Detergents and cleaners FAQ

Cleaners and Detergents FAQ v3 ------------------------------
Contents: ---------
Detergents and soaps Solvents Oils Abrasives bleaches spray and wipe cleaners Limescale removers specialist cleaners alkalis Water cleaners Stains Less likely candidates More information
Detergents and soaps --------------------
Cheapo washing up liquid: probably the fastest detergent, but the least powerful. Removes most things, very quickly. 15p/litre. It is simply liquid soap. Dries skin. Will wash clothes in 2 minutes in cold water, but can not remove everything, so not recommended for continued use. Its speed makes it useful for washing carpets, where it saves much labour.
Liquid soaps: Almost all products sold as liquid soaps are really a detergent called sodium lauryl ethyl sulphate, aka sodium laureth sulphate. This is a nearly universal low cost human cleaning detergent. It is very mildly irritant, mildly skin drying, very cheap to make, and although not currently receiving much publicity, there have been concerns about its toxicity. Nearly all commercial skin washes and shampoos contain it, regardless of price, brand, marketing, etc. Such products are not well suited to general cleaning since they contain oils and fats, and are a relatively high price per litre.
Quality washing up liquids: much better to skin than the cheapie ones, remove more types of dirt. But not as fast acting as the low cost soap type.
Ecover washing up liquid: much better on skin than other washing liquids. Can strip some household paints. Non toxic. Can also be used as body wash and shampoo: mix a very little vegetable oil in for drier skin and hair. Palm oil and castor oil are favoured for hair. (Engine oil is superb on hair, as many mechanics have found, but not advisable due to possible toxicity. Engine oils were once castor oil, so there is some similarity between the 2.)
Washing powder: more powerful than washing liquids, effective degreasing with hot water. Alkaline. More drying and irritant to skin than any washing up liquid. Biological powders also contain enzymes to improve their cleaning action at 40C, but the enzymes stop working at hotter temps. Most contain various additives such as optical brighteners etc, and powdered cardboard filler. An overnight soak with bio powder can remove a wide range of stains and organic materials, so is a good first line of treatment for unknown stains.
Washing powder tablets: take time to dissolve, thus give less cleaning time than powders. Also some brands fail to dissolve in time, giving poor washes, and clothes with a residue of washing powder, which can irritate skin.
Dishwasher detergent, powders and tablets: most powerful detergent, alkaline, requires hot water to work, the most irritant detergent to skin. Skin contact best avoided.
Dishwasher detergent, liquid: I know nowt about em.
Wonder / miracle / magic cleaners / stain removers: ordinary detergents sold at steep prices. Stain removers designed for a limited range of stains are a different thing to these general purpose wonder bars.
Soap bars: Soap intended for skin cleaning is normally superfatted, meaning it contains free fat. This makes it poorly suited to general household cleaning, and so outside the scope of this FAQ. In poorer countries a wider variety of soaps are found, with bars for household cleaning, shampooing, laundry etc, but these are not so often seen in Britain. If you want to find them, look for them at Indian supermarkets. They are often sold in big bars a foot or so long, and you slice off a new soap bar when you need one. The colours indicate which type of soap it is. They make very economical cleaners, but are not widely available, not widely used, and better cleaning products are now available. Soaps may be used for cleaning gold and silver jewellery.
Sugar soap: A soap, it has nothing to do with sugar, and is definitely not edible. Used primarily to clean paintwork, as traces of this soap don't affect houseold paints. Other soaps may be used instead so long as theyre rinsed off properly. Washing painted walls is often an effective way to rejuvenate them and avoid the need to repaint. Little paint chips can be filled in with fresh paint of the same or very slightly duller colour. It is important not to use a brighter shade, nor to let new paint overlap the edges of the chipped area at all. This method can often make a tatty wall look good again in 60-90 minutes.
Best detergents for general use: if we must pick one for all uses, it would have to be a mixture of cheap soap washing up liquid and biological washing powder. This mix gives both speed and thoroughness, as well as a wide array of stain removers all in one.
Solvents --------
Many solvents are volatile, flammable, explosive, toxic, melt plastics, and/or act as drugs. Ensure good ventilation.
White spirit: aka turps substitute. Petroleum distillates. Slow to evaporate. Dissolves un-set oil based (gloss) paints and uncured epoxy resin. Lifts dried on self adhesive labels: wet the label with it and wait a few minutes, then peel off and wipe the residue away with a rag wetted with white spirit. Safe on most plastics, but denature latex rubber gloves.
1,1,1 trichloroethylene: aka spot dry cleaner, tippex thinner. No longer sold, but still in many cupboards. Adequate ventilation essential. Never place dry cleaned goods in a closed car.
Alcohol: degreaser. Aka surgical spirit, rubbing alcohol, methylated spirits, ethanol, ethyl alcohol. Meths leaves purple dye residue behind after it evaporates. Removes fresh ballpoint ink.
Isopropyl alcohol: aka isopropanol. Almost identical properties to alcohol. Screen wash, head cleaner.
Paraffin: very slow to evaporate, repels insects, dissolves oils. One of the safer solvents. Good for degreasing vehicle underneaths and engine compartments. Apply with a brush, brush off. Where its flammabilitiy is a problem, clean up afterwards with soap and hot water, or a pressure washer. Lamp oil is a lower odour form of paraffin.
Diesel: Vehicle and parts degreaser similar to paraffin. One of the least flammable petrochemicals: a naked flame will usually not light it.
Acetone, aka nail varnish remover: dissolves polyurethane (squirt can) foam. Dissolves perspex and can be used to solvent weld it. Nail varnish may contain other ingredients.
Cellulose thinners: a powerful mix of solvents, often used when other solvents have failed. Removes tar.
Nitromethane: aka cyanoacrylate debonder, dissolves superglue
Nitromors: Methylene chloride, paint and varnish stripper. Produces fumes
Turpentine and turps substitute: gloss/eggshell/oil paint solvents. Turps substitute is white spirit.
Petrol: flammable, explosive, fumes can produce intense headaches. Not recommended for indoor use.
Lighter fluid: petroleum distillates again. More volatile than paraffin, diesel or white spirit. Removes many glues. In common with most petrochemicals, the vapour can form an explosive mixture with air, so it should only be used in very small quantities, with ventilation, and cotton buds etc with it on should be disposed of outside, not indoors.
Orange oil: aka limonene, Sticky stuff remover. A solvent oil.
Carbon tetrachloride: powerful general purpose solvent, narcotic, now banned from domestic use due to toxicity.
Pipe weld solvent:
Oils
--

