Cleaning Gone Bad - Be Aware

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by claussclocks, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Mar 14, 2013
    743
    184
    43
    Male
    Texas
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The question of what to clean a movement with comes up frequently. There are a number of adequate ways to clean a clock movement and I am not here today to push any one method over another. I have a warning to give the unsuspecting novice as recently found out by someone I know.

    When a movement comes in so dirty you do not want to foul your expensive cleaning solution or one wants to clean a movement without affecting the lacquer many point to a solvent such as lantern fuel, mineral spirits, white gas, VM&P, and others. Any of these will clean dried gunk with a little soaking and scrubbing. However, be aware things are changing. In California, Texas and other states there has been a push to reduce VOC's (volatile organic compound) emissions. In California and Texas industry cleaners are supposed to have 30% VOC or less. VOC's are petroleum bases such as mineral spirits, White gas, etc..

    Recently a newbie asked about cleaning a very grungy movement. He has a sensitivity to strong smelling chemicals so I told him to go to a Big Box store or paint store and get some "Odorless Mineral Spirits", commonly referred to as OMS, it's the same thing charcoal lighter fluid is made of. He called after buying it and putting the movement in and asked if it was supposed to be white. OMS is colorless. He pulled the movement and then put it in a regular ammoniated clock solution. The result is below. What he actually bought was one of these Low VOC products labeled, "Low Odor Mineral Spirits." which only contains 30% mineral spirits. The rest is water and some chemicals that keep the water and oil in suspension. I manufacture such a product for use in a particular industry so I know what is in there. Some of these compound are not friendly to brass or bronze. The point of this post is, be careful what you get. Read the labels if you are buying something you are new to. I believe I can salvage this movement but it will require some time that otherwise was not necessary.

    7450.jpeg 7494.jpeg
     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    9,294
    489
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    How much less toxic is fatal if swallowed? It definitely degreased it
     
  3. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

    Apr 10, 2008
    1,410
    120
    63
    Male
    Hertfordshire England
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thank you for the warning
    That is usefull background knowledge for those of use who do not normaly clean clocks
     
  4. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    41,133
    792
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Yikes, that's awful! Good advise about being cautious!
     
  5. Old Rivers

    Old Rivers Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 4, 2016
    78
    5
    8
    North Texas
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The "Shake Well" label would make me very leery about this stuff.

    Bill
     
  6. tracerjack

    tracerjack Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jun 6, 2016
    869
    69
    28
    Female
    Lodi, CA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Actual 30% mineral spirits makes the giant "Mineral Spirits" on the front label of jug pretty darn misleading. I'd be fooled too.
     
  7. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

    Jun 1, 2006
    4,325
    85
    48
    Devon
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Ah VOCs, many products have reduced levels which is all well and good but the problem is with some the product isn't as good, one example that comes to mind is paint for external use.
     
  8. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Mar 14, 2013
    743
    184
    43
    Male
    Texas
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    True. Reducing VOC's usually requires using more inert materials. In the case of this product it was a surfactant and water. I manufacture a similar type product for a particular industrial application and mine does not separate and remains colorless. They took a cheap way out. I agree with Tracerjack that the label is misleading. Same principle as the longer piece of cardboard under your shorter candy bar in the wrapper. Used to be a store in this area that advertised on TV with a big sign that danced up as part of the commercial and said, "We sell Brand Name products." Every product has a brand name, but is it "Name Brand". Gotcha there
     

Share This Page