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Durant Mike

Parts washer cleaning fluid

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In my garage I have a 25 gallon parts washer. I found some biodegradeable parts cleaner fluid and have it installed but it stinks. Does not clean the parts quick, will not cut the grease well and causes the parts to rust quickly. Some have suggested Diesel Fuel, some have suggested Kerosene. Does anybody know where or what brand of parts cleaner that will closely resemble what we used to get before the EPA put their two cents worth in?

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I buy a parts cleaner made buy Castrol from my local lubericant dist. It looks, smells and works like the stuff the Safety Kleen folks use. The solvent is Product #81207 cleaner, It's a mineral solvent, not water based. I like it a lot..............Bob

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I have experimented with different cleaners, and you're correct, some get rancid and smell terrible. I cured that problem by adding a little bleach. As far as not cleaning well, if your tank is not heated, is will not clean well. Safety Kleen tanks, and some others, are heated. It not only cleans much better, but it feels a lot better in the winter. Cold cleaning solution will get you nowhere

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I contacted the Agitene people and they are sending me a free sample. I'll try that out and see if I like that. I'll let you all know and thanks for everyone's help on this.

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Two years ago Super agitene was $12/gal. Castrol was $5/gal.

Prices for both are probably higher now........Bob

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I received the free gallon of Agitene yesterday. I chose that over the Super Agitene since the company recommended it if you were going to paint the parts you cleaned. Seems the lanolin leaves a residue that also must be cleaned off, another step. When I opened the can I noticed the odor, think it's safe for a home garage to leave in the parts washer? Does it evaporate much? Also is there a place I can buy or get a sample of the Castrol product mentioned? I am a home restorer and don't have a wholesale jobber contact. I'll also search the web to see if I can find one. Thanks all for your replies, AACA comes through again.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I am a home restorer and don't have a wholesale jobber contact </div></div>

That would be a pretty accurate description of me. I just looked in the yellow pages under "lubricants" for a contact. The next day their truck stopped by and dropped off 5 pails and took my check.

BTW, Any cleaner you use holds grease and oils in suspension and will leave a surface film once it gets dirty enough.

For the home user I think the solvent type cleaners do a much better job. The water based solvents are pretty wimpy unless they are in a hot tank.........Bob

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For what it's worth, back in the 60's i worked in a body shop that was part of a GM dealership , in the mechanics workshop which had a staff of 8 mechanics all they used for parts cleaning was a 50 gal drum cut down the centre, welded to a stand and filled with kerosene. from memory i think it was only changed every 2-3wks depending on how often it was used.

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Yup that was the way a lot of things were done back then. Chances are when they changed the kero they just burned it off or dumped it behind the shop. I haven't changed my fluid yet and i'm not sure what I will do with it.

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We found back then that the waste cleaning kero and waste paint thinner made great weed killer , it was probably no good for the enviroment though.

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I buy solvent from Crystal Clean. They normally service parts washers (like Safety Kleen). But they will sell you a drum of solvent without the service. You can look on their website for a branch in your area. Their truck will deliver the drum to your location. www.crystal-clean.com

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Agitene works pretty well. It has an extremely low evaporation rate. We have that in one washer and off road diesel in the other. The diesel works just as well and is much cheaper. Either way you are going to have to remove the residue on the parts before painting. The residue does keep parts from rusting though.

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Thanks Late Nite Customs! I probably will end up with the Agitene. I emailed the sales department and they quoted me $60 per 5 gallons. Seems a bit pricey, but I like the 1 gallon sample I received. Works well. Where I'm at I'm having a hard time finding kerosene, since here in Central Florida no one heats with it in the winter time. We do have diesel fuel of course. I like the fact that the evaporation rate is low. I've had some in a cup for about a week now and it has evaporated very little.

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