Penetrating oil: oil and solvent mix, helps to free rusted parts,
dissolves oils and greases, leaves an oil film behind which attracts
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sorry, bit cryptic comments, out of time.
On 28 Apr 2005 13:24:07 -0700, in uk.d-i-y snipped-for-privacy@meeow.co.uk wrote:

Its also been said on here that warming with a hair dryer lifts these labels

This is dangerous wording as it will encourage people to use it instead. The remover *contains* acetone - not the same thing.

Used by philatelists to make water marks on stamps visible.

and lubricants?
What about silicone grease as used for assembling rubbery things, and compression polypipe fittings
Spray on silicone for lubricating curtain runners (and other plastic moving parts)
3-in-1 oil - more of a penetrating oil

You missed my stainless steel one. Its made by Spondex.
Under dishwasher detergent - add that it corrodes some steel cutlery, makes glass go cloudy?

aka ball bearings?

Is it bleach + toilet cleaners (the acid them) that generates HCN(?) cyanide gas (or is it chlorine?), hence the warnings not to do it on the containers. If so prob worth restating it here (as well as under limescale).

Really? never noticed that.

and similar such as Hyperclean (Comma Oils)

drunk surely. Ingested better.

No its not. It might work, at your risk, but certainly not the best.

Eh? Autoglym is a cutting/polishing paste for restoring paintwork. An up market t-cut.

Nope, that's the dip. Silvo and brasso are both abrasive cleaners.

maybe that's what is in Silvo.

last sentence belongs elsewhere

*Dissolves* aluminium generating H2. Didn't you do the milk top in washing soda experiment at school?
Milton - mild bleach used for sterilising baby's bottles etc
Steam...

only from smooth surfaces as per my post. ie won't get it off your fingers. don't try!

act quickly before they set in

yes (probably). also if you just rinse it off before it dries it wont stain in the first place.

so if its on smaller items, put it in freezer?

Proprietary "ring-away" works well.

put absorbent cloth over grease mark and warm with an iron. I think this is standard advice for candle grease.

was once posted here that freezing hardens it then crumble off (as per chew gum)

for what?

Do we have to use the vernacular?
Phil The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk / The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq Remove NOSPAM from address to email me
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Phil Addison wrote:

And a few more comments-on-comments...

Most nail varnish removers now contain oil, so will make the cleaning problem worse.

They generate chlorine gas. "Cyanide" is an urban myth.

For the carpet, an electronics freezer spray (Maplin, Rapid Electronics, Farnell, RS etc) is much more effective than an ice bag.

Same applies.
--
Ian White

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On Fri, 29 Apr 2005 08:59:58 +0100, in uk.d-i-y Ian White

Its a fair cop, I stand corrected. Quite glad its not true.
Phil The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk / The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq Remove NOSPAM from address to email me
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Plain soap and water will work for a while even after it dries. However, eventually the red blood cells break down releasing their iron, and that's much harder to remove. The thought just occured to me (although I've never tried it) that a rust remover such as phosphoric acid might work once that's happened.
--
Andrew Gabriel

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On 29 Apr 2005 09:22:36 GMT, in uk.d-i-y snipped-for-privacy@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew Gabriel) wrote:

I can't recall what it is, but I thought there was a chemical that removes rust stains. A reducer presumably; but that would leave iron which you say is hard to remove.
Phil The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk / The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq Remove NOSPAM from address to email me
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Phosphoric acid removes rust -- I'm not sure what any stain might look like afterwards (maybe a large hole;-). As I said, I haven't tried it -- it only occured to me as I was typing the previous response. I might have some in gel form somewhere, and I can probably find an old blood stain which no longer washes out somewhere...
--
Andrew Gabriel

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On 29 Apr 2005 10:59:58 GMT, in uk.d-i-y snipped-for-privacy@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew Gabriel) wrote:

Yes, but I was thinking of one that only removed the stain :-)
Phil The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk / The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq Remove NOSPAM from address to email me
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Phil Addison wrote:

newly incorporated material snipped

do those have cleaning uses?

Are you thinking of old copper steel cutlery?

It is under the chlorine bleach entry, so maybe I'm misunderstanding you.

they add perfumes to try to disguise it as much as poss.

I cant think of a scenario where someone is liable to drink it, but it is relatively easy for it to get into food.

not
Its what a fine art restoration expert said, so maybe we need some good references.

up
autoglym is a brand name for a range of products.

in
... or autoglym?

Toxic,
cleaners,
other
proprietary
i dont understand

and
solidified
ok, will try again there. I used w soda in an aluminium machine for 10 years with no problem, so need to convey the right level of dissolve.

anaesthetic
solvent,
everything, anything, brains, liver...

its just what it is: a better suggestion? Turd? I'll try that
cheers, NT
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On 29 Apr 2005 04:48:04 -0700, in uk.d-i-y snipped-for-privacy@meeow.co.uk wrote:

OK, perhaps not appropriate.

Dunno - whatever some of ours is made of, they have got pits in them.

Yes, saw that after. Some duplication there?

ok
Oh - ISWYM. However, I did say I am commenting from POV of 'ignorant' reader (not difficult;-) so think it needs clarifying - it sounds wierd as written.

