PSA: Chlorinated brake cleaners - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 20 Old 02-01-2020, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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PSA: Chlorinated brake cleaners

I want to share something that I learned the hard way last weekend.

For the longest time, i've only used non-chlorinated brake cleaners in the garage (Green CRC brakekleen can). I recently performed a full brake overhaul on the wife's car and purchased the chlorinated version (Red CRC).

I also just inherited a big Kerosene heater for the garage.

Last weekend after a day of wrenching in the kerosene-heated garage, I came into the house thinking the wife spilled a gallon of chlorox somehwere!

Not soon after, I was experiencing a low-grade migraine and felt a little nauseous (i never get headaches) and the chlorine smell was in my nose for several hours.

She poked her head in the garage and slammed the door.

After reading the can (along with 5min of internet research: Safety Alert!), learned how stupid I was using this stuff near a heater b/c it evolves hydrogen chloride (gas) and even phosgene!

The phosgene looks more of an issue if you weld! Luckily for me, I used acetone and denatured alcohol to prep my welded parts last weekend.



Net:
  • only use chlorinated brake cleaner if you have to(try to use the non-chlorinated version or "safer" solvents):
  • do not prep parts for welding using chlorinated brake cleaner.
  • use away from heat source(s)
  • only in a well ventilated area (like outside).

Feel free to share your experiences / encounters with this stuff ...or other not-so-well-known garage hazards!


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Last edited by classiccat; 02-01-2020 at 08:26 AM.
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post #2 of 20 Old 02-01-2020, 08:27 AM
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There are a lot of dangerous chemicals sold in the auto parts stores and even in the big box stores. It's good to read the label and note the hazards. A lot of the stuff we spray on the snowblowers to repel snow is not very safe and has warnings about breathing it or getting it into your eyes.

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post #3 of 20 Old 02-01-2020, 08:59 AM
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@classiccat,

First, be aware that using a kerosene heater in a garage needs ventilation i.e., open a door, leave a window open or gable vents, ridge vents, or crack the garage door open. I use kerosene as my heat source and have appropriate venting.

Using any and all spray can products, i.e cleaners, paints, lubricants, solvents, etc. should also be used in well ventilated areas as well, and stated on the containers.

Also note, never store any oil, gas or cleaner coated rags in any environment such as a shop or garage, as they are highly flammable.
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post #4 of 20 Old 02-01-2020, 09:49 AM
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All solvents, spray paints , carb cleaners, fall under Murphy's law. Especially if you happen to be a smoker. Self perseveration should always be on one's mind. I think winter is half over.
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post #5 of 20 Old 02-01-2020, 10:16 AM
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This reminds me of the time I wanted to maximize my wife's cleaning products so I mixed ammonia and bleach without knowing the result in higher concentrations was potentially deadly. Fortunately both were heavily diluted but the mixture was still difficult to deal with.
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post #6 of 20 Old 02-01-2020, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles View Post
There are a lot of dangerous chemicals sold in the auto parts stores and even in the big box stores. It's good to read the label and note the hazards. A lot of the stuff we spray on the snowblowers to repel snow is not very safe and has warnings about breathing it or getting it into your eyes.
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Originally Posted by oneacer View Post
@classiccat,

First, be aware that using a kerosene heater in a garage needs ventilation i.e., open a door, leave a window open or gable vents, ridge vents, or crack the garage door open. I use kerosene as my heat source and have appropriate venting.

Using any and all spray can products, i.e cleaners, paints, lubricants, solvents, etc. should also be used in well ventilated areas as well, and stated on the containers.

Also note, never store any oil, gas or cleaner coated rags in any environment such as a shop or garage, as they are highly flammable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid View Post
All solvents, spray paints , carb cleaners, fall under Murphy's law. Especially if you happen to be a smoker. Self perseveration should always be on one's mind. I think winter is half over.
Sid
Yep, read the labels and good ventilation. Good advice.

I understated how immediate this reaction was even with ventilation in the garage (which I have) and sparing use (a few squirts). A cracked side-door with a small draw fan doesn't cut the mustard esp in my garage (high ceilings with alot of volume).

If you have to use chlorinated cleaner indoors, turn-off the heater and make sure you have a source of strong up-stream laminar flow wearing PPE...and that's for the less toxic hydrogen chloride reaction. That link to the welder who almost died from phosgene poisoning is really eye-opening!


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post #7 of 20 Old 02-01-2020, 10:46 AM
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I like the "self preservation" aspect.

No matter how many warnings, the lack of common sense and the inability for safety and self protection are always going to result in people doing significant harm to themselves . this is always going to happen, just like every winter there are going to be people that are going to have snow blower injuries.

Some people should just know there limitations and lack of common sense, and not partake in those endeavors.
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post #8 of 20 Old 02-01-2020, 10:51 AM
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to think we used to have a tank that was heated carbon tet, used for de-greasing parts .grease would literally melt off the grease ,
that stuff has always been bad to breath but boy did it work,

last purchase of brake cleaner from advanced auto parts it was in a new gold labeled can marked new formula and water worked better
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post #9 of 20 Old 02-01-2020, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid View Post
All solvents, spray paints , carb cleaners, fall under Murphy's law. Especially if you happen to be a smoker. Self perseveration should always be on one's mind. I think winter is half over.
Sid

Yes to above although with an IMO comment. You cannot be concerned with self preservation and be a smoker at the same time.
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post #10 of 20 Old 02-01-2020, 02:06 PM
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While this does not negate the need for ventilation and I would not use them around a heater.). These folks sent me a free bottle of the FD Tri Clore replacement (or so we called it) when I questioned them, we bought 30 gallons over the years I worked (oil cleanup and motor cleanup). There are some of the Electrical stores that are dealers.

https://www.polywater.com/product/po...ntact-cleaner/

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