DIY Parts cleaner (solvent) recipe

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by topsites, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    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

    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.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  2. dutch1

    dutch1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Jayhawk
    Posts: 2,231

    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.
  3. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,245

    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....
  4. dutch1

    dutch1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Jayhawk
    Posts: 2,231

    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.
  5. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,245

    Was that HUMILTY or HUMIDITY ?

    Gotta keep your GILLS working in this heat.:walking:
  6. fixer67

    fixer67 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,100

    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.
  7. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,245

    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.
  8. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,023

    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:
  9. dutch1

    dutch1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Jayhawk
    Posts: 2,231

    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.
  10. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,023

    D'OH !

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

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