Pre-Cerakote Degreasing

Apr 15, 2014
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#1
Hey guys, I’ve got a question about the products you’re using for degreasing, particularly between Methanol and Acetone. Specifically, what type of PPE do you use / recommend when using it, and any tips or precautions you’d recommend?

I haven’t decided yet, as I have a few “professionals” in the safety world to talk to first. However, I’ll be doing this in my garage, where I also have a gas furnace, gas water heater, gas heater, electrical panel, and will likely have a shop vac running in there on frequent occasion.

I’m not opposed at all to getting whatever PPE is necessary as well as gas detectors to warn of elevated gas levels.

What do you use for a degreaser and what steps do you take to protect yourself?

Thanks!

P.S. I don’t care what costs less...I know methanol is way cheaper...
 

jfk

Private
Dec 9, 2004
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#2
If you're painting aluminum or stainless steel, you can use hot water and Dawn dish detergent first and soak the parts for a while followed by a good rinse before using Acetone. For larger carbon steel parts, I use Acetone dipped for 20-30 minutes in a container with a lid to keep fumes and evaporation down followed by heating the parts in the oven to get any oil to creep out. If oil comes out, dip it again and heat again until there's no oil creep.
 
Apr 15, 2014
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#3
Thans for the reply. I’m familiar with the process, just wanting to know specifically about what PPE (personal protective equipment) people are using when they use these chemicals.
 
Jan 22, 2013
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Seattle Area
#4
I just finished setting my parts washer up with Simple Green Extreme. Using a 3:1 ration of distilled water to solution, the parts washer runs at 105F. Should be trying it out on the first batch of parts later in the week.

Edit: I went this route because I specifically wanted to avoid messing with large quantities of acetone of other flammable solvents. Plan to wash for 30min followed up by a water rinse. Thinking about then hitting with a quick rinse in IPA to displace water before outgassing in the oven.
 
Likes: B W E
Nov 17, 2011
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#5
for acetone, i dont use any PPE.......honestly unless you are drinking it, its pretty harmless......itll dry out your hands, so basic nitrile gloves might be good.


for Methanol......that shit actually quite dangerous......i will always wear chemical resistant gloves and Safety glasses and wash my hands after handling it.
 
Likes: B W E
Apr 15, 2014
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#6
I called around and Methanol is actually pretty expensive here and not many places to get it..$90 for 5 gallons, which is more than acetone at Home Depot. So, given the “safer” characteristics I guess acetone it is.

Thanks for the input fellas.
 
Jan 2, 2018
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#7
Don't treat either one of those chemicals lightly, this is what your hands and feet look like to them:


Treat both with respect, MSDS is pretty nasty reading for Acetone. ENSURE you have adequate ventilation in the garage, if it is attached to the house be sure it is airtight (current fire code in my state spells this out, should be similar in other states)

As bad as Acetone and Methanol are, the Cerakote (both H and C series) is way, way worse. Read the precautions on the label, follow them. I won't shoot cerakote unless I have positive fume removal. Pets are a big consideration as well, birds especially.

I made a huge mistake in my 20's working on Aircraft Oxygen systems--regulations required all tools degreased with a chemical called M6. I wore the wrong gloves during that process, my hands took over six years to get back to normal. The M6 basically stripped out all the fats in my skin and chemically burned them to a degree, had open wound non-healing cracks in the webs of my fingers for 6 years before things got better. Got used to supergluing the cracks as a daily routine (fun fact, super glue was invented for medical usage) That was a big fight with the company medical, arbitration ruling was 50/50. 50% my fault for doing it, 50% their fault for not training properly. I read about chemicals before working with them now.

That was a chemical on my skin, imagine if you breathe that crap what your lungs would do? I cannot stress highly enough to be careful with spraying cerakote in a residential setting.

I use acetone for prep of parts. Have containers with lids, acetone likes to get bored and leave the party early (evaporates quickly). I use different containers for prep, one for initial clean (gets dirty), one for soak/rinse after outgassing in the oven.
 
Likes: Xander3Zero
Jan 2, 2018
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#8
I called around and Methanol is actually pretty expensive here and not many places to get it..$90 for 5 gallons, which is more than acetone at Home Depot. So, given the “safer” characteristics I guess acetone it is.

