: cleaning epoxy pumps

m.c.  , MEK or methal ethal keytone will most likely clean those parts. but if not, try pvc clear cleaner, or mineral spirits. hope that does it.  cnbuilder

RE: cleaning epoxy pumps

It is of my opinion that the cost of the chemicals, and what to do with the by product, to maybe get them clean enough to use without burbing when you use them again... I would just buy a new set of pumps.  Otherwise I would just put each of them in thier own sealed plastic bag and remove the air from them.  They should be fine.  If they do burb, then measure your mix to finish up.

RE: cleaning epoxy pumps

When I needed to change my pump from one bottle to another, when the first one was still not empty, (fast to slow hardener), I unscrewed the pump, and then slowly pumped the plunger while holding the tube over the open bottle it was in. I also set a small tub under the spout.  This allowed me to get most of the epoxy out of the pump with no loss or mess. 

Then you can put the pump into a gallon jug of white vinegar and pump until it runs clean.  The white vinegar is non-toxic, and does a nice job of cleaning up non-hardend epoxy.

RE: cleaning epoxy pumps

At the risk of answering my own question... I am sharing the method that I am going with, which was obtained from an offline source.  

Carefully remove each pump and place into a cup/can/container of denatured alcohol.  Pump alchohol through each of the resin and the hardener pumps into another container.  Thoroughly mix the two sources to get any hardener and resin together.  After the epoxy cures you get harmless plastic that can go in the trash.

I'm glad not to throw away the pumps which I had been tempted to do (relatively inexpensive to replace).  I'm also glad not to have to dispose of any particularly nasty chemicals.  I even get to use up that container of denatured alcohol which now doesn't have to sit around all winter either.

I did think hard about the vinegar suggestion.  If I end up with a sludge of noncuring epoxy at the end, then I will break out that gallon of vinegar I bought just for epoxy emergencies.

Thanks to all!

RE: cleaning epoxy pumps

Thanks for passing along the tip, m.c.


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