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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What solvent do you use to clean engine parts? Years ago we always used stoddard solvent but now I've seen some shops use only brake clean. There seems to be brake clean that works well and other that doesn't. I have a couple of new cans of Motorcraft brake clean but it only smells strong, it hardly touches motor oil or grease that is fresh, let along baked on grease.
 

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I use CRC Brake Kleen in the red can for spot cleaning. Works great when you need to diagnose a leak as it dries pretty much residue free and can be blown dry instantly with compressed air. For overall cleaning I'll use Super Clean or Purple Power with a scrub brush. You do have to be careful with them around aluminum. In my parts washer, I use mineral spirits.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
...In my parts washer, I use mineral spirits.

I know mineral spirits, paint thinner, stoddard solvent, naphtha and others are often considered the same product. Have you ever noticed any differences? I got my Motorcraft brake clean from a mechanic at a dealership. He said each warranty kit came with a full can of this brake clean but the mechanics won't use it, so useless. I guess he was asking me to look for something that it would remove. Good thing its free.
 

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I have used pine sol (the straight kind- non diluted) that seems pretty good- will clean carbs like brand new- Do not inhale fumes though- they don't seem bad but will burn your lungs. Old brake cleaner or old carb cleaner work really well but the newer formula isn't very good for degreaser (and will also not kill bees on contact like the old stuff). So far I think the pine sol is the best since I can't get the old stuff. Dollar store is the cheapest I have found BTW.
 

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Lately it's been Blaster degreaser and Zep purple industrial degreaser. The purple you should be able to get locally at a big box store. The Blaster is going to need to be from an industrial hardware joint. The purple works for most things, really caked on I use the Blaster. The purple will eventually take the worst spots off but it's more elbow grease and applications than the Blaster. The Blaster is plenty expensive though more than twice the price of Zep.

https://blastercorp.com/product/parts-washer-solvent/

https://www.zep.com/product/zepcommercial/industrial-purple-cleaner-degreaser-concentrate
 

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I have an old electric deep fryer (with basket) that's ideal for soaking small parts. I have a gallon of "Gunk" Carb Cleaner in it. FYI, it won't eat through the SS pan as it did in the original metal container.
 
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