Liquid Flux vs Gel Flux vs Paste: The Best Flux for Stained Glass

Liquid or Gel or Paste flux? What’s the best flux for stained glass? Well…that depends!

liquid gel and paste the best flux for stained glass mountain woman products

People have their favorite types of flux and kinda like milk chocolate or dark chocolate or no chocolate (are you even freakin’ human?!😁), people are pretty diehard about their favorite.

Truth is, mooooooost (not all) fluxes for stained glass that we use these days are made with the same active ingredients: Zinc Chloride & Ammonium Chloride (Note: the paste flux shown has acid in it). 

It’s the carrier (base) that changes between the liquid, gel & paste.

The first flux I ever got to do stained glass was Canfield Blu Glass Liquid. It was recommended by my local glass shop, and has always worked very well for me. So for years, I stuck with it.

Buuuuuut….doing TikTok Lives & talking to students in my Stained Glass Courses and peeps in my Peace Love & Stained Glass Membership Community had me thinkin’ I should try gel (again…it’s been awhile) and paste too.

So I did!

***Before we get started, please remember there is NO SAFE FLUX! Pleeeeeease always wear the right Safety Gear for Stained Glass.***

And now…here’s the…

Pros & Cons of Liquid Flux for Stained Glass

Here’s a full video comparison, but feel free to read on for links and more info!

Canfield Blu Glass Liquid (water base)

Comes in a plastic jar. You pour out just what you need into a separate jar so you don’t contaminate the rest (baby food jars work great & ya get to eat the babyfood first…pear/raspberry is amazing, btw). Apply with a chemical brush or q-tip.

Canfield Blu-Glass Flux

Canfield Blu Glass Liquid Flux

$11.95

Only 2 left in stock

My favorite flux! Works with lead or lead-free solder.

Pros:

  • Good Flow
  • Doesn’t smoke much at all (occasional vapor)
  • A lil goes a long way
  • Washes off small pieces very easily with dish soap & hot water
  • Comes off of unwashable large pieces easily (in conjunction with a product like Kwik-clean)
  • Works with lead or lead-free solder

Cons:

  • If ya use too much, it splatters solder right at your facehole (& everything else)! I’m a fan of a face shield instead of just safety glasses for soldering for this reason.

Pros & Cons of Gel Flux for Stained Glass 

Classic 100 Gel & Amerway Tiger Gel (gel base)

Comes in a squeezy bottle and is the same consistency as hair gel (I know you’re not actually considering putting this in your hair! If you are, for the love of Pete step away from the glass…). Squeeze out what ya need so you don’t contaminate the rest. Apply with a chemical brush or q-tip.

*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!

Amerway Gel Flux

**Coming soon to my shop!**

Gel flux for stained glass. This & Classic 100 are very similar. Works with lead or lead-free solder.

Classic 100 Gel Flux

Works about the same as Amerway gel flux in my experience. Works with lead or lead-free solder.

Pros:

  • Good flow,
  • Doesn’t smoke much at all,
  • A lil goes a long way
  • Washes off small pieces easily with dish soap & hot water
  • Comes off of unwashable large pieces easily (in conjunction with a product like Kwik-clean)


Cons:

  • Everything is stiiiiiiicky! Your gloved hands (you better be wearin’ gloves!) tryna come off of your tools & glass make the same fun sound your legs do in the summer when you’re all sweaty and trying to get up off a vinyl chair. Schllllllwwwwwwhooomp!

Pros & Cons for Paste Flux for Stained Glass

Nokorode Paste Flux (paste base)

Comes in a cute lil jar with a lid. But I’m still not sure why this is called paste flux. It’s more of an oily/balmy consistency. Like vaseline & lip balm had a spicy evening out together & this cute lil jar was the result. Use a chemical brush or q-tip & pull out what you need (not very much at a shot).

Note: Nokorode Paste Flux does contain acid.

Nokorode Paste Flux

Nokorode Paste Flux for Stained Glass

$4.29

In stock

Works for lead or lead-free solder.

Pros:

  • Good flow (slightly better than gel)
  • A lil goes a long way
  • Washes off of small pieces with dish soap & hot water. It does take a bit more soap & scrubbing since it’s oily.

Cons:

  • Smokes like your Great Aunt Minerva at the bingo hall (like, a freakin’ lot!)
  • Requires more reapplication than liquid
  • Makes all your tools and glass feel like ya just got out of a tanning bed circa 1995 after having slathered yourself with half a bottle of baby oil

So which is the best flux for stained glass art?

Some things in stained glass, like structural integrity of pattern design & quality of soldering to name a few, simply have to be done in tried and true methods or your pieces are gonna be a hot mess.

Buuuut other things? 

Artist’s choice. 

In the liquid flux vs gel flux vs paste flux situation? My personal favorite is the Canfield Blu-Glass Liquid because its only real con is the possibility of spatter, which can be resolved pretty easily.

The sticky, schmecky thang with the gel and the slippery, slimy, smokey thangs with the paste outweigh the pros for me…

But again, artist’s choice.

None of them are terribly expensive, so if you’re not sure, give them a try! Experimenting (safely of course!) is one of the really fun parts of doing stained glass art.

Peace, Love, & Stained Glass,

-Shannie 😘✌️

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liquid vs gel vs paste flux for stained glass mountain woman products

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