cleaning movements

ozzy

Registered User
Jan 21, 2007
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I have been cleaning my movements with SHELLITE.It evaporates very quickly and does not leave a residue.
Is this ok or is there a better product?
 

Don Dahlberg

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Aug 31, 2000
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The question is will it leave a residue? Does it have any high molecular weight components like waxes that will not evaporate?

Take a clean piece of glass and put a few drops on the glass. After it evaporates examine the glass under magnification for any residue.

The advantage of commercial watch cleaners is they have detergents and metal brighteners. This leaves you with less hand cleaning and give a nicer looking metal surface. As far as function is concerned, clean is clean.

Don
 

Modersohn

Registered User
Nov 15, 2003
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I still find the question of how safe or toxic the commercial clearners are very confusing, and ultimately dissuasive of my thoughts about learning how to clean and ultimtely repair watches.

I have a studio with normal ventilation, plus I have an air purifier, which deals with various substances, but I"m not sure whether fumes are one.

I also could open the window, and have the ultrasonic cleaner near the window.

What I don't know if whether that set-up would provide adequate ventillation or not. I don't have any others fan or hood-- only the normal air circulation and the effects of an open window (where it is often somewhat breezy).

Could anyone answer the question if t his isprotective or not? Or would I need specialized equipment to make it safe to use the cleaners.

By the way, would turpentine and acetone be a good wash and/or rinse?

Thanks Modersohn
 

Don Dahlberg

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NAWCC Member
Aug 31, 2000
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The main components of the commercial wash and total components of the rinse are Stoddard's Solvent and VM&P Naphta (about 3:1 ratio). Stoddard's Solvent is paint thinner. Naphtha is similar, but more volatile. The number one danger is fire. The second danger is prolonged breathing of paint thinner. Clearly you do not vacate your house when you paint with an oil based paint. Never the less, you would not want to be exposed to that night after night.

A small hood over your cleaner would be great. Otherwise I open my window just a bit during and for a couple of hours after cleaning watches. I am a hobbiest, so I only clean watches about once a week.

Acetone would not be a good cleaner, because is is much more volatile and a greater fire danger. Turpentine is not very pure and would leave a residue.

Nothing beats a good commercial watch cleaning solution. I make my own rinse, but it took me a while to find good quality Stoddard's Solvent and VM&P Naphta that did not leave a residue. I purchased several brands before I found some good ones.

Don
 

Tracy L Willits

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NAWCC Member
Jan 20, 2008
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Hi Don. I know it has been a while, but could you tell me what brand or kind of paint thinner and naphta you use to rinse watch movements, and will it ruin any laquered finish that may be on the movements? I am mostly a clock guy but would like to learn watches as well. Thanks, Tracy.
 

Don Dahlberg

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NAWCC Member
Aug 31, 2000
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I have been using Klean-Strip products.

Laquer is not one thing. There are many types. Many are soluble in mineral spritits (Stoddard's Solvent) and Naphtha. Watches are not laquered, except painted dials. Never try to clean a watch painted dial.

Don
 

Jake

Registered User
Oct 22, 2004
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Why not use what the professionals use? Either L&R or Zenith cleaners and rinse. They are designed to clean watches, have been formulated by chemists for the specific purpose of cleaning watches, and do not present unreasonable safety hazards. Jake
 

Dave Haynes

Registered User
Sep 12, 2000
1,297
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I use L&R Nofoam and rinse. It does a great job and has no issues with fire or fumes. Naptha or "White Gas" is petroleum based and is very flammable. I always felt uncomfortable running an electric motor over a jar of highly flammable liquid. There is enough liquid in there to burn down your house. In my Ultrasonic I use a solution of Simple Green.
 

fthorsby

Registered User
Jan 16, 2009
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Flushing, Mi
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When using an ultrasonic cleaner, do you pour the cleaning fluid directly into the tank? Even with such "safe" cleaners such as Simple Green or L&R Clean and Rinse? I had read that L&R recommends the beaker method or placing the cleaner fluid inside a container the sits in plain water, in the tank.

Also, is there another step you perform after taking the parts out of the cleaning solution, such as dunking it in naptha or alcohol, or do you just dry the parts?

Thanks
 

Dave Haynes

Registered User
Sep 12, 2000
1,297
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The L&R is used in the L&R machine (jars) the Ultrasonic an old Bulova, I just use to clean cases, bands, etc. I was told by a professional jeweler to try Simple Green instead of commercial cleaners, it is cheap and effective. I hand rinse with hot water.
 

Patrick Rolland

New Member
Feb 25, 2009
4
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Dave,
Hello I'm new here also. I was wondering when you use the simple green do you use the regular stuff or the concentrate? And if you use the concentrate what is your mix ratio?
Thanks for and info,
-Pat Rolland
 

Kevin W.

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Apr 11, 2002
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Hi Dave i just wanted to add , there are many postings on Simple Green.If you do a search you will find lots of information on this website.:)
 

Dave Haynes

Registered User
Sep 12, 2000
1,297
3
38
I'm pretty loose with the ratio, maybe 25% and 75% water. I only clean cases and bands in the ultrasonic.
 
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