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Favourite Cleaning Solvent(s)?

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  • Favourite Cleaning Solvent(s)?

    We have a lot of experienced and good restorers in SAMOA. So I'm just kind of curious what are some of our club member's favourite cleaning solvents and degreasers? You know, for when you pull that really old, really used, really dirty part out of the bottom of the spare parts box in the back of the cupboard.

    Suggestions for where to get them are useful too, if they are not well known solvents such as mineral spirits.

    Anything that falls into the category of "don't ever use that"?

    Jerry C

    (PS: Don, please don't post "Don't ever use mineral spirits")
    Jerry C
    "You drive...I think there's something wrong with me"

  • #2
    Brakleen's an excellent product for cleaning parts. Don't ever use it with high heat (like when welding), however, because it can morph into phosgene gas, which was a lethal chemical weapon during World War I.

    I've used a number of the commercial degreasers ("Purple Power," etc.) and they all seem to do a pretty good job. If you have a really stubborn coating of crud, Easy-Off oven cleaner will even remove anodizing. Use it very carefully, though, because once the coating is gone, Easy-Off continues to eat.

    Dan
    Dan

    "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." -- George Harrison

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    • #3
      Till I was 9 1/2, I ALWAYS used Mom Spit. You could prep for welding with that stuff!
      Now I use Brakleen with a little heat.

      Don

      Autosport will clean larger stuff in their "warm detergent" tank at a very reasonable cost. Carburetor and distributor parts go in my ultrasonic machine with some Simple Green.

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      • #4
        Sorry, Don. OSHA now says Mom Spit's another potential toxin. Better stick to your Simple Green.

        Jerry, you're ignoring a local source for restoration information (or "restormation," as I call it). Try driving south some sunny Friday evening or first-Saturday-of-the-month morning to Griot's Garage's world headquarters in Tacoma. You can talk directly with folks who sell effective cleaning products for a living -- and see some cool south-county/Pierce County cars while you're at it.

        Dan
        Last edited by BIGSHOT; 07-02-2013, 11:10 PM.
        Dan

        "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." -- George Harrison

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        • #5
          I like using Simple Green as well and also use 409 on items that are more sensitive (like plastic trim parts).

          I've also used "Aircraft Stripper" to remove really stubborn crud (like the inside of a valve cover) but it's quite strong (and toxic) stuff so you need to work with it outside and wear gloves.

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          • #6
            For mild crud - Purple Power will remove most gunk and grease, even paint (except black). Can be used on plastic to degrease and or strip paint.

            For really ugly stuff - Dip carb cleaner I've had a couple gallons of it in a five gallon bucket for probably 15+ years. Don't know if they sell it anymore came in a blue and white one gallon can with a neat little dip basket. Smells horrible and will take the skin right off your hands so grease doesn't stand a chance! It's a hold over from air cooled VW days works great on aluminum alloys, steel and even pot metal, dries plastics out to an extremely brittle state. Removes paint, anodize with a vengeance! Rinses off with water, probably not even environmentally friendly either.

            Spray on gunk works ok for mild to moderate oil and grease, safe on paint hoses off.
            Skip

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            • #7
              I used Dip before (awhile ago - haven't seen it in a few years) and Skip is right - it is really nasty stuff but does the job in certain extreme cases..

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