Cleaning MDF burn marks and soot

Hey everyone, I was wondering what I can do to get rid of the MDF burn edges soot with this kind of design? Usually I would just wipe it off with some denatured alcohol but it’s kinda annoying going through all of the little holes. I’ve heard some people have used sand or rice in a bag and shaking it? Please let me know if anyone has a solution to this or any tips and tricks they have learned through laser cutting!! Thanks so much!

Coarse salt in a bag/container can reduce the char.

You shake it like crazy and the salt grinds the char away.

Mdf by its nature has pretty dark cut edges, even under any loose char. What look are you going for? It’s possible that mdf isn’t a good fit.


Hey thanks for the reply! I’ve asked a few people to rate three types of wood I have. One of them is from home depot - the glowforge ready 10 pack columbia maple product, 1/4 inch baltich birch and this product - MDF core with veneer finishes. Everyone seem to like the MDF one the mostand is only a dollar or two more expensive for a sheet. I just have issues with trying to get rid of the edges as I personally don’t want to clean all of it off one by one! Thanks for your advice

So with mdf I tend to find that the edge is kind of shiny and carmelized. Not all mdf Is created equal, so yours might have more actual char, meaning like loose carbonized ash.

If that’s the case the salt might help knock the loose ash and carbonized material off.

There is a third possibility too. If you overpower your cuts, especially if they’re slower than they need to be, you can end up with more char than you might otherwise get. I’d suggest doing a material test at full power to back into the fastest you can go to get reliable cuts, and again the same test but with 2 passes. You might find the edge quality changes so that you like it better.

If you’ve never tried it, I have a test method that I like, check out #6:


I found that using magic eraser sponges I can clean most burn marks. I only use small amounts of water to prevent warping the wood. I got my generic magic erasers from Amazon in a bag that had what seems like a life time supply.


These are what I got from Amazon. (Lifetime supply seems right! I doubt I will use them all.)


Hah! My wife steals mine. Which is okay since I’m often raiding her stuff for a lot of things she didn’t intend to use them for…like Tupperware containers, cotton swabs (good for cleaning small tight places or applying epoxy), emery boards (great for sanding tight cuts & corners), markets, paper towels…:grin:


I use pool salt for that. I have a grey plastic Busboy Tub. stir it around in there and presto. all clean.


Love using magic erasers! Just a heads up, they now have scented ones. I didn’t realize they make scented ones and picked up a box of what I thought was normal magic erasers. It took me a bit to figure out why everything was smelling so strongly of roses. I doubt there is any issue to use the scented ones but the smell is really overpowering.