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Topic: Petroleum jelly Cleanup  (Read 19937 times)

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Offline billnotgatez

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Petroleum jelly Cleanup
« on: July 14, 2013, 02:51:16 PM »
Petroleum jelly

Well Somehow a jar of Petroleum jelly was left in a glove compartment of a car and it spilled. Additionally, the car was exposed to high outside temperatures. I removed the contents of the compartment and set them aside on paper towels. Then I wiped up as best I could of the Petroleum jelly inside the compartment, but now there is a coating of jelly in the compartment walls.

Using my vast (sic) knowledge of organic chemistry, I assumed that soap and water would clean off the walls of the compartment. But the WIKI article make little mention of soap and water as a solvent or clean up agent.

From the WIKI

It is insoluble in water. It is soluble in dichloromethane, chloroform, benzene, diethyl ether, carbon disulfide and oil of turpentine.[1][3]



Petroleum jelly is very sticky and hard to remove from non-biological surfaces with the usual and customary cleaning agents typically found in the home. It may be dissolved with paint thinner or other petroleum solvents such as acetone,[15] which dissolves most plastics. These solvents should be used in well-ventilated areas, and as infrequently as possible.

Petroleum jelly is slightly soluble in alcohol.[16] To avoid damage to plastics as well as minimize ventilation issues, isopropyl rubbing alcohol can be used to remove petroleum jelly from most surfaces. Isopropyl alcohol is inert to most household surfaces, including most every plastic, and removes petroleum jelly efficiently. While alcohol causes fewer ventilation problems than petroleum solvents, ventilation is still recommended, especially if large surface areas are involved.

Petroleum jelly is also soluble in lower molecular weight oils. Using an oil to dissolve the petroleum jelly first can render it more soluble to solvents and soaps that would not dissolve pure petroleum jelly. Vegetable oils such as canola and olive oil are commonly used to aid in the removal of petroleum jelly from hair and skin.[17]

The only thing in the above quotes I am comfortable with is isopropyl rubbing alcohol.
I will probably use Isopropyl rubbing alcohol for the initial cleaning followed by Dawn soap and water.
Needless to say I was educated.

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