How to clean a gas torch

What will happen if you don’t clean a gas torch? A gas torch will build up bitumen residue if not properly maintained. Eventually the amount of bitumen left on the torch will cause its workings to malfunction. Ultimately, this can lead to rendering the tool completely useless. If you leave bitumen residue for too long it can work its way into the metal, at which point you cannot remove it. Here are some tips on how to clean a gas torch of bitumen before it’s too late.

How to clean a gas torch to extend its lifetime

Freeze it

When it is reduced to very low temperatures, bitumen can be removed with the tap of a hammer. Leave the gas torch somewhere where it will get freezer-cold. Alternatively, try placing bagged ice cubes over the affected area(s). When cold enough, simply tap the stain with a hammer and the bitumen should fall off leaving very little residue, if anything at all.

Use a remover

Tar and bitumen removers or solvents are more often than not designed to remove bitumen from a multitude of surfaces. These surfaces can include brickwork, windows and equipment, such as your gas torch. These removers or solvents work to break down the bitumen that has dried on hard surfaces, making it easy to remove with water.

Warm it up

In complete contrast to freezing the torch, you could try to warm the offending bitumen up with a heat gun, blow lamp or similar. When warmed, the bitumen should roll off the gun. Unlike freezing, this process will leave some residue.

Last resort

As a last resort you could use a wire brush or scouring pad to remove any bitumen.  The biggest problem that occurs with this kind of scrubbing, is that it is highly likely to result in scratching the metal of your torch.


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