Thanks for the input fellas.
Wow , that has gone up in price. Used to be $5-6 bucks at the racetrack/dragstrip. See if you have a local racing group, Methanol is a popular drag race fuel (weird touching the engine heads of a Meth burner after a pass, they are quite cold. not what you would expect from a supercharged big block running in the low 7's). Karting guys sometimes use Methanol as well.
 

Edds

Sergeant
Jan 19, 2012
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#10
Non-Chlorinated brake cleaner is flammable, Chlorinated brake cleaner isn't but exposing the vapors from Chlorinated to a flame in an enclosed area will still kill you.

There may be some exceptions but I sold Brake Cleaner for several years and I never saw one.
 
Likes: Tiger_Shilone
Jan 2, 2018
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#11
Non-Chlorinated brake cleaner is flammable, Chlorinated brake cleaner isn't but exposing the vapors from Chlorinated to a flame in an enclosed area will still kill you.

There may be some exceptions but I sold Brake Cleaner for several years and I never saw one.

Flames and heat and chlorinated brake cleaners do not mix well, phosgene gas is a nerve gas by product of that combo. Actually saw this in a AC circular advisory from the FAA relating to this article: http://www.brewracingframes.com/safety-alert-brake-cleaner--phosgene-gas.html
 
Feb 20, 2012
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#13
Nitrile gloves and acetone don’t mix. Vinyl flat out dissolves instantly. Latex will offer some level of protection, but check the chemical compatibility charts for the best answers as to type and thickness needed for adequate protection.
 
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#17
I use denatured alcohol as the last degreaser chemical before blowing off and shooting Cerakote.
I use a hair stylist spray bottle and soak the pieces down while they are hanging from my rack.
Put a large trash can under them for drainage.
Excess alcohol evaporates within minutes.
I pay 10.00 a gallon locally but never buy from lowes or Home Depot as they want 20.00 a gallon.
Latex gloves works fine as protection.
 
Likes: Jackalope

B W E

Private
Apr 15, 2014
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#18
I use denatured alcohol as the last degreaser chemical before blowing off and shooting Cerakote.
I use a hair stylist spray bottle and soak the pieces down while they are hanging from my rack.
Put a large trash can under them for drainage.
Excess alcohol evaporates within minutes.
I pay 10.00 a gallon locally but never buy from lowes or Home Depot as they want 20.00 a gallon.
Latex gloves works fine as protection.
What do you use before the denatured alcohol?
 

Jackalope

Sergeant of the Hide
Jun 8, 2017
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#20
My process is pretty similar. I degrease with dawn and warm water prior to and post blasting. I soak all the parts in alcohol to displace the water. I spray with alcohol one more time and wipe clean with a microfiber towel prior to shooting with cerakote.
 
Jan 22, 2013
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#22
Simple Green Extreme looks to work well so far. I try to avoid touching the parts post grit blasting with anything that might shed a fiber, I blow the pars off with compressed air and then rinse with 99% IPA and blow dry.
 
Jul 27, 2017
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#23
I was at my buddies body shop the other day and we were talking about wiping down the parts before spraying.

He said he found 3812 enamel reducer to be the best. He has tried a lot of stuff over the years. He will wipe some parts down with whatever new thing he is trying. Afterwards he will do a pass with the 3812 and will still pick up stuff. He has not found anything that picks stuff up after wiping with 3812.
 

Terry Cross

Dingleberry
Mar 15, 2003
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#28
All degreasing should be done prior to blasting. After blasting it is hit with compressed air and ready to be coated. This is for cerakote.
I disagree.

It is almost impossible to keep all contaminates out of your aluminum oxide or other blast media. Regardless of how good you pre-prep parts before blasting, you will accumulate foreign material in your cabinet. Even if you have extra filters in your airline to keep atomized lubricants and other blow by out of your final air supply coupled with a dust vacuum connected to the cabinet, you are introducing unwanted material into the cabinet environment each time you blast a new part.

My preference is to always do a final wash down prior to coating out of an abundance of caution.