Maybe he meant 'next' best if you don't have proper restorers facilities? My cousin is a restorer, but won't see him for at 3 weeks.

OK, haven't come across the glass one.

Just reading that para, the "Again proprietary stuff with added 'cling' is probably more effective" it does not seem to refer to anything. More effective than what? What is this proprietary stuff? What do you mean by 'added cling'? (I know, but don't assume readers will - otherwise there is no point in a FAQ if they already know!)

It causes pitting - obviously the level depends on many things. fact - it will dissolve the old ally foil milk bottle tops completely (if you can find any). Don't know effect on Al alloys.

I still don't get it. Why are you mentioning this at all? Everything else you mention what its good for. AFAI (the ignorant reader) knows its only of use to aero-modellers.

Signing off for 2 weeks - have fun with it.
Phil The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk / The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq Remove NOSPAM from address to email me
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Phil Addison wrote:
newly incorporated material snipped again

cutlery,
that also raises the q of whether its due to the detergent. I simply dont know.

but
best.
good
weeks.
He was quite clear about it, saying it was still the best cleaner for the old oil paintings he was doing. He was restoring a huge collection of enormous paintings for an estate, so clearly at least someone thinks hes an expert - but thats about all I know.

Glo-fuel is

narcotic,
its
Its the humour section. It isnt good for anything, as its just too dangerous. a mixture like that will dissolve all sorts, but what exactly seems moot. Life is more important than cleaning.

you too
NT
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     snipped-for-privacy@meeow.co.uk writes:

