Basic cleaning solution

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  • #48939
    mclark3617
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    Ok, i know about all the ultrasonic cleaning, but for those of us that have Already spent all our money on shiny metal tools, can anyone recomend a cheap solution to start with. I was thinking Naptha and a little paint brush and rinsing it with rubbing alcohol. Can anyone see any problems with that or recomend a better cleaner?

    #56580
    bernie weishapl
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    For many years when I first started I used dawn dishwashing soap, murphy’s soap, household ammonia and water mix. I would scrub everything with a brush and peg the holes out. I rinsed twice in water and then rinsed with denatured alcohol. Built a box and used a hairdryer to dry. I did this for about 10 yrs when I first started and never had a problem.

    #56581
    mclark3617
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    How did you mix everything,,,the ratios

    #56582
    stevefox
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    I have a friend who is a retired optometrist. He sent me the formula he has used for years.
    He got it from someone else who worked where he did.

    40oz distilled water
    8oz alcohol
    4oz non-sudsing ammonia
    1oz Dawn liquid detergent

    He said it works so well, he never had a reason to look for something else.
    I haven’t used it on clock parts yet, but it has worked on everything I have tried, so far.

    Steve Fox

    #56583
    tmac1956
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    • Topics Started: 171
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    Guys:

    For watches I use the seven jar method described in the Chicago School fo Watchmaking, lesson #10. I clean everything that way with the exception of the dial, the mainspring (which I replace), the hairspring (I use One Dip), and shellaced-in jewels or glued-in crystals (I run them through everything but the alcohol).

    I found the green soap here:
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000R8K9B0/ref … CJ1ZI5XMG6

    I use Naptha for the degreaser in jar #1. You can probably get by with fewer if you want.

    Later,
    Tom

    #56584
    arutha
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    • Topics Started: 85
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    What type of alcohol did you use, I know you are not supposed to use rubbing alcohol for some reason but I cant remember why?
    Paul.

    #56585
    stevefox
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    Paul,

    If you are asking me, I use denatured alcohol from Home Depot or Lowe’s.
    Rubbing alcohol has a lot of water in it, unless you are careful what you buy. I don’t know if that’s why you wouldn’t use it, though.

    There are different types of alcohol, methanol(wood alcohol), ethanol(drinking alcohol), isopropyl(rubbing alcohol) to name a few.
    I can’t tell you which would be the best.

    Steve Fox

    #56586
    arutha
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    “Rubbing alcohol, USP / Surgical spirit, B.P. is a liquid prepared and used primarily for topical application. It is prepared from a special denatured alcohol solution and contains approximately 70 percent by volume of pure, concentrated ethanol (ethyl alcohol) or isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol)” – from wikipedia.
    I am pretty sure it is isopropyl that is used in its pure form in clock cleaning solutions as it works as a good degreaser. Rubbing alcohol has other additives which can leave a film on the movement after cleaning. I bought some pure isopropyl to use in a test solution but never got around to it.
    Paul.

    #56587
    bernie weishapl
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    • Topics Started: 58
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    I mix mine up in a 2 1/2 gallon batch. I use 1/2 cup of Dawn, 1/2 cup of Murphys, 2/3 cup ammonia, and then add your 2 1/2 gallons of water.

    #56588
    stevefox
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    That could be, but I’ve seen rubbing alcohol from 60% to 95% isopropyl alcohol.
    The only ingredients I’ve seen listed on the bottle are isopropyl alcohol and water.

    Also according to Wikipedia, isopropyl alcohol is C3H8O or C3H7OH (3 ,7 and 8 are sub) and ethanol is c2h20 (2 both subs).
    I would think that the more hydrogen, the better cleaning, but I’m no chemist.

    #56589
    arutha
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    I am no chemist either thats for sure! If it is only acting as a degreaser then the soft soap I am using in my mix and the dish soap in Bernies mix is doing the same thing but maybe not as effectively? I sometimes wonder if it is better just to pay the extra and not worry about it anymore.
    Paul.

    #56590
    wcloake3
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    • Topics Started: 1
    • Total Posts: 3

    Harbor freight has an ultrasonic cleaner for $82.99. This weekend they have an online coupon for 20% off if you spend $100.00. The reviews on their site are mostly from gun reloaders whe clean their brass. They mostly rate it high. A good friend owns one and he cleans greasy car parts. He loves it. I am buying one this weekend with some of their cleaner to test it. I have a couple old movements I picked up to try things out.

    Will

    #56591
    david pierce
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    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Denatured alcohol is ethyl alcohol mixed with small amounts of methal alcohol and formaldehyde to intentionally make it poisonous.
    david

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mclark3617Basic cleaning solution