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Clean without a machine?!


Hutchlee
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Very often asked question -  fully answered in the pinned topic 

However, to return some brightness you need an horological ammonia based solution.
Rinse with petroleum ether (aka benzine, which is NOT benzene). Do not use lighter fluid as you will spend more per liter, and it's made to burn not to clean.

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It is perfectly safe to use Ronsonol lighter fluid; I used it all the time for the balance and pallets for all watches. It is also shellac friendly. You will need a small container with a screw top as it evaporates very quickly. Expensive if you use it for complete movement cleaning. Some on here use those cheap ultrasonic cleaners you can get from ebay.   

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1 hour ago, oldhippy said:

It is perfectly safe to use Ronsonol lighter fluid; 

I didn't said that isn't safe; I said that's more expensive, and not an horological product as it not purified enough. It is not recommended by any maker or book, they all mention benzine.

 

benzine.png.9fd24894427c8158cac40cfa0e43904e.png

 

Above from a 1904 book, much truth in the statements above ?

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I clean and rinse ( hairsprings/balance completes)  fork/pallets and escape wheel in lighter fluid and clean other parts in avgas( aviation gas) cuz its cheaper. You might use naphta instead.

Of the parts you show, you can soak balance+cock, fork and escape wheel in lighter fluid, balance+ cock seperate from the other two. I soak the rest in coca-cola over 24 to 48 hrs , brush with a tooth brush use powdered detergent as abrasive/cleaner, keep brushing under tap water as a rinse. The better you use the powder as abrasive the shinnker parts get.

Haven't yet been able to source petrolium ether to try. 

Pin pallets break/ bend easily, handle it as you do hairspring.

 

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For a budget watch such as that one, I think a soak in lighter fluid (and pegging the holes) is a reasonable suggestion. 

Alternatively, another budget suggestion is to use Cillit Bang degreaser (yes, I can’t believe I just suggested that either) which also brightens metal. I have used that in a pinch for bare brass clock parts before. 

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I don't advice to use any old cleaning agent. These modern cleaners off the shelf who knows what damage they can do. Never ever use anything like Cillet Bang on antique clocks (antique) I mean any thing from the first decade of the 20th century. Heaven knows what it can do to brass and steel. You might think it looks nice to have a bright shining movement but that doesn't make it go.  

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