How to prevent solder spatter in stained glass

Nobody likes a big ol splash of hot, molten metal all up in their facehole…so let’s talk about how to prevent solder spatter in Stained Glass!

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Flux Type Matters

There are three different types of fluxes for stained glass: Liquid, Gel, & Paste (there’s a post over here comparing Liquid vs Gel vs Paste Flux if yer interested).

It’s not impossible for any of them to spatter solder bb’s all over the place if ya use too much.

But liquid is the most likely, cuz well, it’s liquid and liquid in general is more likely to get spattery than a gel or pasty substance.

Despite this unfortunate possibility, liquid flux is still my fav.


How do we prevent solder spatter & flying solder bb’s?

There’s a couple of different ways. 

Each one helps. But in combo, they drastically reduce the likelihood of those special little sprinkles soaring at your skin.

The main themes running between them all are quantity & protection.

When it comes to quantity…

How much flux should you use for stained glass to prevent solder spatter?

It depends if you’re laying down solder lines, or if you’re edge beading.

For soldering lines

You want verrrrrrrrrrry little (more of a slightly damp situation than a flood situation). Ya don’t want to stick a hot piece of metal (your iron) with more hot metal on it (solder) into a little pool of liquid. 

Pop! Spatter! Aaaaaaaaccccccccck!

Buuuuuuut….for edge beading

Imma let you in on one of my secrets to Beautiful Edge Beading (that’s a class I made for ya if you’re interested btw)…  

Use a ton of flux. 


Cuz gravity. 

When you’re soldering your lines, your piece is flat on your mat so use too much flux & ya get that pooling of liquid situation.

But when you’re edge beading, you’re holding your piece perpendicular to your mat, so when ya add flux, it runs all down your piece. 

The good part about that is that it coats all three sides of the foil you’re tryna edge bead. The bad part is a lot of it flows away. 

So if you only use a teeny weeny itty bitty bit of flux on your edge beads, well…gravity.

Which then begs the question…

How do you make sure you’re not using too much flux when you’re soldering?

I got three ways for ya!

Give your brush a haircut!

Chop the bristles on your chemical brush in half. The shorter the bristles, the less liquid they can hold at one time.

Squeeeeeeze it!

Be sure you’re wearing your nitrile gloves (you always should be when you’re using any stained glass chemicals), and after you dip your brush in your flux, squeeze the excess off between your finger and the jar.

Eat two jars of baby food.

Or use any two jars. But babyfood jars work great and pear raspberry tastes amazing so win, win.

Either way, have two jars. 

Pour out the amount of flux you’ll be using for your project in one & keep the other one empty.

After ya did the lil squeezey thang and got your flux on your foil, put the brush in the empty jar. Those bristles are still holding a good amount of flux in them post squeeze, so no need to throw them back into the jar full of liquid.

You can always re-dip & squeeze again later if ya need to. 


What do you do if you get too much flux on your copper foil (or lead came for that matter)?

Keep a paper towel handy to wipe up any excess. I know. Brilliant hack I shared there wasn’t it? 

It works though…and the rest of ‘em were good, so there!

Despite all of my incredible suggestions😁…there will be times where solder spatter is an inevitability. So…

How do you protect yourself from solder spatter?

Frankly, even though I know better than to put too much flux on a piece, and even though I’m totally the smartest stained glass teacher you ever met in your whole life evvvvverrrrrr…

*ahem* … just agree with me or I won’t tell ya my favorite method for saving your lovely face!…

Ok. I will anyway.

We all do dumb crap every now and then.

Like put too much flux on our foil and then send a not very fun lil explosion of magma all over our glass pieces. And ourselves.

My favorite method? 

(I’m stallin’ here so ya have time to agree that I’m the smartest, prettiest, most fun stained glass teacher ya ever met…)

Wear a face shield while you solder!

It covers waaaaay more of your lovely face than safety glasses and it has saved me from getting hot solder all up in my facehole on more than one (or three specifically that I can recall) occasions. 

girl wearing face shield giving thumbs up mountain woman products stained glass

Safety Works Face Shield

This is the one I wear as evidenced in the marvelous pic to your left😁

*At no extra cost to you, as an amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases. I’ll only ever recommend products I use & love, or know to be good quality!

For the protection of the rest of yourself…

Wear protective clothing to prevent solder spatter.

Well….a belly shirt ain’t gonna do it!

A jacket with long sleeves is helpful, buuuuut, remember it’s hot, melted metal. 

And verrrrrrrry quickly after it hits your sleeve, it starts to cool enough to stick. But not enough to cool off to people temperature.

So maaaaan do ya feel that heat through fabric!

Obviously thinner fabric generally means less insulation.

Do I always wear sleeves when I solder? No.

Do I burn myself sometimes. No.

Because I have cat-like reflexes.

Except for when I don’t (most of the time) and then yes, I totally freakin’ burn myself and wish I would’ve worn long sleeves instead of being a dumbarse when I know better.

So, you can either risk the burn (bad idea), or wear some thicker sleeves. 

If ya wanna be super protecty, you could even wear a set of leather sleeves (like welders do).

Waylander Leather Welding Sleeves

I haven’t tried these particular ones, but they have good ratings & are insulated! There’s two different sizes to choose from too.

*At no extra cost to you, as an amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases. I’ll only ever recommend products I use & love, or know to be good quality!

Have fun. Be safe. And for the love of Pete wear your allllll of your Safety Gear for Stained Glass!

Peace, Love, & Stained Glass,


P.S. – I’m here to help ya! If you’re so inclined, grab your FREE Beginner’s Guide & 5 Day Jump Start Into Stained Glass. Take an online stained glass class with me. Or join your fellow glass hoarders in the Peace, Love, & Stained Glass Community. It’s all full of the info you need to make beautiful stained glass art. And have a metric crap ton of fun doing it!

Wanna share the love & tips on Pinterest?

Here’s a pic:

how to prevent solder spatter on your stained glass mountain woman produts solder bb's flying

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