Was thinking about marvel mystery oil

I had some left over and was thinking about making another batch of Ed’s red without the mineral spirits and using mmo instead. It contains Para Dichlorobenzene and ortho dichlorobenzene. Anyone know any reason as to not using this? Will wear nitrile gloves


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the mineral spirits are a solvent for the other ingredients.
it basically cuts them down in volume then dries out leaving everything else behind,,, just a lot less than if the M/S wasn't there.

your benzenes would be an okay solvent [which is what MMO basically does], but I don't know about them evaporating away like the M/S.

358156 hp

Well-Known Member
I used MMO in place of ATF in my last batch of Eds Red. I now think I should have used it in place of the kerosene, since it seems really solventy (new word), and some of the guns I had wiped down with it have shown some surface rust issues for the first time ever. The solution seems to be to add 1/2 qt of ATF to the remainder of the last batch & hope the rust protection picks back up.


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Ed's Red contains two polar and two non-polar solvents. Think about it in those terms and it should aid in your choice of substitutions.


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As someone who developed cancer from chemical defoliants in Viet Nam, I would have to say that I am aware of what I use. Just because it is chlorinated, doesn't mean very much. Are any of them listed as carcinogens? Will they penetrate the skin? What is a safe dose? I use a bore cleaning guide that has a port for applying chemicals to the patch. When the patch clears the bore it falls into the trash, that gets dumped when I am done. If I am going to wash or brush parts, yep I use nitrile gloves. I am more concerned with vapors than I am touching it.
The amount of the chlorinated benzene products is quite small. The major makeup of almost around 80-90 percent petroleum products of sorts then there’s small concentrations of the benzenes and essential oil smells and the such. Vapors can get you for sure. We had a guy get something like a embolism in his lungs from being around mineral oil vapor at work filling tankers up

358156 hp

Well-Known Member
I made the mistake of tracking down every ingredient & researching them until I finally understood what they meant.

I kind of wish I hadn't done that...
That’s how I knew about the chlorinated benzenes. I believe nitrile gloves for personal. The chlorinated aspect of the benzene.....ok for carbon steel? Figured it would be since well engines contain that haha


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think about what MMO is for.
you dump it in your oil,, but why?
it's to clean out gunked up oil deposits/varnish etc. from inside the engine, it breaks them down and washes them into the oil pan.
Mostly asking about reaction to carbon steel. Hate to experience failure. A lot of people spoke about using past 5 years no issues. I know there’s actual chemist people on here.


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I would foresee no reaction to ferrous metals, carbon steel included. The only caution is that it may remove the corrosion protect from what ever you are using if unattended for a length of time, weeks, especially in high humidity. Nothing a light coat of gun oil or RIG grease would not fix.

Jeff H

Active Member
I use the MMO in place of the acetone, as I don't like to use it because of its flammability. Works well, just slower than with acetone.
Now, there's an idea. I'm not crazy about the acetone myself and wondered if there was something else worthy of trying. I think the acetone is the hardest thing on containers too. I've found some plastic bottles work well but then caps suffer - get brittle and crumbly. Many caps are not marked with a recycling number so you can't tell what they're made of.

Marvel Mystery oil comes in about the size of bottle I mix - I just don't use a lot of bore cleaner, so it usually loses the most of the most volatile components from the mixture before I get it used up.

About the Vietnam thing - thank you. Most of my most capable mentors wore a combat patch from that fray and most of them didn't settle their mortgage on life just by coming home - they just kept/keep paying. It may be history to a lot of people today but it's remembered and appreciated. Sorry to drag the thread off course, but you guys are getting old and I never know if I'll have another chance to say something.