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HorseFixer

Parts Washer Solvent

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We also use SAFETY-KLEEN. They bring full drums of virgin 150 solvent (flash point of 150), and we send back full spent product. This service is cheaper than the local petro dealer charges for delivering bulk 142 solvent (142 flash point).

Anything above the flash point of 140 is safer and less "red tape".

Kerosene or mineral spirits...which is what the 142 & 150 solvent really is.

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I use mineral spirits, from the local hardware store, in a four gallon galvanized

washtub. The tub sets on a welded up stand. I used the same set up n the day when I was a power train mechanic at a Chrysler-Dodge-Plymouth dealer. In fact the tub stand is the one I used 40 some odd years ago.......we used Varsol then, its hard to find it now.

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I use safyey-kleen services as well thru the shop. We hardly use it in the shop anymore, so most of it is for my tractor hobbie! :D I beleive it's kerosene based. It cuts through stuff really good. If I'm painting the part right away, I'll rinse the parts off with hot water afterwards, to help get a slimy skin off that gets on there with the solvent. If I'm assembling the part, I'll spray it down with rust inhibitor, otherwise in a clouple of days, it might start to surface rust.

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I use mineral spirits which I buy from Lowes,also I add one half quart of auto trans fulid which makes it very easy on your hands.

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You can purchase a small (3.5 gallon) parts washer from HOME DEPOT ONLINE for around $50. It has a pump and a "safety" lid.

A safety lid has a fusable link that melts and closes the lid in the event of a fire.

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So the parts washers you guys are referring to are just for removing years of grease and grime, not to be confused with the electrolysis tanks everyone is talking about these days, correct? :techie-reference: They use completely different chemicals?

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Yes they are Craig. One uses a solvent (parts washer) and the other uses washing soda, water, and DC electricity.

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multihobbyguy....I was talking about the washer not the solvent at HOME DEPOT ONLINE.

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We used Mineral Spirits when I worked at United Aircraft Products for parts cleaning and we do have

a gentlman that comes to our local fire house about once a month to pick up old oil and any other hazardous

material we take. the oil is re-refined.

Jim Rodgers

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duke, i use a concentrated product from "GUNK" it comes in a 1 gallon can. you then mix 9 gallons of kerosene with it. now you have ten gallons of solvent based cleaning solution. for me what i like about this is i can easily dispose of this. i mix this in with my used drain oil and bring it to my friend who heats his shop with a waste oil heater. regards mike in mass.

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Years ago when I worked in a transmission repair shop we used a mix of mineral spirits and about 5% Xylene, which I was told was to slow evaporation.

A bit of Auto trans fluid will work too but it's more oily than Xylene.

The parts washers, two of which I currently own, were heated and agitated by shop air. The one has an electric element, similar to a hot water heater element, the other has only a bubbler fed through a regulator and shop air. Both have canister filters which filter the solvent automatically when the pump is running.

I have three parts washer tanks, I use them in stages, one is for 'cleaner' items, the one is for soaking items long term, the other is a clean rinse tank for items that have soaked in the agitated tank.

My largest tank is roughly 50 gallons, the other two are about 20 gallons each. I've got a third which I rarely use.

We also used to take several old socks and tie them to the pump hose and let the thing run, the solvent would last for months in a busy shop.

I've since also put together a filtering pump for mine, I use a solvent pump, which draws the solvent through a service oil filter meant for filtering fuel oil on a tanker.

When I clean the parts washer, I pump the solvent out into a barrel using the pump and filter, and back in againthrough the filter again once the tank is cleaned.

I've been running the same solvent for years now here. Another trick I found was to lay one of those oil spill 'diapers' on the bottom of the tank, as the solids fall from the solvent while it sits, this catches the gunk and dirt, making it much easier to clean the tank. The gunk that usually builds up in the bottom of the tank can be lifted out in one easy step.

For really nasty cleaning jobs, I've always kept a larger coffee can in which I use old gas to clean things like wheel bearings and anything with heavy grease. Swirl a set of bearings around in a can full of gas and they come out totally clean in seconds. When I'm done I just let the gas evaporate in the sun. I used to just dump it in with my drain oil but I now have a guy that takes my drain oil for his waste oil burner.

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I would be very cautious using solvents in a heated tank.....you have all the componets of a fire!

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I would be very cautious using solvents in a heated tank.....you have all the componets of a fire!

The tank only gets to about 115 degrees or so. They both read right on the label to only use mineral spirits or certified parts cleaner solution.

The one also states not to use water soluable solvents, which I assume is due to corrosion.

(Any parts cleaner tank can have issues with water, since it tends to lay on the bottom and corrode the tank from the inside out).

