I had a failed print lastnight and a glob of pla surrounded the hotend. After heating it up and removing the glob the extruder does not release any significant material. I checked with OctoPrint and the extruder stepper does push filament without the hot end on.

After fully heating the hot end I was able to remove the nozzle.

I then pushed the previously melted PLA out of the tube and heater. It was discolored in the heater. I then tried to put the nozzle back on and pull the old PLA out of the nozzle but no success there.

Should the nozzle be left in acetone for a few days before trying again or how should this be dealt with. The nozzle appears to be blocked.

  • $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? Is this hot end salvageable? or Heatercartridge Bolt Stuck? $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Dec 4, 2020 at 0:40
  • $\begingroup$ Acetone works on ABS, but not on PLA. If ABS is carbonized even acetone won't work. I've given up on cleaning nozzles if the filament won't push through. It's much work with little success. $\endgroup$
    – Perry Webb
    Dec 4, 2020 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ Trish the hot end salvage has some decent info in it I would say the answer below best fits my question which is related to the hot end but only about the nozzle. it might be worth combining the info together. the heat gun + acupuncture needle might save it. im also tempted to use fuel injector cleaner to see if the nozzle can be cleaned that way as mine does have deposits on it just for giggles. since carbon is not soluble at all and only die/impurities/oil can be affected to attempt to remove the carbon ill have to update later after playng around. $\endgroup$
    – Kendrick
    Dec 4, 2020 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


If the hotend is okay, consider yourself lucky and consider the nozzle a loss. Aside from specialty items like ruby tip ones, nozzles are a consumable anyway. Even if you can clean it out well enough to get it working again, it's unlikely to extrude as well as a new clean nozzle. Acetone is probably not going to help; PLA does not dissolve in acetone, and while the pigments/additives might be affected by it enough to weaken and deform PLA in a way that could get it to detach, what's clogging your nozzle is likely burnt/carbonized PLA that's unlikely to be removable by anything that won't also destroy the brass.

If you don't already have replacements on hand, get yourself a pack of 10-20 for $10 or so and be ready to replace when needed. You can also go for a mixed-size pack if you want to try printing fine details with a smaller (0.1-0.3 mm) nozzle or super-fast but rough with a large (0.8-1.0 mm) nozzle.

  • $\begingroup$ After reading that carbon is pretty much chemically inactive except to oxidizers I went and grabbed a pack of nozles of various sizes. hydrogen proxide and white viniger may also be worth trying but we shall see... $\endgroup$
    – Kendrick
    Dec 4, 2020 at 21:46
  • $\begingroup$ Nice. I find that getting a mix softens the blow of having to buy new nozzles for the first time when the minimum quantity feels like more than you'll need, since you get not just a replacement but also more sizes to play with. :-) $\endgroup$ Dec 4, 2020 at 21:52

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