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removal of cosmoline...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dragonfly, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Looked into "search" area, but I can't find any info there.....!
    I had used 6 cans of carb cleaner, some rags, a 3m pad, and 2 cans of foaming engine cleaner to help emusify this GUNK!
    This is all over a US Military tent stove/heater, ( 1941 it says), I recently purchased from the sportsmans guide.
    It is sticky and then some....oh yeah and it reeks terribly!
    I also have another 'piece', that goes into the stove/heater, with a LOT of varied shaped pieces that is the oil burner unit for this type of stove/heater. I figure at the rate it took to clean the larger pieces, this is gonna cost an arm a leg, and I'll have to mortgage the CAT as well!
    Any suggestions?
    This GUNK is some form of protectant, that evidently was at one time a slime mix, of paraffin/s and grease/s, with an evaporator chemical mixed with it. to help it dry into a solid...?
    It's a disaster to clean, especially since this GUNK has been there since the 50's!
    The TM was dated 1952 last printing!
  2. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    A google search has opened my eyes!
    Now, seriously I never advocate using anything as volatile as gasoline, besides it's NOT healthy to allow that junk into your skin! Especially here in Arizona with the ethanol/methanol additives!
    But, I found out that a lot of people use all kinds of NASTY items like: acetone ( a real bugger!) and xylene! OUCH!
    Not what I wanted to know about, as I know about these chemicals all to well! (ever read those MSDS' ?) most cause severe nerve damage, and long lasting bad things, to go wrong inside the human body!
    But there was some GOOD NEWS!
    Boiling Hot Water is the answer!
    Steam works, but the pouring of really hot water will melt that goo, and rinse it off at the same time!
    No chemicals, no scrubbing, and no hassles, except to do all of this outside, as it makes one really big mess!
    Some use wallpaper steamers to remove it as well.
    I don't mind a bit of work, but that stove was a biggie, and it made one heck of a mess! Not to mention the smell outside, being mixed with carburetor spray cleaner! Another thing I wanted to avoid, but what's done is done, now.
    So, I'll set up my coleman stove, get a big "old" pot and boil water and either pour it over the pieces, or just dip the parts into the pot.
    (then I'll have a heyday cleaning off the pot!)
    Just some info I thought you might find as handy as I just did!
    (seems the "base" ingredient of this gunk is none other than vaseline!)
  3. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    I use brake clean.
  4. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    This works for me. On small parts. Of course you have to do it when the wife is gone!!!!

    The dishwasher. I bought a case of FAL mags that were still in the plastic and covered in cosmoline. After an hour of scrubbing I found that hot water cut it as easily as anything else. And the way my mind works, Hey! the dishwasher sprays hot water. I put them in the dishwasher, put it on heavy wash and whaa laa!! No more cosmo. I took a couple apart to make sue they were dry inside. They were. But I used a blow dryer to make sure.
    Since I have used it on several items. Works great. Just run it through a cycle or two afterwards to clean out any residue. So far I haven't found any mess.
    And the wifes none the wiser!!
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Cautionary note: Septic tanks are not fond of things that don't readily biodegrade including oils and greases. Now I know most folks on septic tanks don't use dishwashers, but still --

    +1 on when she who must be obeyed is going to be out for a couple dishwasher cycles. Likewise when you wash your shop rags in the clothes washer.

  6. nugafonos

    nugafonos Monkey++

    Zounds like you're on the rightrak using hot wah-ter! Best way I ever read was to use a small steamer machine I guess many stores carry (forgot exactly what use they're designed for). Heat, not chemicals seems to be the way.
  7. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Yes you have to be careful with septics. Which I have. I use a microbiological additive every 3 months to aid in keeping it clean. An old farmhouse I once owned was built in the 40's. It (like most of that era) had all of the lines from the kitchen running out to a "grease trap". A seperate septic just for greasy kitchen water. The bathroom plumbng was all that went into the septic tank. The washing machine drain line ran out to the garden.
    They didn't waste anything back then.
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    "Modern" septic tanks have a grease trap built in. I don't think it is necessary to use any additives (not sure they work on greases anyway) if grease down the drain is limited and the tank is pumped now and then. FWIW, my parents never pumped their tank in 20 years and didn't use additives. Also FWIW, not a bit of grease went down the drains beyond residual pan grease after the pan was wiped out. I think one could get by rather nicely just cleaning the grease trap rather than pumping out the tank.

    What I DO know is that one of the fastest way to have your septic field fail is to allow grease into the laterals.

    As you guys surely know, separating gray water (bathtub drains) from the waste pipe is usually ok. Not only does it take care of the grass, but it saves well (or tap) water. (But it doesn't return the water to the ground very effectively due to evaporation.) Check with the local codes, and don't let the baby do the diaper thing in the tub during baths. :D
  9. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    We added brewers yeast once every few weeks to the septic on the mnt it seems to help.
  10. WestPointMAG

    WestPointMAG Monkey++

    If none of you have ever tried it, get some Castrol Super Clean. 1 gal. diluted makes 16 gal qv. of 409. If you use it strait it will suck the oil out of the pours cast, strip latex paint, pull the oils out of your skin, degrease an engine almost instantly and blow if you put it in a metal garden sprayer. I use white gas to take the off cosmoline of my 59/66A1s.
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