Cleaning my Pilot Press

Hello. I just bought a C&P Pilot Press and it needs a good cleaning. I’m looking for advice on how I should go about starting to clean this press which hasn’t been used for some time. I do not see much rust but it is pretty dusty. There are some patches of old dried up ink on the disk.

Something less abrasive for me would be wonderful. I’d love to avoid gasoline or similar solvents.


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Somone said that carburator cleaner works very well — GUNK is a common brand, available at auto supply stores.

I’ve found that Simple Green works wonders on dust and dirt…though it won’t work on dried ink. My guess would be to scrape as much as possible with an ink knife, and then follow up with a GUNK- or Krud Kutter-type cleaner. And steel wool!


Most standard paint and varnish strippers will work well on the ink disk, but be careful to remove the disk or you might damage the enamel on the machine itself.

Solvent-based cleaners are better to use than water-based for cleaning the body of the press, as you inevitably will get some of the cleaner into oil holes, joints and springs, and the water-based cleaners will cause rust in those unprotected areas. If gasoline is out, mineral spirits may be an acceptable option.

Thanks everyone! :) I think I’ll try a bit of everything.

henry - thanks for the tip about water-based. Didn’t think about it getting into the oil holes.
kevin - a friend who works on cars told me about carb cleaner, I also hear it works well
kelly - I’ll try the steel wool, that will do the job!

thx! Judy