Nozzle Cleaning

I have a kinda random question for you all regarding clogged nozzle cleaning. I pretty much always see only 2 methods of nozzle cleaning mentioned when nozzle cleaning is being discussed. The cold pull of course, or using a very thin wire or drill bit type nozzle cleaning tool. But there is a third method, which I found somewhere on the internet(can’t remember where), that I have used with great success on Creality mk8 style brass nozzles. It consists of holding the nozzle with tweezers or needle nose pliers near a container or sink of cold water. You heat the nozzle with a butane or propane torch till red hot, or nearly so. Then dunk it in cold water. Lots of charred filament will get ejected from the nozzle. Repeat until no more debris is ejected. I have used this technique very successfully, and without the risk of exerting too much force on the printer gantry that a cold pull can pose. Why is this method not more popular? I can understand on a Revo style nozzle it might not be a good plan, but is there a reason that doing this on other style nozzles is not a good idea? It has worked very well for me.

I haven’t done that but I have burned out the clog with a small torch and then pushed a wire through the hole.

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I cold pull and I use this thing,

It is poorly listed, extruder wire. If you search for cleaning or something it is in the weeds.

Hey there,

This is certainly an interesting idea, I have never considered this before. The only problem I could see with this is that you are essentially quenching the brass, on paper this seems like it would be a good idea, but in practice quenching metal can lead to a couple of problems. Usually oil is used to quench metal, if I remember right using water can actually cause the metal to become a little more brittle. So if you were to repeat this step a couple times your nozzle could begin to degrade or could become easier to wear out.

Overall nozzles are usually cheap enough that if a cold pull or a cleaning needle doesn’t work for me, which is rare but does sometimes happen, I usually just eat the cost and replace it. To me it seems more worthwhile to throw in another $2 nozzle than it is to ruin a print that could be worth a lot more.

I’m curious to test this out a big however, I would be very curious to see how it does affect the nozzle.


hey Mathew as a blacksmith I just want to chime in here, while what you say is correct for steels when working brass or copper one will quench in water to soften it see the article below for info on working with brass. the only way it may affect the nozzle is to soften it which wouldn’t be a problem as far as i see in a printer nozzle situation, just make sure you don’t squeeze the threads

Confused about brass - Copper Alloys - I Forge Iron


That is interesting! Thanks for that input. I guess softening the nozzle could reduce it’s wear life. My printer nozzles see mostly black PLA, with a little TPU, and PETG occasionally. The most abrasive filaments I print are wood infused PLA, and that is quite rare for me. The process has worked for me in my situation, so I’ll probably continue to use it. As far as quenching steel with oil, does that soften it too? Just thinking if I ever make the switch to steel nozzles, which seems unlikely in the near future, I’d prefer to keep the same basic cleaning method.

DO NOT do the same with steel you will most likely do more harm than good, steel when heat-treated is first quenched in oil water or brine then tempered to give it durability eg an knife made of 1095 is heated and quenched has a Rockwell hardness C of about 64 if tempered at 500F it then is about 57RHC and is less brittle (wont break as easy when bending etc…) my guess is that a steel nozzle is brought to a certain point due to the temperatures found in its use but different alloys also respond different to different quenchants Japanese swordsmiths expected a 95% failure rate when working with water and brine quenches.
Also I recommend using safety glasses when you are doing it to the brass nozzle and be careful as to how hot you go lots of cheap brass has lead that will emit fumes when heated over 800F

That answers that question! Thanks! As to safety glasses, what would could go flying around? It’s not like I make the nozzle molten. Good to know about potential for lead too.

Cool, thanks for the correction!

You learn something new every day! I think I would still personally just replace the nozzle, but by the looks of it, it seems this would work which is very cool indeed!

The only other concern I may have however, would be that some of the cheaper nozzles could be alloys. This could potentially cause some problems right? Or would it be fine if brass makes up the majority of the alloy?


brass is an alloy
pulled from What Is Brass? Composition and Properties (

Brass is an alloy made primarily of copper and zinc. The proportions of the copper and zinc are varied to yield many different kinds of brass. Basic modern brass is 67% copper and 33% zinc.1 However, the amount of copper may range from 55% to 95% by weight, with the amount of zinc varying from 5% to 45%.2

Lead is commonly added to brass at a concentration of around 2%. The lead addition improves the machinability of brass. However, significant lead leaching often occurs, even in brass that contains a relatively low overall concentration of lead.

Thanks for the info!

I would like to apologize as my previous message was a bit oddly worded. I was aware that brass was an alloy, what I meant was more that some of the cheaper nozzles can have not pure brass. So if there were impurities in the nozzle could it cause problems?

Sorry for the confusion,

I don’t work enough with brass to provide an answer for that, sorry

No worries,

If I have some time I am curious to look into this a little bit!


That is a potential problem with any metal coming out of China, they are not quality control conscious and will try and sneak things by to the purchaser to save a buck. Anyone used Chinese made screws and bolts that are so loose and wobbly that they are useless. The nozzle manufacturer, which is probably a small family shop down an alley, will be using hex bar and a CNC lathe to make these. He will probably be buying the cheapest material he can, quality isn’t an issue for them. Better suppliers will do some kind of inspection to check that the nozzles meet some kind of specs. You get what you pay for and generally they cost under a buck. Don’t expect much.

nozzles are relatively inexpensive I almost never clean them I just replace them. it is interesting to me I have almost never had a jam with name brand nozzles. My x nozzle is over a year and not a single jam. not all have seen the success I have but, no jams I just give it a few degrees more them and a bit extra ‘soak’ to start.