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Cleaning Silicone Grease?

silicone grease

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17 replies to this topic

#1 WLSpec

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 00:41

Because silicone grease is waterproof, I have a tough time getting it off pens. A really tough time. It seems like it will forever be stuck on some of those eyedroppers I have, and I fear getting it on the outside of pens because I hate the slippery feeling of it. How do you clean silicone grease off your pens? Thanks for any advice.



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#2 Ron Z

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 00:53

Naphtha work pretty well. Xylene cleans better, but will react with some materials, while naptha is safe for any material.  Naptha is what pen mechanics use to remove a lot of stuff like adhesive residue, and silicone grease.


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#3 Maccabeus

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 00:53

Usually it wipes off easily with a bit of paper towel

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#4 corniche

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 01:41

Great question.

And in case anyone is wondering: Fels Naptha soap no longer contains naptha, so you'll need to get a can of the stuff.

Sean :)

ETA: Ronson and Zippo lighter fluid is also naptha and is usually offered in a more practical size, for less money than what you'll find in a hardware store.

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Edited by corniche, 07 February 2020 - 03:39.

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#5 WLSpec

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 01:48

Usually it wipes off easily with a bit of paper towel

Unfortunately tried this and it didn't work well  :(



#6 sansenri

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 23:09

I usually use soap... washing up liquid mostly, scrubbing thread with an old toothbrush and some soap usually does it for me.

 

Silicone usually comes off very well with vinegar, but you need to be careful with what pen you treat


Edited by sansenri, 07 February 2020 - 23:13.


#7 bugsydog55

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 02:08

I have eyedroppers in ebonite and acylic and have never had an issue with getting it where you don't want it.  I have found out that it does matter how much you use and how careful you are.  Not fussing at the OP because its such a simple mistake, you can go from not enough to too much in a heartbeat.  Clean up for me has been as simple as a firm wipe with an absorbent cloth that is not going anywhere near the nib or feed.  For a deep clean on the threads, soapy water with a serious rinse and the absorbent cloth.  Otherwise you can end up spreading that stuff everywhere.  I use a lot of Indian eyedroppers and found out that it really matters how much you use.  Saves tons of problems down the road.



#8 Lloyd

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 02:30

Naphtha work pretty well. Xylene cleans better, but will react with some materials, while naptha is safe for any material.  Naptha is what pen mechanics use to remove a lot of stuff like adhesive residue, and silicone grease.

Is Naphtha safe to put through a feed (plastic or ebonite) to remove any silicone that might accidentally wind up in it?


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#9 tamiya

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 08:05

ETA: Ronson and Zippo lighter fluid is also naptha and is usually offered in a more practical size, for less money than what you'll find in a hardware store.


yep "lighter fluid" petroleum spirit some others call it Coleman camp stove gas(olene) or Shellite downunder

Silicone usually comes off very well with vinegar, but you need to be careful with what pen you treat


In my other hobby I frequently need to clean off silicone oils & greases... nah vinegar is aqueous and it doesn't really dissolve any silicone fluids. Need some form of alcohol/spirits to clean off silicones, especially if you're prepping for paint.

Shellite, Electrical Contact Cleaner (plastic safe), Isopropyl Acohol 99% are my commonest gotos.

Is Naphtha safe to put through a feed (plastic or ebonite) to remove any silicone that might accidentally wind up in it?


YMMV but shellite hasn't dissolved any pen parts I've cleaned with it so far. :) I'm only surface cleaning though, not soaking for extended periods.

Be careful cleaning around anything lacquered or French polished though, it will dissolve shellac.

#10 wallylynn

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 15:08

I read that "soilove" stain remover is great at removing silicone from bedsheets. Maybe it'll work on pens.

#11 wallylynn

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 15:15

Nathan didn't test naptha


#12 Ron Z

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 20:40

Is Naphtha safe to put through a feed (plastic or ebonite) to remove any silicone that might accidentally wind up in it?

 

Naphtha evaporates very quickly, without leaving any residue behind like mineral spirits.  I haven't tried it, but would assume that it works.  I would still clean the feed with pen flush after just to be sure.

 

For the doubters...  I've been repairing pens for about 30 years now.    I use naphtha day in, day out.  Its safe, it works.


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#13 Maccabeus

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 00:32

For the doubters...  I've been repairing pens for about 30 years now.    I use naphtha day in, day out.  Its safe, it works.


I don't know Ron and I've never done any business with him, but his reputation and experience speak loudly enough for me.

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#14 Astron

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 09:16

Careful with Naphta though. It's isn't really healthy. Use a good ventilated place and protection.



#15 Noihvo

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 09:49

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#16 corniche

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 10:12

Greetings Everyone,

I wear nitrile gloves with naptha, but that's about it. It has a real quick evaporation rate, so the fumes dissipate before they ever bother me.

Btw, it's also good for removing label gum. :thumbup:

Sean :)
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#17 tamiya

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 13:04

btw do not use naphtha in a ultrasonic cleaner... it'll supercharge its volatility and then it all just vaporises - into a highly explosive fug :)

If you must ultrasonic clean with naphtha, fill the pan with water. Put part & solvent in a plastic jar with sealed lid and put that into the waterfalls machine.

#18 Astron

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 15:40

btw do not use naphtha in a ultrasonic cleaner... it'll supercharge its volatility and then it all just vaporises - into a highly explosive fug :)

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