How To Clean Pottery Tools
Pottery is great fun, and results in beautiful pieces that you’re proud to display in your home and gift to family and friends. The activity itself is soothing and relaxing, which, let’s be honest, is something we could all use as much of as possible.
However, pottery has one downside: The clean-up! Clay tools can get messy easily, whether you’re a professional artist or craftsperson, a student, or an educator. So with how sticky and grimy your pottery tools get— which is a lot— how are you meant to clean them?!
This blog explains how to clean your pottery and clay tools using supplies you likely already have in the house or the studio. When you need new pottery tools to add to your squeaky clean collection, head to Mid-South Ceramic Supply Company to check out our selection!
Supplies You’ll Need To Clean Your Clay Tools
Luckily, everything you need to clean your pottery tools is easy to find and probably already hanging around where you throw your pots. If you’re missing a piece or two, a quick trip to a grocery store, dollar store, or corner store will complete your clay tool cleaning collection. You’ll need:
- Your grimy tools
- Rubbing alcohol (70% is fine— no need for the heavy duty, high-percentage stuff!)
- A cleaning cloth or an old towel
- An old toothbrush
- An old bowl
- Something to occupy your creative mind while you work!
Why You Need Rubbing Alcohol To Clean Your Pottery Tools
Rubbing alcohol breaks down the polymers in polymer clay, which is what makes rubbing alcohol the key ingredient in our cleaning session. It also breaks down many other substances often used in claying, such as mica powder, varnish, and alcohol inks. As crafters, we deal with many of these substances day in and day out, so if you don’t have rubbing alcohol in your cleaning arsenal already, go grab yourself some right now!
How To Clean Your Clay Tools
Cleaning your pottery tools can take some time, and will definitely take some patience, but the end result is so worth it! Press play on your favorite playlist or streaming show, and get your clean on.
- Fill the old bowl with rubbing alcohol and let it soak for between 30 seconds and five minutes, depending on how much ‘clay muck’ it has on it.
- Soak the cleaning cloth with fresh rubbing alcohol and rub the alcohol-soaked cloth along the tool, removing as much muck as possible.
- Use the old toothbrush to scrub the tool further, using the bristles to get into any small crevices the cloth couldn’t reach. This step may take a bit of time depending on the texture of the tool, but don’t give up!
- Fill the old bowl with fresh rubbing alcohol and return your tool to its bath, letting it soak for however long it needs.
Tools still messy? You can keep repeating the process for as long as necessary until your tools are as clean as you like.
How To Avoid The Big Pottery Tool Clean-Up
The cleaner your clay tools are, the easier it will be to clean off any clay muck they have built up over time. To reduce the time the process of cleaning your pottery tools takes, there is a less time-intensive cleaning process you can do after each time you use them. After each use, simply spray them down with a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol using a spray bottle or mister. This way, you’ll be cleaning as you go, meaning when the time comes to do your big spring clean, it will take less time and effort.
Fancy Some New Pottery Tools?
Once you’ve cleaned your existing tools, you don’t want them to be lonely! Whether you’re a professional artist or just getting started, you can never have too many clay tools! Check out our selection of pottery tools and more at Mid-South Ceramic Supply Company, where you’ll find everything you need to create with clay.