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Not to nitpick, but Kerosene is typically a different hydrocarbon fraction than diesel. Most (read: all, never seen or heard of one that didn't), crude distillations columns in a refinery have a separate diesel and kerosene cut. Diesel is just that. Diesel fuel. Kero is typically used as heating oil or jet fuel. Different boiling curves and different final product spec (smoke point, freeze point, cetane, etc).

And for reference neither are a single hydrocarbon, but a combo of many different ones that are defined by the different boiling ranges they have.

Diesel is heavier than jet. IE its draw off the crude column is lower and it it boils at a higher temp because to the hydrocarbons that constitute it are on average longer chain/higher molecular weight.

From bottom to top of a crude column is typically atmospheric resid, heavy gas oil, light gas oil, diesel, kero, naphtha, then your range of HC vapor like methane, ethane, propane, etc.

All of the refineries I've worked at in my career have always treated kero and diesel and two very different and distinct products with two different end markets.

The above is a bit of an oversimplification, but you get the idea.

For reference I personally like to use Kero as my degreaser of choice.

Here’s what I know. Kerosene is basically just clean diesel. Jet A or JP8 as used by the military is used to run Diesel engined vehicles. Jet A or JP8 is Kerosene. IE, diesel or kerosene, it makes no difference they’re basically the same hydrocarbon.

Main ingredient in WD-40? Kerosene. So, I’d recommend the soaked rag routine. Just use the diesel you have to soak the rags. It’ll have to stay on for a bit to soften the cosmoline but it should make it easier to remove.

I worked heavy equipment (and refueling trucks) in the Air Force. Removing cosmoline was a near daily chore. Lots of equipment was shipped, preserved in cosmoline, even stuff returning from depot rebuild. Worse if it sat out in the sun in storage for a year or 4. Once the parafin dries out, it’s like trying to remove plastic......sean
 

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We get some new parts that have been preserved by cosmolene on a regular basis. We use a steam cabinet and the parts come out like brand new. Maybe rent a steam cleaner with a mild detergent. Then the spoils would be minimized.
 

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We get some new parts that have been preserved by cosmolene on a regular basis. We use a steam cabinet and the parts come out like brand new. Maybe rent a steam cleaner with a mild detergent. Then the spoils would be minimized.
YES
I was going to say... You need a Steam Jinny. Decades ago before the advent of High Powered pressure washers... The Steam Jinny was used.
Pressurized steam will clean almost anything. Grease just dripped off whatever machinery we were cleaning.
NO, we didnt capture it. we didnt know any better.
BUT
WOW! there was the yellow paint from that Caterpillar model... (instert numbers here)

Rex
 

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If you have a membership to Sam's Club...............
Go to the cleaning supplies aisle - there's Gallon jugs for $6ish, that say: "Degreaser Concentrate"
Get that, and a generic spray bottle for cleaning (an old 409 or fantastic spray bottle rinsed out will work too)
The directions say to mix it 32:1 with water (32 parts water, 1 part Sams Degreaser Concentrate)
I know if you mix it 50/50 with water it makes a really nice paint stripper, will take anything down to bare metal in minutes, I would experiment mixing it weaker than that, try a small test area - the stuff works GREAT! I brought home an old 1946 Brown & Sharpe Surface grinder that was covered in caked on grease and 6 coats of old leaded paint, that mineral spirits and a wire toothbrush wouldnt make a dent in, and it cleaned it like hot butter in like ONE application......

https://www.facebook.com/paul.mapes.jr/media_set?set=a.10156011806911659&type=3
 

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If you have a membership to Sam's Club...............
Go to the cleaning supplies aisle - there's Gallon jugs for $6ish, that say: "Degreaser Concentrate"
Get that, and a generic spray bottle for cleaning (an old 409 or fantastic spray bottle rinsed out will work too)
The directions say to mix it 32:1 with water (32 parts water, 1 part Sams Degreaser Concentrate)
I know if you mix it 50/50 with water it makes a really nice paint stripper, will take anything down to bare metal in minutes, I would experiment mixing it weaker than that, try a small test area - the stuff works GREAT! I brought home an old 1946 Brown & Sharpe Surface grinder that was covered in caked on grease and 6 coats of old leaded paint, that mineral spirits and a wire toothbrush wouldnt make a dent in, and it cleaned it like hot butter in like ONE application......

https://www.facebook.com/paul.mapes.jr/media_set?set=a.10156011806911659&type=3
This totally will not work for OP's application, cosmoline is a very nasty hardened waxy stuff once its been in the heat for a few years - this was made back when mil-spec actually meant something other than the lowest bidder! It repels anything water based unless applied at over 100mph or with great force.
Hammer and chisel is what he was down to before asking for advice - he tried everything retail before speaking up.
 

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[QUOTE="Cheme85, post: 7051536]
All of the refineries I've worked at in my career have always treated kero and diesel and two very different and distinct products with two different end markets.
The above is a bit of an oversimplification, but you get the idea.

[/QUOTE]
No, you over complicated. I over simplified in the context of the discussion.

No one was discussing the end user market for diesel or kerosene only their effectiveness as degreasers.

Kerosene works as well as diesel and vice versa. The OP already has diesel. Going the soaked rag route with diesel will work just as well as with kerosene.

Why tell the man to go spend more money on kerosene then?

It isn’t like there will be a difference in the outcome if he did. So for the purpose of the discussion at hand, diesel=kesosene.

Once the cosmoline is softened it can easily scraped off and the remaining residue cleaned with simple green or other degreaser.....sean
 

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Discussion Starter #29
The knowledge here is awesome :cool:

To add what I found, I have read on military restoration sites the absolute best to remove cosmoline is dry ice blasting. Never heard of this, remove anything with minimal waste. Check this


I found a business here who offer the service but they don't rent only the machines, so cost is prohibitive.

So I will rent a 80psi steam cleaner for the weekend, will let you know the result.

thanks
 

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If you say so. You said Kero is just clean diesel and backed that assertion up with the fact that the military uses certain jet specs to run diesel vehicles. Them being the same thing simply isn't the case so I was pointing that out along with extra detail on why that isn't the case if anyone was curious. They are completely separate hydrocarbon fractions.

I've never worked with Cosmolene and wasn't directing him to use Kero for this case as I have no experience with it. Just that my personal degreaser of choice is Kero.

Up to the OP on what he wants to do/try in this case.

[QUOTE="Cheme85, post: 7051536]
All of the refineries I've worked at in my career have always treated kero and diesel and two very different and distinct products with two different end markets.
The above is a bit of an oversimplification, but you get the idea.
No, you over complicated. I over simplified in the context of the discussion.

No one was discussing the end user market for diesel or kerosene only their effectiveness as degreasers.

Kerosene works as well as diesel and vice versa. The OP already has diesel. Going the soaked rag route with diesel will work just as well as with kerosene.

Why tell the man to go spend more money on kerosene then?

It isn’t like there will be a difference in the outcome if he did. So for the purpose of the discussion at hand, diesel=kesosene.

Once the cosmoline is softened it can easily scraped off and the remaining residue cleaned with simple green or other degreaser.....sean
[/QUOTE]
 

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Discussion Starter #31
So I rented this little machine and it did help but it was far from a one pass and it's done deal.

I used a steam jet first to soften the goo, then one pass with a scrapper to remove the most residue, then another steam pass with a little brush attachment, and finished with diesel-varsol. It was still hard to remove. Just a steam jet was doing basically nothing. It didn't cut the work in half, I thought it would be easier.

What really helped is a friend stepping in. Took 5 hours at 2 to clean most of the mechanism. Still need to do the table top.

980714
 
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