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Parts Washer Solvent #157377 Sat Nov 05 2005 04:53 AM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 482
B
BradB Offline OP
Moderator
I have this little parts washer tank that I bought used. It is a 3.5 gallon. All the auto parts stores sell the solvent in 5 gallon size. I would rather not store a bucket in addition to what's in the washer, not to mention pay for more than I need. One parts guy told me to just go buy mineral spirits by the gallon because that is all that parts washer solvent is.

Is this true?


Don't lose your head to save a minute,
You need your head, your brains are in it.
Burma-Shave (1947)
Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157378 Sat Nov 05 2005 05:45 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 5,697
A
atomarc Offline
Master Gabster
BradB,

That is just about it. I think few major oil companies make their own thinners and solvent now. Mineral spirits, another name for plain old paint thinner would work OK. It has a high flash point which makes it safe around the shop and it's not too hard on the hands. You don't have to worry about swelling rubber or melting plastic items and it doesn't cost a ton.

We used SafteyKleen at work for awhile, I think it's a minor reformulation of mineral spirits with a major reformulation of price.

I use Chevron 51L in my "shark tank" at home, it will take paint off of anything, turn your hands bright red in about 30 seconds and have your head swooning for an hour! It's Toluene.

I have been using a product called Greased Lighting lately and it really works well. It is water soluble and not to expensive. I have been applying it with a squirt bottle, I don't see why you couldn't buy a couple of gallons and fill your tank. It does etch aluminum, I think that might mean it has phosphates in it. Gloves would be required, but it cleans greasy automotive parts like crazy.

Stuart

Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157379 Sat Nov 05 2005 02:50 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 963
C
Chev4t6 Offline
Shop Shark
I use a concentrated degreaser from Harbor Freight about 5 dollars a gallon. I use about 2 gallons in a 20 gallon tank. Biodegradable and nonflammable works OK. I have an attached garage so nonflammable is big plus

Dan

Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157380 Sun Nov 06 2005 03:52 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 343
C
cujo8 Offline
Member
I use SafetyKleen in my parts washer and I feel it works OK. I was using some biofriendly stuff from Northern Hydraulics, but I felt it did not do a very good job on cleaning the parts and it also froze-up in the winter.


1954 GMC 1/2-ton Longbed
1971 Pontiac LeMans Sport
Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157381 Sun Nov 06 2005 04:01 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 163
5
51 KY 3100 Offline
Shop Shark
Anybody try Simple Green for this?

mark.
'51 KY 3100

Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157382 Mon Nov 07 2005 12:53 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 36
C
CO563600 Offline
Wrench Fetcher
I've just used simple green in my new homemade parts washer, it works pretty darn good! I run it 8-10:1 with water. Works very good as an overnight soak, even pulls carbon off pistons.


artificial intelligence will never overcome natural stupidity
Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157383 Mon Nov 07 2005 06:27 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,574
G
GMCpanel Offline
Shop Shark
I've heard of using kerosene...


Get a REAL truck, get a GMC! www.oldgmctrucks.com
1954 GMC De Luxe COE
Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157384 Tue Nov 08 2005 05:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,944
B
Builder Offline
Shop Shark
Back in the late 80's, the shop I was working at tried a biodegradable orange citris based parts cleaner. It worked better than the regular solvent. The guys in the shop didn't like it that it made the shop smell like oranges and I got out voted to continue its use. I wish I remembered the name of that product because I think that stuff was great. It did remove more of the oils from your hands though.

Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157385 Wed Nov 09 2005 12:52 AM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 616
Z
zenish Offline
Member
i prefer the smell of oranges over kerosene.

Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157386 Wed Nov 09 2005 07:32 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,574
G
GMCpanel Offline
Shop Shark
I've got lots of free kerosene, though. Maybe I'll toss some Orange degreaser in with it.


Get a REAL truck, get a GMC! www.oldgmctrucks.com
1954 GMC De Luxe COE
Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157387 Thu Nov 10 2005 12:41 AM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 45
K
Kris Schneider Offline
Member
Quote
Originally posted by GMCpanel:
I've got lots of free kerosene, though. Maybe I'll toss some Orange degreaser in with it.
Lucky you, I need to buy about 10 gallons of kero for my bullet heater and it's more pricey than diesel in these parts frown


God is not on the side of the big armies, but of those who shoot best.

http://www.speedyoldtruck.com
Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157388 Thu Nov 10 2005 05:06 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,574
G
GMCpanel Offline
Shop Shark
My dad bought a ton of the stuff years ago when they were having all sorts of trouble with the electric company. After he bought it, the problems died down. Now the tank just gets used for cleaning and starting bonfires.


