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Old 07-28-02, 06:43 AM   #1
green lion
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Diesel, the ultimate cleaner?

Does anyone still use diesel to clean his drivetrain? A lot of old people still swear by diesel as the ultimate metal parts cleaner.
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Old 07-28-02, 10:23 AM   #2
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Diesel was used back in the day before actual degreasers were any good. My grandad still uses it. Is it right. Probably not. Degreasers are excellent now and while degreasing with diesel may work it isnt the best.
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Old 07-29-02, 06:19 AM   #3
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Simple Green in 1 gal. jugs for around $8 is the ultimate cleaner.
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Old 07-29-02, 11:19 PM   #4
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I guess I'm an old guy, I still use diesel, I've tried the new stuff including Simple Green etc. etc. but....

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Old 07-29-02, 11:47 PM   #5
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I use kerosene or diesel in a chain clening tool. Works great. Damn near free in the quantities you need for degreasing.
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Old 07-30-02, 04:12 AM   #6
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Ya, I agree. Diesel and kerosene are good solvents for cleaning. They work better than Simple Green or Foamy Bright or most any other solvent.

Diesel isn't as explosive as some other solvents, so it has an advantage in safety.

I prefer Kerosene over diesel because I don't like the smell of diesel.
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Old 07-30-02, 08:00 AM   #7
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Most team mechanics in the Tour De France uses diesel, you should smell the streets where they do there cleaning!
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Old 07-30-02, 09:21 AM   #8
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I've been using kerosene for years, it works great and is relatively safe.

When my grandfather used kerosene he called it "coal oil".

Isn't diesel just a high grade kerosene?
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Old 07-30-02, 10:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Louis
Isn't diesel just a high grade kerosene?
I think the reverse. Kerosene (paraffin in the UK?) is a higher grade diesel.
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Old 07-30-02, 12:48 PM   #10
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Diesel is the same as #2 fuel oil, aka, heating oil. Kerosene is similar, but slightly more refined. You can use kero in diesel applications, but not the other way around.

IMO, kerosene is cleaner to work with than diesel/#2 fuel. Kero being clear makes it easier to see parts at the bottom of a bowl.

However, disposing of petroleum products is a problem and an environmental no-no, hence the move towards citrus degreasers.

I use kero for parts cleaning. After use I let the crud settle to the bottom of the cleaning basin and the clear kero is poured back into a container for reuse. Only the crud is disposed. This is not environmentally perfect, but it's better than dumping a 1/2 gallon of kero down the kitchen sink.
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Old 07-30-02, 03:42 PM   #11
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Some personal thoughts regarding these posts:

The use and disposal of solvents are one of "the" environmental issues of our times. If a person is using diesel, it should be properly disposed of, which for the home mechanic is often difficult. There may be waste disposal services offered by your local municipality. Generally, diesel is a poor choice for the personal health of the user, a poor choice for the local environment, and a poor choice for the world environment.

Disposal of so-called biodegradable solvents is often best done down the sink or toilet, assuming you are connected to a modern wastewater treatment facility. Never do this if you are on a septic tank. This is because the treatment facility is capable of handing this type of water, which is basically the same as wastewater from a washing machine. I have seen testing on typical cleaning in the bicycle industry. Generally, we have a fairly clean industry, with very little volatile fluids, and almost none of the heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, or mercury of other industries. Do not add diesel to an otherwise toxic free industry.

Again, it is always best to discuss disposal with your local authorities.
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