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What happened to MEK?

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  • What happened to MEK?

    I've always had a can of Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) on hand as a handy cleanup for Dykem, magic marker, and general goo of all kinds. Now I can't find it; the local orange big-box has a "MEK subsitute." I looked it up on the EPA website and it doesn't seem all that dangerous, unlike, say Carbon Tet. Did they take it off the market or something?

  • #2
    I just saw MEK at the paint store the other day. I don't think it said "substitute" on it.

    Mike P
    Mike P
    1919 13" South Bend Lathe
    1942 Bridgeport M-head Mill

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    • #3
      I'm sure I've seen it at Lowes within the last month.
      ...Lew...

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      • #4
        Sherwin-Williams R6K10 still available.
        Scientists have shown that the moon is moving away at a tiny yet measurable distance from the earth every year. If you do the math, you can calculate that 85 million years ago the moon was orbiting the earth at a distance of about 35 feet from the earth's surface. This would explain the death of the dinosaurs. The tallest ones, anyway.

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        • #5
          Boat repair shops/fiberglass shops. Should be lots of MEK in Florida!

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          • #6
            Still available but most homeowners don't want to (and probably shouldn't) mess with the stuff. It's got some health issues associated with it and it is a pretty powerful solvent. I think they're may be some conern with hoodlums using it as an inhalant, too.

            Anyway, it's still available. Try a hardware store or paint shop instead of the big box home improvement type stores.

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            • #7
              Acetone is generally more than enough to get off Dykem and sharpie, even rubbing alcohol works pretty well, or Naptha which is pretty mild compared to MEK.

              As for dissolving sticky stuff, that Goof Off stuff works FANTASTIC.

              Did a few little double sticky tape jobs out of nylon recently. Acetone ate the parts up, so I was soaking them in alcohol over night.... Got some of the plastic safe Goof Off, off the plate in seconds and not even sticky after a wipe down. Very nice. I was impressed, and I only bought it because the hardware store didn't have alcohol. Only took a few squirts, not a whole bottle like with the alcohol.

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              • #8
                I was wondering the same thing. Last month I went to Home Depot and they had discontinued it. Tonight I went again for something else and saw MEK substitute on the shelf. What gives? I prefer MED to Acetone because it evaporates a little slower. I don't use a lot so the gallon and smaller sizes were always a good option. I wonder what MEK substitute is.

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                • #9
                  The local HD had this stuff on the shelf, but they still had MEK also.

                  Here's the MSDS for the Klean Strip MEK substitute they are carrying.

                  http://www.wmbarr.com/ProductFiles/1...Substitute.pdf
                  Steve
                  NRA Life Member

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                  • #10
                    I've cleaned up Dykem with everything from Xylene to degreaser,wouldn't waste MEK on it.
                    I just need one more tool,just one!

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                    • #11
                      Yeah, if you're just cleaning up layout dye, acetone is a good candidate. The health dangers associated with acetone are very minimal.

                      Shameless ripped from Wikipedia but easily confirmed from the MSDS:

                      Originally posted by Wiki
                      Acetone has been studied extensively and is generally recognized to have low acute and chronic toxicity if ingested and/or inhaled. Inhalation of high concentrations (around 9200 ppm) in the air caused irritation of the throat in humans in as little as 5 minutes. Inhalation of concentrations of 1000 ppm caused irritation of the eyes and of the throat in less than 1 hour; however, the inhalation of 500 ppm of acetone in the air caused no symptoms of irritation in humans even after 2 hours of exposure. Acetone is not currently regarded as a carcinogen, a mutagenic chemical or a concern for chronic neurotoxicity effects.[18]

                      Acetone can be found as an ingredient in a variety of consumer products ranging from cosmetics to processed and unprocessed foods. Acetone has been rated as a GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) substance when present in beverages, baked foods, desserts, and preserves at concentrations ranging from 5 to 8 mg/L. Additionally, a joint U.S-European study found that acetone’s "health hazards are slight."[citation needed]

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Fasttrack
                        Yeah, if you're just cleaning up layout dye, acetone is a good candidate. The health dangers associated with acetone are very minimal.

                        Shameless ripped from Wikipedia but easily confirmed from the MSDS:
                        'GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) substance when present in beverages, baked foods, desserts, and preserves at concentrations ranging from 5 to 8 mg/L.'

                        Wait, What?!?!
                        *double checks his bottle of pop*
                        Ok, It has derusting acid, But no layout dye remover, thats good.
                        Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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                        • #13
                          You can probably blame Homeland Sec. MEK is by itself exceedingly flammable but when converted to MEK Peroxide in the pure form it is highly explosive. It's easy to make and relatively cheap. It's also a lot more stable than TATP.
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                          • #14
                            Thanks for the interesting replies, everyone!

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                            • #15
                              Laquer thinner works well for just about everthing. Your local automotive paint supply store will have it. I buy it in 5 gal. pals, it's cheaper than buyuing a gallon at a time.

                              JL...................

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