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Author Topic: Rubbing Alcohol as a Ball Cleaner  (Read 78109 times)

mr300ny

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Rubbing Alcohol as a Ball Cleaner
« on: December 18, 2011, 07:28:19 AM »
First off, let me start by saying I am neurotic about my equipment and cleaners. I normally use Powerhouse cleaner or something similar to that, but I would like to know if rubbing alcohol or alcohol pads will have the same effect on cleaning reactive resin balls? Would like to hear from experienced bowlers and their opinions on this. Thanks!

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Tex

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Re: Rubbing Alcohol as a Ball Cleaner
« Reply #46 on: October 19, 2012, 10:48:56 PM »
Just an off the wall to other cleaning uses for Rubbing Alcohol. This is the common and recommended cleaner in the architectural construction industry to remove contaminants from metal (aluminum in my companies case) so that Silicone sealants will adhere to the surface. This is because it will remove the cutting oils and natural aluminum residue so that the silicone will seal properly. We do use a water based cutting solution these days, but in some cases oils or even WD40 may have been used as a lubricant for drilling or cutting. Alcohol is the best product and at the best cost to remove these from the surface of the metal and glass. Now these are hard surfaces, especially the glass but it works great. So you could make assumptions if it can remove oils from these surfaces then it should from a ball. Now from the pores, don't see that but for a daily cleaner why not.

In the Urethane days this was about all we ever used. All these fancy cleaners had not been invented yet, so about all we had. I know of one product that is nothing more than Simple Green and rubbing alcohol mix and is sold as a reactive ball cleaner. He has sold tons of this stuff and bowlers loved it.

On Acetone, ever heard of the soakers. Back in the old days they would soak their plastic balls in Acetone to soften the surface. This is where the hardness rules came into the ABC rules to stop this practice. It basically melted the surface of the ball to alter the hardness. Also why Acetone was outlawed.

Elimeno Pee

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Re: Rubbing Alcohol as a Ball Cleaner
« Reply #47 on: October 20, 2012, 07:42:24 AM »
i might use alcohol between sets if the bowling balls look dirty, but usually i'm fine with wiping the ball between shots.  Every 2-4 nights of bowling i use a product called Qwik-Strike from a company out of Kalamazoo, Mi, called Biokleen.  the stuff is thick enough to stick to the ball, and only takes a few squirts, and you can rub the stuff around on the ball, let it sit, then wipe it off.  Works quite well.
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charlest

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Re: Rubbing Alcohol as a Ball Cleaner
« Reply #48 on: October 20, 2012, 07:48:50 AM »
On Acetone, ever heard of the soakers. Back in the old days they would soak their plastic balls in Acetone to soften the surface. This is where the hardness rules came into the ABC rules to stop this practice. It basically melted the surface of the ball to alter the hardness. Also why Acetone was outlawed.

They didn't use Acetone. They used MEK: Methyl Ethyl Ketone.

See the reference in this article: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1087795/index.htm
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Tex

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Re: Rubbing Alcohol as a Ball Cleaner
« Reply #49 on: October 20, 2012, 08:16:02 AM »
I stand corrected. I remember that once you said it. I believe the affect of softening the cover was why ABC outlawed it though.

charlest

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Re: Rubbing Alcohol as a Ball Cleaner
« Reply #50 on: October 20, 2012, 11:19:28 AM »
I stand corrected. I remember that once you said it. I believe the affect of softening the cover was why ABC outlawed it though.

Yes, very true.

As a side note: acetone doesn't so much soften materials in the plastics family (polyester, urethane and resin, all our coverstock material, all belong to the plastics family, as far as I know. Acetone is a very simple chemical and is extremely reactive, but being simple it takes quite a bit to interact with plastics, a much more complex chemical and molecule. So if you put a dab of acetone on cloth to remove something like spilled over glue from the edge of an insert, it will do no harm to the ball's surface. You may see a slight smoothing out of the surface but even that is rare. If you sand a urethane insert, along a bevel, for instance, you can use a rag with a tiny damp spot of acetone to smooth out that rough area. I do mean, "damp" not soaked, and I mean tiny, like maybe a nickel or quarter sized area, 1/2" - 3/4" in diameter. Any more is a waste of money and can be dangerous. Remember acetone is highly flammable and not especially good for the human body.
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raiderh20boy

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Re: Rubbing Alcohol as a Ball Cleaner
« Reply #51 on: October 20, 2012, 01:04:39 PM »
5 gal buckets of MEK on the sides of motorhomes/vans!!!!!!!!!! Oh what memories! Thanks  Don MuCune!  ;D ;D ;D

smorgasson

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Re: Rubbing Alcohol as a Ball Cleaner
« Reply #52 on: March 10, 2014, 01:23:48 AM »
Does anyone know how well Tac-Up works? I do the hot soaks and I put my bowling balls in front of my space heater to draw out some of the oil, but I wasn't seeing much change doing that. My coach suggested Tac-Up but it smells just like Windex to me...is it just a surface cleaner or does it actually "deep clean?"
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JessN16

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Re: Rubbing Alcohol as a Ball Cleaner
« Reply #53 on: March 10, 2014, 03:26:14 AM »
I don't know what this brings to the debate (I'm kind of lost as to what's being debated anymore, honestly), but here goes...

