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max69vk

Paint removal - Polycarbonate & DeSolvIt -Test results

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I’ve been reading a lot of articles recently regarding removing paint from a variety of different types of shell, & have seen various options tabled with the pro’s & cons for each. 

Now my ‘go to’ product is DeSolvIt graffiti remover for my hard bodies because it has never failed me. I’ve used it on other plastics as well with great success, however whilst a lot of people say it’s worked for them, there have also been bad reviews saying it clouds lexan - Something I’ve never experienced, so I thought I’d do a test on a old body & show the results to try & settle the argument.

The shell in question is a knacked Mini shell from an M03, it’s at least 15yrs old and in an awful state (so no problem if it went wrong). The shell has been painted in the correct paint but has also been touched up with enamel (?) and God knows what else on both the inside & outside over the years, for some reason the rear window has been painted & the windows have all been badly scratched up.

The willing victim;

32369740697_ba607a178e_b.jpg33435878048_3891414f95_b.jpg

Now this was a very limited test as this stuff stinks. Always use this outside if possible as it’ll save you an ear-bending from the missus!

To start with I attacked the rear window, a very small amount was put onto a toothbrush smeared onto the area and allowed to sit for 2 minutes, after this time I used a toothbrush and very gently worked the paint till it started to lift. After 3-4 mins of scrubbing the liquid/gel was wiped off with a baby wipe & rinsed. This is the result;

33435877858_ba0486fe11_b.jpg

Now with the awful sticker removed;

47259180962_3d90e1dc56_b.jpg

Just to show there is zero clouding I took a picture of my kids artwork from 2 metres away through the cleaned rear window - Immaculately clear!

33435876268_4fc457cc81_b.jpg

Just for fun I thought I’d see how much more paint I could remove in 10 minutes (I actually timed this);

47259181332_220403daf5_b.jpg46588244294_e17d3a2d05_b.jpg

Again, no clouding (the smudging you see is sticker residue on the outside). 

In conclusion this stuff works very well on lexan without any damaging effect that I can see, this may change if you leave your body sat in it overnight, but if you’re doing that you’re simply not using it right! Small quantities, short soak time, & light scrubbing will give you excellent results. 

EDIT: I managed to replicate a very minor amount of the clouding some people of spoken of, there were 2 criteria to this happening though;

1. As suspected the primary cause for clouding appears to be leaving the DeSolvIt on the shell overnight to soak rather than applying & scrubbing. However....

2. The other factor seems to be that the clouding only occurred when it had desolved the paint, leading me to believe that it is actually a component of the paint re-eating into the lexan after being broken down (rather than the DeSolvIt causing damage), some was applied to a clean area of lexan & left overnight no clouding occurred.

3. The clouding was easily removed with polycarbonate cleaner, again re-conforming that the clouding is caused by paint residues from whatever it contains.

Stupidly I forgot to take pictures of the before & after (it was 5am & the kids had me awake all night) but my mini test appears to confirm the product IS safe for lexan.

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Brilliant 👍

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Good to know for the future, thanks for the experiment 👍🏻

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A useful post indeed - thanks for sharing!

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Great work! Can this be moved to the build tips section so it doesn’t get lost?

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Great work, thanks. 

Here in Aus, “desolvit” is a citrus based stain remover. Could you please post a pic of the ingredients of your desolvit to help find the local equivalent?

Cheers!!

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2 minutes ago, rjg1973 said:

Great work, thanks. 

Here in Aus, “desolvit” is a citrus based stain remover. Could you please post a pic of the ingredients of your desolvit to help find the local equivalent?

Cheers!!

yeah, we don't have that version here, I've looked for years. I have found Eco-Concepts graffiti removed at Bunnings, but haven't tried it properly.

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No good for you Aussies but i Googled it earlier and saw you can buy it in B&Q in the UK. I’m going to get some tomorrow as it happens as i need to strip paint off some wheels 👍🏻

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55 minutes ago, rjg1973 said:

Great work, thanks. 

