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Old 03-11-2018, 09:52 AM   #1
wrndln
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Default Removing caked on grease and crud

I typically beadblast most of the parts in am restoring. However, it is very hard to blast off grease and grease laden crud. Usually the grease is also covered with dirt and other crud. I can scrape off some of the crud with a putty knife, but grease is hard to remove and beadblasting grease takes forever to remove. I would like a chemical that is easy to dispose of, not a solvent based liquid. I know petroleum based degreasers work well, but hard to dispose of when the part(s) are degreased. If someone has found a good, cheap degreaser that I can pour in a pan to submerge the part in to remove most or all the crud before beadblasting, would you post it below?
Rusty Nelson
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Old 03-11-2018, 09:58 AM   #2
Steve Plucker
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

When I cleaned up my early 1929 Tudor parts, I used Simple Green. It not only left the original paint but did a good job on losening up the hard grease and grime.

However...if the part is left in the Simple Green to long...it will also work on the old paint also. 24 hours was best for me.

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Old 03-11-2018, 10:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

Thanks, Steve for the tip.
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:39 AM   #4
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

A pressure washer with a recovery area works best. A plastic tarp and a kiddie pool make the recovery area. Then the cleaner of choice. I use mineral spirits. Never had much luck with non-petroleum solutions.
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

Soak in diesel.
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

Clean/scrape the heavy curd off and have hot tanked.
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

On parts and pieces that can handle heat use a torch to heat the grease until it burns out the oils. Will blast clean easily then.
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

Scrape as best you can
Oven cleaner in the sun
Hot water/pressure wash
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:25 PM   #9
BILL WILLIAMSON
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

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Scrape as best you can
Oven cleaner in the sun
Hot water/pressure wash
And a stiff, aggressive wire brush.
Bill Tired
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

i soaked parts on kerosene for long periods and it turned the caked grease back into grease. Usually a stiff brush i could brush it off or putty knife scraped it off much easier.
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:43 PM   #11
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

If the parts are small enough, I submerge them in a drum of caustic soda and connect the battery charger to it and an electrode also hanging in the caustic. I vary the current by increasing/decreasing the amount of electrode in the caustic so I use all the charger can put out without going off the scale. Sometimes, it is just a piece of sheetmetal offcut, sometimes a piece of rod so it works for the whole length of the component.
Parts come out with out paint.
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:39 PM   #12
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

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Scrape as best you can
Oven cleaner in the sun
Hot water/pressure wash
X2 on the oven cleaner. It works and can be bought at the dollar store.
Scrape off most of the crud with a putty knife before using the oven cleaner.
Might take a second application to get really thick crud off.
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:01 PM   #13
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

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X2 on the oven cleaner. It works and can be bought at the dollar store.
Scrape off most of the crud with a putty knife before using the oven cleaner.
Might take a second application to get really thick crud off.
Yep, oven cleaner, scrape the thick stuff and spray, may require several apps.
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:16 PM   #14
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

Thanks all for the degreasing tips. Looks like oven cleaner and maybe electrolysis is worth a try.
Rusty Nelson
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:38 AM   #15
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

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Thanks all for the degreasing tips. Looks like oven cleaner and maybe electrolysis is worth a try.
Rusty Nelson


If using oven cleaner, make sure to wear a mask ! It will only take a small wiff of that stuff in your nose to show why a mask is necessary. It cuts grease well though.


If you are concerned regarding environment and disposal, remember; 'a drop of DAWN and the grease is gone' ! Liquid dish soap that is.

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Old 03-12-2018, 06:13 PM   #16
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

The oven cleaner will do the trick. But be mindful when you are brushing it ,to wear a long sleeve shirt and gloves and most importantly good eye protection. That stuff will burn like hades. And forget it if you get into your eyes. Cleaning the parts is great. but not at the expense of your eyesight. And the mask as hardtimes suggested is mandatory also.
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Old 03-12-2018, 06:37 PM   #17
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

Check You tube for electrolysis methods and results.
I like Super Purple. Auto Zone has it on sale quite often.
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Old 03-12-2018, 06:57 PM   #18
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

Rusty, if you want to use something that is safe and doesnít screw everything up, use Dawn dishwashing liquid soap. It doesnít even bother my hands although I do use a hand moisturizer and my hands arenít all cracked and dry.

