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Nasty discoloration in antique oil lam

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Hauptmann6, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Hauptmann6

    Hauptmann6

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    In the fuel chamber. I think it's from old oil that evaporated and left the color in there. Any suggestions on how to clean it up? I am currently using hot water and dawn. But it's not working very well
     
  2. Diesel_Bomber

    Diesel_Bomber

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    Try a petroleum based solvent. It probably took years for that discoloration to get there, it won't disappear overnight. If the glass is stained, you might find a color of lamp oil that will hide it.
     

  3. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    I would think more lamp oil would do it. Fill it up.



    /
     
  4. Hauptmann6

    Hauptmann6

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    There's oil in it now. It's pretty bad. Using forceps with a rag and it's taking a little off at a time. PITA. I will keep at it though.
     
  5. Hauptmann6

    Hauptmann6

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    Well there was semi fresh oil in it. I emptied it and have been using hot water and dawn.

    Don't have any petroleum solvents here at the moment.
     
  6. jeager

    jeager

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    Just like last months' thread on old coins, I'd expect it's best to leave well-enough alone.
     
  7. Hauptmann6

    Hauptmann6

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    It's on the glass on the inside. It is so I can use it.
     
  8. ScarFace88

    ScarFace88 I swear I had something for this...

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    Another vote for the Petroleum solvent here. Acetone?
     
  9. Batesmotel

    Batesmotel

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    Methel Ethyl Keytone (MEK) and rocksalt or carb cleaner and salt.

    Fill about half full of salt, add MEK to top of salt and shake.

    As you shake it the MEK will warm and expand slightly. If you are covering the opening with your hand don't let it spray in your eyes.

    This is how I have cleaned the tanks of camp stoves.
     
  10. SWAMPRNR

    SWAMPRNR Lost

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    I have used a cup of hot water mixed with a cup of salt to clean burned coffee out of glass pots before. Use a bottle brush to scrub with. Came out looking like new.
     
  11. Hauptmann6

    Hauptmann6

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    MEK is not something I play with. EVER. I think I will stick to dawn and time. Seems a little less dangerous.
     
  12. jeager

    jeager

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    There's this product called CLR
    calcium, lime, rust.
    don't know what's in it, though.
     
  13. Batesmotel

    Batesmotel

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    Phosphoric acid. Same thing in Coca Cola just stronger. Great on minerals. Don't know how it will work on petroleum varnish.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  14. m2hmghb

    m2hmghb

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    You might want to try mineral spirits. I use it to clean up tung oil and boiled linseed oil.
     
  15. Hauptmann6

    Hauptmann6

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    the good news is, it appears to be dirt that has just layed their for 30 years and stuck. It's coming out with a brush now.
     
  16. ArtCrafter

    ArtCrafter ¤Hocker Mocker¤

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    I agree with your assessment of MEK for this application; The 'cost' outweighs the potential benefit in this case (and it should probably be avoided in most others).

    However, the basic idea of an organic solvent mixed with salt is sound; the solvent should work to dissolve the residue, and the salt, combined with vigorous shaking, should speed the process by working as a mild abrasive.

    The 'trick' is to choose the 'right' solvent, which would seem easy at first glance, but is really frought with potential pitfalls (e.g., the relative toxicity of MEK).

    FWIW, my suggestion would be to try isopropyl alcohol for the solvent (a.k.a, rubbing alcohol).

    Ordinary rubbing alcohol from the drugstore, which is typically 70%, should suffice. It's also pretty cheap. Moreover, while you wouldn't want to drink it, 'a little isopropanol shouldn't hurt.' :supergrin:

    But seriously, as long as you don't ingest any or take a bath in it, rubbing alcohol is relatively 'safe.' It is also compatible with most disposable plastic gloves (e.g., the type you find in the paint section of the hardware store).

    Isopropyl alcohol does present a fire hazard, but much less so than, say, acetone (which is the principal reason I would not recommend the latter for the solvent).

    Regarding the abrasive additive, ordinary table salt should work. Since it's not as hard as glass, salt shouldn't scratch it. Needless to say, it's also very inexpensive.

    Lastly, I wouldn't recommend ethanol ('drinking alcohol') if only because it will dissolve the salt. On the other side of the coin, ethanol probably wouldn't do much to dissolve the presumably largely organic residue in your lamp. This is because it is a polar solvent (much more so than isopropanol).

    HTH :wavey:




    PS: If you want to avoid (or at least minimize) the problem in future, use the best quality lamp oil you can find/afford. The 'plaque' in your lamp is basically the incombustible leftovers from old and/or cheap lamp oil.
     
  17. omega48038

    omega48038

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    I've got a friend that collects glass insulators. Most, when found, are caked with crud from years of being in train smoke and soot. He had a suggestion that's user friendly/safe.

    He swears by oxalic acid, available at most hardware stores in powder form. Mix into a water solution and soak for a day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  18. Hauptmann6

    Hauptmann6

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    Always do. This is one my grandma just gave to me.

    Thanks for the advice on the salt guys. I will try it tomorrow.
     
  19. GLWyandotte

    GLWyandotte Señor Member

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    Goof off or Oven Cleaner. I use oven cleaner on my fireplace doors. The amber and black stains come off immediately.
     
  20. goldenlight

    goldenlight

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    Both my suggestions have been made: oven cleaner, and carburetor cleaner.

    Both are pretty aggressive solvents.

    I would use the carburetor outside. It's nasty stuff, and VERY toxic.

    If the crud doesn't come off right away, let the cleaner soak the crud off.

    Last idea: TSP (tri sodium phosphate). Use HOT water.

    ALL of these nasty chemicals should be used with gloves, and safety goggles.

    If a droplet lands in your eye, it could mean a trip to the ER.

    Don't ask me how I know.:crying:

    Good luck.