Jump to content

Cleaning Fluids


Recommended Posts

8 minutes ago, oldhippy said:

First jar cleaning solution. Second Jar first rinse. Third jar second rinse. L & R is a very popular one to pick. You can buy this and others from all good watch/clock suppliers.  

Here is a link.

https://www.cousinsuk.com/category/watch-cleaning-rinsing-fluids

Thanks, With the rinses would you use the same rinse solution in both jars or are there specific formulas for each step? 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, easthammer said:

Thanks, With the rinses would you use the same rinse solution in both jars or are there specific formulas for each step? 

 

Same for both rinse jars. When the first rinse is too dirty, toss it and put the second rinse as the first and fill the second with new solution.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

I'm just ordering up what I need to start the Level 2 course and I'm confused about degreasers. Do I need a general degreaser as well as a hairspring degreaser?

For a general degreaser I was going to use lighter fluid. For the hairspring, Horosolv.

The problem is I cannot get anywhere online to ship Horosolv or the likes to me as I'm not in the UK. I could try eBay or Amazon but I'm getting confused as to what exactly to look for.

 

Any help greatly appreciated.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use Ronsinol (lighter fluid) for general cleaning and one dip for the hairspring and pallet fork. 
 

Often a final rinse with isopropyl alcohol is good to remove all traces of the Ronsinol, but I don’t always do that. Don’t get alcohol on the pallet fork, as it can soften the shellac. Only one dip on that and the hairspring. 
 

Like lubricants, there are a hundred answers...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Get yourself a can of  this ronsonol lighter fluid it will do the job properly better them any degreaser and it is shellac friendly. I never used any but Ronsonol, a small screw top container is handy as it evaporates very quick. If you left the complete balance and pallets in that stuff for days it won't come to any harm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 After I strip down the movement I remount the balance complete and then all parts other then the pallet fork goes into my ultrasonic cleaner with is filled with warm distilled water and a shot of a alkaline base degreaser. After this parts are dip into fresh distilled water then dip into 99.9 alcohol. Balance complete is then remove and all parts are blowed dry. I will check all parts other then the screws under my microscope and if the the balance complete needs more cleaning then I will put it into some lighter fluid and using a  straw like Mark is showing doing I will agitate the fluid. The pallet fork goes into some lighter fluid to soak  and again the fluid is agitated. As other have said the lighter fluid is safe and won't cause any problems to the shellac.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks all. I'm only starting out so trying to keep things basic/simple/cheap(ish)

So because I'm in Dublin, and alot of the stores online are UK based (even Amazon), none will even ship Ronsonol.

I can't actually find it anywhere online related to Ireland.... but I can get other brand lighter fluids e.g. Zippo or even a Tesco brand it seems.

Am I OK to use something with a reputable name like Zippo or is there something specific about the Ronsonol?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Find attached the data/safty sheets for three chemicals commonly used by amateur watch repairers for cleaning, most are petroleum distilates the other is Isopropyl Alcohol, all will work ok but be careful with and part/s which use shellac some chemicals will soften it, as far as I am aware the likes of Ronsonol/Zippo fuels are not 100% pure and may require a rinse in Isopropyl as a finishing rinse.

E-GHS_MSDS0030_BZ.pdf Zippo Lighter Fluid - EU.pdf 2018MSDSRonsonol.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, kabong said:

Thanks. I just found a place selling a "Zippo-like" fluid and when I clicked in it was Ronsonol! Will pick up some rinse fluid too. Now I just have to wait for all the stuff to arrive.... 

The Zippo brand is what I have and I order it from Amazon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, kabong said:

For a general degreaser I was going to use lighter fluid.

The general horlogy cleaning fluid is benzine (moder name petroleoum ether) not lighter fluid, not ronsolol, not zippo.

Ligther fluid is made to burn, not to clean. It contains oils and other additives. You can read books and manufacturers documents with plenty of reference to be benzine, none to lighter fluid, which by quantity is also more expensive.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Nucejoe said:

isopropinaol is Ok for quick rinse.

In my experience, and I suppose it could matter what brand of isopropanol, make that a very quick rinse. Absolutely make sure you do not rinse for more than a minute (60 seconds). Already after two minutes the shellac starts to soften and after a one or two more minutes the shellac will be in a state of dissolution.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, jdm said:

The general horlogy cleaning fluid is benzine (moder name petroleoum ether) not lighter fluid, not ronsolol, not zippo.

Ligther fluid is made to burn, not to clean. It contains oils and other additives. You can read books and manufacturers documents with plenty of reference to be benzine, none to lighter fluid, which by quantity is also more expensive.

I have cleaned and repaired thousands of watches. All the complete balances and pallets have all been cleaned in Ronsonol also my master who taught me watchmaking who had already be a watchmaker for over 40 years. As far as I know never had a a single repair back due to trouble caused by Ronsonol lighter fluid. I'm sure if he did he would not want me to use it or recommend it to me.   

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, oldhippy said:

As far as I know never had a a single repair back due to trouble caused by Ronsonol lighter fluid. 

I did not said it would cause trouble, I mentioned few facts to support the use of a proper, pure product as opposed to a surrogate which is also more expensive. Below a referen to benzine from a 1904 book, do De Carle or any watchmaker school recommend lighther fluid?

benzine.png.9fd24894427c8158cac40cfa0e43904e.png

Do we use spectacle screwdrivers? Or eyebrow tweezers? 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s good if you can use a quality petroleum distillate like L&R rinse for example, but in practice good quality lighter fuels work well for this purpose. If you are concerned with residues then perform an evaporation rest. Like oldhippy suggests, I’ve also used lighter fuel probably hundreds of times and never had an issue with it. 
 

There are other important factors at play when it comes to using solvents, such as whether or not you re-use them or not. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, rodabod said:

It’s good if you can use a quality petroleum distillate like L&R rinse for example, but in practice good quality lighter fuels work well for this purpose.

Cleaning machine users feel the need to use proprietary, expensive solutions, for this, that, then for rinse 1 or rinse 2. In reality the process should be varied depending on what you are cleaning, for example if you have brass parts that you want to make shine you should use some ammonia based product, but if you don't, that wold be totally useless.

Then about rinsing, what it is after all? Nothing but getting rid of any dirt freed and left in suspension from the previous bath, for that distilled or demineralized water is perfect, since you cannot use a water jet with a car after soap sponging. Just look the benzine jar against the  light, if there particles floating then discard and rinse again until nothing can be seen anymore. And then IPA is great final rinse because it absorbs water so to make drying faster.

However in the end, cleaning is just like lubrication, you will always meet someone that thinks and does different from  you, just like the good old book above says. Today I spoke to a guy which said that dressing drivers on a stone is wrong and one should use a file because the stone wears out, I guess he never handled an Arkansas stone or an €1.50 aluminum oxide.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeow! Nearly as heated as lubrication...

As mentioned earlier, I use Ronsinol, because it has been used (good or bad) for decades. Maybe a century now? But, I think when I run out this time, I may give VM&P Naphtha a try. It is the “main” ingredient in Ronsinol, but extremely pure so as to avoid tinting of varnishes and paint when used as a thinner. 

Both are readily available, and the cost difference is negligible at the volumes I use. I get Ronsinol at Wal Mart and VM&P is at Home Depot. So both are convenient in an “emergency”. 

I also want to test with CRC Brakleen. But that’ll be later.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a good reason for using petroleum-based solvents, particularly for the subject of this thread, degreasing hairsprings. It is simply very effective at breaking down the types of oils that we use in horology.

IPA works well as a rinse, but it splits when mixed with petroleum distillates and so is only useful for water/soap-based washing. Pure water works well as a rinse, but again splits with petroleum distillates and so the same applies. Soaps can be powerful (such as Elma and Greiner) but they do not operate in the same way that solvents do.

Ammonia is not only added to brighten brass. I deliberately use ammoniated soap for case cleaning for example.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With lighter fuels (Ronsonol, Zippo etc) the well known quality brands are usually very clean/pure and do not leave any residues.  Cheapo brands often do.  Quick test is to put a few drops on a clean mirror under a cover (to prevent airborne dust) and allow to dry.  Good quality ones usually leave no trace.  I use Ronsonol, but do a primary clean (using USonic if required) and then at least 1 secondary clean/rinse with new clean fluid.  Ronsonol etc are normally readily available in supermarkets and small stores, can't see a need to order on line etc.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/24/2020 at 8:37 AM, kabong said:

Hi,

I'm just ordering up what I need to start the Level 2 course and I'm confused about degreasers. Do I need a general degreaser as well as a hairspring degreaser?

For a general degreaser I was going to use lighter fluid. For the hairspring, Horosolv.

The problem is I cannot get anywhere online to ship Horosolv or the likes to me as I'm not in the UK. I could try eBay or Amazon but I'm getting confused as to what exactly to look for.

 

Any help greatly appreciated.

 

Lighter fluid will more than suffice for Level 2 of the course, and for watch repair has a hobby. I have used both Ronsonol and Zippo. Zippo has less odor in my opinion. I have cleaned and restored many movements using only lighter fluid, never had a problem and they come out very clean. Also, I clean everything by hand. Have yet to invest in a ultrasonic machine, but probably will later on (haven’t had the need for it yet). 
 

best of luck! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read about Naphtha and found this which i found alarming...., don't know if it is the same?

Solvent naphtha (petroleum), heavy arom.

A complex combination of hydrocarbons obtained from distillation of aromatic streams. It consists predominantly of aromatic hydrocarbons having carbon numbers predominantly in the range of C9 through C16 and boiling in the range of approximately 165°C to 290°C (330°F to 554°F).

Regulatory process names 12  Translated names 55  IUPAC names 48  Trade names 6  Other identifiers 2 

Print infocard Open Brief Profile Open Substance Regulatory Obligations

Substance identity

EC / List no.: 265-198-5

CAS no.: 64742-94-5

Mol. formula:

Hazard classification & labelling

Danger! According to the harmonised classification and labelling (CLP00) approved by the European Union, this substance may be fatal if swallowed and enters airways.

Additionally, the classification provided by companies to ECHA in REACH registrations identifies that this substance is fatal if inhaled, is very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects, is very toxic to aquatic life, causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure, may cause genetic defects, may cause cancer, is a flammable liquid and vapour, is harmful if swallowed, causes serious eye irritation, is suspected of causing cancer, is suspected of damaging fertility or the unborn child, is harmful in contact with skin, causes skin irritation, may cause drowsiness or dizziness, may cause respiratory irritation and may cause an allergic skin reaction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • jdm pinned this topic

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...