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New to welding and glad I found this info.

Most times I just hit it with a wire wheel or a grinder.

So I now know no cleaners for me just old school elbow grease, soap and water.

I will also watch out for galvanized. Thanks.
If you're new at welding you won't be welding galvanized metal anyway. It's ridiculously hard to weld, and you have to burn through the galvanization in order to get any kind of penetration. :)

Thank you for this thread. I read it before I ever started welding, but now I know to not mess with chemicals on the metal I will be welding.
 

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Other than soap/water , distilled water , denatured alcohol is there any other way to get rid of grease ,brake ,trans fluid ,oil and other contaminants could be harmful before welding ?
Acetone..MEK...Lacquer thinner..mineral spirits....etc....
 

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Other than soap/water , distilled water , denatured alcohol is there any other way to get rid of grease ,brake ,trans fluid ,oil and other contaminants could be harmful before welding ?
Easiest and cheapest method is to go buy a Harbor Freight 4 1/2" angle grinder and a couple of flap disks. You'll need a grinder anyway, and I always hit whatever I'm welding with the flap disk to clean it up. I use it to cut, grind and to clean.
 

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Great Timing!

Glad I saw this article! I am restoring a 1975 Bolens HT-20 garden tractor with a front-end loader and a hydrostatic transmission. I recently pulled the rear axle for an overhaul and found that the frame had some stress cracks around the axle mount points.

I was planning to weld it up this weekend...and of course, it is all greasy and grimy, to say the least! Like a lot of other posters, I LOVE brakleen and use it all the time. I would very likely have cleaned the frame with brakleen and whipped out the mig.

I'm not a religious guy, but somebody was surely looking out for me this week!

Snowman64 in NW PA
 

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The ingredient in chlorinated brake cleaner that will react and create toxic phosgene gas is tetrachloroethylene.

I know a lot of people use white lithium grease to lube their tube benders as the tubing slides through. I am concerned after reading the liquid wrench msds.

I was shocked to see the main ingredient in Liquid Wrench White Lithium Grease is... tetrachloroethylene.

http://www.trcc.commnet.edu/Div_Adm...Wrench White Lithium Grease 200806 Sec 16.pdf

Why in this link for the exact same lithium grease is tetrachloethylene no where listed?
http://www.rscbrands.com/products/msds/L616.PDF

The warnings about brake cleaner have been widely posted but this is the same exact chemical hidden in white lithium grease. For years I have welded on tubing that had lithium grease on it and I am sure many people have too as it is such a commonly used lube for tube bending.
 

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Just tagging to read later. Thanks
 

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not feeling well tonight guys, I made about 3 tack welds on a painted rack and apparently inhaled some fumes. didnt think it would be a big deal it took 30 seconds, everyone please b careful especially if you are new to welding like me:oops:
 

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Just for sake of welding knowledge, Don't ever torch cut aluminum. You have to plasma cut or blade cut aluminum because the temperature of the torch can evaporate the aluminum and kill you dead.

Not to be confused with aluminum torch welding, which the flame isn't hot enough to vaporize the aluminum into a poisonous gas.
 

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Also, If you plan on welding on galvanized steel then you should set up a fan next to your work piece, metal fume fever is no fun but a glass of tall milk will ease the side affects. Galvanization makes a white powder once its burned but you can wipe that off with ease. Its the fumes that get your gut in knots. It wont kill you too fast but its not such a nice feeling.
 

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Didn't see it it mentioned, but I keep a spray bottle with denatured alcohol in my garage for most of my easy cleaning. I use more potent stuff for some of the tuff cleaning but the alcohol is nicer to work with. Not as toxic as most other cleaners and it evaporates quickly with no residue.
 

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Well I know not to use brake cleaner anymore... Anyone suggest something safe to clean the oily film off?
I really like the metal cleaner that POR sells called Marine Clean. Mixes with water and it will do a great job of getting rid of grease. Just wear gloves because it is hard on your skin. Purple Power and Simple Green work too.
 

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I confirm about galvanized steel. I used to work in an elevator shop and weld that a lot with no aspiration system and had to quit before 1 year for health purpose order of my doctor, started having symptomes
after few month ,same for the guy who was working with me and the previous welder who worked there for over 6 year died.
At my workplace the welders would be livid if you brought anything galvanized into the shop.
 
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