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parts washer tank fluid

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  • parts washer tank fluid

    Howdy folks
    I have a 20 gallon parts washer tank with pump etc. My question is: Is there some type of cleaner similar to "simple green'" fantastic", spray nine", to name a few, that can be bought in, say 5 gallon quantitys for a reasonable price? I want something that is not flammable or toxic and will leave my hands baby soft I mean without taking the skin right off. Oh yeak, and not become a bubble bath when I use the pump. God I can see it now, man "drowns in bubbles"
    Thanks guys and gals.

  • #2
    Ya right!!!
    Not in my world if you want somthing that works.
    I use varsol or cheap paint thinner. It works and has a low flash point. If your looking for "baby soft" hands do the dishes every so often.


    • #3
      I use 5 gals. of kerosene and 16 onces of "Gunk S-C". Works great and it rinses off with water.

      Paul G.
      Paul G.


      • #4
        Simple Green makes a clear unscented industrial version of the green colored household product, supposed to be a higher strength and won't leave a residue on the parts. Just saw it a couple weeks ago at a trade show and haven't used it yet, but plan on giving it a try.


        • #5
          Check out the industrial suppliers like MSC
          I'm pretty sure they sell stuff like that.
          Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
          Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
          Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
          There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
          Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
          Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


          • #6
            I've used every sort of cleaning agent there is and I always come back to mineral spirits paint thinner as being not necessarily the "best" in all catagories but has the most high marks.

            All water based cleaning agents pose a disposal problem unless they're completely evaporated down to sludge. Even the residues contain the detergents and caustics saponified oils, suspended petroleum products, and other materials that make lawful disposal expensive. Evaporating all that water can be expensive if the process is hurried along with heat.

            Then there's the rust problem when washing assemblies you don't want to dismantle. You never get all the water out unless you bake the assembly - and thene there's the chemical residue left in the crevices possible to cause corrosion especially if dissimilar metals compound the situation.

            Then there's the problem of the cleaning agents attacking filter elements in the circulation line.

            Then there's the problem of saturation; the water based stuff will hold only so much goop before it's no longer effective.

            Proprietory wash tank solvents can be very effective and not that expensive. They may pose a problem of skin irritation; some of them are unbleievable harsh on delicate hide. But they are still flammible and sometimes stinky. You have to order them from some palce usually out of town and shipping a 5 gallon container adds to the cost.

            Mineral spirits are almost universally available from any box store or paint outfit for a couple of bucks per gallon. It almost universally attacks grease and oils, it's kind to bare skin as petroleum solvents go, they have a fair amount of carrying power and it the smell bothers you you can get the de-odorized stuff for more money.

            A coherent stragegy of parts cleaning is vital to the efficent use of cleaning agents and time. Parts and assemblies should be pre-cleaned of cake, gobbed grease, and dirt with a putty knife and wire brush before going on the the wash tank. The less you have to remove in the wash tank the longer your solvent will last.

            Skin irritation can be completely negate by using nitryl gloves and a skin barrier cream. I love the "Dymon Rough Touch Scrubs in a Bucket" towelettes even if I'm not fond of their orange aroma. At $9 a pop for 75 towelettes I regard them as a good buy in the interest of keeping the hands clean and in good shape.

            Flammibility of mineral spirits is about the same as any other petrolium solvent but you're using an OSHA approved wash tank with a fusible link on the lid brace, aren't you?

            Unless you're an incredibly messy worker with a bad smoking habit and a complete disregard for shop safety flammibility of fairly safe solvents like mineral spirits shouldn't pose more of a problem than hazard recognition and basic shop safety.

            [This message has been edited by Forrest Addy (edited 10-20-2003).]


            • #7
              Forrest is thorough as usual. I don't like the water-based stuff very much. I use the solution available from NAPA auto parts, cut 50% with kerosene. It is reasonably priced, readily available, and works well. I have a smaller parts tank for the dirtier stuff, and a 5-gallon bucket with cleaner in it for the really nasty stuff. Also hanging in the bucket is a putty knife, a scraper and a couple of wire brushes. My solvents last a long time this way.
              Location: North Central Texas


              • #8
                Thanks for the replies guys, as usual we get a cross reference to a problem and then it is up to us to sort it out and decide which is best for you. The real reason I posted this subject was in the interest of safety, as I am imensely safety concious and I hate fire when I can't control it. So it looks like I will still stick with varsol and yes the tank does have the fusable link, again thanks for the replies.


                • #9
                  I use stuff called "super clean" and "grease lighting" from wally world or dollar general.

                  The super clean you can cut 50/50 with water,and the grease lightning is in a spray pump and is excellent for cleaning that brown varnish stain from machinery paint without screwing up the paint job.

                  Both contain a percentage of caustic so gloves are required,but a really good pair of chemical glooves,felt lined and guantlet length ain't that expensive and you really should have them anyway.

                  The problem I have with paint thinner/varsol is that it cleans good,but will cause health problems,I know this from experience, they gave me an irregular heart beat several times enough where I don't dare use it bare handed.

                  And did you ever check and see what your local automotive machine shop charges to vat your parts?Mine charges me $5-10 a dunk so long as I scrape all the heavy stuff off,not unreasonable if its really dirty or covered in paint,and you still can't beat causic for grease/paint removal.
                  I just need one more tool,just one!


                  • #10
                    Industrial parts washer suppliers/servicers always use a small quantity of Varsol and a lot of plain water. Look at the pump,if the suction is above the bottom it is because it is pumping only Varsol. That way you have, say, 20 gallons of dirt holding ability but only 5 gallons of Varsol.


                    • #11
                      I use SOLSAFE 245 by
                      A little pricey but lasts, dries with minimal residue. They say it is ennviromentally safe but I use Nitrile glove with it..