The element isn't directly in the tank, at least not on the smaller tank, its in a resovoir which doesn't come in contact with the parts, about 4" of the rear of the tank is screened off and protected via a mesh filter. When the agitator is running, the fluid runs from front to back, along with air bubbles rising from the bottom. Its amazing how fast that tank will clean off something like an engine block compared to a cold parts tank. In the summer I rarely run the heater, just the air agitator or pump.

I've also got a small ultrasonic washer but so far I'm not impressed with it. I bought it for cleaning fragile parts but so far its not as great as I've been led to believe. It takes off loose dirt and grease fine but don't seem to do anything for baked on grease or carbon. It may well be that I've not found the right cleaning solution yet though.

I would think that for the home user, a simple 50/50 mix of Dawn dish soap would do a pretty decent job on most greasy parts and eliminate a lot of the nasty chemicals to dispose of. You would be amazed at how much that stuff goes to work on grease. It won't touch paint or undercoating though and the presence of water also induces rust if the cleaned item isn't sprayed with some sort of oil pretty quick.

Over the years I've had heated caustic tanks, (way too much trouble and way too nasty to clean up after), heated spray washers, (great but noisey and expensive to run and they take up a lot of space). A basic soak tank and then a shallow parts washer for small parts works best for lower volume work.

Safety Clean will also service a customer owned tank if you wish as well. From what I can tell, Safety Clean's solvent is a mineral spirits based solution too with additives to slow evaporation and stop corrosion.

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One day when I have the room, I'm going to have 2 parts washers, 1 for the dirty stuff, and 1 that stays clean for final washing of (for example) engine and gearbox stuff before assembly. Every few months you would dump the dirty tanks solvent, and refill it with the stuff from the clean tank. The clean tank would then get new solvent.

I've been successful draining the dirty solvent into a bucket, allowing it to settle and then decanting the top 3/4 of the solvent off the top. I havent tried it but some guys put water in the barrel first, and the mineral spirits sits on top of that.

:dunno:

I seem to spend half my life in the solvent tank (at work) so dirty nasty tanks are a pet peeve of mine....

I put water in gallon milk jugs in the bottom of mine. works good and does not take as much to fill..

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I use 1 gallon of Simple Green, $12.99 at TSC. I just put 1 gallon in and fill with water. It's works great, however it has removed the paint from the bottom of the tank and if you leave a painted part in over night it will do the same. I also took a heating element for a water heater and mounted it inside the tank. I just cut a hole in the back of the tank, used a little silicone to make a good seal and mounted a temp.control with switch on the outside. It only takes a few minutes to heat up, I have it set around 90 degrees.

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We have several types at work the primary one I use is a safety kleen tank that has a water based alkaline solvent, It is a heated tank and will eat almost anything including the paint, not too bad on the hands but a pain to wash off. We have to add more water to it every few days and it does leave a white film on the parts, I clean that off with ethanol, we just happen to buy it in 50 gallon drums at 95% pure, we use this for cleaning Ink of our printers, The denatured alcohol you buy at the hardware store is only about 35% pure

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We too use Saftey Kleen at work and that is where I do most of my parts. i dont know whether it is green or not but I doubt it. They change out and recycle every 3 weeks. At home for small stuff I use kerosene.

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This thread started a long time ago (2008).

My income has decreased a bit since then, and I'm now using Kerosene in my tank. Yes its smelly, but half the price of Mineral Spirits. (Only $4.20 a gallon around here currently!). Not too hard on the hands, works well but as I said 4 years ago it does leave an oily residue on the parts.

I did buy a small, plastic benchtop unit (from Horrible Freight) as a second "clean" tank that I use for the final wash before reassembling engines and gearboxes etc. Total nasty piece of crap, but it works OK and can be stored easily under the bench when its not needed. I use Mineral Spirits in that as it only holds a couple of gallons.

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duke i use diesel fuel in mine, not near as flammable as gas but still burns and is cheaper than 7.95 and cuts grease and oil very well

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:text-thankyouyellow: Good Info. :handgestures-thumbupright: This post is so damn old :eek: 4 years its about time for me to service my tank again. :eusa-think::text-thankyouyellow: for the reminder.

~Duke

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Jerrel made a statement about the sound waves used in the military for cleaning the bottles for the tow missle system. I took care of one of those bccs vans when I was in germany, Boy how time flys been longer than I care to admit!!! Anyhow it was outdated back then a man might check goverment liquidaters and come up with the pieces and parts to make a sonic parts washer never thought about it till just now, might be a simple build with a few trips to radio shack. For somebody with more initiative than me that is.

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We use kerosene at the shop, every now and again we'll mix it with gunk, comes in a small square tin, but a haven't been able to find it recently. I also rigged our cleaner to run through a heavier pump and a diesel fuel filter off of one of the old tractors at the farm, but we still ran kerosene a few times before.

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