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Is there any way to prevent petrol from being flammable without losing it's solvent properties? Preferably some affordable way that is applicable for DIY. In my case, petrol is used for bearing cleaning, and there is a risk of inflammation due to accidental spark.

If no affordable way exists, what octane number is safer (less flammable)?

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  • $\begingroup$ For cleaning, diesel oil or kerosene instead. Not so volatile. Also cheaper. $\endgroup$ – f p Nov 8 '13 at 11:46
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for proposition, not sure about diesel but kerosene seems to be hard to buy at my area. $\endgroup$ – Dmitriusan Nov 9 '13 at 21:22
  • $\begingroup$ You aren't going to like it, but working at $-45^\cdot C$, below the flash point of gasoline is one way. $\endgroup$ – DJohnM Nov 9 '13 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ By the by, breathing in petrol fumes is also super bad for you. $\endgroup$ – Aesin Nov 9 '13 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ Makes sense. I was thinking about using something automatic like bont.com/quad/products/bearingCleaner with gasoline and custom remote control, but it seems to be too dangerous/harmful. Probably will switch to citrus cleaner. $\endgroup$ – Dmitriusan Nov 10 '13 at 13:39
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Nearly every solvent is flammable, some exceptions are halogenated hydrocarbons. But plain hydrocarbons are pretty much all flammable, though some are more dangerous than others like e.g. diethyl ether.

Chloroform is non-flammable, but due to the toxicity I would not recommend to use it. There are some other non-flammable solvents for cleaning mentioned in this presentation from NASA on the search for non-flammable solvents. But it seems that many candidates are being phased out because they are a hazard to the ozone layer.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think you are right. Now I consider using citrus cleaner to clean bearings. Hopely it will be able to remove oil and old lubrificant nearly as effective as petrol. $\endgroup$ – Dmitriusan Nov 9 '13 at 21:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Dmitriusan citrus would cause corrosion. This may be a case of "don't do it without proper precautions". $\endgroup$ – Demi Oct 20 '15 at 23:37

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