No announcement yet.

parts cleaner solent???

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • parts cleaner solent???

    Hi all. (it should read SOLVENT)

    Went to use my parts washer yesterday, that I Keep in my outside garage not attached to the house.
    Turned it on, nothing coming out. I don't use it that often. and did have a minor spill last year, so the solvent
    mut have evaporated.
    So now I need to get some more. My usual source is no longer an option. I would pay the guy, when he would accept it
    $50.00 for the 5 gallon pail.
    I was looking on line and was a little shocked at the pricing.
    So, what do you guys use?
    Solvent based or water (I have my doubts about whater based, but I could be wrong).
    What are you paying from where? (I'm in NY and would rather not ship if possible)

    Thanks, Sid
    Last edited by sid pileski; 04-22-2013, 07:53 PM. Reason: spelling

  • #2
    I get mineral spirits/varsol at the local bulk oil distributor for $33/5gallon pail.I can also get it from the local paint store for the same money.

    I tried the water based stuff and it just doesn't work for automotive and industrial dirt and grease.
    I just need one more tool,just one!


    • #3
      When I set up my parts washer I looked at the various options including "official" parts washer solvent, mineral spirits/paint thinner, kerosene, and diesel fuel. Around here diesel is about $4.00/gallon and has a fairly high flash point. I keep it far away from my hot work and the lid is closed unless I'm actually at the parts washer cleaning something.

      I know some object to its odor, but I don't have a problem with it. I also wear gloves and wash up right after using the parts washer.

      BTW, I also installed a spin on filter to help lengthen the diesel fuel's lifespan.

      On edit:

      It is my understanding dry cleaning fluid is the same as mineral spirits/paint thinner. If true, you may want to see if you could get some used solvent from a local dry cleaner. I'm not at all sure how they would react given the regulations regarding disposal of hazardous wastes.
      Last edited by Dr Stan; 04-22-2013, 09:50 PM.


      • #4
        Around here NAPA sells "solvent" for parts cleaners. $40 for 5 gallons last I bought it.


        • #5
          It is expensive, but by far the best parts cleaner solvent I have ever used.


          • #6
            I've considered the diesel/kero route. But, while diesel exhaust doesn't bother me, the fuel does.
            I'll check Napa.

            Oxford- I saw the same stuff when I was searching earlier today, and another fellow at work recommended that too. Downside, $100/5 gal! ouch.

            Thanks all for your input. The filter is a good idea also. Cheaper to change than buying cleaner if I have to.



            • #7
              I know the price is up there. I was lucky enough to bring home 2 pretty decent pails of it when we changed the solvent at work. It also helps when when you are the one that changes it and says its time for new. I will say for the price of it compared to the Napa cleaner it does work 3 times better. It's just the point of shelling out $200 to fill up your tank though.


              • #8
                I'm like weird. I have a local bulk distributor that has varsol/mineral spirits for about $40 for 5 gal - and it seems to depend on who you talk to as to whether its 'varsol' or 'mineral spirits'. The secretary was calling it mineral spirit and then the guy that got it called it varsol.... Having worked at Delta Air lines for some 35 years and handling a LOT of Jet A, the smell of kero or diesel will almost make me sick.
                If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........


                • #9
                  It is my understanding dry cleaning fluid is the same as mineral spirits/paint thinner.
                  If you think so, try washing your wife's fine "dry clean only" articles of clothing in paint thinner, and see how that works out.

                  My understanding is that dry cleaning fluid is usually Tetrachloroethylene, which is drastically different from mineral spirits, and considered very unhealthy by many. I'd do some serious research before going down that road.
                  "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979


                  • #10
                    I get K-1 kerosene for $4.00 per gallon, the same as highway diesel. I can get off-road diesel for about $0.20 per gallon cheaper. I prefer the kerosene as it has less odor and leaves the parts drier.
                    Don Young


                    • #11
                      I use Home Depot Paint Thinner in the blue cans, appx $10 a gal. I have 2 gallons, one gal. is for dirty work, 2nd gal is for final clean, I use the dirty gallon for fire starting, and get a clean new gallon, and the previously clean now becomes my dirty.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mickeyf View Post
                        My understanding is that dry cleaning fluid is usually Tetrachloroethylene, which is drastically different from mineral spirits, and considered very unhealthy by many. I'd do some serious research before going down that road.
                        I thought that was banned. Just double checked and you're correct about its use as a dry cleaning agent rather than mineral spirits. Its not only considered unhealthy, but is very unhealthy. I retract any recommendation/suggestion that it be used as a parts cleaner.


                        • #13
                          I've used one of those high $ products from Certified Labs before, I can't think of the name of it. It was red, not water-based, and I could dispose of it legally with my waste oil. One can also add a few ounces of "separator" to settle all the crud out of suspension occasionaly. I loved it. Had a pleasant smell and wasn't offensive to my nose or my skin. I wish I could remember the name of it.

                          Ah, found it.
                          Last edited by rmcphearson; 04-23-2013, 07:49 AM.
                          Golf Course Mechanic

                          Bedminster NJ


                          • #14
                            I to went the Diesel route, and when it get too dirty to use, I drain it and use it to light my brush piles. I don't notice the smell with the lid shut, and I wear chemical resistant gloves when using it. Works well enough, and right in my price range


                            • #15
                              We had mineral spirits when I first went to work at the fleet shop. Seems the boss had the hair-brained idea that he could buy a Harbor Freight parts washer, and fill it with mineral save money....Since we were the poor SOB's that had to use it, it didn't take long to realize that mineral spirits don't clean that well, it leaves an oily film on everything, and the sludge in the bottom of the parts washer tank was getting deeper at an alarming rate. Pretty soon, the guys were using aerosol cans of brake cleaner to clean parts, and the cost of doing business in the shop escalated markedly. Then, the clown from NAPA talked my boss into trying the water based cleaner. It only took the porter a whole day to clean the mineral spirits and sludge out of the parts washer, but he managed. The water based solvent went in, and within a week, we discovered why nobody else was using it. First and most important was the fact that it wouldn't clean anything...unless it was heated to about 250°f (Geez! Why bother, we already had a steam cleaner). The second thing became obvious that Monday after the first week we used the stuff.....It stunk like two dead otters stuck in a sewer pipe. It didn't take long for the office staff to take notice.
                              We went back to mineral spirits, at a considerably higher cost. My boss finally got tired of buying all of those cases of brake cleaner and asked me what the other shops in town were using....."Safety Kleen" was my answer. They supply the parts washer and the solvent (stoddard solvent) and they have a scheduled route that allows the washer to be serviced and maintained properly. Besides....they also handle used oil, cleaning products, and hazmat items. My boss thought they were for large industrial entities, but soon found out that you could even get a parts washer for your own personal use in your home, for a reasonable price, along with a service contract. We had five of them installed, at our satellite shops, and the main shop. Finally. It was actually cheaper to use the "Safety Kleen" system than it was to try and maintain our own, or substitute various other schemes. They also paid us for our waste oil, and hauled off our hazardous waste....

                              Last edited by saltmine; 04-23-2013, 02:28 PM. Reason: adding a link
                              No good deed goes unpunished.