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How to best clean up oil from fiberglass.

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How to best clean up oil from fiberglass.

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Old 04-14-2018, 05:11 PM
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bonanzadrv
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Default How to best clean up oil from fiberglass.

Hey guys

I had a small amount of smoke oil run into the back of the fiberglass fuse....

luckily I caught it before it was really bad..
How do you guys clean up an area like this???

Any ideas are appreciated
Bill
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:43 PM
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raron455
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If it is easily reachable, take some paper towels then soak up all you can, once that's done, you can take a rag and spray it with Brake cleaner, and wipe all the area down, you may have to use a couple rags unitl is clean, brake cleaner will help remove the oil , and once dry leaves no residue. Just be careful brake cleaner is very flammable. once you are done, take those rags and lay them out flat to dry, don't wad them up and throw them away. Let them dry first, then do what you will with them..
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:45 PM
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K 2R spot lifter. You can get it at the grocery store. Spray it on the area you need to clean. Let it sit for a while to dry and start sucking up the oil. Brush it down with a dry brush and vacuum it out. Repeat if necessary.
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:24 PM
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K2R for sure. It would suck the oil out of a soaked firewall overnight. I thought it was removed from the market but saw it a few weeks ago at our local chain grocery store
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:03 PM
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I had a fuel tank leak, covered the inside of everything.

I filled the fuselage with clumping kitty litter.

I let it sit for a week, vacuumed it out, cleaned what ever was left I cleaned with simple green. It worked amazing.

Worth a try.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:15 PM
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If its just oil on fiberglass, keep it simple: Acetone.
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Old 04-14-2018, 08:50 PM
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Oil is soluble in alcohol. maybe alcohol can help.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:58 AM
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I've used Chlorinated Brakleen several times (the red can). It's cheap, effective, and you can pick it up at any Auto Parts store or Walmart. Degreases instantly on both fiberglass and balsa/plywood.

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Old 04-15-2018, 04:42 AM
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+1 in the K2R, available a Wal Mart and there is no chance it will damage the paint. Great thing is that even if you can't get at an area to vacuum out you can blow it out once it's dry. Used a lot of this stuff in the good ole days of nitro powered DF, worked great to clean oil residue out of the fuselages. When a Byron fan would blow an exhaust seal oil would end up everywhere.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:39 AM
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Keep the brake cleaner off any painted surfaces!
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by jofunk View Post
K 2R spot lifter. You can get it at the grocery store. Spray it on the area you need to clean. Let it sit for a while to dry and start sucking up the oil. Brush it down with a dry brush and vacuum it out. Repeat if necessary.
Yep... been using this stuf (K2R) f for a long time. It was the only way to pull oil (from glow fuel) out of the balsa when you needed to rebuild a model.

Brake cleaner works well, but it's harsh. It will eventually dry out the fiberglass and make it brittle. Not to mention, it can "Craze" any plastic parts it comes in contact with. It WILL absolutely kill lexan/polycarbonate parts. Because of that... it will not come anywhere near any of my models. (canopies are hard to replace sometimes)

If you have good paint, the other safe cleaner is Super Clean. It the best water soluble de-greaser I've ever used. It's good on any hard surface, but it can soften old, or weak paints. Generally it's fine on gel-coat and epoxy paints.


But without a doubt... the K2R is safe on EVERYTHING it comes in contact with.
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:19 AM
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I used denatured alcohol on my smoke oil leak before I got the long tube out the back. Worked perfectly.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Desertlakesflying View Post
I used denatured alcohol on my smoke oil leak before I got the long tube out the back. Worked perfectly.
Yeah denatured alcohol works really well on oily stuff. We used to use it to clean the nasty finger prints off the full scale cowlings when we finished up the maintenance on them. It was always a challenge to clean them as most of the smaller birds had some fading/oxidation of the surfaces and the alcohol was the only thing we ever found that would clean it right up without damaging the paint. If you are going to use alcohol, make sure it's denatured from the hardware store as that is straight alcohol. The stuff from the grocery store has water in it and does not work anywhere near as well. Rubbing alcohol is 30% water and Isopropyl alcohol is 9% water. Denatured alcohol will mix better and dry faster when used to thin epoxy.

Brake cleaner will leave a residue that almost as hard as the oil to get rid of, your painted surfaces will not appreciate electric contact cleaner.

I'd start with the K 2R.

Last edited by Zeeb; 04-15-2018 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:11 AM
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Beware there are different types of Brakleen, that's why I posted the red can which turns to vapor almost immediately. The green can (harsher smell, more like carburater cleaner) can melt or dissolve things, craze plastics, etc. Just wanted to clear that up...The red can is used around automotive finishes, powder coating and will not harm them. Most jets these days are painted with Urethane topcoat....
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