The Ultimate movement cleaning solution?...

The Ultimate movement cleaning solution?...

technoguy
technoguy

March 27th, 2005, 2:32 am #1

I have been thinking about possible alternative solutions for safely cleaning old watch movements of their stale lubricants that would be both effective AND safe for the amateur to use. Hydrocarbon solvents can be dangerous to work with and I was dismayed by the earlier posts of people experiencing problems with ammonia water when they tried to clean movements containing copper parts.

Sometimes the answers to complex problems are so easy that we automatically overlook them!

Instead of naphtha, benzyne, alcohol, or ammonia water...how about the ordinary SHAMPOO one uses on one's hair daily?! It's cheap, safe, and specifically designed to wash oils out of one's hair.

I'm considering the following procedure. Fill a cup full of hot water, add a cap full of your favorite shampoo, stir to mix, add your gunked up movement, cover cup with plastic and secure with rubber band, let soak for 15 minutes while manually sloshing every few minutes. Then fish out the movement, transfer it to another cup of hot water (without shampoo in it), cover with plastic and rubberband, manually slosh it about for, say, five minutes, remove the movement and let it air dry before oiling it.

That's it! NO fumes, NO fire hazard, NO etching problem. Just a squeaky clean movement ready for oiling. And, the entire process can be done indoors without adequate ventilation...

technoguy
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C.W.
C.W.

March 27th, 2005, 5:04 am #2

I like it!
--Charlie
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Ray
Ray

March 27th, 2005, 6:28 am #3

I have been thinking about possible alternative solutions for safely cleaning old watch movements of their stale lubricants that would be both effective AND safe for the amateur to use. Hydrocarbon solvents can be dangerous to work with and I was dismayed by the earlier posts of people experiencing problems with ammonia water when they tried to clean movements containing copper parts.

Sometimes the answers to complex problems are so easy that we automatically overlook them!

Instead of naphtha, benzyne, alcohol, or ammonia water...how about the ordinary SHAMPOO one uses on one's hair daily?! It's cheap, safe, and specifically designed to wash oils out of one's hair.

I'm considering the following procedure. Fill a cup full of hot water, add a cap full of your favorite shampoo, stir to mix, add your gunked up movement, cover cup with plastic and secure with rubber band, let soak for 15 minutes while manually sloshing every few minutes. Then fish out the movement, transfer it to another cup of hot water (without shampoo in it), cover with plastic and rubberband, manually slosh it about for, say, five minutes, remove the movement and let it air dry before oiling it.

That's it! NO fumes, NO fire hazard, NO etching problem. Just a squeaky clean movement ready for oiling. And, the entire process can be done indoors without adequate ventilation...

technoguy
I thank that is a good Idea I will try it this morning. Might even get me off the lighter fluid thing.
Thanks
Ray
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technoguy
technoguy

March 27th, 2005, 11:53 am #4

I have been thinking about possible alternative solutions for safely cleaning old watch movements of their stale lubricants that would be both effective AND safe for the amateur to use. Hydrocarbon solvents can be dangerous to work with and I was dismayed by the earlier posts of people experiencing problems with ammonia water when they tried to clean movements containing copper parts.

Sometimes the answers to complex problems are so easy that we automatically overlook them!

Instead of naphtha, benzyne, alcohol, or ammonia water...how about the ordinary SHAMPOO one uses on one's hair daily?! It's cheap, safe, and specifically designed to wash oils out of one's hair.

I'm considering the following procedure. Fill a cup full of hot water, add a cap full of your favorite shampoo, stir to mix, add your gunked up movement, cover cup with plastic and secure with rubber band, let soak for 15 minutes while manually sloshing every few minutes. Then fish out the movement, transfer it to another cup of hot water (without shampoo in it), cover with plastic and rubberband, manually slosh it about for, say, five minutes, remove the movement and let it air dry before oiling it.

That's it! NO fumes, NO fire hazard, NO etching problem. Just a squeaky clean movement ready for oiling. And, the entire process can be done indoors without adequate ventilation...

technoguy
Just had another idea. While you are getting ready to shampoo and blow dry your old, gunked up, non-running Timex movements, why not place them into plastic containers with snap-on plastic lids? I'm talking about those miniature polyethylene plastic food containers that one finds in supermarkets worldwide. I've seen ones so small that they only hold a single apple or orange and are about the size of a large cup.

Snapping a plastic lid on and off is a lot easier than having to mess around with plastic sandwich bags and rubber bands. With a larger container, the amateur watchmaker can place several movements in the shampoo / rinse containers for "batch" cleaning and rinsing.

What kind of shampoo to use? Well, you can try this with a little of whatever you currently use or do some experimenting with different CHEAP store brands. I would recommend a CLEAR shampoo that is on the "harsh" side because that will probably give the best cleaning action. Maybe as people on this forum try this approach, we can compare notes and find out what works best...

technoguy
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Knut Olsen
Knut Olsen

March 27th, 2005, 1:48 pm #5

I have been thinking about possible alternative solutions for safely cleaning old watch movements of their stale lubricants that would be both effective AND safe for the amateur to use. Hydrocarbon solvents can be dangerous to work with and I was dismayed by the earlier posts of people experiencing problems with ammonia water when they tried to clean movements containing copper parts.

Sometimes the answers to complex problems are so easy that we automatically overlook them!

Instead of naphtha, benzyne, alcohol, or ammonia water...how about the ordinary SHAMPOO one uses on one's hair daily?! It's cheap, safe, and specifically designed to wash oils out of one's hair.

