I recently got into 3D printing.

Printer Setup

  • Model: Ender-3
  • Board: 4.2.2
  • Firmware: Manufacture version of Marlin with BLTouch (Aug 2022 update)
  • Auto-level: CR-Touch
  • Bed Type: Stock --- Textured PEI or are they BuildTak ??

After doing some test prints and figuring out my leveling and z-offset. I had some print residue on the bed, where you could clearly see the first layer fails.

This morning, I decided to clean the print bed with acetone after reading several other forums and watching some reputable youtubers.

After wiping the bed down with a cloth, I know have frosting on my bed. I found this out from some other posts, but no post on how to properly clean the frosting.

I've added a picture, so hopefully that helps too.

enter image description here

Is this bed surface trashed??


1 Answer 1


Acetone should not be used for cleaning build surfaces. It attacks most plastics, probably including whatever Buildtak-clone is made of. It probably won't immediately ruin it, but it will degrade the surface texture.

The right agent for cleaning bed surfaces is IPA (isopropyl alcohol). If you have print material stuck to the bed texture from printing with the nozzle way too close to the bed, your best best for removing it is printing more of the same material on top of it, and hoping it adheres to the new print and pulls off with it. Not using aggressive solvents.

Is the bed surface ruined? Probably not ruined, but likely somewhat degraded. I've seen much worse though, so I'd expect it's still good for a few months of moderate use, if you take good care of it and don't keep using inappropriate cleaners or printing with the nozzle scraping the bed.

  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, it pretty much took the texture of the build surface right off. I've been using IPA before and after each print, but read in a different post that acetone could be used to dissolve the material , like you said that was left from the nozzle being way to close to the bed. Luckily after some trial and error, I've got bed-leveling down now. Thank you for the info! $\endgroup$
    – Crypt0
    Commented Feb 17, 2023 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ After getting the surface as clean as possible, it's pretty smooth now. So I'm guessing that I might have to start using a form of adhesive. I'll print another Benchy and see how she turns out. $\endgroup$
    – Crypt0
    Commented Feb 17, 2023 at 21:01
  • $\begingroup$ Been there and still am. Not realizing the strength of Acetone I was utilizing it for my bed cleaning. Soon found out that it slowly destroyed the surface. I am now waiting for a costly replacement. In the mean time I am cleaning with Acetone and apply a coat of my own concoction made of scrap ABS and Acetone. I keep it in a tightly sealed jar and make sure it remain properly diluted by adding Acetone regularly. When its time to print I spread a thin layer of the concoction on the print area. I still get a descent finish and quite strong adhesion. Its not the perfect solution but it works. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 18, 2023 at 16:15
  • $\begingroup$ No matter how bad you mess your bed surface up, you can always just put blue tape on it. Blue tape is at least as good as buildtak, and dirt cheap to replace. Amazon has rolls that are full 235 mm bed size so you don't even need to bother with aligning the seam. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 18, 2023 at 16:42

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