Pits in cutlery can be caused by leaving them in a puddle on a dissimilar metal, where electrolytic action then starts up with a circuit formed by two points of contact. It's common in tea spoons, and it happens where the two metals touch, usually the curved rear. (From a hygene point of view, any such damaged cutlery should be discarded, particularly in a resturant, as it's no longer cleanable.)
I suppose you could get it where two dissimilar metals touch in a dishwasher cutlery basket, but I don't think you can blame the detergent much (maybe the salt).
--
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Cleaners and Detergents FAQ v4 ------------------------------
Contents: ---------
Detergents and soaps Solvents Oils Abrasives bleaches spray and wipe cleaners Limescale removers specialist cleaners alkalis Water cleaners Stains Less likely candidates More information
Detergents and soaps --------------------
Cheapo washing up liquid: probably the fastest detergent, but the least powerful. Removes most things, very quickly. 15p/litre. It is simply liquid soap. Dries skin. Will wash clothes in 2 minutes in cold water, but can not remove everything, so not recommended for continued use. Do not use it in washing machines. Its speed makes it useful for hand washing carpets, where it saves much labour.
Liquid soaps: Almost all products sold as liquid soaps are really a detergent called sodium lauryl ethyl sulphate, aka sodium laureth sulphate. This is a nearly universal low cost human-cleaning detergent. It is very mildly irritant, mildly skin drying, very cheap to make, and although not currently receiving much publicity, there have been concerns about its toxicity. Nearly all commercial skin washes and shampoos contain it, regardless of price, brand, marketing, etc. Such products are not well suited to general cleaning since they contain oils and fats, and are a relatively high price per litre.
Quality washing up liquids: much better to skin than the cheapie ones, remove more types of dirt. But not as fast acting as the low cost soap type.
Ecover washing up liquid: much better on skin than other washing liquids. Can strip some household paints. Non toxic. Can also be used as body wash and shampoo: mix a very little vegetable oil in for drier skin and hair. Palm oil and castor oil are favoured for hair. (Engine oil is superb on hair, as many mechanics have found, but not advisable due to possible toxicity. Engine oils were once castor oil, so there is some similarity between the 2.)
Washing powder: more powerful than washing liquids, effective degreasing with hot water. Alkaline. More drying and irritant to skin than any washing up liquid. Biological powders also contain enzymes to improve their cleaning action at 40C, but the enzymes stop working at higher temps. Most contain various additives such as optical brighteners etc, and powdered cardboard filler. An overnight soak with bio powder can remove a wide range of stains and organic materials, so is a good first line of treatment for unknown stains.
Washing powder tablets: take time to dissolve, thus give less cleaning time than powders. Also some brands fail to dissolve in time, giving poor washes, and clothes with a residue of washing powder, which can irritate skin.
Dishwasher detergent, powders and tablets: most powerful detergent, alkaline, requires hot water to work, the most irritant detergent to skin. Skin contact best avoided. The detergent gradually attacks some types of glass, making it go cloudy in time.
Dishwasher detergent, liquid: I know nowt about em.
Wonder / miracle / magic cleaners / stain removers: ordinary detergents sold at steep prices. Note that stain removers designed for a limited range of stains are a different thing to these general purpose wonder bars. Use washing powder instead.
