which is the best solvent to have for DIY/household uses - turpentine or denatured alchohol?

Page 1 of 2  
Hello everyone,
I know enough to know that 'best' depends upon the application. Well, what I need to do is clean off old grease from the door hinges and other body joints of an old car in the garage. I heard both are used as solvents and just wanted to know which you think to be best for my particular application. Also which do you think is more useful to have around for general household tasks?
Thank you for your recommendations and advice,
Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

Alcohol doesn't dissolve grease very well, although it is good for things like tape residue. I would use odorless mineral spirits instead of turpentine, it's a pretty good general solvent and a lot cheaper. It will not harm paint. But for hinges, you may only need WD-40, it works nicely on grease.
--
Dennis


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
rank beginner wrote:

Neither for the application. You'll need a petroleum-based solvent for the job at hand. The time-honored although not particularly safe one for that type of job is gasoline. Kerosene is much less volatile although not quite as penetrating/fast-dissolving.
For specifics, the various engine block degreasers and carb/brake cleaners are also choices.
You have to be careful around the hinges to make sure what ever you use is safe on the paint (assuming the paint is worth salvaging)...
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dpb wrote:

Right. The choice of solvent should be of the same family as that which you're trying to dilute. Both turpentine and alcohol are made from plant material. Mineral spirits (paint thinner) is made from petroleum.
Since door hinge "grease" is made from petroleum products, mineral spirits is the the solvent of choice.
If, however, you lubricated the hinges with chicken-fat, alcohol might work better.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
HeyBub wrote:

Chickens aren't plant material (at least outside of chicken "nuggets" which are, as far as I know, of indeterminate origin)...
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dpb wrote:

Good point. Still, there's nothing better than to put your lips on a chicken's nuggets...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Turpentine/mineral spirits stinks too much ! Hard to get off hands etc.

Both too stinky as well.. Try WD-40 (aka Goo Gone) on a rag..Works great

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

dpb & Rudy --
I have no particular objection to using off-the-shelf specialized degreasers e.g. 409, WD 40 etc for this application or any other. In fact, I think many of them probably have additives that could aid the degreasing..surfactants etc. ...but why have a product that only does one specialized task when there's another that does it and other tasks too...such as mineral spirits, which doubles as paint thinner.
However, as Phisherman pointed out above, kerosene has quite a few other uses and has many favorable properties.
I'll probably just get one small can each of kerosene and m. spirits.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
rank beginner wrote:

Actually, first thing I do after knocking as much off as can be done mechanically (putty knife, wire wheel/brush, whatever) is the hot-water pressure washer--does wonders. The remaining residue is then much less to deal with...
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'd hate to use water on metal parts, since it might be hard to get all the water out of tight spaces, and you might have rust issues after.
When I was younger, we would have used trichloroethane as a great solvent for greasy auto parts. It went out of production in 1996 and is hard to find, but they must have replaced it with something more environmentally (and human) friendly. Lacquer thinner or mineral spirits might be a good choice, but a knowledgeable person at a larger auto parts store might have better ideas.
JK
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Big_Jake wrote:

--
There are lots of things to worry about, but that certainly isn\'t one...

An "old car" has been through far more water (and salt) than a single
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
rank beginner wrote:

As others have noted, there is no best solvent. Around my house I have so many that it is hard to keep track of them all. A quick mental inventory tells me that I have: Stoddard solvent ("odorless" paint thinner), turpentine (the real stuff, made from pine trees), acetone, denatured alcohol (mentholated spirits for you Brits), Goof Off (a mixture of potent solvents for removing dried paint spots and the like), carburetor cleaner, naphtha (for spot cleaning clothing), and even WD-40 (not a solvent in itself but its base works well for cleaning off certain materials). Of course there is always water, the "universal" solvent.
What works best for what is all a matter of chemistry and physics. At the most basic level you have polar and non-polar solvents. You might want to skim through this article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solvent which will probably leave you confused but if even a few of the concepts stay with you it might help.
--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
on 8/26/2007 10:44 AM John McGaw said the following:

When I worked in a Sewing machine factory using a Blanchard grinder, the solvent we used to clean the preservative off the steel blanks before grinding was called Solvasol by Stoddard. The blanks were just dunked into the 5 gallon pail, using a basket type strainer with a handle on top, and the basket was twirled by the wrist for a few seconds. It was some bad sh*t and stung the hands if you got any on them.

--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"rank beginner" wrote

=409, in the white bottle. Excellent on grease. I use it on my solid oak cabinets so presumeably it won't harm paint.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks to everyone for the quick responses.
Hmm...based on a quick reading of the posts I think I'm going to go with either odorless mineral spirits or kerosene. I have heard/read mineral spirits mentioned as a solvent before as a general solvent (essentially paint thinner, right?) and since I'm looking for one that can double as a all-around household solvent, I might go for it. But I've also heard kerosene is good for grease removal. Not sure which to get at this point.
One thing to consider is the volatility of the vapors. Which of the two would be less prone to ignite (assuming room temperature), kerosene or mineral spirits?
Thank you once again,
C

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
rank beginner wrote:

Kerosene heaters are approved for residential use.
It take a blowtorch to ignite either. Don't be concerned about fire.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In some places. But not in most cities. And certainly not in any attached building (i.e. Row Houses) or multiple dwellings (more than one unit). Fortunately, I live in a place that bans kerosene heaters for residential use. It is a very dangerous form of heating.
--
Peace,
BobJ



>
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
rank beginner wrote:

...
Kerosene will work far better than mineral spirits on any caked grease that has hardened although the mineral spirits would undoubtedly work ok for white grease around a door hinge.
Either are flammable, but w/o looking up exact vapor pressures I don't know which would be the higher although I suspect m-s is. Neither will be an issue from simple temperature but both either would be a hazard in a closed area w/ open flame or a direct spark.
Overall, I fail to understand the apparent angst in going to your local NAPA and selecting a product for the purpose off the shelf. Why it also has to be some general-purpose solvent fails my "reasonableness" test for selection criteria...
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Simple Green. It works well and is bio-degradable. Usually it is sold in concentrated form, meaning you can add water to make it last longer.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 26 Aug 2007 07:18:03 -0700, rank beginner

Remove excess grease with paper towels. A toothbrush dipped in kerosene will help loosen old grease, then wipe again with paper towels. Dispose items properly. I suspect either two of the solvents mentioned will work, although not as well. WD-40 is another good solvent for your application. I like kerosene as it has lots of uses, it is inexpensive, somewhat non-toxic, helps removes/prevents rust, kind to cured paints, plastics, and skin.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.