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Thread: Acetone alternative??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    Reston, Virginia USA
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    Default Acetone alternative??

    I love cleaning stubborn grease/grime and stains with acetone. Is there something just as effective that won't strip/bubble-up machine paint? Mineral spirits are not as effective.

    Thanks for your opinions.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2004
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    N.J.
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    Freon TF, Varsol, Agitene, etc

  3. #3
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    Oct 2006
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    Ivins, Ut
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    Xylene and toluene work well, but the stink is too obnoxious for me unless its a small job. They both trash nitrile gloves fairly quickly.

  4. #4
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    Deep in the Heart of Texas!
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    Naphtha works almost as well as lacquer thinner and acetone but doesn't attack most finishes. It has a slight oily feel but dries fast. Its a step above mineral spirits.

    As Reggie mentioned, there's "near refrigerant" type solvents but the really good ones have been banished by the EPA. I still have a stash of HCFC 141-B.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2015
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    You guys are awesome! - Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Dec 2004
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    East Coast, USA
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    I use this stuff to clean any grease/grime/etc. You can mix it for more strength as needed and really cleans the grease/grime (and mouse tar) really well.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00103YQ88

    Work hard play hard

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Colton, Washington, USA
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    Kerosene is surprisingly useful and will "cut" some materials that more potent solvents will not touch, for instance tape adhesive, even if it is dried out. Besides using it as a cutting fluid on aluminum I keep squirt bottles of it scattered here and there in the shop. By far, it is the most-used solvent at my place. It's relatively cheap, too. It evaporates slowly and leaves little residue.

    We had no electricity where I grew up; so, our world was lighted with kerosene lamps and at times, heated with kerosene.
    So many projects. So little time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Houston,TX
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    12

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    I usually use either mineral spirits or preferably Simple Green to cut the first coat of grime and oil and then a second wipedown with denatured alcohol to get the final bit of oil film and to help dry it immediately.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orrin View Post
    Kerosene is surprisingly useful and will "cut" some materials that more potent solvents will not touch, for instance tape adhesive, even if it is dried out. Besides using it as a cutting fluid on aluminum I keep squirt bottles of it scattered here and there in the shop. By far, it is the most-used solvent at my place. It's relatively cheap, too. It evaporates slowly and leaves little residue.
    I was just about to suggest WD-40 for the same cleaning purposes; it works a lot like straight kerosene and a lot of people have it already. Either one cleans a little differently than acetone, but works very well for grease and grime. It'll take the nasty stuff off and leave the paint on your mill or lathe looking like new (well, as good as it can look anyway).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Appalachian Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orrin View Post
    Kerosene is surprisingly useful and will "cut" some materials that more potent solvents will not touch, for instance tape adhesive, even if it is dried out. Besides using it as a cutting fluid on aluminum I keep squirt bottles of it scattered here and there in the shop. By far, it is the most-used solvent at my place. It's relatively cheap, too. It evaporates slowly and leaves little residue.
    I'll second the recommendation about keeping kerosene around the shop. I also buy gallons of D Limonene (you can get it from Amazon, eBay, or search the web to find it to buy direct). It's an eye watering $60/gallon, but you can put about 20% in kerosene to make a good cleaning agent. I use old WD-40 hand pump spray bottles to hold the mixture. I also use the limonene direct when the grime is really stubborn.

    I also use kerosene as a carrier for oils... I dissolve about 10 to 15% vasoline in kerosene to get a spray that I can apply to parts to help provide some long term protection. The kerosene evaporates and leaves a thin coat of vasoline on the surface. I also have a spray bottle with a 5% honey oil, 10% vasoline and 10% white wax mixture in kerosene. When the kerosene evaporates it leaves a much more durable coating. I use that for stuff that is going to get stored.

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