Soap bars: Soap intended for skin cleaning is normally superfatted, meaning it contains free fat. This makes it poorly suited to general household cleaning, and so outside the scope of this FAQ. In poorer countries a wider variety of soaps are found, with bars for household cleaning, shampooing, laundry etc, but these are not so often seen in Britain. If you want to find them, look for them at Indian supermarkets. They are often sold in big bars a foot or so long, and you slice off a new soap bar when you need one. The colours indicate which type of soap it is. They make very economical cleaners, but are not widely available, not widely used, and better cleaning products are now available. Soaps may be used for cleaning gold and silver jewellery.
Sugar soap: A soap, has nothing to do with sugar, and is definitely not edible. Used primarily to clean paintwork, as traces of this soap don't affect houseold paints. Other soaps may be used instead so long as theyre rinsed off properly. Washing painted walls is sometimes an effective way to rejuvenate them and avoid the need to repaint. Little paint chips can be filled in with fresh paint of the same or very slightly duller tint. It is important not to use a brighter shade, nor to let new paint overlap the edges of the chipped area at all. Less is more in this case. This method can often make a tatty wall look respectable again in 60-90 minutes and no materials cost.
Best detergents for general use: if we must pick one for all uses, it would probably be a mixture of cheap soap washing up liquid and biological washing powder. This mix gives both speed and thoroughness, as well as a wide array of stain removers all in one.
Solvents --------
Many solvents are volatile, flammable, explosive, toxic, melt plastics, and/or act as drugs. Ensure good ventilation.
White spirit: aka turps substitute. Petroleum distillates. Slow to evaporate. Dissolves un-set oil based (gloss) paints and uncured epoxy resin. Lifts many dried on self adhesive labels: wet the label with it and wait a few minutes, then peel off and wipe the residue away with a rag wetted with white spirit. Safe on most plastics, but not on latex rubber gloves.
1,1,1 trichloroethylene: aka spot dry cleaner, tippex thinner. No longer sold, but still in many cupboards. Adequate ventilation essential. Never place dry cleaned goods in a closed car.
Alcohol: degreaser. Aka surgical spirit, rubbing alcohol, methylated spirits, ethanol, ethyl alcohol. Meths leaves purple dye residue behind after it evaporates. Removes fresh ballpoint ink.
Isopropyl alcohol: aka isopropanol. Almost identical properties to ethyl alcohol. Screen wash, head cleaner.
Paraffin: very slow to evaporate, repels insects, dissolves oils. One of the safer solvents. Good for degreasing vehicle underneaths and engine compartments. Apply with a brush, brush off. Where its flammabilitiy is a problem, clean up afterwards with soap and hot water, or a pressure washer. Lamp oil is a lower odour form of paraffin, often with a little colouring.
Diesel: Vehicle and parts degreaser similar to paraffin. One of the least flammable petrochemical cleaners, a naked flame will usually not light it.
Acetone, an ingredient in nail varnish remover: dissolves polyurethane (squirt can) foam. Dissolves perspex and can be used to solvent weld it. Nail varnish may contain other ingredients such as lanolin, oil etc.
Cellulose thinners: a powerful mix of solvents, often used when other solvents have failed. Removes tar.
Nitromethane: aka cyanoacrylate debonder, dissolves superglue
Nitromors: Methylene chloride, paint and varnish stripper. Produces fumes
Turpentine and turps substitute: gloss/eggshell/oil paint solvents. Turps substitute is white spirit, turpentine is a plant oil.
Petrol: flammable, explosive, fumes can produce intense headaches. Not recommended for indoor use.
Lighter fluid: petroleum distillates again. More volatile than paraffin, diesel or white spirit. Removes many glues. In common with most petrochemicals, the vapour can form an explosive mixture with air, so it should only be used in very small quantities, with ventilation, and cotton buds etc with it on should be disposed of outside, not indoors. Prone to causing headache or migraine.
Orange oil: aka limonene, Sticky stuff remover. A solvent oil derived from oranges.
Carbon tetrachloride: general purpose solvent, narcotic, now banned from domestic use due to toxicity.
Pipe weld solvent:
Oils
--

