View Full Version : Cleaning Pastel

07-27-2002, 03:52 AM
Do you use salt to clean pastels? How would you keep them from breaking? What do you use to clean an art table?

07-27-2002, 12:11 PM
I read in a book recently to use ground/crushed rice. Get a give sifter and put the rice and pastels (not sure how many at a time) in there and gently shack it so the rice falls out. I think it said you can get crushed rice at any health food store. I haven't tried this yet, so I'm not sure about the breaking thing.

I'm not sure about the best way to clean a table. I am working with a large board placed into my easel so that it is 90 degrees from the ground. Then all the dust just falls to the easel bottom ledge. I just clean that off with a little vacuum, then a wet rag and some elbow grease.


07-27-2002, 01:33 PM
Your baby is cute! How do you put pictures on your post?

07-27-2002, 03:13 PM
Well if you are talking about adding a "TinyHead" under your name then do this...

Click on the "my WC!" button at the top of the forum section. Then when look for the "Edit Options" link and click that. At the bottom of that page you will see a section called Tiny Head.

If you click the "More Info" link there are a bunch of pre-made images to choose from. Or you can make your own 60x60 pixel gif and upload it with the "Change TinyHead" button.

Hope that is what your are looking for.

Oh...and thanks for the compliment about my son. He's about 7 months older now, but still just as cute. :)

07-28-2002, 07:41 PM
Becky, I'm moving your question to the pastels forum...I think you'll find more folks there who deal with that particular medium and clean-up!

07-28-2002, 09:05 PM
I get carried away CH because I post multiple messages. When I was about easels I vered off topic to cleaning etc. Loved your pomigranets. Preferred blue over yellow green

07-28-2002, 10:01 PM
Becky, I find pledge grab-it cloths (found in the cleaning isle of any grocery or department store) useful for cleaning pastels. I just wipe them off on the cloths. This would probably work on your table too. :)

07-29-2002, 03:50 PM
I put my pastels into a plastic bag with regular rice and given them a shake. When I go out on site to paint I put my selected pastels into a baggy with rice in it. Clean as I go kind of thing. Works very well. When the rice gets dirty throw it away and add about a half cup to a baggy and add your next batch of pastels.

I, too, work on a large easel. The dust that collects on the shelf is collected and mixed with alcohol or water, just enough to get it to form into a new pastel stick. The color is usually gray. I collect all my small pieces of pastel, putting them into small bowls until I have enough to powder them and make them into new pastel sticks. I have gotten some nice colors that way. :D

07-29-2002, 05:33 PM
I tried the rice treatment and wasn't happy with the results. Maybe I used the wrong kind of rice, or maybe I didn't give it a good enough, or long enough shaking? In any event, I just wipe my pastels off on a piece of paper towel.

07-29-2002, 05:57 PM
I just wipe 'em on what I'm wearing at the time!! LOL

07-29-2002, 06:27 PM
Oh, my gosh! Me, too! I can't tell you how many times I have gotten pastel on my "good cloths" because I just happened to walk by the easel on my way out somewhere. Before you know it I have pastel wiped on my jeans or slacks, on my shirt...just because I wanted to make one little change on the pastel, or add just a little highlight.

You might try leaving the pastel in the rice longer. There are some pastels that I do not have in use for the current piece I am working on. A few of them spend time in the dry rice bath. I use the cheapest rice I can buy. I also have an old cloth diaper hanging on my easel that works great. Right now it is in desperate need of a wash, but because it is soft it works nicely to take off just enough to clean the stick.

08-23-2002, 10:19 AM
I may be a bit late here with this post, but maybe someone will spot it. I use SEMOLINA to clean my pastels - hope yu can get this in the US. It is much finer than rice, put it in a plastic bag with the pastels and give a good shake, then throw the whole lot into a sieve over a bin and the semolina will drop easily through the sieve. The pastels stay in the sieve of course, nice and clean. Just dont cook the semolina after you've used it for pastel cleaning!!!!

08-23-2002, 11:32 AM
Great idea about semolina! I bet I can find some in the grocery store here. I think I will give it a try.

Thanks for the suggestion.

08-23-2002, 02:56 PM
Cleaning pastels: You can also use corn meal, just like the rice.
Shake and dump out. Or you can use a small piece of window screen 6" X 8" or whatever is at hand. Place over the top of the pastels and use a hand held vaccuum to suck up the surface dust. It is not as effective as the corn meal but it cleans the tops off without the dumping mess. I use a Chamois skin or Viva paper towels when using them.
Terry Ludwig

08-24-2002, 11:17 AM
Semolina is the wheat particles used to make pasta. It is coarse and hard.

This actually got me thinking...you can also get pasta in the shape of rice grains. I wonder if that would work?

Laura Brito
08-24-2002, 02:21 PM
I bought a bunch of pastels from Brooke, and I mean a bunch, well Fed Ex ruined most of them, they killed the box. I used rags to clean each one individually, it took me 2 days off and on, but now I have them all organized and clean, it worked well, once my rags were too dirty to us, I just put them in the washer, and they came out clean as can be again, and repeated this over and over...not wet, but dry rags.


08-26-2002, 09:05 AM
Originally posted by crumbedbrains
I just wipe 'em on what I'm wearing at the time!! LOL
heheheeh I do that too but I also stow them in rice in there colours.

just dave
08-29-2002, 03:05 PM
So you need GROUND rice, not whole rice to clean the pastels well. I used a cheapo food gringer. Fine pasta like semolina, couscous is the same consistancy. For cornmeal you need COARSE ground to work effectively.

While all of the above works with my 'workhorse" Rembrandt patels, I cousel being careful with the softer (expensive) pastels. Wiping off with a chamois cloth or even a thick "shop towel" (blue paper) has less chance of breaking the stick or even crumbling it.