MAKE:TNT Tools 'n' Tips

Citra-Solv Natural Solvent

by Tim O'Reilly

As seen in MAKE 07 Toolbox


Worried about the toxicity of turpentine? I just discovered that highly distilled citrus oil (available under such brand names as Citra-Solv and Natural Solvent Spotter) takes off fresh oil paint just as well, leaving behind a strong scent of orange or grapefruit peel. It's also great for taking off sticker residue and even chewing gum. It can be used to take grease and oil spots out of clothes, but I've discovered that it leaves a ring on some fabrics, so for that job, I prefer using talcum powder. (Just pour on the spot, leave overnight, and brush off in the morning. It will lift the grease out like magic, as long as you actually brush the powder out thoroughly with a stiff brush.)

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