Official Advice for Fan Cleaning

I’ve read through other posts about how people have gone about cleaning the exhaust fan and saw the official response as well.

However, I don’t know where to find the 3M Novec Electronic Degreaser. There isn’t any available (right now) on either link.

Is there another product I can use for the official fan maintenance process? Or should I just sit down for a couple/few hours and try to manually clean the fan and blades?


I use This, it works great and I never had any issues.

[EDIT, CRC cleaner is flammable, Glowforge recommends a NON flammable cleaner]


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The one recommended by Glowforge is a special non-flammable cleaner. Please do not use any other kinds because you run the risk of setting fire to something while it’s running. (Small chance, but probably not one you want to take.) :slightly_smiling_face:

If you need to clean it manually, it is a longer process, but there are instructions for it here:


Yikes! CRC may be cheap - but not if you take in the cost of replacing your laser.


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The residue is also flammable. You may be willing to take that risk, but don’t recommend it to others without letting them know what you’re setting them up for.


But seriously, After I do a cleaning, a REAL cleaning of my laser, I let it dry for several hours before using it again, usually at the end of the day – so it has overnight to dry.

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You should edit this to your post above - keep the warnings with the recommendations.


I use this stuff. It states on the can that it’s safe for all plastics, rubbers and metals. It is flammable, but it also says on the can that it leaves no residue. Just be sure to let dry thoroughly! I leave the lid open and allow it to dry for at least an hour. I’ve used it many times with no complications.

WD40 300080 Specialist Electrical Contact Cleaner

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I’m guessing there are no sparks in a sealed fan. I don’t know for sure though.

I’ve cleaned about half the fan manually… and got nervous about trying to clean the rest on the inside of the machine.

The tutorial is super helpful and made me feel about what I had already accomplished. I just wish there was an easier/quicker way to do this that Glowforge Official would back or update the links to the products they recommend.

I don’t want to use anything flammable in the machine. That’s too scary and seems a bit like tempting fate and I don’t have good luck. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Whenever I do a deep cleaning, I let my machine sit for a day to really dry out. But I also live in a very humid environment… I’d rather be safe than have something go wrong.

The flammable part worries me, but no residue makes me feel a bit better about trying it.

How often do you use it? Do you go through the official fan cleaning page to use it or do something different?

I use it every 4-6 weeks, generally. I cut hardwood almost exclusively, so there isn’t a huge amount of gunk buildup.

And no, I don’t do the official fan cleaning routine. I remove the laser head, place it toward the front of the machine and cover it with a shop towel. Then I point the spray can nozzle directly at the front of the air assist fan and give 3-4 good blasts.
Then I move the gantry to the front of the machine and blast the back of air assist fan 3-4 times.

I use the same method for the exhaust fan, but when i blast if from the back, I’ve got a shop towel in front of the fan so gunk doesn’t blown onto the electronics.

Then I replace the laser head and leave the lid open for an hour, minimum.

Oh, and I do all this with the glowforge powered off and unplugged, of course.


Thanks for the aditional information. :slight_smile:

I used the alcohol hand cleaner a lot when cutting a lot of oak and had a lot of buildup in the head fan. However, I put the end of a shopvac hose on the metal diverter so 100% of the fluid was sucked immediately into the hose, and left running for a couple hours afterwards made the fan and the rest totally dried.

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Unfortunately, I don’t have an exact replacement product to recommend you. We chose this product because it is a non-flammable, electronics safe vapor degreaser. You may be able to find something similar, but we haven’t evaluated and approved any other products.

I’ve moved this topic to the Beyond the Manual so the discussion can continue there.