Your half way there to formula mix called Ed's Red.
Equal parts of the following:
Automatic Transmission fluid
Leave it at room temp. Higher temps just vapor off the acetone quicker.
Used this on an Old South Bend 11" and soaked the whole head stock
without dis-assembly. After the soak, found the original wicks had
flushed out and would hold headstock oil just like new. Even loosened
the old paint to make repainting easier.
This has been used in the gun circles for years to flush out fouled barrels.
Hah! A couple of years back I was using some Lye / Caustic Soda to etch some
small 1.6mm thick aluminium brackets so I could paint them. I forgot about
them and when I went to fish them out then next day they were
I learnt something that day!
Over the last few years I've been designing by own parts wacher out of a
larg laundry tub what I've discovered is that it it works really really well
on metal and grease it's hard on the cleaning machine and even harder on me.
The better the cleaner the more dangerious and in some cases the more smell.
The best degreaser I've found is M.E.K. paint thinner. Methyl ethyl ketone,
also known as 2-butanone. It's amazing but not good to work around. DO NOT
HEAT, EXPLOSIVE etc. etc.
Not to mention it might render one unconscious without warning if moment
some threshold intake is reached.
We had a couple of guys drop out while cleaning overhead crane gearboxes
with MEK. Works like a charm -- on the grease and on the
I-can-take-anything macho types.
Try to warn some guys and they'll just poo-poo it until they wake up on
the way to the hospital. We kept a very close check on workers using it
after the first one or two cases.:)
And it'll give you one monster of a headache.
Bring back, Oh bring back
Oh, bring back that old continuity.
Every field has a certain comfort level that
doesn't exist outside. I'm reminded of what
a PG&E gas repairman said. He told me that
if the gas workers and electrical workers try
to trade jobs, they almost always consider the
new job too dangerous and go back to what they
We had a guy in th' paint shop at Lake Union Drydock (Seattle) who
washed his hands a couple/three times a day in that shit for over 15
years. He was definately one whacked out feller! Had a million mile
stare and twitched pretty much 24/7.
I'm under th' impression that that stuff builds up in ones system
cumulatively. Thanks, but no thanks.
We had a fellow that was a painter for 30+ years, like to wash his face etc.
with thinner before he went home. His skin looked a little gatored... One
day he came to work after being off a few weeks, walked in the shop and blew
up like a balloon. A quick call to 911 and the poor guy could never get near
thinner again. The career he had his whole life was gone. Nice fellow though
If you intend to find the best universal solvent, you have taken on a
serious challenge. Just stating that the mission is Cleaning Parts
might be a lot more complex than it might seem.
There really is no all-purpose solvent. Harold's statement is entirely
accurate.. the cleaning process depends upon what the dirt consists of.
Grease is a general term, although I think you mean it to represent
oily residue associated with machine lubricants.
Some people refer to vegetable cooking oil and animal fats as grease.
Animal fats/proteins are used in machine coolants, I think.
Synthetic lubricants can be referred to as grease, grime, crud or other
Often what needs to be removed is mystery dirt.
I have a background in automotive refinishing, and there were always
certain solvents for specific tasks.
Solvent cleaning cars and trucks often involves a lot of types of
contamination to be removed before any work was started. A quality wax
and grease remover containing naptha was a good product to use to
remove common paste (bean) waxes, oil films, asphalt/tar and other
Of course, detergent and water can be beneficial for removing road dirt
and animal parts/fluids.
Whatever w&g remover didn't take off, enamel reducer or lacquer thinner
(containg acetone), generally would. Then, a lot of more exotic waxes
started showing up for consumers to start slopping all over their
vehicles. These products required specific strippers that weren't
petroleum based solvents.
Most common petroleum solvents don't perform well as a silicone residue
remover. Some lubricants contain various blends of silicone and/or
teflon. There are numerous synthetic lubes that don't contain silicone,
but I have no clue as to what they contain.. that waterproof sticky,
gooey brake caliper lube for example.
My favorite old standby solvent is w&g reducer. Stoddard is as good or
better for the same types of grime.
Sometimes a carb cleaner is needed (aerosol can, not the bath type),
although the toluene and xylene will aggressively attack some plastics,
and many paints.
I don't generally go looking for MEK, although it's also a very good
solvent. It's often added to products for it's drying or cleaning
I've heard of brake fluid being used as a solvent.
The franchise service safety solvent used in commercial garages used to
be a very good solvent too, maybe it still is.
There are a lot of specialty solvents for different fields. A solvent
for laser printers and photocopier machines, for example.
A friend is frequently telling me about some of his latest miracle
product discoveries. One was a purple cleaner. I got a bottle, and
wasn't impressed. It smells nearly identical to phosphoric acid used in
a diluted solution for etching metal prior to application of primer.
The label cautions about using it on aluminum. Phosphoric acid is also
added to foods and beverages.
So obviously, acidic cleaners/solvents work very well at removing
I use a biodegradeable cutting tool lubricant from Lenox that melts
enamel paint easily, can be thinned with water, doesn't contain
silicone, foams up sudsy like dish soap in water, and parts can be
rinsed clean with plain water. After rinsing and drying, paint has no
problem adhering to machined parts that this stuff was used on. It's
nearly odorless, until it gets hot, and even then the smoke or steam
doesn't cause rust on steel parts.
If you smell a liquid, and can feel a tingle in your nasal tissues,
it's probably a very good solvent for certain types of crud. If one
makes the skin on your hands tingle or sting, same goes for it. In
either case, it's probably better to avoid them completely.
There are lots of other degreaser/cleaners out there. Also check the
contents of the "electrical" type cleaners intended for motors, swithes
and other related components. Some of these work really well, and safe
on most plastics.
I suppose a more scientific test would be to add known
greases/oils/paints to individual solvents to see what cuts what, and
how fast the contaminant disperses. It might be interesting to see what
settles to the bottom, unchanged.
But this is really for the home shop that has a parts cleaner and is going
to use one cleaner.
Most of my cleanup jobs has to do with petroleum based caked on dirt
Generally when the discussion comes up, people chime in and say, I use this
and it works great, and then somebody else says thats crappy, use this.
Well they both may be right.
But at least there will be a starting point. Where blank product under these
circumstances on this part, produced this result.
Those who are interested in cleaning that type of gunked up part can look at
the results. Those who have different needs can ignore it. Or if interested
enough they can send me about 15-20 control items that are gunked up with
what they want to test against and I will run those also.
I am doing this for my own education. I have a parts tank that is stainless
steel and weighs about 800 lbs. its 2.5 x 2.5ft x 3 ft deep. I think I will
need about 30 gallons of cleaner. I cant afford to spend 500 bucks to fill
TSP - Tri Sodium Phosphate
Available in paint department. Comes in powder form and has to be mixed with
water. Cheap and effective for cutting grease.
Got Knock? - see:
Viatrack Printed Circuit Designs (among other things) http://www.viatrack.ca
void _-void-_ in the obvious place
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
Can I add "COKE" not Pepsi to the list? A few years ago I bought some used
shocks for my motorcycle that where chrome. I tried both Coke and Pepsi but
the Coke was more acid. I left the parts to soak in the coke and then came
back an hour later. When my Uncle walked in the shop and saw a "black bath"
of liquid bubbling and I pulled out shiny chrome parts. He said what the
H@!! is that. He doesn't drink coke anymore, I stick to Pepsi....
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