View Full Version : Degreasing Solvents:

December 5, 2009, 02:37 PM
I want to alumi-hyde something, and Brownells says to use a TCE degreaser.

Of course, they want you to buy theirs, but what else can I use as a substitute?

I was thinking of using Ether, I use that for degreasing engine parts. I've sprayed it on the sythetic stock I'm going to paint and it doesn't seem to affect it at all. I do know that it will eat through duracoat though. I used it to clean a 10|22 reciever and all the factory epoxy paint melted off :o.

My other idea was good old acetone. Brake cleaner doesn't get everything off.

Any suggestions or experiences?


December 5, 2009, 03:49 PM
The problem is that there are often contaminants in thinks like carb cleaner that can stay behind.

Brake cleaner is usually pretty oil free.

Denatured alcohol is normally ethyl alcohol denatured with methyl alcohol (though there are denaturing 'recipes' that even use gasoline).
It tends to be pretty clean.

December 5, 2009, 03:50 PM
You really have to take care with this stuff but how about Carb & Choke cleaner. Take care as it will also remove paint and start to melt some plastic. They also make a Lawn mower cleaner that you spray one and let it sit awhile, then wash it off. I'll bet that one of the Gunk products will work. Some of the ones you mentioned, can be very harmful to breath so make sure you have some ventilation. :eek:

Be Safe !!!

December 5, 2009, 08:32 PM
The better your prep, the better gun coatings work out.

I recommend multi-part cleaning.
Start out with a strong cleaner like Greased Lightning (Note that some of these cleaners WILL attack aluminum) and a tooth brush, followed by a hot water rinse.
Dry, then flush thoroughly with Acetone or Lacquer thinner.
Allow to dry again, then warm the metal with a hair dryer.
If there's any oils present the heat will cause it "blush" on the clean metal.
If so, flush again with the Acetone.

While its hard to get now after the EPA listed it as dangerous, Trichloroethane (Chloroethane) is one of the very best de-greasers, and is nominally non-inflammable. It will burn but you have to work at it.

December 6, 2009, 11:21 AM
I use any of the non-chlorinated brake cleaners out there. Good solvent capabilities, no residue left over and a very cost effective cleaner. I can get it on sale for under $3 per can.

December 6, 2009, 11:49 AM
Walmart "Tech" carb cleaner, $1.48 a can. Highly effective, but flammable.

DO NOT spray on plastics or your stock; It will take the finish off.

December 6, 2009, 11:59 AM
I have read that carb cleaners can leave a residue, thus the reason for brake cleaner. Is there any truth to the residue issue?

December 6, 2009, 03:22 PM
Yep, all those cleaners are good but you are right about some leaving a residue.
Back when Brownells first starting selling "Gun-Kote" (?) I did a few guns and parts. After the chemical cleaning, the finish didn't quite spray on as evenly as it should.
I found that after solvent cleaning, a good scrubbing in "hot" soap and water was the answer. The hotter the better as the water would evaporate from the hot metal.
My friend still has an old Norinco 1911 that still looks good.

December 7, 2009, 04:22 AM
Walmart Tech doesn't leave a residue. It's usually the more expensive brands that leave residue.

I use Walmart Tech all the time for degreasing and get excellent results.