Cleaning needle files

I frequently use my needle files on plastic, and also on filler. In either case, but especially the latter, the file clogs up rapidly.
Right now I use a dremel wire brush to clean it, usually just holding the shank and drawing it across the file manually. Sometimes I chuck it and run the tool, but I am afraid of dulling the teeth if I do that very much.
How do folks clean their needle files? Is there any solvent that will dissolve the gunk without leaving deposits on file?
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Leave them in white vinegar for a few hours. Works on woodworking rasps and engineers' files, so I don't see why it wouldn't work for needle files. Personally, I usually bin them and buy a whole new set from the shop, then pick up a sapphire grit nail file on the way home ;)
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I clean mine with a fine-bristled stainless steel brush. There are special file cleaning steel brushes but it has coarse wire bristles made for cleaning larger files so it doesn't do a good job on needle files.
If you want to use a solvent, acetone will dissolve plastic and leave no residue. Acetone also degreases so you should lightly coat the file with something like WD-40 to prevent rusting.
Peteski
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Peter W. wrote:

File cards (the correct term for the steel wire brushes used to clean engineer's files)are much too coarse for needle files and as the OP has noted you need a much finer brush. I use a small brass bristled brush of the type used for brushing suede shoes but a stiff bristled tooth brush would work just as well for plastic debris stuck in the teeth of a needle file.
--
Larry Green

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Don Stauffer wrote:

I use an old toothbrush and clean frequently, but I also have steel and brass wire toothbrushes that I pick up at gun shows for just this purpose.
--
- Rufus

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Use muriatic acid to clean your files. It cleans out the gunk and makes them sharp...many poo-poo this as it is hydroscopic and therefore may cause "after rust" if not neutralized then preserved with an oily product such as naptha or coleman gas...kerosene may also work. Those who disuade the use of muriatic acid suggest phosphoric acid which can be found in household products such as Lime Away, which leaves a phoshpate layer behind that actually helps provide the metal with some corrosion resistance...they say.
Mark
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