Get a REAL truck, get a GMC! www.oldgmctrucks.com
1954 GMC De Luxe COE
Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157389 Thu Nov 17 2005 04:12 AM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,496
J
J Lucas Offline
Shop Shark
Whatever you buy, think about what you will do with the waste that you generate. And, as others have already mentioned, don't forget about any fire hazards.
At our Machine Shop, we use Safety Kleen solvent in a cleaning tank. And let them take care of the waste that is generated.
But, we also use Simple Green with a lot of success, and another biodegradable degreaser called Hotsy All Purpose Tubmate, in a heated cabinet washer.
At home, I try and use the least amount of chemicals as possible.


J Lucas





1941 Chevy 1/2-Ton
1942 Chevy 1.5-Ton SWB
1959 Chevy Apache 31 Fleetside
1959 Chevy Apache 32 Fleetside
1959 Chevy Viking 40

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Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157390 Fri Nov 18 2005 12:04 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,736
53moneypit Offline
Shop Shark
I went to a fuel dealer in SW Denver who has the stuff for sale by the gallon from a regular gas pump. It'll eat your hide off too.


1953 Chevy 5-window 3100
In the Stovebolt Gallery
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Dave
Engine & Driveline Moderator

If you can't make seventy by an easy road, don't go. ~~ Mark Twain
Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157391 Fri Nov 18 2005 02:25 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 136
S
smittyschevy Offline
Shop Shark
I know that in the 80's Safety Kleen solvent was 99.9% mineral spirits, the rest was an anti static compound so it could safely be pumped through the parts washer and a concentrated green dye.

Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157392 Fri Nov 18 2005 02:55 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 5,697
A
atomarc Offline
Master Gabster
smittyschevy,

I'll bet the owner of Saftey Kleen had the green dye put in the solvent to remind him of all the money he was going to make. grin


Stuart

Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157393 Mon Nov 21 2005 09:27 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 118
T
Truckwhisperer Offline
Wrench Fetcher
That water based stuff is fine for cleaning with a spray bottle and hose. It is poor in a parts washer because it gumms up the grease on the parts instead of cutting it. The water based stuff also causes excessive rust on parts that are not painted. It seems very caustic. I prefer solvent in the washer.

Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157394 Tue Nov 22 2005 04:05 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 14,703
Achipmunk Offline
Extreme Gabster
If it won't take the oil out of your skin it won't take the grease off the parts! I like the simple green and I do use some greased lighting...when I can't get to my nephew's 55 gal drum of cleaner down at the machine shop!!
It is note worthy to mention the "citrus cleaner". I generally keep some of each around the shop for differnt jobs and for cleaning the things I can't get in the parts washer!


1937 Chevy Pickup
1952 Chevy Panel
Pictures in my Photobucket
1950 Chevy Coupe

52 Chevy Panel

I'd rather walk and carry a Chevy hub cap than ride in a Ferd.
I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you smile
Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157395 Tue Nov 22 2005 04:37 AM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 88
F
Fif T2 Offline
Member
We use plain old mineral spirits(paint thinner) in our parts washer. It works good for what we clean which is mainly old engine parts. For things that won't fit in the parts washer we use Greased Lightning and a pressure washer, it works good but it makes you gag. We have also used some cleaner from the NAPA store, I think it's called awesome orange and it works pretty good too. In the end, the best thing is whatever works for you.

Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157396 Thu Dec 01 2005 08:46 AM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 5
P
PDM Offline
New Guy
Builder may mean
Citrasolv? now citrakleen
here is the site
http://www.nugentec.com/CitraKlean.htm
This maybe the parts washer solvent you used/
Pete

Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157397 Tue Feb 28 2006 09:38 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 324
C
Chester Offline
Member
because of cost and safety reasons, our shop went to mineral spirits in a recurculating parts washer. works fine. disposable as easy as drainoil recyling.


"It ain't a truck if you can't hose out the cab."
Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157398 Mon Jun 05 2006 06:29 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,944
B
Builder Offline
Shop Shark
I have one parts washer I run straight WD-40 in. Costs about $10 in 1 gal. cans. Works great. Smells better too. It doesn't dry as well as regular parts cleaner but it helps with some of the rust too.

Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157399 Mon Jun 19 2006 06:06 AM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 110
R
rev383 Offline
Member
I use wd40 and a walmart orange cleaner 50/50 and it works pretty good. I use carb cleaner for the tough stuff. Today there is no way would I put my hands in the stuff I used coming up in the industry.


Jim

Good luck with your project!
Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157400 Mon Jul 03 2006 03:34 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 265
G
GreenGMC Offline
Shop Shark
Atomarc-

Where would a guy find some Toluene and how long does it last before it's too grease diluted to work? I really don't like cleaning and sanding small parts.

Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157401 Mon Jul 03 2006 03:33 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 700
T
Toyvo Offline
Shop Shark
I have in the past years seen all kinds of solvent used in the shop. Safety-clean is good stuff but kind of expensive, they do however clean you vat and install a new filter when they service your washer. Karosene is also good stuff but the smell stays on you for days. All the orange stuff,green stuff, and purple stuff I have used is good for initial cleaning, at the car wash before you begin a repair or just to keep it clean. Gasoline cleans but to volital, burns your hands and will explode. Diesal stinks to high heaven and leaves an oily film. Mineral spirits work ok and is ok on your hands. You can take all the enviornmental safe crap and poor it on the ground and use the wet sand to clean your parts, it works well that way.
That brings me to what I use now. Varsol, cleans well will burn but wont explode,won't blister your hands, smell is tollerable if you like the smell of origional Gojo hand cleaner,and leaves no residue. It is currantly about $2.50 a gallon and can be purchased at most fuel distrubutors. The cool thing about varsol is most fluids, oils, grease and dirt will settle on the bottom of you vat. This leaves clean solvent for your next project.
Here is a very good way to build a cleaning vat.
Stuff needed:
1. 55 gallon drum (removable lid is better)
2. a #2 wash tub
3. enought screen wire to cover the botton of the wash tub.
4. 5 gallons of varsol
5. 45 or so gallons of water
Here is the skinny, open the drum clean out any toxic waste or undesireable stuff. Now take the tub and drill or punch 10 to 15 1/4" holes in the bottom. Move the drum to its deesired location cause it is about to get realy heavy and fill it up with water up to where the bottom of the wash tub will be when you place it in the top of the drum. Now fabricate the screen wire to cover the bottom of the tub, remember to fold the wire under around the edges so you wont poke your fingers looking for bolts and washers on the bottom of the vat. Now poor the varsol in the tub till it is a satisfactory level, (varsol floats on water) and use the drum lid to cover the top.
Notes; Varsol will evaporate but not too quickly. I have seen variations to this design that include piano dolly under the drum and a water fossett to drain out the Yucky water for cleaning the vat. And when cleaning becomes ness. just siphon off the varsol and dump the yucky water then reuse the varsol adding what you need to refill. Oh! the tub handles are in the way so fold them down as you install the tub.


I didn't do it, no one saw me do it, you can't prove anything! "Bart Simpson"
Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157402 Wed Jul 05 2006 05:42 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 5,697
A
atomarc Offline
Master Gabster
rdbates,

Wow, this thread has been around some time. I just bought two 5 gallon pails of Toluene last week (for work). The price was almost $11.00 a gallon, and I purchased mine from my Union Oil rep under the name Solvent A-100.

Standard Oil called it 51-L, but that was a long time ago. Unless you really need this for a specific chore, it is something to stay away from.

It is volatile, evaporates quickly, will rip your skin up, and I believe it has links to Cancer.

If you soak painted parts in it, it will remove
the paint nicely. It removes grease almost instantly, and if you keep the container covered, it lasts quite awhile. Disposal is relatively easy as a open container will evaporate in no time.

I think better options exist on the shelves of your local hardware store, but as my dear old dad used to say, "take my advice and suit yourself".

Stuart

Re: Parts Washer Solvent #157403 Thu Jul 06 2006 03:03 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 265
G
GreenGMC Offline
Shop Shark
Atomarc,

Thanks for the reply. I'll take a look around and see what else I can find before I buy some. I have a tank with stoddard solvent but it takes some scrubbing to take off heavy grease.

Speaking of dear old dad, mine has something similar "use your own judgement"

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