Cleaning CA Glue off your bushings

I don’t know why this was so hard to get information on when I first started, but it was! So writing a short post dedicated to the topic.

Whether you use non-stick bushings or not, you will end up with CA glue all over your bushings — the main point of the non-stick bushings it to make it easy to get the bushings off your CA-finished pen, rather than to prevent it from fully sticking to the bushings.

Applying wax to the bushings ahead of time can help your pen separate after finishing (I use a caranuba wax, though I suspect any will work), but there’s still the question of getting the CA glue off the bushings after it builds up.

I have a bottle of pure acetone and several sets of non-stick bushings. After enough of them get enough CA built up, I just pour some acetone (same substance as in many nail polish removers) into a small bowl, dump my bushings in there, and then come back later.

Critically important warning: the acetone does not make the CA glue go away, it just temporarily dissolves it. If you fish your bushings out and just dump the acetone down your drain, the second it comes into contact with water that CA glue will turn right back into CA glue — in a stringy, big, sticky, drain-clogging mess.

I tend to fish my bushings out with a skewer, set them aside, add some water to the bowl to solidify the CA, fish it out and dump it, and then add more water to see if there’s any CA left. When I can add water to the bowl without any strings appearing, it’s safe.

I haven’t personally tried nail polish remover (I don’t use nail polish), but I suspect it will work as long as it’s acetone.

Also please read the warnings on the bottle of acetone: it’s not going to kill you, but it’s highly flammable, you don’t want it in your eyes or if you have a cut on your hands, etc.

Mercury also makes a “CA dissolver” product that I have not tried, and other manufacturers may as well.

Here’s the bottle of acetone that I bought, though there’s nothing particularly special about it: Eternal Professional Nail Polish Remover – 100% Pure Acetone

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