Here in Aus, “desolvit” is a citrus based stain remover. Could you please post a pic of the ingredients of your desolvit to help find the local equivalent?

Cheers!!

It’s the same stuff! I got mine in a large bottle, but most comes in an aerosol type can - Note the first line at the top...

47321995811_6f2c0077ac_b.jpg

Also the very first line on the back as well...

47321995871_79293ffe19_b.jpg

 

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I managed to find this online about a year ago, unfortunately since then I’ve only found it in cans at B&Q.

Having said that, maybe a few people could get a group buy going! Looks like the same stuff, but rebranded (still made by Mykal);

https://www.arco.co.uk/products/3446204

 

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8 hours ago, max69vk said:

It’s the same stuff! 
 

I don't think so. Heres the MSDS for the "DeSolvIt" Australians are familiar with:
http://desolvit.com.au/MSDS - De-Solv-It ACW.pdf
and heres the MSDS for the graffiti remover:
http://pdfs.findtheneedle.co.uk/12125..pdf

The primary ingredient in the UK one which makes it work as paint stripper appears to by Glycol Ether which is absent in the Australian one.


The Aussie one is primary used for removing stubborn sticky stains, such as sticker residue, without damaging painted surfaces.

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Yeah its not the same stuff as we get in Aussie and NZ. 

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1 hour ago, nbTMM said:

I don't think so. Heres the MSDS for the "DeSolvIt" Australians are familiar with:
http://desolvit.com.au/MSDS - De-Solv-It ACW.pdf
and heres the MSDS for the graffiti remover:
http://pdfs.findtheneedle.co.uk/12125..pdf

The primary ingredient in the UK one which makes it work as paint stripper appears to by Glycol Ether which is absent in the Australian one.


The Aussie one is primary used for removing stubborn sticky stains, such as sticker residue, without damaging painted surfaces.

Interesting, It sounds like you’re getting the citrus cleaner/degreaser re-labelled as graffiti remover: https://www.mykal.co.uk/product.asp?itemCode=61023

 

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13 hours ago, max69vk said:

It’s the same stuff!

unfortunately not the same stuff, have tried and failed. It is good for removing glue and adhesive though

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2 hours ago, yogi-bear said:

unfortunately not the same stuff, have tried and failed. It is good for removing glue and adhesive though

You’re right, looking at the link I posted it appears what we get as citrus cleaner/degreaser is being labelled as graffiti remover for you guys. I’m wondering if there is an issue with the import of certain chemicals within the product? Either way it’s a bit odd you can’t get the same as us.

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17 hours ago, max69vk said:

It’s the same stuff! I got mine in a large bottle, but most comes in an aerosol type can - Note the first line at the top...

47321995811_6f2c0077ac_b.jpg

Also the very first line on the back as well...

47321995871_79293ffe19_b.jpg

 

Is it the same stuff as this?

(This is called Graffiti clean up not remover)

https://www.homecareessentials.co.uk/acatalog/De.Solv.it_Graffiti_Clean-Up_200ml.html

 

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21 minutes ago, Jason1145 said:

Is it the same stuff as this?

(This is called Graffiti clean up not remover)

https://www.homecareessentials.co.uk/acatalog/De.Solv.it_Graffiti_Clean-Up_200ml.html

 

I believe it is as that’s what they sell in B&Q - https://www.diy.com/departments/de-solv-it-graffiti-remover-aerosol-200-ml/258775_BQ.prd

 However the ‘ingredients’ listed for the can are pretty sparse on their site so we can’t compare them to the bottles (unless we can find a picture of the can itself).

