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  • Contaminants in rags/paper towels. ApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2018-09-10 17:31:10 ... Most recent comment 2018-09-10 22:43:07
    Oil Paint Environment Studio Tools and Tips
    Question

    ​I am wondering what harmful residues or contaminants  might be introduced into the paint film during cleaning of palette, wiping off brushes during painting, etc. that may be present in general paper towels/ blue automotive shop towels and if it is worth the investment to use a higher quality rag. There is a product called sontera ec wipes, which market the product as containing no binders, etc. is there a conservator recommended product for general painting rag use? Wouldn’t even old t shirts etc have laundry detergent residues on them? 

Answers and Comments
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​I am no expert when it comes to "rags".....however I would be greatly surprised to see if any of the rags/towels you mention above would truly offer a significant benefit as far as maintaining a sound paint film goes. There are so so many other issues that I can think of that present more problematic scenarios....dusty studio....wandering pets...using low quality paints with a high wax content, etc., etc...the amount of residue associated with any of the products you mentioned will likely present neglible effects. But I do need to end this statement with the "conservator disclaimer"....it is impossible to say for sure whether these types of rags will cause issues in the future until some post-doc in 2079 performs a study and declares it to be so :) If it were me I would continue as I did before...but if you would like to sleep just a bit better at night there is certainly nothing wrong with using the Sontara wipes!

    Kristin deGhetaldi
    2018-09-10 22:43:07
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  • The Department of Art Conservation
  • 303 Old College
  • University of Delaware
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  • Phone: 302-831-3489
  • art-conservation@udel.edu