1. A lot of these cleaners have abrasives mixed in. I've got about 20 different bottles here in the room with me, many of them already named in this thread. You can put some of these on your fingers, rub them together, and they feel like face cream. But others, you can rub them between your fingers and it feels sandy/chalky. You don't need a chemistry degree to tell you why. If you want to double-check this for accuracy, use the product on something that has no oil in it -- like the surface of your car. Many of these cleaners operate similarly to car wax; i.e., buff it out enough and you can shine painted metal with them.

2. Another way to check this: Get a bunch of rags, put various cleaners on them, then put them somewhere and let them dry out thoroughly. Like, 2 weeks. Then take the rags and shake them/pop them vigorously. You'll see dust fly out of some of the rags but not others. Know what that dust is? Yep, it's a sanding/polishing compound that was present in the original mixture.

3. The oil coming out of your bowling ball is actually EPA-regulated. I have been told, but do not know for sure, that it is mineral oil. Reason being, the oil gets everywhere, on your clothes and your hands, no matter how careful you are with it, so it has to be something very safe for human contact and also very easy to break down/remove. Figure out whether isopropyl alcohol will cut mineral oil and you'll have your answer as to whether it's a good cleaner.

4. As for how certain cleaners "draw out" more oil, there's really only two ways that can happen. One, the cleaner could have a surface-affecting compound in it, and rubbing this substance across the ball would actually cut into the sides of the pores somewhat and help release the oil. I suspect this is the science behind cleaners that are not approved for use during competition, as they would be modifying the surface of the ball itself, even if only by a minor amount. Two, a cleaner could chemically latch on to the oil molecules and pull them from the pores. If this is the case, it is certainly plausible for specific cleaners to be more adept at cleaning a ball than alcohol, which to my knowledge won't bind to mineral oil.

Jess

mainzer

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Re: Rubbing Alcohol as a Ball Cleaner
« Reply #54 on: March 10, 2014, 08:04:20 AM »
Interesting.

On a side note we use Isopropyl Alcohol from to time to get the worst stains off Operating Room floors and it works very...it is so strong it strips the wax off the floors along with the stains

I don't know what this brings to the debate (I'm kind of lost as to what's being debated anymore, honestly), but here goes...

1. A lot of these cleaners have abrasives mixed in. I've got about 20 different bottles here in the room with me, many of them already named in this thread. You can put some of these on your fingers, rub them together, and they feel like face cream. But others, you can rub them between your fingers and it feels sandy/chalky. You don't need a chemistry degree to tell you why. If you want to double-check this for accuracy, use the product on something that has no oil in it -- like the surface of your car. Many of these cleaners operate similarly to car wax; i.e., buff it out enough and you can shine painted metal with them.

2. Another way to check this: Get a bunch of rags, put various cleaners on them, then put them somewhere and let them dry out thoroughly. Like, 2 weeks. Then take the rags and shake them/pop them vigorously. You'll see dust fly out of some of the rags but not others. Know what that dust is? Yep, it's a sanding/polishing compound that was present in the original mixture.

3. The oil coming out of your bowling ball is actually EPA-regulated. I have been told, but do not know for sure, that it is mineral oil. Reason being, the oil gets everywhere, on your clothes and your hands, no matter how careful you are with it, so it has to be something very safe for human contact and also very easy to break down/remove. Figure out whether isopropyl alcohol will cut mineral oil and you'll have your answer as to whether it's a good cleaner.

4. As for how certain cleaners "draw out" more oil, there's really only two ways that can happen. One, the cleaner could have a surface-affecting compound in it, and rubbing this substance across the ball would actually cut into the sides of the pores somewhat and help release the oil. I suspect this is the science behind cleaners that are not approved for use during competition, as they would be modifying the surface of the ball itself, even if only by a minor amount. Two, a cleaner could chemically latch on to the oil molecules and pull them from the pores. If this is the case, it is certainly plausible for specific cleaners to be more adept at cleaning a ball than alcohol, which to my knowledge won't bind to mineral oil.

Jess
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 07:54:10 AM by mainzer »
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slowmofo908

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Re: Rubbing Alcohol as a Ball Cleaner
« Reply #55 on: March 10, 2014, 03:27:16 PM »
Alcohol works fine for me.  Though there are some solvents that will suck stuff out pores (even metal) such as perchloroethylene.  Thats one that comes to mind and wonder what these ball cleaning companies ingredients are