Brake cleaner

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by TBuckus, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. TBuckus

    TBuckus Well-Known Member

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    I was working on my brakes and bought some brake cleaner. I then wondered if it could be used as a degreaser/ action cleaner.
    I usually get Birchwoods action cleaner, but this stuff is only $2.50 at the auto parts store.
     
  2. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    Yep it will work, i use that stuff like it is duct tape. :D :D
     

  3. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    As the end-user, proceed with caution, you have the ultimate responsibility of your action despite others recommendation(s) even those with the best intentions, that includes it's intended use.

    I worked in the electro-magnetic manufacturing industry in the 1980s where we used the key component contained in the brake cleaner; we used PPEs (respirators) and heavily ventilated work environment.

    Brake Cleaner Can Kill: When to Take Safety Warnings Seriously | Popular Science

    Brake Cleaner = Phosgene Article

    Warning labels are there for a reason. Good luck!
     
  4. CB11WYO

    CB11WYO Well-Known Member

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    I use it for quite a bit of stuff... guns included.

    A buddy of mine brought over a marlin semi-auto .22 rifle a few months back for a deep cleaning. I don't think that thing had even been in the vicinity of any solvent or oil for the last 10 years :). Brake cleaner sure was a big help :D
     
  5. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    Just keep in mind there are two different types of Brake Cleaner. There is Chlorinated Brake Cleaner and Non-Chlorinated Brake Cleaner.

    The Chlorinated version is Non-Flammable. It tends to be a more universal cleaner and it dries faster then the Non-Chlorinated, which IS FLAMMABLE and usually works better as a degreaser.

    Both work pretty well but you may want to read the label so at the least, you know if you have the Non-Flammable version or the Flammable one.
     
  6. Gary Kaney

    Gary Kaney Well-Known Member

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    Brake cleaner is my first wet patch through the bore after a session at the range.
     
  7. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    Its my second to last, then a wet patch of kroil. Also, when i get a new gun from the smith, i give it a blast down the tube and run a wet patch down the barrel before i shoot it to get rid of any oil let in the bore from machining. I use the non-chlorinated.
     
  8. TBuckus

    TBuckus Well-Known Member

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    Good info.
    I'll have to check which one I have.
     
  9. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    This reminds of the WD-40 fad as a cure all for firearms. :):D:rolleyes::cool:gun)
     
  10. Edd

    Edd Well-Known Member

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    Brake cleaner is as good as it gets for a degreaser. It is so good that you must always oil your gun after using it because it will remove all the oil. I wouldn't consider it anything special for removing anything other than oil. Some types of plastics will crumble or become tacky when exposed to brake cleaner. Same goes for some types of paint and wood finishes. It will also dissolve some types of foam. So use with caution. Also, all brake cleaner isn't the same. Different companies use different formulations.
     
  11. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    I use it to degrease reloading dies and also to clean bronze brushes that have been exposed to copper solvents. I may reconsider as FEENIX's links pretty much scared the poop out of me. It certainly won't go anywhere near my welder ...
     
  12. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    If you own Ruger Target pistols like I do, Brake cleaner is a godsend. We call it dunking. Remove the grips (they will turn to goo) and soak the action and barrel and blow dry with comnpressed air. Oil liberally with an aersol oil like Rem-Oil and go shoot.

    My die regimen is a douche of brake cleaner and a spritz of One shot after every 50 or so sizings Brass with additional case lube of course. I use RCBS lube and pad btw.

    In as much as I don't snort brake cleaner or put it in a paper bag and huff it, I'm not to worried about becoming deceased from using it.

    ...and as horrible as it is purported to be, I have a quart or two of Carbon Tetrachloride, which is by far the best degreaser/cleaner ever formulated but is very lethal if you breathe it, which again, I don't. Even triple 1 trichlorethylene is better than brake cleaner. It was good for dry cleaners and parts washers until some wiseacre got the idea to snort/huff it and it ate his brain.

    Stupid is stupid. Can't help stupid.

    So is Anhydrous Amonia and 24D (deadly). It's all about common sense. I use them both all the time.

    Amazing what a good huffer/snorter gets high on. Now you have to prove your are 18 to buy spray paint because kids are huffing spray paint. Simply amazing, simply stupid.
     
  13. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, it was not my intention to scare anyone other than a fair warning. I did lost a co-worker that his cause of death was linked to the main ingredient of brake cleaners. He was exposed to the chemicals before the company started using respirators and ventilators in the workplace.

    The brake cleaner might save some money at the cash register but at what cost to your health uncertainties and others around you? End-users has the ultimate decision to make but face the consequences that goes with it. lightbulb
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013
  14. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    No apology needed! That guy's story could easily be me (or a bunch of folks I know). Weekend warriors who wouldn't think twice about doing what that guy did. That little nugget will go in my long-term "don't ever" memory and is appreciated. Scary stuff.

    I will of course continue to huff paint recreationally despite what SCFlip thinks is stoopid. Nothing like a nice relaxing baggie of paint with your wife on the back patio after a long week at work... :rolleyes: