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Lighter Fluid

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by needmoney, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. I'm hearing good things about Naphtha (lighter fluid) for cleaning purposes. Will it be a good substance to use for cleaning slight rust build ups on the bridge saddles/springs, etc? If so, do I just pour some in a pot and dunk those rusty parts in there for a while?

  2. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    [​IMG]At the same time.
  3. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Lighter fluid is a great degreaser and solvent for old wax but will not work for metal corrosion.

    Here in Canada we have a household product called CLR, which is mainly an acid solution, that works for this. You have to be careful though as it can rmove too much metal too. If I used it for bridges and their parts I'd only let it sit in the solution for a minute or less then rinse it off. I've also used a solution someone gave me once for cleaning old silver coins. Just dipped it for a few seconds and rinsed off. It worked well.

    Brasso works nicely too but you have to rub it with a cloth. It's naptha with a fine abrasive powder which actually does the cleaning.That would be fine for large pieces that you can get at but not too handy for springs and small threaded screws. It's the safest one to use though.
  4. Toothpaste works well also to polish-up hardware.

  5. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    I use Zippo lighter fluid (which is Napatha) to clean everything but teh strings on my basses. Try it in a discrete area first to make sure it doesn't damge the finish.
  6. Yeah I'm pretty sure we have CLR in Aus too. By rinse off do you mean with water, or??
  7. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    Exactly, rinse well with with water! This will neutralize the acid, and prevent the continued removal of rust and metal.

    I own a gallon (4 litres) of full strength phosphoric acid for cleaning parts (bollts, etc) off an old truck. This would work equally well with bridges, saddles, etc. I mix the acid to about 5 or 10% with water and let the parts soak for a few minutes. (I was surprised at the difficulty I had in convincing industrial chemical suppliers to sell me a jug of acid).

    I bet that most acid solutions would work just as well. For example (I've never tried it) "liquid plumber" would probably do the trick. The length of time the parts soak will be related to the strength of the acid solution.
  8. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I don't know about Liquid Plumber. I believe it's some form of caustic solution and not an acid. It may clean off corrosion but it's tough to know the strength to use.

    I've made my own CLR using pure muriatic acid from a hardware store, but it's tough to mix in the proper safe strength, and it can be dangerous to fool with. I used to use it to clean an electric kettle. One time I mixed it too strong and it dissolved the bottom. I haven't used it since. I use vinegar for that now.
  9. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I'm not sure if I'd blame them or not - the stuff is dangerous if it gets on you...
  10. Cool, I'll have to pick up some CLR tomorrow. Will I need to mix the CLR with anything else or just pour some straight into a container for the parts to sit in (for about a minute). Also will I need to brush the corrosion off with say a wire brush or something similiar or will it just come right off in the CLR?
  11. sd77ds


    Jan 3, 2006
    Ok, and what do you do after you have removed the rust? I have an Ibanez ATK500, with some stains of rust on the bridge and i fear that if i remove the rust i will have darker (metal without finish) spots on the bridge that will be even uglier than rust... How to correct that?
  12. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I'd start by mixing it with an equal amount of cold water in a plastic container. Submerge the parts and keep an eye on them to see what's happening. If it's strong enough you should see improvement in a minute or so. You shouldn't need to brush it.

    Be careful with the stuff. It is an acid so protect your eyes and keep it off your skin.
  13. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    If the plating has corroded through there's not much you can do other than get get the part replated, which can be expensive.

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