I mix it 50/50 with water and let stuff soak overnight, and it softens just about anything. You are still going to have toxic crud leftover, but itís better than solvent or other hazardous stuff.

If it removes grease and oil from those poor Exxon ducks, it will soften that grease and crud of yours so itís easy to wipe or brush off.

Mike
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Old 03-12-2018, 07:14 PM   #19
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

Scrape off the excess with a chisel. Then, using good rubber gloves, apply some methylene chloride (paint remover.) Let set, then scrape again with a chisel and some coarse steel wool. Wipe clean with Mineral Spirits to remove residual oils. Gets you down to sanding prior to priming and paint.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:48 PM   #20
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

X2 on super purple. If you haven't used it before, you will be amazed at how it cuts thru 90 years of muck.
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:12 PM   #21
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

To get the built up stuff off, I used a plastic scraper, oven cleaner, rinse, then clean as any other dirty part.

I have a question on electrolysis, I thought the part had to be clean and it only removed rust?
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:58 AM   #22
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

Electrolysis will remove rust and paint, but probably not grease and dirt if it's thick and hard.
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:49 AM   #23
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

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The oven cleaner will do the trick. But be mindful when you are brushing it ,to wear a long sleeve shirt and gloves and most importantly good eye protection. That stuff will burn like hades. And forget it if you get into your eyes. Cleaning the parts is great. but not at the expense of your eyesight. And the mask as hardtimes suggested is mandatory also.
The best neutralizer for spilt/splashed oven cleaner or any lye based product is beer. Don't laugh, it works.
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Old 03-14-2018, 03:31 PM   #24
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Default Re: Removing caked on grease and crud

A long time go there was an ‘auto laundry’ in Portland that would steam clean a chassis (dirt cheap even, as it were). Boy, did that work slick! In one day my Tudor chassis was spotless! That shop is out of business, and I don’t know if such an operation would even be allowed now. But if you find one close by that’s still in biz, get thee over there!
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Old 03-14-2018, 05:17 PM   #25
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A long time go there was an Ďauto laundryí in Portland that would steam clean a chassis (dirt cheap even, as it were). Boy, did that work slick! In one day my Tudor chassis was spotless! That shop is out of business, and I donít know if such an operation would even be allowed now. But if you find one close by thatís still in biz, get thee over there!
That steam can have its downside if used on an intact car that you don't intend to dismantle. I took a car to a place in North Portland years ago. The heat from the steam was so intense that is caused a section of paint to lift off of one fender. The process is very good at cleaning off an accumulation of gunk but it will also remove undercoating and so much of the good grease that you may end up with squeaks, creaks, and other sounds that weren't there before.
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Old 03-14-2018, 05:26 PM   #26
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That steam can have its downside if used on an intact car that you don't intend to dismantle. I took a car to a place in North Portland years ago. The heat from the steam was so intense that is caused a section of paint to lift off of one fender. The process is very good at cleaning off an accumulation of gunk but it will also remove undercoating and so much of the good grease that you may end up with squeaks, creaks, and other sounds that weren't there before.
Yes. To clarify, my Tudor was set to be completely dismantled for rebuilding right after the steam cleaning, so I wasn’t too concerned. As it happened the steamer knew to keep his work focussed on the chassis gunk. I think the company’s name was Russ’s Auto Laundry, located over near Lloyd Center. If you also lived in Portland, you might remember that place.
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:25 PM   #27
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On parts and pieces that can handle heat use a torch to heat the grease until it burns out the oils. Will blast clean easily then.
X2 works fast and what I prefer - you will lose paint though. I always plan on doing my paint work anyway.
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:31 PM   #28
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No 700, I went to the cheap place on North Williams Avenue where the operators were probably skilled but also impaired by the Ranier Ale that I observed them drinking on that hot day. Should have known better but was just a 17-year old kid with a $50 car and had assumed adults knew better.
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