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So anyway, I cracked open an Etch-a-Sketch and got aluminium powder all over my desk. Can anyone help? Answered

When the top half of the case finally snapped off, a cloud of fine aluminium powder was ejected over a large area of my desk. I'd like to clean it up soon, (read: before my Dad gets back), but I can't figure out how to get it off. A light brush from a paper towel smudged it into a nice shiny streak, and blowing doesn't get near enough of the particles off. Would water help or make things worse? Anybody else have experience with this?

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thom.hemeleski
thom.hemeleski

6 years ago

We did this today- ugh what a mess. We used wet wipes to clean up, seemed to work. :)

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Chicken2209
Chicken2209

Reply 11 years ago

sorry didnt see the date, but i didnt bump *cough*domindude

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PKTraceur
PKTraceur

Reply 11 years ago

Weiss, Im surprised you didn't know that.

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Weissensteinburg
Weissensteinburg

Reply 11 years ago

Chemistry has always confused me. Too many facts to keep straight.

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PKTraceur
PKTraceur

Reply 11 years ago

Iron, of course, you know that, Nickel, think coinage, Cobalt, like the Five gum.

Those are all (ferro-)magnetic at room temp. (I)RON, (N)ICKEL, (C)OBALT,

INC

Remember, Magnetism INC.
Yay phonetic acronyms!

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Weissensteinburg
Weissensteinburg

Reply 11 years ago

Don't they use magnets to detect counterfeit coins? Are nickels even made out of nickel any more?

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tinglystix
tinglystix

Reply 14 years ago

No, aluminium is not magnetic.

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Weissensteinburg
Weissensteinburg

Reply 14 years ago

Maybe use the hose of your vacuum?

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tinglystix
tinglystix

Reply 14 years ago

Nope, I tried that. It didn't suck near enough of it up.

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Rock Soldier
Rock Soldier

11 years ago

You could probably use duct or packing tape, or give a big industrial fan.

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westfw
westfw

14 years ago

The fine aluminum powder used in etch-a-sketches (and paint) is usually coated with stearin ("waxy stuff") that keeps it from sticking to itself and stuff. As a result, it cleans up MUCH better with "soapy" water than with plain water or dry rags. The suggestion of spray cleaner is (therefore) a good one. Soap is also good for getting it off your hands. (no, I didn't break an etch-a-sketch, but I went through over a pound of "Aluminum Bronzing Powder" back in my youthful pyro days.)

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tinglystix
tinglystix

Reply 14 years ago

Wow, this is the stuff that's been de-sticky-ified? This stuff sticks to everything!

On another note: Bronzing powder? The kind that is used on skin?

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westfw
westfw

Reply 14 years ago

It doesn't stick to itself! Some of the other Al powders I have actually form big clumps. "bronzing powder" is the stuff that used to be added to (say) linseed oil to get metallic paint, or cosmetic oils for metallic skin makeup (ala the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz.) It's pretty hard to find anymore, but "when I was a lad" the local paint store had it in at least six colors, and we managed to order a pound (gallon paint can sized) mail order from the manufacturer. Nowdays they'd have to charge $20+ hazmat shipping charges, cause of all those horrendous explosions of bronzing powder shipments that happened :-)

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westfw
westfw

Reply 14 years ago

(heh. You're right. Google for "bronzing powder" and you get cosmetic "tanning" aids. Google for "Aluminum Bronzing powder" and you get copies of the Anarchist Cookbook and similar crap. Sigh. The art stores that probably have it seem to have disguised it from web searchs. "B. Powder #805", perhaps, but it's no longer reasonably priced, anyway.)

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tinglystix
tinglystix

Reply 14 years ago

Sorry, I read "that keeps it from sticking to itself and stuff" as "keeps it from sticking to itself and other things as well." Well, there's always United Nuclear. ; )

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dogsrcool2me
dogsrcool2me

Reply 14 years ago

Were can one get Aluminum Bronzing Powder?

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lemonie
lemonie

14 years ago

Something sticky, and follow up with caustic soda (aka lye) L

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tinglystix
tinglystix

Reply 14 years ago

Is that good for the desk, though? Lye's pretty rough stuff, and so I'd be worried about it stripping the desk's surface.

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lemonie
lemonie

Reply 14 years ago

Yes, lye is rough. I had hoped that you'd recognise that (and see a subtle joke). As a cheap suggestion for 'sticky', try slices of cheap-bread (that one is serious) L

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tinglystix
tinglystix

Reply 14 years ago

Doh! Didn't occur to me at all, actually, that you might be joking.

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dogsrcool2me
dogsrcool2me

Reply 14 years ago

If you use "lye"(ha ha) it will produce hydrogen. Just don't light a match(or rather do light a match ;))

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tinglystix
tinglystix

14 years ago

I think I figured it out: Use your hands! Aluminium powder loves to stick to your hands, apparently. It got most of it off, and probably would have worked better had I tried this in the beginning... So now how do I get it off my hands? :P

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HamO
HamO

14 years ago

Damp rag and spray cleaner.

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tinglystix
tinglystix

Reply 14 years ago

Spray cleaner? Don't laugh. ; )

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HamO
HamO

Reply 14 years ago

Yeah, you know like 409 or Fantastic.

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tinglystix
tinglystix

Reply 14 years ago

Are you speaking from personal experience?

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Weissensteinburg
Weissensteinburg

Reply 14 years ago

It also might work to blot with a wet paper towel, so the dust sticks to the towel. Just don't wipe.

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tinglystix
tinglystix

Reply 14 years ago

It doesn't work. If you touch it at all it instantly mushes into the tiny holes in the table's surface. I'm about ready to resign myself to my fate. Heeeyyyyy....Maybe I can just add powder to the entire surface of the table! :D

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twisted
twisted

14 years ago

Make and explosive!!!!! OOOR clean it up and throw it away. lol take a sheet of paper towel... wet it a bit. and dab it onto the powder. (ive broke an etch-a-sketch too. not very fun to clean up.)

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cornflakes
cornflakes

14 years ago

Fine metal powder may be dangerous, take a magnet and make sure your room is clean! P.S. It's an iron powder.

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dogsrcool2me
dogsrcool2me

Reply 14 years ago

No its aluminium.