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View Full Version : DIY Parts cleaner (solvent) recipe


topsites
07-30-2011, 01:39 AM
I realize there are a lot of solvents involving non-toxic degreasers and what have you,
but personally when I am working with engine parts I like to use hair of the dog chemicals
if for no other reason than I don't believe soap belongs in an engine, if the crud is oil based
then an oil based cleaner ought to be used, just how I like to do things.

That having been said, I see a lot of commercial cleaners being sold are going for $6 a gallon and up which are usually
sold in containers ranging anywhere from 1 to 55 gallons, keeping in mind that the smaller quantities cost more,
some cost a lot more, I saw some solvents going for $20+ a gallon.

Hence I came up with my own mix ratio that goes as follows:
8/12 kerosene. ($4 a gallon)
3/12 gasoline. ($4 a gallon)
1/12 acetone. ($20 a gallon)
Cost of mix: $5.33 a gallon

Notes:
I would keep it away from painted surfaces although it does clean them but I won't guarantee that it won't dull or harm the paint.
Shaking the mix immediately prior (and at times during) use is required as the acetone will settle.
Must be stored in a closed, properly labeled steel container.
Can be strained through a towel, and re-used.
Not for use in all parts cleaners.

Love the stuff.

dutch1
07-30-2011, 09:56 AM
Go ahead, Tops, be my guest with that mixture. You roll the dice, you take your chances.I don't think that formula would pass fire department approval for shop use nor would a shop owner, with half a brain, allow it in a shop envoirnment. Gas and acetone are both highly flammable and evaporate fairly rapidly.

I had a friend who did some small engine repair out of his garage. He was using half/half mix of gas and diesel in his closed garage which also housed his gas hot water heater. The inevitable happened.

For external clean up, a power washer and SuperClean will do the job for me.

For internal parts, I'll stick with kerosene, diesel, or a half/half mix of Stoddards solvent(paint thinner) and either of the first two.

I've been fortunate to survive 72 birthdays and I don't intend end the streak with a couple of gallons of Topsites Flite Fuel on my workbench.

About the only lab work I do is Ed's Red( 1 quart each of Stoddards solvent, kerosene, acetone, ATF and a pound of anhydrous lanolin). An excellent shotgun and rifle bore cleaner and rust preventer.

piston slapper
07-30-2011, 10:04 AM
If the parts washer is in a shop, It had better be on a service contract....
You dont ever want to own "Hazardous Waste" , The EPA can hit you with some out of this world fines. In Fla. , They can fine you $1200 if your used oil contaner, oilfilter container, or used fuel container is not labeled and has a current recycler sticker on it.

Good to have you back Dutch....

dutch1
07-30-2011, 10:21 AM
Slapper, I've been making 3 tracks in the sand since I escaped the balmy confines of your state. My gills still haven't closed--it's hard to drink water with them open!!!!!!! It's been pretty hot here but the "humility" doesn't come close to your neck of the woods.

piston slapper
07-30-2011, 10:26 AM
Slapper, I've been making 3 tracks in the sand since I escaped the balmy confines of your state. My gills still haven't closed--it's hard to drink water with them open!!!!!!! It's been pretty hot here but the "humility" doesn't come close to your neck of the woods.

Was that HUMILTY or HUMIDITY ?

Gotta keep your GILLS working in this heat.:walking:

fixer67
07-30-2011, 11:07 AM
Kerosene,gasoline,and acetone? That is not parts cleaner that is rocket fuel. If you are not careful you are going to be cleaning parts on the moon. All it is going to take is one spark from two parts hitting together or a spark of static electric and off you go on your way to orbit.
Where is you shop? I want to be sure I am out of the blast area.

piston slapper
07-30-2011, 11:10 AM
TOPPER...
As long as you're working away from the watchful eye of the EPA...
What worked for me , back in the day, was a ZEP product called DYNA-BLUE
It cleans so well, parts will rust.

Restrorob
07-30-2011, 06:09 PM
For external clean up, a power washer and SuperClean will do the job for me.



Works for me as well Dutch since we have four pressure washers in the rental fleet, But..... It doesn't matter where you stand or how you point that dang wand, The crap WILL get blown right back at ya !

I often think about putting a 45 or 90 degree bend in the end of a wand so I can stand aside, But I keep picturing myself being wrapped up like a pretzel.... :laugh:

dutch1
07-30-2011, 09:02 PM
Rob, do you have a rotary turbo nozzle on any of you pressure washers? If not you may want to give one a try. I've found that I get a lot less splash back due to the rotary action. It seems like, due to rotary movement, the crap/crud seems to scatter in a pretty much of a right angle to the wand orientation rather than trap it and send it right back at you.

http://www.ultimatewasher.com/pressure-washer-rotary-nozzles.htm

Restrorob
07-30-2011, 10:17 PM
D'OH !

I owe ya one Dutch, The rotary tip never entered my mind, We keep them in stock for rental as well.... :hammerhead:

topsites
07-30-2011, 10:28 PM
I get it, but I don't think 93 octane gasoline inside black gas tanks out in this
100 degree heat are that much safer, granted if you have employees and plenty
of money to buy a parts washer then you don't want nor need this.