./
 

SharpsNitro

Full Member
Jan 22, 2013
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#29
Agreeed. All you have to do to test this is to take a decently sized part, say a Yeti Cup, after grit blasting and blowing off with CA and set it upside down on a clean shop towel. Liberally spray it down with 99% IPA and let it dry. You will most certainly find a brown ring of material the CA failed to remove on the towel.
 

LongRifles Inc.

Gunny Sergeant
Mar 14, 2010
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www.longriflesinc.com
#30
If you're painting aluminum or stainless steel, you can use hot water and Dawn dish detergent first and soak the parts for a while followed by a good rinse before using Acetone. For larger carbon steel parts, I use Acetone dipped for 20-30 minutes in a container with a lid to keep fumes and evaporation down followed by heating the parts in the oven to get any oil to creep out. If oil comes out, dip it again and heat again until there's no oil creep.
Amen.

Amazing what soap, water, and some elbow grease does. Not everything needs to be killed with organic solvents.
 

FCrifles

formerly eddief
Feb 22, 2013
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www.fosnaughcustoms.com
#31
I disagree.

It is almost impossible to keep all contaminates out of your aluminum oxide or other blast media. Regardless of how good you pre-prep parts before blasting, you will accumulate foreign material in your cabinet. Even if you have extra filters in your airline to keep atomized lubricants and other blow by out of your final air supply coupled with a dust vacuum connected to the cabinet, you are introducing unwanted material into the cabinet environment each time you blast a new part.

My preference is to always do a final wash down prior to coating out of an abundance of caution.

./
Agree to disagree.

I literally just asked NIC this exact question two weeks ago about a final chemical rinse on metal after blasting before coating and they don't recommend or teach it. I'm not a chemical engineer, so I am going to listen to NIC on their recommendation for their product. They advise otherwise and I would change process tomorrow.

I have always practiced coating this way and haven't had one single problem yet. Maybe it's my preferred process, but I employ two separate chemical soaks (both chemical soaks before blasting in two separate tanks) with two gassings. One gas out before blasting and the final gas out after being blasted and blown off with compressed air for the final insurance.

Coupled with the above is an air dryer directly after the compressor and a good tunable sandblast media reclaim unit. They are light years ahead of a basic dust vacuum and no air dryer. The reclaimer only recycles/reclaims the correct size media and discards dust and other crap, but way more expensive (upwards of $7000+), so probably not practical for most.

A good air dryer (stupid expensive also) will keep piping/lines free of condensation thus eliminating rust, oil and etc, residue/particles in the lines over time. Coupled with proper line drops and other filters it's pretty easy to manage quality compressed air that is contaminate free in a temperature controlled shop .

With blasting being as clean as i can get it, I am just as worried or even more so about the air that is coming out of my Iwata that is atomizing the Cerakote.
 

FCrifles

formerly eddief
Feb 22, 2013
142
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Mi
www.fosnaughcustoms.com
#32
Agreeed. All you have to do to test this is to take a decently sized part, say a Yeti Cup, after grit blasting and blowing off with CA and set it upside down on a clean shop towel. Liberally spray it down with 99% IPA and let it dry. You will most certainly find a brown ring of material the CA failed to remove on the towel.
That is a sign your media is too broke down and needs to be changed. A sand blast reclaim unit does this for you.
 

ruebarb

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 7, 2018
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Littleton, MA
#33
I disagree.

It is almost impossible to keep all contaminates out of your aluminum oxide or other blast media. Regardless of how good you pre-prep parts before blasting, you will accumulate foreign material in your cabinet. Even if you have extra filters in your airline to keep atomized lubricants and other blow by out of your final air supply coupled with a dust vacuum connected to the cabinet, you are introducing unwanted material into the cabinet environment each time you blast a new part.

My preference is to always do a final wash down prior to coating out of an abundance of caution.

./
I have a very thin film after blasting, I rub it off and acetone again, haven't had an issue either.
 
Last edited:
Jan 22, 2013
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#37
I’m looking to change out my media soon. Might be an affect of the cabinet being new. It just seems to me that I can see visually that compressed air doesn’t completely clean the parts after grit blasting. It may not matter but I prefer to rinse in 99% IPA afterwards. You definitely get a small amount of blast media coming off the part doing this.
 
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