Q – We use silicone masking caps and plugs in our powder coating line. After a few uses the paint builds up and begins to flake off during the subsequent wash cycles, contaminating the finish. How can we clean these to get the most use out of them?

A – This is a common question we receive. The answer is not as straightforward as it may seem. Just because you can clean them, should you? Let’s explore this a bit.

First, we never recommend chemically stripping masking materials. Depending on the cleaning agent used, it could damage or alter the mask – potentially changing its fit and, ultimately, effectiveness. Additionally, we have seen that if those cleaning agents are not...