How to Clean a Glass 3D Printer Bed (Ender 3)

Cleaning the glass printer bed of your 3D printer may seem like a simple thing, but it can be a lot harder than you think, and keeping a 3D printer bed clean is essential in maintaining your printer.

Glass surfaces are always difficult to clean completely, as you can leave marks and streaks of where the cleaning product has been.

Without cleansing your 3D printer bed properly, you can be left with residue that is so hard to remove, and if you do not remove it, then your 3D printer may not work as well in the future, and your prints will not turn out as good!

No one wants that to happen.

As such, if you want to ensure the longevity of your 3D printer, and continue to make exceptional future prints, then you will want to know how to clean the glass printer bed properly and accurately.

The best way to clean a 3D glass printer bed properly is to slightly heat it up, before applying a cleaning solution of either warm soapy water, acetone or window cleaner.

For the best results, you are going to want to leave the cleaning solution to work for a moment, before wiping away with a paper towel, and removing any excess liquid that may remain.

This may sound too easy to be true, so we will talk you through step by step in the easiest way to clean a glass 3D printer bed.

How to Clean Your Ender 3 Bed

The main problem with a glass printer bed is that it tends to build up residue from previous prints.

This residue can easily become stuck fast, and hard to remove most of the time, so you will need to know how to get this off before cleaning.

The easiest way to do this is to use a scraper to remove the stuck residue left from a previous print, or from an adhesive that you may have used prior.

With a scraper, gently work away at the residue, and be careful with the glass and your fingers.

Many 3D printers come equipped with scrapers included for removing 3D prints and residue, so you can utilize this to clean the printer bed.

However, these can be easily purchased online for a cheap cost. 

These tools are specifically designed for removing 3D prints and residue, and so they are gentle on the glass, but effective.

The best way to use these scrapers is to place one hand on the scraper handle, and use the other hand to press down on the scraper for more force in removing stuck on plastic and residue.

However, keep in mind that you do not want to use too much force in removing the residue, as you do not want to damage the surface of the printer bed, or you will not be able to use it again.

Once you have worked off as much residue as possible, you can start thinking about using a cleaning solution for the rest. Most 3D printer owners prefer to use a mixture of warm water with soap and a sponge to cleanse the printer bed effectively.

However, if this does not seem to work, then you can use isopropyl alcohol or sterile alcohol prep pads to work away at stubborn marks and stains.

Just make sure whichever method you use, you are not using too much water or moisture as you do not want it dripping everywhere and damaging the other components of your 3D printer.

Once you have chosen a cleansing solution such as the soap and water, you will want to use this to gently rub along the remaining residue with a sponge or a paper towel. Keep rubbing at it until the residue softens and comes away. This part can take some time, and a lot of patience!

If the residue has been there a while, or you have not cleaned the 3D printer bed in a long time, then you may have to heat it up to soften it before you can remove it effectively.

We also recommend that you clean your 3D printer bed regularly, not only to remove residue, but also to ensure that it does not get stuck, and so there is no general dust and debris sitting inside your 3D printer.

How to Clean a 3D Printer Bed: Easy Step By Step

  1. Use a scraper to remove plastic or residue left from previous prints.
  2. Apply a cleansing solution of warm soapy water, window cleaner or isopropyl alcohol and leave it to sit.
  3. Gently rub with paper towels or sponge to remove residue.
  4. Use scraper again after the cleanse if some still remains.

How to Get Rid of Glue on a Glass 3D Printer Bed

You may have used a thin layer of glue to help your objects stick to the printer bed in the past. If you have, then you know how difficult this can be to get off afterwards.

In addition, if you have placed some glue in the area of the print bed, then you will want to remove this residue before using the printing surface again for another print.

If you are cleaning a glass plate, then it is sometimes easier to just remove the glass plate for a full clean, with a window cleaner or a glass cleaning solution.

With glue, you will need to use a stronger cleaning solution such as a glass cleaner, as this will break down the glue residue much better than just soap and water.

To do this, you will want to make sure that your hands are first properly cleansed, washed and dried before touching the glass or starting to clean it.

Then, the next step is to use a dry cloth or some paper towels to generally wipe down the glass, to remove any excess products or glue that may be on there. Next, with your paper towel, you will need to fold it down twice so that it is much thicker and stronger to use, and in a sort of square shape.

With your cleaning solution, you will then need to spray the window cleaner onto the glass bed, with around 2-4 sprays to cover the affected areas.

After this is done, you will want to leave the window or glass cleaner to sit on the glass bed for about 1-3 minutes, to leave it work and break down the remaining glue or residue on the glass.

After this time has passed, you will need to take your folded paper towel, and wipe away at the surface of the glass, with a good amount of pressure, to work away any residue from the surface of the glass.

After initially wiping this down, you may have to repeat the last few steps a couple of times, spraying and wiping until all of the residue has been completely removed.

Once this is done, wipe down all the glass with a clean paper towel, including both sides and the edges of the glass to give it a general clean.

Finally, you will need to check to see if the glass is completely clear and level before replacing the glass bed onto the 3D printer.

Cleaning PLA Off a Glass Bed

PLA is one of the most common materials used for 3D printing objects and models. However, this can also get stuck onto the glass bed of your 3D printer.

However, you can utilize any of the methods above to cleanse PVA off a glass bed in your printer, as these will work just as well.

In addition, you will have to use the scraper to remove PLA off the glass bed.

Cleaning ABS Off a Glass Bed

If you need to clean ABS off a glass bed on your printer, then you may need a stronger cleaning solution, such as acetone.

Acetone is an excellent choice for cleaning ABS off a glass bed, as the chemicals work to break down and dissolve any remaining residue on the glass bed. All you need to do to remove ABS in this way, is apply a little acetone to the glass bed.

You will need to leave the acetone to sit on the glass printer bed for a few minutes, so that it can begin breaking down the ABS and residue. Then, you can wipe away the acetone, with a clean cloth or a paper towel to scrub away the ABS.

If this does not work, then you can heat up the glass printer bed before using a cleaning solution, to help break up any materials that are left on the printer.

Summary

If you have a 3D printer, then you will know easy materials, glue and residue can become stuck to the printing bed.

Most of the time, this is simply unavoidable, so the important thing is knowing how to deal with it. In most cases, you will need a scraper to remove stuck plastic, glue and residue.

Once you have gone over the printer bed with this, you can simply create a soapy warm water cleaning solution to gently rub over the printing bed.

If this does not work, then you can use harshed cleansing agents such as isopropyl alcohol or acetone to remove really stuck on marks and streaks. With a clean cloth, or paper towels, this can be removed with ease. 

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