m4ff3w GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/2/10 9:16 a.m.

The Volvo I6 head won't fit in my dishwasher, so I was looking at cheap 20 gallon parts washers.

But most of what I would want to wash is aluminium, so I wouldn't want to use Simple Green or Purple Power. What economically friendly solvent is best for a garage parts washer? My garage gets HOT in the summer, as it is not insulated but it is attached to the house.

Kendall_Jones Reader
3/2/10 9:30 a.m.

If it was me, I'd just send it to the machine shop to get hot tanked. That will make it sparkle ;)


pilotbraden New Reader
3/2/10 11:12 a.m.

There are a number of aircraft degreasers. Try aircraft spruce and speciality or sportys pilot shop

itsarebuild New Reader
3/2/10 11:38 a.m.

what does simple green do to aluminum that makes it bad to use?

motomoron Reader
3/2/10 12:04 p.m.

It took watching the tools section of the local region Craigslist but I eventually turned up a genuine Safety-Kleen brand parts washer atop a 20 gallon VP Race Fuel barrel full of water, old solvent and crud.

Very shortly thereafter a friend was gifted a fresh 20 gallon barrel of real Safety-Kleen solvent by a kart shop that was closing, which he re-gifted about 3/4 of to me.

Keep the eyes open. Otherwise there's Northern Tool, Tractor Supply Company and Horrible Fright.

alex Dork
3/2/10 12:04 p.m.

Simple Green eats aluminum. Obviously, I'm no chemist, so somebody can likely explain it better, but you've gotta be pretty careful with prolonged exposure of aluminum to SG.

3/2/10 12:11 p.m.

Used SG on my SU carbs and they cleaned up right nice. Actually put them in a big tin can and boiled them on the BBQ for an hour. Wish I had known about the danger before I did them.

cwh SuperDork
3/2/10 12:39 p.m.

Aluminum dissolves in acid. In a strong acid, like pool muriatic acid, you can watch it go. Knew a guy that tried to clean an aluminum wheel by soaking it in acid overnight. It was totally gone in the morning.

m4ff3w GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/3/10 8:46 a.m.

What about just plain old kerosene? Mineral Spirits cost an arm and a leg, Tractor Supply has 5 gallon buckets of "parts cleaner solvent" for $35, so I might actually lean that way.

itsarebuild New Reader
3/3/10 1:32 p.m.

interesting. thanks for the tip. i have used it to clean aluminum parts before but i never hot tanked them in the stuff so never saw anything that corrosive about it. i will be more careful next time!

motomoron Reader
3/3/10 7:46 p.m.

I've used Simple Green to degrease aluminum parts after machining or polishing for years with excellent results.

But the Simple Green website says:

Aluminum - Is it safe to use Simple Green on aluminum? Simple Green products have been successfully and safely used on aircraft, automotive, industrial and consumer aluminum items for over 20 years. However, caution and common sense must be used: Aluminum is a soft metal that easily corrodes with unprotected exposure to water. The aqueous-base and alkalinity of Simple Green or Crystal Simple Green can accelerate the corrosion process. Therefore, contact times of All-Purpose Simple Green and Crystal Simple Green with unprotected or unpainted aluminum surfaces should be kept as brief as the job will allow - never for more than 10 minutes. Large cleaning jobs should be conducted in smaller-area stages to achieve lower contact time. Rinsing after cleaning should always be extremely thorough - paying special attention to flush out cracks and crevices to remove all Simple Green/Crystal Simple Green residues. Unfinished, uncoated or unpainted aluminum cleaned with Simple Green products should receive some sort of protectant after cleaning to prevent oxidation.

porksboy Dork
3/3/10 8:23 p.m.

I was gifted a genuine "safety Klene" machine about 20 years ago. I use plain old paint thiner from LowesDepot in it. The last time I bought some it was way less than $35.00 a gallon. I think maybe $15.00? Scrape off any caked on oil and grease before you put it in there and drain any oil well also and the solution lasts a long time.

On a related note what do you guys do with your used cleaning solution? Been about 5 years since I changed mine and will need to dispose of it.

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