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I bought a can to try out today. It was only £6 from B&Q and if it does the trick it’s well worth it. Looks to be the same stuff, just pressurised in an aerosol  

878461FA-2960-46E8-87AC-41892D7193AF.jpeg

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15 hours ago, Kevin_Mc said:

I bought a can to try out today. It was only £6 from B&Q and if it does the trick it’s well worth it. Looks to be the same stuff, just pressurised in an aerosol  

878461FA-2960-46E8-87AC-41892D7193AF.jpeg

From recollection the canned stuff is a bit thinner than the bottled stuff (obviously to get it out of the can), but after scrubbing it can be re-spread & left to sit to attack the paint quite few times before it becomes ineffective, so it does go a long way.

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That’s good to know. I wasn’t shelling out £50+ for a big tub - those days are long gone

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As a sort of comparison I did some more paint removal today but using the one product everyone seems to rave about - Tamiyas own polycarbonate cleaner. 

Now the shell in question is an M02 Abarth which for some unknown reason the previous owner decided to spray the side windows black;

40375650973_17c9692024_b.jpg

The window surrounds were masked off and a small amount of cleaner was applied to a cloth to rub the paint. The first thing to say about the Tamiya cleaner vs DeSolvit is that it needs a lot of elbow grease before it starts to attack the paint, so much so I had to be sure I didn’t over heat the shell from the rubbing! However once it’s made it’s way through an initial spot it becomes a lot easier to remove the rest;

40375650723_1f754e3379_b.jpg

So after all the paint was removed, how was the result? In a word - Shocking (& not in a good way).

The lexan clouded almost immediately and didn’t improve after a couple of extra passes to try and remove any residues, & was actually quite noticeable;

46425925955_425694c429_b.jpg

I ended up resorting to breaking out some Xerapol polish (usually saved for helicopter windscreens) to try & improve the situation, this only gave limited improvement;

33464929658_4c6d7760ed_b.jpg

Certainly nowhere near the clarity achieved with the DeSolvit! After this I did try 2 more attacks with the Xerapol which did improve things but still nowhere near the results achieved by using DeSolvIt;

46617662454_fe0fdd4dc6_b.jpg

Putting it bluntly I won’t be using the Tamiya product to remove any other paint on this shell!

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Seems like the only option for us antipodes is to post our old cars to the UK crew to clean them up for us!!

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Just been cleaning two shells today and one of them has clouded badly. This is the second time this has happened, usually it all works fine.

Like the OP says, the clouding appears to be an ingredient of the paint that persists after the rest is washed away.

The weird thing is that sometimes it comes off easily and other times it's incredibly stubborn.

FB_IMG_1554459594169.thumb.jpg.16db0ffb74ad77554f1c29ece776bd6b.jpgFB_IMG_1554459586301.thumb.jpg.711caa5b3e04e83d42362a1ceeaa2dba.jpg

I think a lot of it has to do with the particular paint used, I don't think either of my problem shells have appropriate paint on them. The hard body had gold coloured plastikote splattered over it and the lexan body I cleaned today had at least two different paints both on the inside AND outside. In both cases, the clouding would appear even if the cleaner was only applied for a few minutes.

20190405_110532.thumb.jpg.c70ded3177493c0d8cc54954799b754a.jpg

It's interesting that the OP says the polycarbonate cleaner got the residue off, I'll have to give this a try. I'm not 100% sure though whether he is referring to the really stubborn stuff or what stuff that buffs off with minimal effort.

It's pretty tough to get it off otherwise, it will scratch off with your fingernails but I had been unable to find an easy way to clear it off the entire shell. I would be here forever trying to scrub it off this lexan shell.

Just to show how much it seems to vary with type of paint, here's another shell I've just started on today, you can see it has little to no clouding in comparison:

received_264428361173606.thumb.jpeg.d2203d1f54ad1804324a61f1c58f55ee.jpeg

And here's another of my many successful attempts:

PRMurRS.thumb.jpg.cfc202c5fedff18a2849d1acb4b4acdb.jpg

I shall get some tamiya poly cleaner and report my findings.

 

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