Anti-Seize in Auto Maintenance: Cutting the Grease When it’s Time to Clean-Up

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Anti-seize compounds are routinely used in automotive maintenance, truck repair, boat maintenance, motorcycle maintenance – almost anything that gets you from one place to another.

But if you are a user of anti-seize, you know that it tends to get into places you might not want. So before you begin your vehicle maintenance project, you may want to have an action plan on how to clean it up.

What is Anti-Seize?

Straight out of the tube or bottle, anti-seize is made up of a high-quality grease base and lubricating solids (copper, graphite, aluminum, calcium oxide etc.), which are suspended in the grease.

Here’s a video on how to use anti-seize, specifically LOCTITE® LB 8007™ (Known as LOCTITE® Copper Anti-Seize Lubricant).

How to Clean Anti-Seize

When attempting to clean anti-seize, the first question to ask is whether or not the material you are cleaning is porous. Ever get anti-seize on your clothes? No matter how much laundry detergent you use, those lubricating solids are not likely to come out completely because the material is porous.

The next question to ask is whether or not the anti-seize has been exposed to high heat. If the anti-seize has been exposed to temperatures exceeding 400°F, its grease base will have burnt off, leaving only the lubricating solids behind.

If you need to cut through the grease base, any degreaser or organic solvent will help. Alcohol or acetone is commonly used for this task. If your surface is non-porous, this should sufficiently remove any anti-seize residue.

If your surface is porous, those lubricating solids will get trapped, and abrasion with a wire will be required to help those lubricating solids exit the pores.

If the anti-seize has seen service in temperatures exceeding 400°F, abrasion will also be required since those solids are no longer suspended in the grease.