Penetrating oil: oil and solvent mix, helps to free rusted parts,
dissolves oils and greases, leaves an oil film behind which attracts
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Heres the latest version. Any more input welcome.
NT
Cleaners and Detergents FAQ v5 ------------------------------
Contents: ---------
Detergents and soaps Solvents Oils Abrasives bleaches spray and wipe cleaners Limescale removers specialist cleaners alkalis Water cleaners Stains Less likely candidates Untested claims More information Safety data sheets Need a section title for
Detergents and soaps --------------------
Cheapo washing up liquid: probably the fastest detergent, but the least powerful. Removes most things, very quickly. 15p/litre. It is simply liquid soap. Dries skin. Will wash clothes in 2 minutes in cold water, but can not remove everything, so not recommended for continued use. Do not use it in washing machines, it creates a greasy film that makes them pong. Its speed makes it useful for hand washing carpets, where it saves much labour. A good lubricant for sash window runners. May be wiped onto just dried paint to prevent sticking and allow prompt reassembly.
Liquid soaps: Almost all products sold as liquid soaps are really a detergent called sodium lauryl ethyl sulphate, aka sodium laureth sulphate, plus various additives. This is a nearly universal low cost human-cleaning detergent, and a known mild irritant. Nearly all brands contain it. Such products are not well suited to general cleaning since they contain oils and fats, and are a relatively high price per litre.
Quality washing up liquids: much better to skin than the cheapie ones, remove more types of dirt. But not as fast acting as the low cost soap type.
Ecover washing up liquid: much better on skin than other washing liquids. Can strip some household paints. Non toxic. Can also be used as body wash and shampoo: mix a very little vegetable oil in for drier skin and hair. Palm oil and castor oil are favoured for hair. (Engine oil is superb on hair, as many mechanics have found, but not advisable due to possible toxicity. Engine oils were once castor oil, so there is some similarity between the 2.)
Washing powder: more powerful than washing liquids, effective degreasing with hot water. Alkaline. More drying and irritant to skin than any washing up liquid. Biological powders also contain enzymes to improve their cleaning action at 40C, but the enzymes stop working at higher temps. Washing powders various additives such as stain removers, optical brighteners etc, and powdered cardboard filler. An overnight soak with bio powder can remove a wide range of stains and organic materials, so is a good first line of treatment for unknown stains.
Washing powder tablets: take time to dissolve, thus give less cleaning time than powders. Also some brands fail to dissolve in time, giving poor washes, and clothes with a residue of irritant washing powder.
Dishwasher detergent, powders and tablets: most powerful detergent, alkaline, requires hot water to work well. The most irritant detergent to skin, skin contact best avoided. The detergent gradually attacks some types of glass, making it go cloudy in time.
Dishwasher detergent, liquid: I know nowt about em.
Wonder / miracle / magic cleaners / stain removers: ordinary detergents sold at steep prices. Note that stain removers designed for a limited range of stains are a different thing to these general purpose wonder bars. Use washing powder instead.
Soap bars: Soap intended for skin cleaning is normally superfatted, meaning it contains free fat. This makes it poorly suited to general household cleaning, and so outside the scope of this FAQ. In poorer countries a wider variety of soaps are found, with bars for household cleaning, shampooing, laundry etc, but these are not so often seen in Britain. If you want to find them, look for them at Indian supermarkets. They are often sold in big bars a foot or so long, and you slice off a new soap bar when you need one. The colours indicate which type of soap it is. They make very economical cleaners, but are not widely available, not widely used, and better cleaning products are now popular. Soaps may be used for cleaning gold and silver jewellery.
