I had been using pre-mixed joint compound, but I ran out just before I was finished, and my neighbor (who had just re-done his basement) gave me some Sheetrock Easy Sand 90 Joint Compound, and his drill bit /paint stirrer so I could mix small batches.

Unfortunately, I missed cleaning the paint stirrer when doing my cleanup, and didn't remember it until a couple of hours later, when I was in class. When I got home, I gave it a soak, and have scraped / scrubbed as much as I can off, but there's still quite a bit stuck on it in difficult to reach places.

Is there anything that might soften it? (eg, a strong base? I have Barkeeper's Friend, lye water, and lye crystals), or do I need to stick with mechanical means? (I have some brass brushes if I can remember where I put them)

  • Muriatic acid might do. It's what's used to dissolve mortar and concrete. You'll have to decide whether the cost of a new mixer is worth messing with dangerous chemicals, though.
    – isherwood
    Apr 18, 2017 at 16:31
  • 3
    Take it to diy car wash use pressure washer wand to blast it away
    – Kris
    Apr 18, 2017 at 17:45
  • Yup, mechanical means. I think you ought to go buy your neighbor a new one or next time you need a loaner tool he might just say he does not have one to loan even though I (meant he, slip there) has a garage full. Apr 19, 2017 at 2:13
  • @JimmyFix-it : you don't know my neighbor. Making use of something that he has helps him justify being a packrat to his wife. (but yeah, I need to replace it ... and he should be back in town tonight).
    – Joe
    Apr 19, 2017 at 14:36
  • Pressure washer
    – tahwos
    Apr 20, 2017 at 0:38

1 Answer 1


Soaking the stirrer in just plain water overnight should soften the compound. A scraper and wire brush will help get into the hard to reach areas. Most paint stirrers are usually less than $10. Is spending a hour or two trying to clean something so cheap worth the time? I would just buy a new one for your friend and keep the old one.

  • Hot mud dosent break down like regular mud and water soaking usually won't work. I know my paint mixers cost in the mid 20$ range and they are worth cleaning.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 15, 2018 at 15:06

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