Cleaning the "Other" Tool Surfaces?

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Forum topic by FaTToaD posted 03-13-2014 01:50 PM 803 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View FaTToaD's profile


393 posts in 2559 days

03-13-2014 01:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question cleaning clean tools tool simple green oil tablse saw jointer maintenance

Due to a recent injury I plan doing an all-out cleaning on all my large power tools over the next couple months. Cleaning and waxing the work surfaces is pretty straight forward and I’ve been doing it for years. However, several of the tools are new to me and have a layer of dust, dirt, grime, etc. on them and I plan to clean every square inch.

I figure this isn’t considered routine maintenance to most of us. Seriously, how often do you wipe down your table saw cabinet or jointer base? But it gives me a chance to get familiar with the new tools as well as just gives me something to do besides sitting in front of a TV.

I’m curious as to whatever y’all would recommend for wiping down or cleaning the finished parts of tools? I was thinking of just using Simple Green and maybe a light oil afterwards, but wasn’t sure if there were better choices.

Any feedback/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

-- David

10 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


3454 posts in 1185 days

#1 posted 03-13-2014 01:56 PM

I wouldn’t use any oil-based product including soap as they will collect dust.


View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

5948 posts in 1746 days

#2 posted 03-13-2014 01:57 PM

I suggest hot soapy water, using a detergent that cuts grease well (Dawn dish soap is a good one).

Use a brush to get in the nooks and crannies and a sponge with a scrubby to take up the excess water and scour the tough spots.

Ware a rubber dish glove so you can tolerate hotter water and use the hottest water you can tolerate, as it will evaporate quickly and minimize the chances of causing corrosion. Then I’d dry with an old towel or T-shirt.

I keep a spray bottle of generic cleaner (like Fantastik) for a hear and there clean up. But for a big job I’d use the hot soapy water.

If properly rinsed, I can’t see a dust collecting residue forming.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View JayT's profile


4670 posts in 1629 days

#3 posted 03-13-2014 02:06 PM

I keep a spray bottle of diluted Simple Green around for most cleaning tasks. It should work fine for what you are wanting to do.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

21522 posts in 1756 days

#4 posted 03-13-2014 03:17 PM

Dawn dish soap, no oil.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View FaTToaD's profile


393 posts in 2559 days

#5 posted 03-13-2014 05:19 PM

I never thought about the oil being a dust magnet, definitely going to scratch that idea. I’ll try the simple green or dish soap for the heavy stuff. I use simple green to clean my canoe so the smell always reminds of summer and fishing, can’t argue with that.

Thanks for ideas!

-- David

View mahdee's profile


3454 posts in 1185 days

#6 posted 03-13-2014 05:32 PM

As a soap maker I can say that all soap are made with oil. Soap have varying percentages of oils in them. Dish soap probably has the least amount of oil in it since it doesn’t leave a film on clear glass. Most brand shampoo and body wash is made from dish soap with baby oil and/or similar ingredients added to it.


View gfadvm's profile


14928 posts in 2108 days

#7 posted 03-14-2014 12:45 AM

I use mineral spirits in a spray bottle. It will evaporate quickly and leave no residue to attract dust. I use my air gun to blow everything off, then go after any grunge with the MS and a small brush.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Minorhero's profile


372 posts in 2023 days

#8 posted 03-14-2014 12:51 AM

Shop vac to get the big piles of dust that collect, then a rag with mineral spirits. Remember to wear gloves.

The mineral spirits wont rust your tools and will cut right through grease and grime that has built up.

View FaTToaD's profile


393 posts in 2559 days

#9 posted 03-14-2014 01:22 AM

Mineral spirits is another great idea that never crossed my mind. I sure have plenty of it on hand. Thanks!

-- David

View Vincent Nocito's profile

Vincent Nocito

485 posts in 2782 days

#10 posted 03-14-2014 01:11 PM

I avoid using any type of solvent or soap. I use a stiff bristle nylon or brass brush and compressed air along with my shop vac. I spent about an hour yesterday cleaning the internals of my table saw to get rind of the dust build up. I don’t handle much pine so resin is usually not a problem for me. I do find that after cutting a lot of plywood, there is some gummy deposits probably from the glue. If you plan on solvent cleaning, make sure your area is well ventilated and the power to the tool is turned off.

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