Sugar soap: A soap, has nothing to do with sugar, and is definitely not edible. Used primarily to clean paintwork, as traces of this soap don't affect household paints. Other soaps may be used instead so long as they're rinsed off properly. Washing painted walls is sometimes an effective way to rejuvenate them and avoid the need to repaint. Little paint chips can be filled in with fresh paint of the same or very slightly duller tint. It is important not to use a brighter shade, nor to let new paint overlap the edges of the chipped area at all. Less is more in this case. This method can often make a tatty wall look respectable again in 60-90 minutes with no materials cost. Whatever your painting regime, this method can make walls look better between repaints.
Solvents --------
Many solvents are volatile, flammable, explosive, toxic, melt plastics, and/or act as drugs. Ensure good ventilation.
White spirit: Petroleum distillates. Slow to evaporate. Dissolves un-set oil based (gloss) paints, good for paintbrush cleaning. Not the ideal solvent for thinning oil paints, but usable. Turps sbustitute is better for that. Dissolves uncured epoxy resin. Lifts many dried on self adhesive labels: wet the label with it and wait a few minutes, then peel off and wipe the residue away with a rag wetted with white spirit. Safe on most plastics, but not on latex rubber gloves. Vapour explosive and toxic, ventilate thoroughly. http://physchem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/WH/white_spirits.html
Turps substitute. Very similar to white spirit, but cheaper and not ideal for thinning paint.
1,1,1 trichloroethylene: aka spot dry cleaner, tippex thinner. No longer sold, but still in many cupboards. Adequate ventilation essential. Never place dry cleaned goods in a closed car.
Alcohol: degreaser. Aka surgical spirit, rubbing alcohol, methylated spirits, ethanol, ethyl alcohol. Meths leaves purple dye residue behind after it evaporates. Removes fresh ballpoint ink.
Isopropyl alcohol: aka isopropanol. Almost identical properties to ethyl alcohol. Screen wash, head cleaner.
Paraffin: very slow to evaporate, repels insects, dissolves oils. One of the safer solvents. Good for degreasing vehicle underneaths and engine compartments. Apply with a brush, brush off. Where its flammabilitiy is a problem, clean up afterwards with soap and hot water, or a pressure washer. Lamp oil is a lower odour form of paraffin, often with a little colouring.
Diesel: Vehicle and parts degreaser similar to paraffin. One of the least flammable petrochemical cleaners, a naked flame will usually not light it.
Acetone, an ingredient in nail varnish remover: dissolves polyurethane (squirt can) foam. Dissolves perspex and can be used to solvent weld it. Nail varnish remover may contain other ingredients such as lanolin, oil etc.
Cellulose thinners: a powerful mix of solvents, often used when other solvents have failed. Removes tar.
Nitromethane: aka cyanoacrylate debonder, dissolves superglue
Nitromors: Methylene chloride, paint and varnish stripper. Produces fumes
Turpentine and turps substitute: gloss/eggshell/oil paint solvents. Turpentine is a plant oil. Turps substitute is similar to white spirit, but not the same.
Petrol: flammable, explosive, fumes can produce a range of serious health problems. Not recommended for indoor use. Contains benzene, a carcinogen, not recommended for hand cleaning. Use something less toxic whenever possible. http://ptcl.chem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/BE/benzene.html
Lighter fluid: petroleum distillates again. Much more volatile than paraffin, diesel or white spirit. Removes many glues. In common with most petrochemicals, the vapour can form an explosive mixture with air, so it should only be used in very small quantities, with good ventilation, and cotton buds etc with it on should be disposed of outside not indoors.
Orange oil: aka limonene, Sticky stuff remover. A solvent oil derived from oranges. Lemon oil is similar.
Carbon tetrachloride: general purpose solvent, narcotic, now banned from domestic use due to toxicity.
Pipe weld solvent: intended for dissolving and welding pvc pipes. Dont use on plastic!
Oils
--

