Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Truth about "Simple Green"

Since I first started reading miniature painting tips online, the cleaning product "Simple Green" has been mentioned as an effective paint stripper.  Having recently found some at my local hardware store, I tried it out today.

First off, we have a very old Eldar Dark Reaper.  This fellow was veritably caked in paint.  Thick, chunky paint.  With no advance cleaning I dropped him in a small container of Simple Green.  What you see here is the same figure after soaking for about three hours.

A light brushing with a toothbrush had paint sloughing off in great chunks.  This is better than I remember metal figs that had been left in brake fluid.  Remember, this is only about three hours!

A rinse under the sink and a little more brushing, and check this out.  I was absolutely amazed.  I've tried other cleaning solutions (ammonia window cleaners, Sol-U-Mel, etc.) and nothing has performed like this.  It's as if acrylic paint killed Simple Green's family, and it is time for revenge.

Go to a hardware store and buy this stuff.  I paid $4.29 for a 24 oz. bottle, and it is worth every penny.


  1. I agree, for $5, I resurrected a $40 Daemon Prince.


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  2. Does Simple Green work on plastics models? also does anyone know where you can get it in the UK?

  3. Good question on plastics. I've dunked a poorly painted AoBR marine in the mix and I'll see how he looks in the morning.

  4. I use dettol, smells a touch funny until you repaint the model though. I managed to salvage a 1500p army from my first attempt. Problem for me is I have never in my whole life seen Simple Green. Mabye they don't sell it in Australia

  5. After a night in Simple Green, the plastic marine cleaned about as easily as the metal fig, with no visible marring of the mini after scrubbing. I will feel comfortable cleaning plastics in this stuff from now on.

  6. plastic resin all of them works

  7. I'm a big proponent of Simple Green - been talking about the stuff for years over on the RelicNews P&M Forum. It's safe, non-toxic, biodegradable, and likely harmless enough to drink (not that you would want to, but still...) - sassafras scented, too! What you ideally want is the Heavy Duty Cleaner/Degreaser and if you buy from a janitorial supply/home improvement/DIY-type store, you can get it in a 2-gallon size (or thereabouts - the last jug I bought was sized for janitorial/custodial use.)

    It works on plastic, resin, metal, Kneadatite (Green Stuff), and sculpting compounds without causing any trouble, and you can even use it to strip engines clean. You might find that it loosens glues, but I think that's just the fact that it's a good surfactant and simply gets between the bond of the glue and the material. Did I mention it's reusable? I've got a big pickle jar full of the stuff for when I need to send a bunch of figures and their friends in for a dip.

    Depending on how durable a primer you've got on a figure, you might find you need to use a pin or something similar to do a final clean out of narrow crevices - like Mike said, though, basic paint starts to slough off after a few hours soaking. I generally let figures sit overnight and then scrub 'em under running water with an old stiff toothbrush. If there's anything left over, it's easy enough to put the offenders back in for another soak and they generally come fully clean after that.

    It's got the same primary ingredient that does the work in it as Castrol Super Clean, without the nasty stripping of all the moisture out of your skin. MSDS here:

    And yes, it's available in the UK and worldwide through global partners. There's a UK website directly, though:


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