I'm considering the following procedure. Fill a cup full of hot water, add a cap full of your favorite shampoo, stir to mix, add your gunked up movement, cover cup with plastic and secure with rubber band, let soak for 15 minutes while manually sloshing every few minutes. Then fish out the movement, transfer it to another cup of hot water (without shampoo in it), cover with plastic and rubberband, manually slosh it about for, say, five minutes, remove the movement and let it air dry before oiling it.

That's it! NO fumes, NO fire hazard, NO etching problem. Just a squeaky clean movement ready for oiling. And, the entire process can be done indoors without adequate ventilation...

technoguy
A very interesting alternative, and I will try it. I am just wondering though - won't the water in the shampoo-solution or the hot water make it more exposed to rust? I mean, it is not always so easy to make sure the movement is totally dry/free of water in all the tiny spots, in between the gears, teeth, etc. And my experience is that if exposed to just water, the movement starts to rust REALLY FAST. With ammonia I feel I'm safer, because it seems that the ammonia contains some sort of oily substance that prevents the movement from rusting - at least that is my experience. However, I am willing to try this later today, as I have a regular 24 movement ready for cleaning. Wish me luck...!

Knut
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Scott
Scott

March 27th, 2005, 3:12 pm #6

I have been thinking about possible alternative solutions for safely cleaning old watch movements of their stale lubricants that would be both effective AND safe for the amateur to use. Hydrocarbon solvents can be dangerous to work with and I was dismayed by the earlier posts of people experiencing problems with ammonia water when they tried to clean movements containing copper parts.

Sometimes the answers to complex problems are so easy that we automatically overlook them!

Instead of naphtha, benzyne, alcohol, or ammonia water...how about the ordinary SHAMPOO one uses on one's hair daily?! It's cheap, safe, and specifically designed to wash oils out of one's hair.

I'm considering the following procedure. Fill a cup full of hot water, add a cap full of your favorite shampoo, stir to mix, add your gunked up movement, cover cup with plastic and secure with rubber band, let soak for 15 minutes while manually sloshing every few minutes. Then fish out the movement, transfer it to another cup of hot water (without shampoo in it), cover with plastic and rubberband, manually slosh it about for, say, five minutes, remove the movement and let it air dry before oiling it.

That's it! NO fumes, NO fire hazard, NO etching problem. Just a squeaky clean movement ready for oiling. And, the entire process can be done indoors without adequate ventilation...

technoguy
Some shampoos have what amounts to some sort of oil in them, to keep from drying hair out. What about dish detergent? Designed to cut grease and leave little residue.
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technoguy
technoguy

March 27th, 2005, 7:09 pm #7

First, I would not worry that much about rust. If you gently warm your drying movement with a hair dryer then 100% of the water will be evaporated out of even the tinniest recesses before any rusting can take place.

Yes, some shampoos have "conditioners" in them that might leave a residue on HAIR. But, remember we're using them on metal and will be rinsing the movement off in hot water. I doubt if any conditioner, if present, would stick to the movement's metal surfaces. I recommend the cheapest store brand shampoo you can get...chances are it will not have a lot of extra expensive ingredients that you do not need.

Sure, dish washing detergent from a squirt bottle should work too. Again, try to find something that is advertised as getting the dishes "sparkling" clean. However, some of these also have extra ingredients to "soothe" one's hands.The cheap store brand will probably have the least extra unwanted ingredients.

I think there's a bottle of "degreaser" under my own kitchen sink that is meant to be put on really greasy frying pans to clean them. It comes in a squirt bottle.

These are all possibilities that might be explored by the amateur watchmaker in search of an effective and safe way to clean a dirty movement with a minimum of fuss and muss...

technoguy
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electrichorologist
electrichorologist

March 27th, 2005, 11:40 pm #8

I have been thinking about possible alternative solutions for safely cleaning old watch movements of their stale lubricants that would be both effective AND safe for the amateur to use. Hydrocarbon solvents can be dangerous to work with and I was dismayed by the earlier posts of people experiencing problems with ammonia water when they tried to clean movements containing copper parts.

Sometimes the answers to complex problems are so easy that we automatically overlook them!

Instead of naphtha, benzyne, alcohol, or ammonia water...how about the ordinary SHAMPOO one uses on one's hair daily?! It's cheap, safe, and specifically designed to wash oils out of one's hair.

I'm considering the following procedure. Fill a cup full of hot water, add a cap full of your favorite shampoo, stir to mix, add your gunked up movement, cover cup with plastic and secure with rubber band, let soak for 15 minutes while manually sloshing every few minutes. Then fish out the movement, transfer it to another cup of hot water (without shampoo in it), cover with plastic and rubberband, manually slosh it about for, say, five minutes, remove the movement and let it air dry before oiling it.

That's it! NO fumes, NO fire hazard, NO etching problem. Just a squeaky clean movement ready for oiling. And, the entire process can be done indoors without adequate ventilation...

technoguy
Mild liquid dish and hand soaps, and liquid laundary detergents mixed in enough distilled water to make a very weak soap solution will do a good job of cleaning the movement; adding a cupful of household ammonia to a pint of soap solution will brighten the movement. The solution is followed by a clear water rinse, a rinse in rubbing alcohol, and a final rinse in hairspring cleaner. The movement is dried in a heated chamber. Quartz watches are cleaned in alcohol.

Jay

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electrichorologist
electrichorologist

March 28th, 2005, 12:07 am #9

Add a capful of ammonia to help brightening agent.
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electrichorologist
electrichorologist

March 28th, 2005, 12:12 am #10

Add a capful of household ammonia as a brightening agent.

Jay
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