Penetrating oil: oil and solvent mix, helps to free rusted parts,
dissolves oils and greases, leaves an oil film behind which attracts
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On 28 May 2005 14:33:49 -0700, in uk.d-i-y snipped-for-privacy@meeow.co.uk wrote:

Is it finished now, and ready for publishing? I'm back in UK so will be looking at it shortly.
Phil
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Phil Addison wrote:

Welcome back. No not yet, I'm having to slot updates in between a busy life at the mo, but it'll get there.
Wouldnt say no to a few suggestions on how to fill in the missing bits etc, or any remaining issues. Plus theres a whole new section that needs suggestions.
NT
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snipped-for-privacy@meeow.co.uk wrote:

Drain cleaners? --------------
acid-type based on sulphuric - thick liquid
alkali based on caustic soda - available as thick liquid or powder
don't mix them :-|
danger if chemical fails to clear drain and mechanical clearing e.g. rodding, plunging then attempted
also biological type, works slowly (days/weeks rather than minutes/hours) so more for keeping prob drains clear or slowly clearing partly blocked drain.
...

...
attacks some plastics etc (friend of sprog's tried to remove unsuccessful paint job from model boat with it, ended up destroying plastic of boat)

And is more harmful, especially in high concentrations.

Could be more specific about metal(s). Brick cleaner concentration takes a very long time (c weeks) to dissolve copper, and probably does nothing to iron. I expect it reacts more vigorously with light alloys (not sure if Ali's natural AlO2 skin protects it). Definitely tarnishes Chrome (and may attack vitreous enamel on baths?) so don't use for limescale in bathrooms etc.

yes, either au naturel as a liquid for dipping or in gel/paste formulation e.g. Ronstrip which can cling to vertical surfaces while the caustic soda takes effect
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     snipped-for-privacy@ntlworld.com writes:

When I was repainting the front of my house, I took the house numbers off which had several coats of paint on them, and put them in a dish of methylene chloride paint stripper. When I went to retrieve them 10 minutes later, they were gone.
When I was in my last year at school, someone else in my year had a nasty accident with methylene chloride (at home, not in the school). He was using it to strip the paint off his bicycle. He was overcome by the fumes and collapsed into the bowl of paint stripper. I don't know what happened, and he didn't reappear at school before I left.
--
Andrew Gabriel

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Andrew Gabriel wrote:

Thanks, have found data on it, its one of the high risk ones. From what the MSDS says, it would be hard to see how your colleague could have survived, unless help was at hand.
NT
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snipped-for-privacy@ntlworld.com wrote:

good idea. I'm not quite sure if they qualify as cleaners, what does the group think? Certainly useful, either way, so might as well.

what is the danger?

thanks for another section

harmful to what, in what way?

I'll test it, I just assumed it would eat iron for breakfast.
Re weeks, there is always a likelihood of any cleaner being left behind in small amounts in corners ets, so I dont think I'd advise using HCl on any metal.

its sold for use on vitreous toilets, (tesco limescale removing toilet cleaner) and leaves them looking pretty good, so I think it would be ok. Whether it can be used on plastic baths I dont know.

ok, and I guess the easy way to paste it is with lime.
Thanks, NT
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