Softsoap

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  • #48527
    arutha
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    • Topics Started: 85
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    I have noticed a lot of diy clock cleaning solutions use a component called “softsoap”. From what I can gather it is an almost liquid form of soap that can be used in household cleaning and is very good for tiled floors. Do any of you know exactly what type of soap this is as whenever this comes up in forums etc nobody seems to actualy know what it is? I have done a lot of searching on google but am still at a complete loss. It is not the sort of liquid soap you find in hand dispensers.
    Thanks in advance for any help :)
    Paul.

    #53077
    tmac1956
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    • Topics Started: 171
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    @Arutha wrote:

    I have noticed a lot of diy clock cleaning solutions use a component called “softsoap”. From what I can gather it is an almost liquid form of soap that can be used in household cleaning and is very good for tiled floors. Do any of you know exactly what type of soap this is as whenever this comes up in forums etc nobody seems to actualy know what it is? I have done a lot of searching on google but am still at a complete loss. It is not the sort of liquid soap you find in hand dispensers.
    Thanks in advance for any help :)
    Paul.

    Paul:

    A lot of the old books on watch repair use a mixture of distilled water, amonia, and something called “Tincture of Green Soap”. You can find that at Cosco and it’s sold on eBay by the gallon.

    tmac1956

    #53078
    mahlon
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 28
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    Hey Paul;
    I just use a liquid dish soap( just make sure it has no bleach in it, it reacts with the ammonia). The one I used called for,Ammonia,soft soap water and vegetable oil. Just mix it up and let it set over night I put more ammonia in it and it worked pretty good. I have also used toilet bowl cleaner on brass. It works realy fast. Thats what I use to clean fan blades for vintage fans. They polish very nice.
    Mahlon

    #53079
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
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    Mahlon, doesnt toilet bowl cleaner have hydrochloric acid in it? the stuff my wife uses does, but I am sure that it is needed because of me. 😯 I like burritos. William

    #53080
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
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    hey Paul, could soft soap mean liquid soap, also the ingredient I am under the impression to look for would be “oleic acid” which is found in murphys oil soap, I have heard a chemist talk about liquid soap as a wetting agent, but I am not sure what that exactly means, cheers, William

    #53081
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
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    After doing a bit more research I found that green soap contains isopropyl alcohol. I then did a search on isopropyl alcohol and came up with the data sheet on the L&R Clock Cleaning Solution.
    Their CONCENTRATED solution contains;

    AMMONIUM HYDROXIDE (CERCLA) 30-40%
    WATER 10-20%
    OLEIC ACID 5-10%
    ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL (SARA 313) 20-25%
    PINE OIL 5-10%

    1 Pint of this makes 1 gallon of solution. Just add tap water although to make sure it didnt leave any residue I would add distilled water.

    This is starting to make me think that the green soap is the best way to go as the Isopropyl alcohol is obviously doing something useful.
    My solution at the moment is;
    85% Tap water
    14% Fairy Liquid (dish detergent)
    1% 99% pure ammonia.
    It does a fantastic job and makes the brass bright and shiny but I have seen movements come out cleaner, well, maybe not cleaner but not a single trace of black grot left on the brass. I have bought a tub of traditional soft soap which looks like cake mix and is not quite liquid, I will mix this up with warm water to get it liquid, add in a small amount of ammonia and try it with and without the Isopropyl alcohol to see if there is any difference.
    At this point I am not too sure how essential Oleic acid is, something else I will try in my mixtures. :)

    #53082
    arutha
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    • Topics Started: 85
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    I have now just read that a chemist thinks the oleic acid could be there as an anti corrosive, to help stop the brass tarnishing quickly after it has been cleaned.
    I love google :)

    #53083
    mahlon
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 28
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    Paul, I have a solution that i purchased awhile back you might try.
    8oz. Formula 409
    24oz. household ammonia
    2oz. Jet dry (dishwasher additive)
    1gal.tap.water
    Mix together, it makes about two gals.
    However he does causioun against useing it on cast brass, because it is more poreous,it can cause the brass to become brittle.
    I’ve used Lysol toilet bowl cleaner for years to clean brass. It’s the lye in it the cleans away tarnish. It turns it a copper color, but it will buff to a brilliant shine.
    Mahlon

    #53084
    arutha
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    Thanks Mahlon, not sure what formula 409 is, more research :)

    #53085
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
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    I cant buy it in the UK, if I get it from the US from amazon it costs £67.86! A bit out of my price range 😯

    #53086
    mahlon
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 28
    • Total Posts: 215

    Paul, 409 is just a household cleaner in a spray bottle. You probable have something simular there. After you mix this up, pour the amount you need in a container, and heat it up(don’t boil), then soak parts for 30-45 min., rinse and dry.
    Mahlon

    #53087
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    To be honest Mahlon, unless I am pretty sure what is in the solution I would be a little dubious about using it. I will carry on with my soap testing for now and let you know how it goes.
    Many thanks for your help and suggestions, always appreciated :)
    Paul.

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