Product Review – Wash Away Primer Remover

The Problem

Baked on Kiln Shelf PrimerI am pretty sure that every glass fuser has on occasion had the problem of having kiln shelf primer stuck to the bottom of a piece. Fortunately, with some experience under my belt, this now happens less often. Some of the things I have learned that help avoid this problem are:

–       Don’t fuse at too high of a temperature.

–       Don’t hold for longer than necessary.

–       Remove old primer from the shelf, prime well and make sure the shelf is dry.

–       I never use the same primed shelf for more than 2 firings.

The Solution

When it does happen, however, it is very frustrating. I have googled and surfed the web and tried just about every solution out there. The only one I haven’t tried is sand blasting because I don’t have the equipment. I have scrubbed baked on primer with brushes, scouring pads, and magic erasers. I have used vinegar, CLR, bathroom cleaner, and pretty much every cleaner and chemical I have. None of these worked! So when I saw a product called Wash Away that claimed to easily removes baked-on shelf primer from the bottom of fused projects, I had to try it. Many of the websites that sell this product say, “Apply without dilution to the baked on primer and then lightly scrub with a plastic scouring pad. This should remove even the most stubbornly adhered primer.” Well…. as my children used to say, “Not so much.”

The Test

Recently I had two fused pieces that had “baked on primer.” I poured some of the Wash Away onto my piece and let it sit for 5 minutes. I then used a green scouring pad to scrub it. I can tell you that “lightly” scrubbing it didn’t work. I put on more of the Wash Away and scrubbed harder. As you can see in the picture, it did take off the white primer.  But, it left the glass hazy where the baked on primer was. When I fired this piece again it did go away. This technique did not work at all for my other piece. I even soaked the whole piece in the Wash Away for 10 minutes and then scrubbed. No luck.


I have tried using Wash Away to remove kiln shelf primer several times now. My conclusion is that Wash Away will work on lightly baked on shelf primer. But for most of my pieces, it did not work. The bottle did not list what the ingredient is. I wondered whether it the same thing as CLR. It is very caustic. You definitely want to wear rubber gloves when using this product. In the end, I used my diamond pad hand sanders to sand down the glass to a mat finish and then did a flip and fire. Yes! This took forever! So, the best solution to this problem  is to avoid the problem in the first place!

Feel free to share any tips or trick you have that have worked for you.

2 thoughts on “Product Review – Wash Away Primer Remover

  1. Ann says:

    I use Wash-Away very successfully. My first experience was on a VERY well encased glass with shelf primer on it thick. I tried full strength in the 5, 10, 30 and hour to no avail. Left these items to soak over a long weekend. When I went to clean up the bowl, with my fingernail I tried removing the primer and to my surprise all of it came off. Since I am on the thrifty side, I use a filter paper to screen the remaining wash-away back into the bottle to use again, and again, and again. Remove kiln wash from intricate molds, shelves and glass.

    • Margot says:

      Perhaps I didn’t soak it long enough. I have also had some success using a cleaner called LIME-A-WAY which can be found in most grocery stores and it’s not expensive.

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