Dumb question about leaky coolant


I was typing this in another thread in support when it got closed down bc a staff member responded. And this question probably doesn’t belong here, but I’m sure where else it would go. So, ya know, shuffle this around as necessary, powers that be.

Is there anything bad in the coolant? It seems like some of the leaks have been so had in some of the boxes that it’s soaked entirely through the box. In the unfortunate event we get a leaking unit, should we not be touching the coolant with bare hands? Or keeping pets away until it’s cleaned up? Or is it just, like, salt water and totally harmless?

I just wanted to ask before I dragged a drippy box through the entire house. Because that sounds like something I would totally do. Lol.


Can’t speak for GlowForge but in all the other laser cutters I’ve used, it’s just been distilled water.


Knowing how @dan defers to the Friendly Neighborhood Lawyer (FNL), I would say that “danger factor” would have to be posted (on the box, safety manual and literature) to meet the FNL’s approval.


Don’t know what it is but not water.


Ahhh! The elusive unicorn tears. Wondered where they wound up. :smile:


It comes out of a unicorn, but not the eyes.


Based on my experience with it and having worked on CNC Plasma cutters I would say it is likely some sort of Propylene Glycol coolant(fancy anti-freeze). It leaves a residue even when it dries out.

It is defiantly not just distilled water.

I wish I could have just topped it off and been on my way.


On one of mine I use a distilled water & DowFrost combo. Based on the temperature specs of the GF I expect the proprietary formula is similar. (For the chiller connected laser since it’s inside and never exposed to temps outside the room temp, it’s just distilled water.)


Yeah too bad, would have been a pretty straight forward hack to cycle the coolant through an external tank to increase work time between cooldowns.


You know, proprietary formulation of coolant aside, it would be nice to have some sort of MSDS on the coolant to know whether or not my pet might become a superhero or die from ignorantly licking it up.


I think it is required by law somewhere isn’t it? It’s just SDS for the new ones now. :wink:


There are a ton of exemptions for SDS/hazard communications.


That doesn’t surprise me. I guess you don’t get one with your car.


All sorts of warnings/hazard communication comes with car. They are in the manual, and under the hood.
Gotta remind people that motor oil is not makeup, gasoline is not a cleaning product, and that drinking coolant isn’t cool.
Also, must remind folks not to lick the lead battery terminals.


I still get a chuckle out of the warning on the can of peanuts that the container contains peanuts.


There is also a prop 65 warning on a box of bullets.




But there are so many things it dissolves to help clean up, and it evaporates so fast no wet residue either.

It’s also extremely dangerous and I really don’t reccomend people do it. But I can’t be the only one who has with something particularly nasty to clean up?


Acetone. :smile:


isn’t that nearly as flame dangerous as gasoline?