View Full Version : Parts washer solvents

Dave Lehnert
09-13-2006, 2:40 PM
I just purchased a parts washer. What kinds of solvent do you use and works well?

The box it came in says “Approved for Mineral Spirits” but the manual says “never to use mineral Spirits”

Steve Clardy
09-13-2006, 4:15 PM
Use a standard parts cleaning solvent, if you can even find it.
Most of the car, truck shops have for a long time, rented the cleaners from companies like Safety Clean.
They clean and maintain them on a regular basis.
I quite working on over the roads trucks and such in 1993.
Cleaning solvent back then was over $2.00 a gallon. I have no idea how much it it now.

Go by a car or truck shop and quiz them.

Wes Bischel
09-13-2006, 5:49 PM
Depends on what you want to do. I have used Simple Green for greasy stuff. For rust/paint/grease, I have used the purple stuff (from the borg or Castroil Super something) The inside of my cleaner lost it's paint a while ago.:rolleyes:


Charles McKinley
09-13-2006, 9:19 PM
Diesel fuel.

Matt Meiser
09-13-2006, 10:01 PM
Castrol Super Clean is awesome stuff, but as Wes mentioned will remove paint rather quickly. That was an advantage when I overhauled my lathe as it took the finish that was splattered all over it right off. Also, several years ago I cleaned the bottom of my Mustang in preparation for chassis reinforcements and painting. It took all the grime and paint off the bottom of the car right to the e-coat. The stuff that ran down my arms burned them pretty bad though. I still use it frequently, but I've learned to be careful where I get it on my body and rinse frequently.

Cecil Arnold
09-13-2006, 10:05 PM
Diesel fuel (kerosene) is good. In the past one solvent used was VM&P naphtha, which was followed by something called Safety Solvent which was naphtha mixed to a higher flash point. Lately they have been using chlorinated solvents that give off some really bad smoke/fumes when it burns. I think most of the people who contract parts washers are using the chlorinated stuff mainly as a legal protection (at least for now, until the chlorinated stuff gets a bad [worse] reputation)

Peter Stahl
09-14-2006, 6:26 AM
What ever you use, make sure you wear gloves and use eye protection!

Robert Mickley
09-14-2006, 8:58 AM
I get it from the local Chevron Dealer, last time I bought it was $2.90 a gallon. Find your self a bulk oil dealer thats most likely your cheapest route out.

Diesel fuel works but it leaves a residue and if you get it on your clothes the wife is going to be one unhappy camper.

Brian Blackburn
09-14-2006, 9:09 AM
Be careful with what metals you put into super clean or purple power type chemicals. The will discolor or oxidize aluminum and brass. Works great for steel or iron.

Al Willits
09-14-2006, 2:44 PM
Dave, with all the different types of solvents out there, I'd make a list of what I was going to clean in it and check to see what will work for you.
Maybe if you see a Safety Clean driver, or call them, also check with a auto parts supplier (commerical) and see what they reccomend.

Some solvents need to be removed, some will evaporate, fwiw I prefer the ones that evaporate, just easier to deal with imho.