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30-7-2017 19:35:09  #1

Solvene Typewriter Cleaner

So I bought this old bottle of "Solvene Typewriter Cleaner" off of eBay a few years ago when I really began to seriously collect and work on my typewriters.  It came with an applicator sponge that attaches to the cap of the bottle, and on the side of the box it mentions that it contains "perchloroethylene and naptha".  I prefer to use naptha when I'm cleaning my typewriters, so I was wondering if anyone knew anything about this product, and if it would STILL be safe to use on my typewriters given its obvious age?  I have no idea how old it really is, but I would guess late 1960s; if I'm wrong, please let me know.  Thanks!


31-7-2017 07:55:52  #2

Re: Solvene Typewriter Cleaner

Nice find on the Solvene!
Perchloroethylene is described here:
which says it's nonflamable and "dissolves rubber," and is a paint remover, for what it's worth.
I, too, just use naphtha for most cleaning. Having worked at a newspapers, it's what our press room gang used as a general solvent for ink and degreaser when cleaning the presses.
Actually I use Coleman fuel (white gas) because it's cheaper than quart cans of naphtha and is basically the same thing -- gasoline without the additives put into motor fuels. That's why I only clean my typewriters outside on sunny days. No smoking!


02-8-2017 18:36:01  #3

Re: Solvene Typewriter Cleaner

Yikes! Thanks for telling me about the issues with rubber! It's rather curious, though, considering that on the box it says that it can be used on the platen as well as on the type. I'm not going to test that one out!

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