View Full Version : Solvent for a Parts Washer

Randy Forbes
10-12-2003, 04:12 PM
I used to just lease the parts washer from Safety-Kleen. They would handle all the media replenishment and epa paperwork. I was set up at their minimum service interval (8 weeks).

Granted, owning your own is cheaper as far as equipment costs go, but there is something to be said for having a buffer between you (the small hazardous generator) and the government...

You might contact Safety-Kleen anyway and see if they sell/accept solvent from a hobbyist's standpoint.

10-12-2003, 06:19 PM
I have a 5 gallon unit and I use Mineral Spirits as the degreaser. Recycling is taken care of at the same time I recycle my motor oil at the county collection facility.

The next time around I think I'll switch to "Greased Lightning" a water soluable product that works wonders. Mineral Spirits is low falmability, but not as low as Greased Lightning.

I have often wondered about leasing from Safety Kleen, but my usage pattern is intermittient; I'll go 6 months without any usage (the mineral spirits go into a sealed metal container) and then I'll have a need and use it heavily for about a month. so, SK didn't seem like a good fit. The county recycling facility is about 10 miles away and is a good excuse to drive the A30.

10-12-2003, 06:28 PM
I never even thought about checking with Safety Kleen... thanks for the idea Randy!

ThomP - you raised a good point. I better check with my local recycling center and see if they will take used solvent, and in what type of container. Also, thanks for the heads up on the "greased lightening" - I check it out.


10-12-2003, 08:53 PM
I use paint thinner but I only have a 3 gallon washer. So for $6 I can replace all the thinner.
I change it out about twice a year or after each Sprite restoration.

10-12-2003, 09:50 PM
Thanks for the info... I have never used paint thinner before and will have to give it a try.


10-13-2003, 03:20 AM
Just picked me up a new 20 gallon parts washer and I'm interested in knowing if anyone has any suggestions for a good solvent to use? With concerns about flammable liquids, caustic solutions, environmental concerns, etc. I'm looking for something that really works but considers my concerns. Any suggestions?


Pete Haburt
10-25-2003, 06:51 PM
Paint thinner may soften the recirculating pump body and ruin it due to distorion if it is made of plastic. This happened to my 3 gallon Harbor freight unit using a mixture of kerosene with some gasoline added to it.
Pete H

10-25-2003, 09:52 PM
Thanks for the heads up! I'll make sure to check this out thoroughly before using any paint thinner.


10-25-2003, 11:44 PM
My parts washer is a Horrible Freight cheapie.
I have been using paint thinner in it for 3 years now. I use it alot. I restore 2-3
spridgets a year. The pump seems to take it.
Or let's say for about $50, I can't complain.

10-26-2003, 09:26 AM
You should use Stoddard Solvent in your parts washer. Most oil distributers stock this solvent. It is the same solvent used by commercial cleaning services. (Safety Clean, etc.)

10-26-2003, 10:38 AM
I'll keep this here in the Healey forum, but also put it in the Tools forum where it can be replied to.


[ 10-26-2003: Message edited by: Basil ]</p>

10-26-2003, 12:52 PM
Simple Green or Greased Lighting (mentioned also by ThomP). I don't know that they're the best, but I feel they're the safest.

I worked at a large car dealership during high school & college and the only fires I saw started in the paint shop when cans or barrels of thinner went up. I don't need that in my garage.

10-27-2003, 04:14 AM
I can tell you one not to use-Castrol Purple. I had it in my parts washer for six months. When it got dirty enough that I had to change it out, I drained it and was amazed at what I found. The aluminum mesh strainer for my pump had been completely disolved away, all the paint on the bottom of the tank had been eated away and replaced with thick rust. I diluted the stuff 8 parts water to one part Castrol Purple. It worked good for cleaning but left the surface so clean that I had rust forming if pasts were left in the tank overnight. Used to use kerosine or varsol till I got enviouremently friendly, Now I'm back to varsol again

11-30-2003, 12:30 AM
would you recommend it for degreasing an engine compartment though? OReilley's has it on sale and I was thinking about getting a gallon

Jim Weatherford
11-30-2003, 02:30 AM
For engine compartments and under car cleaning I'm a big fan of steam cleaning. However with "Lord Lucas, Prince of Darkness" lurking about it's a good idea to be very careful with steam or solvents, but then a tooth brush just isn't the ticket either.

I guess you have to live dangeriously and just choose one and go to it very carefully, at least the steam won't cause your car to blow up! Maybe that's a good choice? Maybe using engine exterior cleaner with a steam chaser is the answer? I don't know, I get so-o-o confused.

11-30-2003, 12:19 PM
I don't have access to a steam jenny at home, and Lucas isn't a consideration, when I get to cleaning it for a repaint, the Harness and everything else will be gone

11-30-2003, 03:51 PM
Has anybody added a heater to the non-flamable degreasers that are used in a parts washer? The heat may do more of the work?


12-04-2003, 05:31 PM
I haven't tried heating the stuff up, but that's an interesting thought... will have to give it a try.