I have recently acquired a part built 5" gauge loco. The previous builder has covered everything in a rather generous coating of grease. A quick look on google shows lots of different degreaser products, has anyone got a product or brand recommendation. I don't have a parts washer so looks like it going to be an old toothbrush job. Paul
Hi Paul, Brake cleaner should work, a CRC product if I remember correctly. Help it along with the toothbrush. Recent discussions on issues with the cleaning product getting in behind other parts & the coming out ruining your paint could be worth a read. Brake clean evaporates so may not be an issue.
I use brake clean. Has worked well for me over the years. Available in pressurised cans and also in containers which is good for dipping your rags in. Also a bit cheaper. The 20L containers also bear the name fuellite which I have also brought as it’s cheaper than buying branded crc products. Also not had any issues with painting over the surfaces, although I always clean with thinners prior to painting anyway.
Just avoid Washing up Liquid which will leave a deposit that will prevent paint adhering to it. Any solvent would probably do, but you'll want to use something like lab grade Acetone to get it squeaky clean for painting without a hint of any grease or deposits.
I would start with parafin or petrol to start with to soften and get rid of the bulk of the muck and then resort to one of the solvents above, I like acetone, dry cleaning fluid and isopropyl alcohol. As roger says finish up with acetone before you paint or the thinners for the paint you are using. Car paint mixers/suppliers sell paint prep degreaser which I reckon is mostly acetone anyway.
Life's a long song , but the tune ends too soon for us all!
Petrol is the cheapest of all, I use it all the time, good for paint brushes too
That certainly works, but get it on your hands and you smell of the stuff for days!
It's also damn expensive (although a bit cheaper at the moment).
Member, Committee member and Webmaster for Tiverton & District MES www.tivertonmodelengineering.org.uk Built and run 3 1/2" Rob Roy Built (and sold) 5" Stanier 2-6-4T Built 5" Charlatan Building 5" Pansy x 3 Building 3 1/2" Doris Early in building 7 1/4" Dean Single (Lorna Doone)
It seems no one follows the Archers! Check out what happened to Grey Gables as a result of using petrol for cleaning🤣🤣🤣🤣
Cellulose paint thinner is excellent for cleaning, less flammable than petrol. It also evaporates easily and doesn’t cause paint problems. It is available from car paint suppliers as “gun wash” and often from Lidl. It is cheap, stinks and dissolves many finishes including pain, also most protective gloves! Another less aggressive cleaner is panel wipe also from car paint suppliers intended to wipe down existing painted surfaces.
The best degreaser is cellulose thinners because when it evaporates it takes the grease with it and leaves a chemically clean surface ready for painting. If there is a lot of grease, you may need to degrease twice.....once to get the worst off, then once again to finally clean up. If you have any bolted together parts, like the photo, you should break them down into their individual parts, otherwise you will have solvent and grease in the joint which won't come out until you start to paint. Then it will ruin your paint finish. The same problem occurs with riveted joints, and the only way to get over the problem is to heat up after cleaning, to try and drive out the trapped solvent. With solvents though, you must be careful about the inflammability of it.
Edit. Roger is right. Never use washing up liquid for any cleaning where subsequent painting is likely. Washing up liquid always leaves a microscopic coating that interferes with the adhesion of ALL paints, including etch primers, and the only way to get rid of it is to wash again, a couple of times, with cellulose thinners. When I had the paint business. 90% of the queries I had to sort out for people, were adhesion problems caused by the use of washing up liquid as a degreaser.
Not necessarily true. You can have a mixture of two or more elements that evaporate at the same rate. In spite of distillation being used to enrich drinkable spirits, ethanol and water can form a mixture where both parts evaporate together.
Thanks for the suggestions everyone, I'll see what the local motor spares shop has in the way of brake cleaner & thinners. Bob, yes I will have to unbolt everything as the grease has got everywhere. Paul