Caution - Small parts cleaners

I have a 15-gallon, home-built parts cleaner in my shop that is doing just fine.

Recently, at a lawn sale, I had the chance to purchase one of those small,

3.5 gallon parts cleaners like you see in the Northern Tools and Harbor Freight catalogs brand-new-in-the-box for $12.00.

Thought it would be ideal in the race car trailer for use at the track.

In reading the one page info sheet that comes with the unit, it specifies for use with "oil-based solvents ONLY!"

Interestingly, on the N/T website, it recommends a water-based cleaning solvent to go with this cleaner.

Given the number of unplated, unpainted surfaces inside the parts cleaner, I would suspect that water-based cleaners would wreak havoc with the machine.

If you are buying one, and the "sales" person suggests some cleaner to go with it, be very careful.

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I've got one of those H/F 20 gal. parts cleaners. It's directions said to use only water based solvents. I imagine this is being stated as a disclaimer for themselves for when they catch on fire.


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