Pro & Con of degreasing with charcoal lighter fluid
Tried out a small amount of charcoal lighter fluid to remove old caked on grease from some lathe gearing. Worked quite well using a toothbrush. What particularly prompted me was its petroleum distillate composition, availability, and to my nose didn't have any odor. More over the Walgreen drugstore chain has it on sale yesterday and today for $1.99 for a quart. Of course you can also use the excess for its intended purpose.
What are pros and cons of this application besides its flammability and required proper protective equipment?
Last edited by browniesharp; 05-31-2010 at 09:39 AM.
Reason: additional details
Wow, I never thought of using that before.
Sounds like a decent idea. I used the electrolosis rust remal method on my quick change gears and it took the caked on died grease and metal scarf off very quickly. Flash rust took about three hours and they were like new.
At $8. a gallon you might as well just buy mineral spirits and have a great cleaning solvent.
I was under the impression it is exactly that, mineral spirits.
Used it for years along with mineral spirits paint thinner. I used charcoal lighter when I wanted to avoid the odor. Charcoal lighter is cheap and seldom leaves more than a haze to film the cleaned surface. Makes good lamp oil too.
Might be naptha instead of mineral spirits. I know the lighter fluid in zippo lighters is naptha.Used to smoke, filled lighter with naptha from the shop instead of buying zippo or ronson lighter fluid.Lot cheaper than the small cans of cigarette lighter fluid.
laundry detergent diluted with hot water works well and is fairly inexpensive.
I don't think you should use charcoal lighter for lamp oil. Heat creates vapors that are more than the wick can handle. Once upon a time, around the turn of the century, MANY homes burned down because or exploding lamps.
Kerosine or the like is the lamp oil of choice. Low vapor pressure.
Did I have your machine outside, I would have no qualms about cleaning it with gasoline. INSIDE, I would not do it.
Same with Naptha or charcoal lighter. Actually I probably would, but I would not tell you it is safe as scrubbing it with milk.
I might do this, but I would not advise you to.
I have cleaned small electronics that have been dropped in mud and water with zippo lighter fluid that worked really well. Left no residue that I could tell. TIp came from my dad who was a EE.
The charcoal lighter fluid we get here in England looks, smells, feels, cleans greasy bits, and evaporates just like paraffin - what you folks call kerosene. I don't know how it burns because I've never set fire to it; it's far too useful for that.
Paraffin has a long history as a fuel for heating and lighting in this country (though my Dad told me that better-off folks used colza oil in their lamps). Heating paraffin was always marked with a dye - usually red or blue. Undyed paraffin was heavily taxed as a motor fuel, and if you used heating paraffin in your motor, it left tell-tale traces in your engine. Woe betide you if the Customs and Excise caught you out!