Grease in front box - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 04-12-2015, 06:10 AM   #1
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Grease in front box

What cleans off grease marks inside the front box? Tried WD40 and Bug and Tar Remover to no avail.
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:43 AM   #2
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Not that I've done it on an Escape but Carb or Brake cleaner works on grease. If you have it, might try Acetone or even Gasoline.
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:18 AM   #3
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Protective gloves are recommended when using these solvents, especially acetone.
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:48 AM   #4
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Please don't use gasoline. My favorite cleaner for many things is Brake Clean. Do wear protective gloves but it works well and is non-flammable.
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:38 PM   #5
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Degreasers used in automotive service are the obvious choice, with the caution that they are normally used on metal parts, not polyester resin. I see that CRC (a common line of automotive chemicals in Canada) includes one - QC-82 - which the maker describes as
Quote:
Foaming water-based formula aggressive enough to break down and dissolve grease, grime, oil, rubber marks and other oil-based contaminants while remaining gentle enough for painted and plastic surfaces.
That sounds appropriate to me.

Brake cleaner is one specialized degreaser/cleaner, but it's really a bunch of different products: a common brand (Brakleen) includes multiple formulations. Some of them are extremely flammable (05088, 75088; largely methanol), some include acetone, and some (5089) are tetrachloroethylene (a.k.a perchloroethylene, "perc", or dry cleaning fluid). Tetrachloroethylene is a great degreaser and is not flammable so it seems like a good choice, but it is also toxic and carcinogenic, so I try to minimize the amount that I use. I doubt there is any non-toxic and non-flammable brake cleaner.

As consumers we're not expected to understand much about the products we use because governments and regulations are supposed to ensue that they are reasonably safe, but if we start using them for purposes other than intended, I think we are then responsible for ensuring that we're choosing an appropriate product.
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Floating Cloud View Post
What cleans off grease marks inside the front box? Tried WD40...
WD-40 is a blend of solvent and oil. The solvent isn't aggressive enough to be really effective for this kind of use, and the oil just makes things worse. There are good uses for WD-40 (although I don't think there are very many), but this isn't one of them.
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Old 04-12-2015, 02:26 PM   #7
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I have been using Simple Green on my motorcycles for a number years with very good results .
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Old 04-12-2015, 03:39 PM   #8
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The polyester resin that your box is made of is really very porous. Using solvents will dilute the grease and drive it into the fiberglass rather than remove it. I'd recommend TSP (Trisodium phosphate) - its the basis for most detergents. Probably it will come as a powder that you mix with warm water and is a very powerful degreaser. Wash your box and rinse well and if the marks are still there, I'd suggest painting with a primer followed with a tough enamel to seal up the fiberglass and give you a smoother surface to clean afterwards.


You would find TSP at paint stores. Wear gloves as its caustic and will be hard on exposed skin.


Please do not use acetone or gasoline as they are so very flammable. The least little spark in such a closed container, even with the lid open, could cause an explosion and set your trailer on fire and burn you. A spark could come from static electricity build up in your clothing.


Basically... clean with a strong detergent like TSP to remove the grease stains and invisible oil and grease film, rinse well, dry .... stain still there? Probably will be due to the nature of grease/oil stains and he porosity of fiberglass materials. Maybe paint with an epoxy based primer and enamel. Epoxys generally do not have solvents in them so are good as sealers. They also are good at self leveling .... meaning likely you will get a smoother surface than you started with. Follow directions on containers.


Good Luck,
Tom
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Old 04-12-2015, 04:31 PM   #9
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Barkeepers Best Friend may contain some of the TSP, I think?
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Old 04-12-2015, 04:58 PM   #10
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Tom, we do have TSP but didn't even think that it might work but could try it. The inside of the box is very different from the exterior material. We can look for Brake Clean, Ian, and I have seen Simple Green, etuna, so could use that. Thank you for the replies all, Brian, Bob, Jubal, Jim.
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