lighter fluid vs Mineral spirits vs denatured alcohol

Hey guys, so im definetely not new, been around for a few. So up until today i’ve been using lighter fluid to clean my bearings and its worked just fine (except for it destroying my ceramic KK, i dont care to argue about it, i know what happened). i’ve heard of people using mineral spirits alot, and that it works better for Hybrid bearings, such as the ones H-spin uses. (its cheaper too i found out, six bucks for a quart of the high quality stuff vs almost ten bucks for 10 ounces of lighter fluid). I used mineral spirits today and could detect no real difference in the cleaning, and its cheaper so i’m probably going to use that now. I was just wondering what the general consensus is on which one everyone prefers. Im not going to post a poll cause i hate those. Does it all work basically the same or do you guys think on is better than the other? Mineral spirits or Lighter fluid?

I’ve used both as well bc ive had them both around the house. I also noticed no real difference or it was so minimal I couldn’t tell. If I have to ever buy more it will be mineral spirits for me!

I use mineral spirits. Saw it in a video regarding cleaning bearings, found the same brand at the local Home Depot. If it worked for that guy, it can work fine for me. It HAS worked fine for me. That’s what I bought it for.

I don’t like working with lighter fluid. I also don’t have any denatured alcohol, but I do use 99.9% isopropyl alcohol for cleaning a lot of sensitive stuff like video and audio tape deck heads

Denatured Alcohol works just fine. It’s what I use. It’s a bit more expensive (Depending on the brand) than mineral spirits at about $6.50 a qt. I use solvents from when my dad esed to make a lot of wood stuff so lacquer thinner works as well (7.50 a qt). Hope I helped.

I have use 99,9% alcohol to clean bearings, and they don’t work that well with bearing, what I can think of is that 0,01% water in the alc build up too many residue. But maybe its just me though.

About mineral spirit vs lighter fluid, I haven’t find any differences on the result, I use what I have on the time.

Mostly lighter fluid though, mineral spirits irritate my skin.

I just use what is lying around. Currently that is starter fluid

i like oderless mineral spirits it seems to make the bearing spin smoother

Lighter fluid is my preference. Mineral spirits next.

Denatured alcohol evaporates too fast and tends to leave a residue on the bearing.

Yeah I think I still prefer lighter fluid also, mineral spirits seem to be a lil sticky but it still works fine.

I always use mineral spirits followed but a couple small drops of YYJ thin lube.

Works beautifully.

I use mineral spirits and then I blast it with compressed air. :wink:

I use odorless mineral spirits. After cleaning, I dry it best I can using a paper towel. Then, spin it on the end of a pen while hitting it with compressed air to dry it out. After that, 1 drop of YYJ thin lube, as small of a drop as I can get in there. No problems!

I’ve been using lighter fluid for 6 years. Seems to be just as good as anything else and cheaper.

To the op. I know you don’t want to argue your point of lighter fluid ruining your ceramic kk but I must say this. Unless your bearing had a plastic cage, It’s impossible for it to ruin it. Ceramic and hybrid ceramic bearings were designed to run in toxic and caustic situations. Ceramic bearings can withstand all solvents and most acids. They can take more punishment from harmful chemicals than any steel or stainless bearing can. I’ve left ceramic bearings and hybrid bearings in lighter fluid for over a month because I forgot where I put the container. Took them out. Blew the residual fluid out with air and they worked just fine. Maybe something else happened to your bearing when you went to clean it.

No nothing else happened to it. The lighter fluid froze it up, and i thought it ruined it. But yesterday i let it soak in mineral spirits for like ten minutes and then spun it on a pencil then let it soak a few more minutes and put it in a throw and now it works great! better than before even. The lighter fluid definetely froze it up tho. I dont know what happened i just know it didnt work after cleaning it with lighter fluid (i know how to clean bearings, i went to school to become a mechanic for two years before i became an arborist,) Im not a dumb kid who doesnt know how to do anything. Anyways, after cleaning it with spirits it works again. So, yes your partially right. It didnt ruin it. BUT, it did make it unusable.
EDIT: Im sorry Icthus, i didnt mean to make that sound hostile. thats not at all how i meant it.

I started with Gasoline. Now I advanced to Lighter Fluid. Both without any problems.

I’m willing to bet my collection that it was something else other than the lighter fluid. I’m not a dumb kid either. I’ve been using these chemicals for at least 25 years. You believe what you want to. I just can’t.

Okay, agree to disagree. ;D

All I’m going to say is that I would find it hard to believe that lighter fluid would cause a problem like that. It’s not a chemical I would want to use though. I mean, that comes from working in a book store and they would have us clean the books with lighter fluid so the covers would get all shiny, and the manager was a heavy smoker who liked to light up in the storage area was where all the books are, AND there was no sprinkler system I could see or any smoke detectors I could find. Let’s go make a flammable product more flammable. Let’s just say that I was either going to be canned or I was going to be pushed to quit after I complained about that. I left, mostly because I didn’t want to go down with the bookstore.

So, all I can say is that I’ve been following the other thread about this and it just doesn’t make sense to me. And now I’m confused even further now that you’re saying that using mineral spirits seemed to bring it back to life again. Maybe something got IN the bearing and it just so happened to be at the time you were using the lighter fluid. Whatever it was, the lighter fluid wasn’t able to get it cleared out. Now the mineral spirits do. I’m thinking it’s got to be a bit of grit or something that got in the bearing during cleaning.

Then again, I’m new to this whole yoyo thing. What do I know, right? I’m almost 40 and I don’t like playing with chemicals.

I really dont want to argue with anyone about it. I know it doesn’t make sense. It happened though. I know nothing got in it either. If something got in it, wouldnt it have came out just as easily by using lighter fluid? I would think so. But it didnt. After it froze up i tried cleaning it again with lighter fluid, to no avail. Then months later i try cleaning it with mineral spirits and it fixed it. Maybe the ceramic Frank uses isn’t 100% ceramic. Maybe its some kind of hybrid. I dont know. I just dont want to argue with anyone anymore about what happened to ME with MY bearing. I was there. I know what happened. I can name two other people on this board that it happened to also. Chris, Icthus, Im not trying to sound rude or hostile at all. Im just stating the facts of the situation. Sorry if it came off that way, its just kind of frustrating. In all honesty, i appreciate your guys input, its always good to get a fresh perspective on something. thanks

I don’t see you being argumentative. We’re all after a common objective. Just as we all can’t agree on what yoyo is the best, we can’t agree on what solvent is the best either.

I’m going to stick with my position of using mineral spirits. That’s how I’m gonna be. A quart for like $8 or so and readily available at a hardware store.

Then again, getting lighter fluid is easy too, and often easier to open and dispense.

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