My daughter and I have an understanding about understanding. It goes something like this: If you can’t explain something in terms that a five-year-old can comprehend, you really don’t know what you are talking about. So, when I found an article from Classic Motorsports (.com) with the headline “Gasoline Makes a Terrific Cleaner, Yet It Can Kill You,” I had to read more.
Moving past the sensational headline, the author (a Sunoco technical specialist, Zack Santer) noted that the “number one rule of solubility is that ‘like dissolves like.’” Got it. And, in defense of the kid-in-you, I’m betting you used gasoline from the lawnmower to clean your bike chain? I digress.
Further in the article Santer explains the problem with gasoline (and my explanation for the five-year-old, kid in you).
Technically speaking, the problem with gasoline is its low (-40°) flashpoint. Flashpoint refers to the temperature at which a flammable liquid vaporizes or is able to ignite. (Now, you have an explanation for the kids: flashpoint, rather than “I told you so.”)
Diesel fuel, the flashpoint is 125° to 180°. I’ve used it, but I find the after-smell (it is going to get on your clothes) to be a problem.
My favorite cleaner: Orange GoJo and a toothbrush. I’m sure you have your favorite cleaner.
Robert Patton, Editor
Turbo Diesel Register Magazine
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