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Stickiness from citrus cleaners


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Has any one else found that some varnishes soften when cleaned with citrus based cleaners. I can’t tell if the tacky feeling is actually varnish softening  or the remains of the oil. This seems to occur only when the stuff is used  straight which I sometimes find necessary. I clean the oil off with dilute, mild soap. The tackiness remains for some hours but usually goes away over night. A pain when trying to turn around a quick clean and polish.
 

Also wondering if this kind of citrus oil can go bad in the bottle over time. Should it be refrigerated?

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1 hour ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Has any one else found that some varnishes soften when cleaned with citrus based cleaners. I can’t tell if the tacky feeling is actually varnish softening  or the remains of the oil. This seems to occur only when the stuff is used  straight which I sometimes find necessary. I clean the oil off with dilute, mild soap. The tackiness remains for some hours but usually goes away over night. A pain when trying to turn around a quick clean and polish.
 

Also wondering if this kind of citrus oil can go bad in the bottle over time. Should it be refrigerated?

Food grade or technical grade?

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57 minutes ago, Mark Norfleet said:

Hmmmm, I'm using food grade d-limonene and have noticed none of that and no need to clean to "clean the oil off" when using it as it evaporates completely, or at least seems to.  I've not noticed any varnish softening..., yet.

I think that is the same stuff although I don't recall seeing "food grade" on the label. So is this stuff actually an essential oil? I will experiment with it more as it is sometimes a very effective cleaner.

 How are you storing it and for how long?

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5 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

I think that is the same stuff although I don't recall seeing "food grade" on the label. So is this stuff actually an essential oil? I will experiment with it more as it is sometimes a very effective cleaner.

 How are you storing it and for how long?

I checked mine and it does say "food grade" on it.  Yes, it is an essential oil.  I find it to be a pretty effective cleaner.  I had another container of something that was at least very similar 20+ years ago and used it on instruments, though I had purchased it as a thinner for an oil varnish I was using on furniture etc.  I don't recall that degrading or changing in any way during the time I used it, which must have been over at least a few years.  I then started using Stoddard solvent after attending one of the workshops at the Smithsonian Conservation labs.  I still use that from time to time but prefer the D-Limonene for most cleaning deposits found on instruments that water won't touch.  I was reminded of D-Limonene by some of Jackson's posts and have only had my current supply for 6-8 months.

I store it in the container it came in on the floor to the left of my bench with some other things I don't want to spill on my bench.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limonene

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Yes. I had that issue once some years back when I was working with Citra-Solv, which contains detergent in addition to limonene. I recall it being a Markneukirchen fiddle, possibly a Meinel. It was tacky the first day and fine when left overnight. I gave up the Citra-Solv years ago as it needs to be followed up with water to remove the residue. I now use food-grade d-limonene as it leaves very little residue, but I use it mostly on fingerboards which I follow up with 0000 steel wool. I seldom use limonene on varnish these days, unless it's a horribly filthy rental grade instrument whose finish I'm well-acquainted with, i.e. Eastman 80 or 100, which can stand up to a number of cleaners that I wouldn't use to clean a fine instrument. I tend to gravitate towards Vulpex detergent for better instruments these days. What I like about it is that I can control the strength somewhat by how much water I dilute it with.

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14 hours ago, Woodland said:

Yes. I had that issue once some years back when I was working with Citra-Solv, which contains detergent in addition to limonene. I recall it being a Markneukirchen fiddle, possibly a Meinel. It was tacky the first day and fine when left overnight. I gave up the Citra-Solv years ago as it needs to be followed up with water to remove the residue. I now use food-grade d-limonene as it leaves very little residue, but I use it mostly on fingerboards which I follow up with 0000 steel wool. I seldom use limonene on varnish these days, unless it's a horribly filthy rental grade instrument whose finish I'm well-acquainted with, i.e. Eastman 80 or 100, which can stand up to a number of cleaners that I wouldn't use to clean a fine instrument. I tend to gravitate towards Vulpex detergent for better instruments these days. What I like about it is that I can control the strength somewhat by how much water I dilute it with.

Interesting. I am usually using the limonene in combination with a little vulpex and water but have had mixed results with vulpex alone. Some times it works but different types of crud require different cleaners.

I think I will experiment with using the cleaners sequentially rather than mixing and see if that gives more predictable and controllable results.

Thanks for everyone’s comments

If anyone has a source for the “food grade” limonene I’d be interested in getting a new batch to see if that helps.

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I have no personal experience with D-Limonene, but its chemical structure is very similar to turpentine. Basically it's an organic solvent, and according to what I've read, water insoluble. Folks using it probably can say better. Also from my inter-browsing, there's two isomers. D-Limonene (orangie smell) and L-Limonene (piney smell). Just a heads up that if you order Limonene (no L- or D-) you may or may not get the one you want. I hope you find what works for you.

Cheers,

Jim

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Florida Labs and Blubonic Industries are two sources for food grade (you really should be using this vs technical grade) d-limonene. It is much easier to find than l-limonene and they are occasionally found in a racemic mixture called dipentene. I learned of limonene from Michelman's later article and prefer it to other solvents. A-turpineol is also great but quite expensive.

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A thought.  Citrus based solvents are widely used as industrial degreasers...they break down fats.  If the finish you are cleaning is a cold solved or "no solvent" varnish then you could be breaking down the linseed oil and therfore the stickiness.

on we go,

Joe

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