What fluid do you use to clean parts?
My T was easy but the A has 80 years of oil, grease and road grime on most of the underside. In some cases it is 1/4 inch thick and 1/8 is common.
Scraping the undercarriage is easy but cleaning nuts, bolts, small parts, etc. is a pain.
I don't want to purchase a real parts washer so I have a 5 gallon pail with a wire basket and need to find a good solvent.
What do you guys use?
Almost forgot - I am not an environmental nut but but it should be somewhat easy to dispose of and cheap!
When I worked in the garage 60 yrs ago, we used gas. But now that is a no no. When I have a small part to clean, I still use small amount.
Lots of brake cleaner. Soak like you describe. Lacquer thinner. Sand blast if you have access to a cabinet though that is a luxury. No smoking.
I bought a Harbor Freight blasting cabinet and a Harbor Freight parts washer years ago. The cabinet is filled with aluminum oxide media, and the parts washer is filled with 6 gallons of mineral spirits.
If I need to get something totally spotless after the parts washer, I give it a spray with brake cleaner.
Kerosene, brake cleaner, dynamite, lacquer thinner, wire brush, putty knife and a neighbor kid if I can get him to do it for a couple bucks. Then blast with a friend's bead blaster. A little gunk and the car wash takes care of some of the light stuff. Did I mention dynamite?
If you have Northern Hydraulic Store they sell 5 gallon buckets of parts cleaner. Works great for grease & oil crud. I use it in my parts washer,but you could just put your basket in. It's kind of like mineral spirits, but better solvent.
Commercial sandblasting service
Depending on what works best for the part being cleaned.
I have found some degreaser called black maxx that I really like, biodegradable, works better than any thing I've found in a long time. No affiliation with this product other than a user. KGB
Fred What are you trying to clean. The car or the parts? If you are cleaning small parts off the car they sell a small bench top parts washer @ HF. As far as solvent goes check with your local petroleum distributor to see if they sell stoddard solvent. It is less flammable, smells better & is not a neurotoxin like some brake cleaners & paint thinners are. If you are trying to clean the hole car look into a small pressure washer & hook it up to your hot water heater. The car wash guy will have a fit if he catches you degreasing the hole car.
I recently discovered a water based - biodegradable cleaner called Oil Eater. I soak parts over night then hose off. I just used it to clean the rear axle housings... inside! I plugged up the end and the holes then poured it in full strength. The housing came out like new!!! Next day I transferred the solution to the other housing with the same results. It cleans up best with hot water. It also works well on greasy clothes and is safe to user in the washing machine.
My son is a mechanic and all the guys there use it to wash their uniforms. Best I've found so far.
Stoddard Solvent IS a neurotoxin, and it's probably what is being sold to Bob. Granted, it's safer than some stuff; and much safer than modern gasoline. HOWEVER wear gloves & protective clothing. I didn't for decades and now I have Long-Term Solvent Exposure disorder. For me it shows up mostly as memory gaps-so far. There are lots of modern cleaners that are supposed to be safer to use; like the one John mentioned (which sounds pretty good). Most of the time though, cleaning takes manual effort and it's usually the messiest part of any restoration.
And NO, I am not a ranting anti-chemical person, just one whose been around too much stuff too long--and Yes, I still break the rules now and then!
I've tried a lot of things but am amazed how well kerosene works. Some products can be hard on the finish after the grease is gone. No drawbacks with kerosene that I can see. Gonna buy some more real soon.
Lacquer thinner. I buy it by the gallon(s).
As usual, I agree with Royce.
Heavy Duty "Easy Off" Oven Cleaner, which is designed to cut through thick, baked on grease in ovens and in bar-b-que grills, is great for cutting through crusty 80 year old grease and grime. Just spray it on, let it sit for a few minutes and wipe or scape off the mess. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and eye protection. Jim Patrick
Stood arid solvent. 99 bucks for 5 gallons.
Oven cleaner works good on the hard-to-get-at stuff.
Royce - I always consider your advice as a source of reliable and very useable information from "one who knows", however, acronyms are usually "lost" on me and I haven't the slightest idea what you mean by "MEM", and Google is no help at all! What on earth do you mean by "MEM"??? Thanks,.....harold
I took that as MEK but will let him clarify. You could throw acetone in while adding some more nasty stuff.I suppose touline may do some good but makes a better octane booster. All options if laying around but all nasty to our health.