Jump to content

Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay

- - - - -

Parts cleaners, who uses one?

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic



    Lost in Cyber Space

  • Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 3
  • 10,344 Thanks
  • 15,621 posts
  • Location: Pennsylvania

Posted February 01, 2011 - 11:57 AM

I have been thinking about this for a while now too. I haven't used a parts cleaner a whole lot other then when I used to assemble plastic blow mold machines. I know they were helpful cleaning parts in some ways. I am wondering what the general consensus is as far as how beneficial would one be for cleaning up some of the gt parts?

A pressure washer will only clean so much and then once you finish with the pressure washer and start the tear down it would be nice to be able to easily remove any leftover grease. Will a parts washer take care of this? If so what is the best chemical to put in the parts washer?

#2 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

Texas Deere and Horse

    RED Wild Hogs, Horses & Deeres

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1435
  • 14,859 Thanks
  • 15,510 posts
  • Location: East of San Antonio Texas

Posted February 01, 2011 - 12:07 PM


At my shop now I have a commercial parts washer, "Saf-t-clean" I think. I don't like using it because of the smell that I get all over everything, My wife hates that smell,LOL. I used to have a parts washer that used a biodegradable solution in hot water and pressure. I don't have that machine anymore, but was thinking of finding an old standalone dishwasher that I could roll around in my shop at home. I need to find out what the name of the cleaning solution was. When the parts came out, they were very warm and not slipery to the touch. I would still spray them off with a paint prep before I would paint them.

I also use Brake cleaner alot and it doesn't leave a residue.

Hope this helps with what you were thinking, Brian

#3 mjodrey OFFLINE  



  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 92
  • 2,356 Thanks
  • 13,481 posts
  • Location: Upper Granville, Nova Scotia, Canada

Posted February 01, 2011 - 12:27 PM

I have a parts washer at my shop,and at the moment I use Varsol in it but there are a few "safe" solvents that you could use.When I say safe,I mean environmentally safe.I have not as of yet started using any of these so I can't give you any product names.As Brian has said,parts washers do tend to leave a bit of a residue ,so if it is something you are going to paint,then it would need to be cleaned and prepped accordingly for paint.

#4 bhts OFFLINE  


    Bob's Lawn and Garden Tractors

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Sponsor
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 945
  • 1,472 Thanks
  • 2,165 posts
  • Location: ohio

Posted February 01, 2011 - 12:50 PM

I have two parts washers one for the heavy stuff and then two the other to finish. Mine are the 20 gallon ones from harbor freight.The stuff i use in them i get from advance auto not much smell at all but it does run around $80 for 5 gallons. I would not use any water based stuff due to it will cause rust. I use mine pretty heaily and go through around 20 plus gallons a year. Just remember that any tank will work it is the solvent that does the work.

#5 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

Reverend Blair


  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 1659
  • 501 Thanks
  • 952 posts
  • Location: Winnipeg

Posted February 01, 2011 - 12:51 PM

I don't have one, but I've used them and think they're great, especially for small parts. Saves a lot of brushing and fiddling around.

The best one I've seen was at a machine/electronics shop that used to specialize in fixing darkroom equipment and photographic accessories (tripods etc.) It used ultrasonic waves as well as cleaning solution and would get the most stubborn crud out of the smallest spaces. It's the only machine I've seen that would take developer stains off of a porcelain heater, then turn around and degrease a drive chain.

Rolly, the guy who owned the shop, built it himself but I've seen others on the market. The heart of the system was the ultrasonic generator (not sure what they're really called) that he picked up from a Jewelry maker that went belly up though.
  • caseguy said thank you

#6 64bolens OFFLINE  


    New Member

  • New Member
  • Member No: 1960
  • 0 Thanks
  • 1 posts
  • Location: bath ny

Posted February 01, 2011 - 01:02 PM

mineral spirts is what was in the one at my work and ive cleaned some nasty heads and blocks in it and it does a good job. and for final cleaning a good spray down of mean green on purple power works wonderful

#7 oldgearhead OFFLINE  



  • Member
  • Member No: 1891
  • 12 Thanks
  • 24 posts
  • Location: N.W. Missouri

Posted February 01, 2011 - 02:18 PM

I have a twenty gallon parts washer. I have used it for over twenty years. I first used Stoddard Solvent and then petroleum namptha. I purchased the cleaner in 55 gallon drums. The last was a cleaner purchased at parts store. That was the last I purchased and it was expensive. On small engines I don't think a 20 gallon tank is necessary. I think a 3 gallon tank would be big enough.

#8 caseguy OFFLINE  


    Connoisseur of Rusty Junk

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 906
  • 1,628 Thanks
  • 5,600 posts
  • Location: Edinburg, PA

Posted February 01, 2011 - 07:05 PM

I built mt own out of some parts that I had lying around. My FIL used to own a meat cutting business, so I used the tray from a machine called a patty maker mounted on top of a 20 gallon drum (held in place with 3 all-thread rods) and a base that I made out of some angle iron and a piece of 1/4" steel plate. I bought the pump from Harbor Freight and it's been working just fine for 8 years now. For solvent I use Kerosene. It's fairly cheap and when it gets too dirty, I use it to start fires in the burn pit out back. It also does a great job of cleaning the parts and I just hose the stuff down quickly with brake cleaner to get the residue off. Right now, it's buried under some other stuff, but when I get up there again I'll get some pics to share. To answer your original question George, I don't know how I ever lived without it! Next to my wire wheel on my grinder and my air compressor, It's my next most used tool! The pumps are cheap and the rest of the stuff can be whatever you have lying around! I must say that the idea of the ultrasonic cleaner intrigues me though...less scrubbing involved. I'd have to change solvents though. Food for thought!

#9 Alc ONLINE  



  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1094
  • 7,035 Thanks
  • 7,500 posts
  • Location: Bangor Pa

Posted February 01, 2011 - 08:03 PM

I have a small 30 HF type with mineral spirits , don't use it much anymore , at work we have one with a commercial cleaner that doesn't get used often either but we do use a product called Grez-Off .. Spray on and wash off with water .
Spray Nine Corporation

#10 tweidman OFFLINE  



  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 5
  • 251 Thanks
  • 797 posts
  • Location: Ackermanville,Pa

Posted February 03, 2011 - 09:24 PM

I have a small saf-t-clean cleaner. I have had mine for around 10 years. I think that it must be one of the most useful things in my garage.