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Parts Cleaner "Solution"

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Mark Yac, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. Hey, I've got one of those Harbor Freight parts cleaners . It holds about 6-7 gallons. I used to buy mineral spirits at Wal-Mart or H-D ,for about $2 a gallon . The stuff's about $7-8 now.
    It's time for a clean-out . Anybody have any idea about alternatives?
    It's a shame that gas is only $2 now but the m-s hasn't come down any.
  2. 40Tudor
    Joined: Jan 1, 2002
    Posts: 635


    I've been using Simple Green and water this past year in my ultrasonic tank with reasonably good results.
  3. KJSR
    Joined: Mar 7, 2008
    Posts: 2,485

    from Utah
    1. Utah HAMBers

    I use stoddard solvent from the local oil/gas company.
  4. only 2 dollars? And that's a shame? What are you saying man? It's $2.97 here. You want higher gas? Move here!

  5. I have to go out of L.A. County to buy petroleum base solvent for $25 for 5 gallons.
  6. fordcragar
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 3,179

    from Yakima WA.

    I never like using gas to clean parts. Used to use solvent, which seems to be hard to find anymore, but now use diesel fuel.
  7. Ayers Garage
    Joined: Nov 28, 2002
    Posts: 1,382

    Ayers Garage

    I buy Naptha at my local Tractor Supply. If you close the lid on the washer when not using it, it last a looong time. Otherwise it evaporates on you.
  8. 440shawn
    Joined: Sep 25, 2009
    Posts: 1,716


    Simple green seems to work ok.
  9. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,067


    Be careful. I HAD one of those HF parts cleaners. I used a regular parts solvent and it ate the orings in the pump.
  10. i use kerosene and all a little trans fluid or oil to keep the hands from drying up, some areas of the country it is more expensive like arizona
  11. As high as some things are you just gotta have them, and have you priced the "safety " solvents? Higher then a girraffes ass! $100-125 a 5 gallon pail! Solvent seams reasonable and last a long time! I have a tank and keep 10 gallons in it at $35 a 5 gallon pail but I get several years out of it, one trick is to strain the tank once a year or so and add some when low. Doing so I get 2-3 years and when building hot rods outta greasy old parts, you just have to do something.
  12. Big Bad Dad
    Joined: Mar 27, 2009
    Posts: 317

    Big Bad Dad

    I have been using GUNK Super Concentrate mixed with kerosene now for many years. I dont have a parts washer, just a 5 gal. metal bucket with a dipping basket and brush.
    I see someone posted about using diesel fuel. How well does that work? I have several gallons left in a drum......
  13. shawnspeed
    Joined: Sep 10, 2009
    Posts: 165

    from Attica Mi

    Diesel works OK , it is just unrefined kerosene, It smells more, and parts will need a wash in Thinner before painting, as it does leave a little oily residue.
  14. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton

    I've had to spec that crap in an industrial setting and would ask questions like the following before making the choice......

    How do you use it? Are you expecting immediate results like a book time mechanic or are you more of an overnight soaker? 5 year old goop or 85 year old goop?

    What kind of environment is it in? Finished cars or walls nearby? On top of concrete or epoxy concrete or something else?

    Do you heat the space with any kind of flame?

    Is disposal any kind of concern? Would your preference be long lasting but hard to dispose of or sewer-dumpable but needs refreshed periodically?

    What's your secondary cleaning process? Rarely does anyone use parts straight out of the washer. Are you using water or alcohol or brakekleen or ???? Does the shop have a faucet/sink? Do you clean over the tank so your secondary cleaner drips into the tank.

    Would you be willing to go to a different pump if the current one was not chemically compatible?

    IMO water based cleaners (esp citrus oil) have a lot of advantages depending on how those questions are answered. With modern chemical limits cleaners have become very specific items. So accurately assess your own situation before choosing. Personally, I like penetrating oil, soap, and a hot water garden hose out on the gravel driveway, screw holding that nasty tank of chemical & grease stew :)

    Good luck with it all!
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  15. billygoat67
    Joined: Jul 13, 2007
    Posts: 341


    i just bought 5gal reg cleaning solv 3wks ago $49.95. i guess what do you do when you have to have it. but a friend told me to try the local bulk oil guy he buys his for $3.00 gal there. might shop around.
  16. mj40's
    Joined: Dec 11, 2008
    Posts: 3,302


    My brother passed away this summer from years of working as a diesel mechanic and using diesel or solvents for parts cleaning. He developed lymphoid cancer from not wearing rubber gloves. Just a warning!
  17. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,015

    from Atl Ga

    I use odorless mineral spirits in mine. I don't remember the price, but I remember thinking "ouch!" It was probably about $35 for 5 gallons, and I needed 10 gallons I think.

    But it's worth it.

  18. Fighter-of-Wars
    Joined: Nov 3, 2008
    Posts: 294


    In our parts washer we have a mix of gasoline, carb cleaner, diesel fuel, kerosene, and starting fluid. Yeah, and I use just bare hands not a good idea for me.
  19. davidwilson
    Joined: Oct 8, 2008
    Posts: 595

    from Tennessee

  20. fordcragar
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 3,179

    from Yakima WA.

    I'm sorry to hear about you brother.

    Back then, this stuff wasn't bad for you. We used to do all kinds of things that you can't do now.
  21. fordcragar
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 3,179

    from Yakima WA.

    I think that I would get some rubber gloves, just in case.
  22. budd
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 3,478


    i have pretty much the same kind of cleaner, there really seems to be no good reason to have that much fluid other then submerging the pump, i have been keeping an eye out for some kind of bowl or pot or the like to weld into the bottom of mine creating a well to sit the pump down in, i should be able to get away with two gallons of cleaner, i think the cleaner just evaporates away.
  23. Paul B
    Joined: Sep 29, 2007
    Posts: 890

    Paul B

    Mark i use CRC degreaser-floor cleaner we use at work to clean the shop. i let the parts soak in there awhile, come out like new.
  24. Paul B,

    Considering the fact that Sam's has degreaser/floor cleaner for about 1/2 the price of mineral spirits- this sounds interesting.

    Do you dilute the cleaner at all/with what? And do you have issues with suds/frothing?

    Thanks, Bill
  25. I worked in a shop for a little while that used the dry cleaning fluid from the cleaners in town! They changed it out every so often anyway and were glad to give my boss all that he wanted for free. Don't know what kind of health hazard that it is, or anything about flammability, etc. but it would clean the nastiest grime off of pretty much anything! And when it got too black, he'd just go and get another 5 gallons from the cleaners. (And drop off my shirts while you're in there...)
  26. Paul B
    Joined: Sep 29, 2007
    Posts: 890

    Paul B

    Mac Ill ' have to check the barrel on Tuesday. I cant remember if it's a consentrate or 100% and the shop guys dilute it.

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