But have you seen the price of a parts washer and the price of the solvents?
You're looking at spending a thousand!

Either that or getting some cheap crap that can't be no better.

No sir.
My parts washer consists of an empty plastic 38 ounce Folger's container.
Set parts in there, dump in somewhere between a pint to a quart of the cleaner and slosh that stuff around until it's clean.
And clean it will be.

Once it's all done, put a towel over top of another coffee container and dump
the now dirty solution down through that so as to strain out the dirt and re-use.

This lawn mower below is six years old, I just got done rebuilding the rear end mostly because I had to pull it all apart.
The only thing new is the transmission, everything else I simply cleaned, it looks brand new but believe me it really is
six years old and I mean it has some hours on it, the gas tank shows the wear and you can see the regular look of
the mower in the corners, the deck cover has big patches of paint missing for example but that back end looks brand new.
It isn't, just cleaned up all the crud real good, it looks so good the transmission mounts are blinging reflection on the frame.

dutch1
07-30-2011, 10:36 PM
Rob, I don't know what you have for pressure washers but the one I have is an old Karcher 2500 psi unit with a GX390. If your washers are anywhere close to that rating, you will have to dial it down a bit on surfaces with decals. The rotary will peel 'em in a hurry.

I'll be interested to hear your reaction once you give it a try. My washer initially had a 36" wand with conventional nozzle. I'm now using an 18" wand with the rotary and I get less splash back with that combo than with the longer wand.

topsites
07-30-2011, 10:41 PM
Yeah I don't get no "splash" mostly because my stuff is powerful enough you don't need to "splash" it, come to think of it
isn't splash dangerous too, what if the stuff gets in your eyes, wouldn't OSHA have a fit if they saw that?!

Restrorob
07-31-2011, 07:08 AM
wouldn't OSHA have a fit if they saw that?!


Naaa Tops, They'd just call the operator a frigging idiot for not wearing "safety glasses".....

topsites
07-31-2011, 03:24 PM
Naaa Tops, They'd just call the operator a frigging idiot for not wearing "safety glasses".....

Well, the question being...
How much safer do you think the carburetor cleaner that you buy at the store is?

That's just as volatile, don't smoke or throw a spark because it will shoot you to the moon,
no kidding but then I don't see the EPA driving around fining every homeowner for that.

Oh, and I don't think OSHA would "simply" call an operator an idiot for not wearing safety glasses,
and if the cleaner / solvent you are using is mild enough to where the OSHA representative can
call the operator an idiot then that tells me it don't clean worth a crap.

I mean damn, you folks don't like what I have to offer fine,
you think it's dangerous, then don't use it.

ricky86
07-31-2011, 07:55 PM
Well, the question being...
How much safer do you think the carburetor cleaner that you buy at the store is?

That's just as volatile, don't smoke or throw a spark because it will shoot you to the moon,
no kidding but then I don't see the EPA driving around fining every homeowner for that.

Oh, and I don't think OSHA would "simply" call an operator an idiot for not wearing safety glasses,
and if the cleaner / solvent you are using is mild enough to where the OSHA representative can
call the operator an idiot then that tells me it don't clean worth a crap.

I mean damn, you folks don't like what I have to offer fine,
you think it's dangerous, then don't use it.

Now now, don't take it personally. I found you need a thick skin on this forum.
Be like me. Don't forget anything. Just wait for someone to mess-up and then ponce. LOL. Tell you the truth, i use gas often as a solvent. Works wonders on small saw parts. Nothing breaks down the bar oil better. Use it at your own risk. Old fuel works too. Three problems I have with your system. 1) Recommending it in the first place. 2) the acetone. 3) You should use an old 1gallon Gojo container.(:)

Restrorob
07-31-2011, 08:32 PM
I found you need a thick skin on this forum.


That's right Rick..... And...... Be ready to http://www.iol.ie/~gtir/misc/boxing/spar.gif . :laugh:

fixer67
07-31-2011, 10:47 PM
Topsites, you cleaner is dangerous if not explosive. I do more than a few dangerous things myself but I will never get on the net and talk about it to any one. The homemade cleaner you made may be great and no more dangerous than the store bought stuff but just think if some fool made some of your stuff and got hurt then you would have lawyers at your front door severing papers to sue you. It happens all the time. You have to be careful what you tell people on line now days. You can be sue for things you post on line. I do not answer a lot of threads even though I could help because my answer to the problem they have may go wrong if not done right.

piston slapper
08-01-2011, 09:31 AM
That's right Rick..... And...... Be ready to http://www.iol.ie/~gtir/misc/boxing/spar.gif . :laugh:

DITTO....

Good advice Ricky....Never forget anything....Stay ready to pounce.
You're wise beyond your years. ( sorry about the 10w30 deal , Would have liked you on my side of the arguement)

TOPPER....

Try not to take this stuff too personal.....
You're a landscaper posting in a forum with more than a few professional Techs.
In the world of mechanics, opinions are useless, facts fix equipment.
When opinions are presented as facts, well , you know the rest.
Think of it as "SpellCheck with an attitude"
If you believe your opinions are valid, defend them, You'll never know who's ready to "Pounce".