View Full Version : Pan Pastel Question

09-08-2010, 05:31 PM
Hi dust lovers. Wondering about how you clean your Pan Pastel applicator/tips. I use a little mild dish detergent, swish them around, rinse and then squeeze them out with paper towel....let dry. Mind you, they don't get very clean this way, but this is the only way I know. Any ideas?
Thanks, Derek

09-08-2010, 05:43 PM
No answer Derek but I'd be interested to know too! I do the same and they seem to work OK again without transferring the "old" colour to the paper. However, they are far from clean to look at!

Tracy Lang
09-08-2010, 06:08 PM
Hi Derek,
I added a few drops of Simple Green to a mild detergent/water mix and that helped get them a little cleaner than just the detergent alone.


09-08-2010, 06:38 PM
Ahhhhh, simple green. I like that; non-toxic and smells lovely. Thanks Tracy.

Ruthie; yes....mine are quite dirty (looking) after cleaning.


09-08-2010, 08:41 PM
You can scrub them with detergent and a nail brush. They hold up fine. Then rinse+squeeze+rinse+squeeze+rinse+squeeze under running water. And that gets quite a bit of the dust out. Almost back to pure white!


09-08-2010, 11:01 PM
Jan: Sounds good but is the nail brush a little harsh? Derek

09-08-2010, 11:23 PM
I just soak them in a bucket of warm soapy water (dish soap) for a while and then rinse them under the tap with warm water. I squeeze them while rinsing until the water is clear. Some of the colours stain them, but the colours don't come off when you use them again.

Hope this helps.


09-08-2010, 11:32 PM
I'm embarrassed - I don't worry about the stained ground-in color, I just wipe them on paper towels till they come up clean and swipe them into fresh color. Sometimes I like the "mud" that I get if I'm working heavy-to-thin and old color starts coming through when all the fresh color's come off.

But I would think dish detergent and squeezing and rinsing till they're clear is probably enough if I ever get around to washing mine. I wore my favorite sponge back down to clean looking a few times doing sketchbook stuff using the mud, at least in patches.

Deborah Secor
09-08-2010, 11:34 PM
Well, I have yet to have cleaned one! I just wipe them off on a paper towel and keep using them until they begin to shred. They last a long time, and I never have had much trouble with them becoming too awful. I guess I'm not doing very delicate work, however. I like big, bold strokes...so that's probably just me. :)

Cross-posted with you, Robert! High five!

09-09-2010, 09:07 AM
Thanks guys.....great info. I think I use the pans now on every painting....becoming a good habit.

09-09-2010, 10:40 AM
Jan: Sounds good but is the nail brush a little harsh? DerekSurprisingly not. Those are some tough hunks of foam. (I am talking about the big hand-held art sponges here (http://www.cheapjoes.com/art-supply/CF61031_13473_sofft-angle-slice-flat-pk.asp). Not the dinky slide-on applicators (http://cdn.dickblick.com/items/219/35/21935-1000-4-2ww-m.jpg). The slide-on applicators would indeed by demolished by a nail brush. You're right.)


09-09-2010, 10:59 AM
Interesting to hear you use your pans on most all your work. For a while we had lots of postings about using the pans and it sort of died off. I was just wondering the other day if folks were using them very often. As for washing the materials...I guess I for the most part swipe them on paper towel until It appears that the pigment has pretty much gone. I have on occasion washed them, it is just sort of qain all the rinsing...then again I suppose I could use less soap...what a concept....

Happy painting


09-09-2010, 11:02 AM
Sorry about that, it should read that all the rinsing is a pain. I have a Ipad and one of the things I have not been able to find out is how if at all I can scroll up in one of the postings like we do here on WC. If the text is low enough in the box and I can see it, I can make corrections but I can't seem to be able to scroll sat up to the top of the post...

At any rate. Sorry about that.


09-09-2010, 11:58 AM
After washing, mine don't look clean, but they don't deposit any of what's in them. Some pigments are staining, too. I find I need to wash them after about three paintings, as then they start to leave grey marks, and the 'loading capacity' goes down. Comes back nicely when washed.


I don't like to wash them (or anything), by hand. I'm going to try to put them in one of those net-bags, and put them in the washing machine, with a nice bio-degradable ecologically friendly detergent (low dosage, no softener). Just to see what happens. Feel free to try it first. Seems nobody's done this yet (or reported doing it) so the PP people don't know either.

09-09-2010, 03:53 PM
Thanks Jan and Pam.
Charlie....great idea for washing.

09-10-2010, 12:47 AM
Hmmmm, I just wipe mine off on a paper towel too.:o Maybe I need to check it out.

09-10-2010, 01:50 AM
Charlie, that's a brilliant idea for washing. Just treat them like really delicate clothes in a net bag and see what happens - that could be the super easy way to get them fresh and clean. I'll be interested to see what happens - though I can see my daughter getting confused as to what's in the laundry basket.

That'd sure save a lot of squeezing and rinsing if it works. I'd set the washer to cold water for it though, just in case hot water would damage the micropore structure. That ought to be physically just the same as hand washing and squeezing and rinsing.