Can I re-use an oil sample bottle?

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2,187
Location
Arizona
I have a sample of gear oil that I've decided I don't care to analyze. I need to take an engine oil sample. I would like to empty the gear oil, clean the bottle, and put the engine oil sample in to send it off. Is there anything wrong with this? How is the best way to clean the bottle so as to minimize/eliminate contamination? Just soapy water & a hair dryer? Or ether (well, starting fluid w/50% ether)? Or brake cleaner? Or something else? I could just go look for another bottle, but I'm not sure what kind of plastic it's made of or where to go looking. Thanks for all help and ideas.
 
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11,342
Location
Florida, Cape Coral
If it's a plastic bottle forget it as some of the plastasizers have probably leached out. If it's glass I'd start with your dish washer followed by plain old alcohol (not volka) and then rinse with distilled water and air dry. My thoughts are if you get back a questionable analysis will you ever know if it's contamination?
 
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1,412
Location
Falls Church VA
You can do anything you want to do, but it probably isn't a smart thing to do. Story as related to me: Fellow sent in an oil sample, and got a call saying that he had anti-freeze in the oil. Recommendation was to get car checked immediately. Since man had added no coolant, he thought it might be a false reading. He pulled a sample from the fresh oil (about 1000 miles) and it came out fine. On reflection, he figured it out. The previous fall, he had drained his antifreeze into a pan. Washed the pan out, dried it, and put it away. When he drained his oil, he used the same pan. Then he dipped a sample out of the drain pan. Showed anti-freeze. Keep in mind you are talking in parts per million--like a shot of vermouth in a swimming pool full of gin!
 

Jay

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1,607
Location
Idaho Falls, ID
I don't think it's a good idea to attempt to clean a sample bottle and re-use it. Sample bottles have lab-grade cleanliness because oil analysis can detect 1 or 2 ppm contamination. It's pretty tough to get that degree of cleanliness at home. It's not even a good idea to leave the lid off a sample bottle for any length of time longer than it takes to get the sample.
 
You can but there will always be some uncertainty. If you use a solvent or fuel or starting fluid to remove the oil then it can cause a false positive fuel test. If you use soap then you can get high sodium or silicon readings if not rinsed completely. Hard water can affect the additives readings. Most likely these things won't happen but it is possible so you decide if it is worth the risk.
 

bulwnkl

Thread starter
Messages
2,187
Location
Arizona
Thanks for the replies, fellows. The bottle had a gear oil sample in it. I decided to clean it with ether (okay, starting fluid w/50% ether), let it air dry, then I "rinsed" the bottle with some non-detergent motor oil and let that drain thoroughly and wiped it a little with a no-lint shop towel. I've now caught a sample from my drain last night in the bottle and it's sitting there. I looked all over for new/alternate containers, but I don't know if these are special plastic or not. The trouble is I still have some analyses I pre-paid for a while back, but a couple bottles cracked in a recent move. Anyway, I'm not too concerned if I see a little fuel dilution issue with this sample. I'm looking mostly to verify the absence of glycol and maybe get some idea of visc/oxid/nit/sulf. TBN couldn't possibly be depleted in this sample, and wear metals are of no concern whatsoever this time around; it's a super-short OCI rinsing some Neutra and starting a bypass setup. Thanks again!
 
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13,132
Location
By Detroit
What about cleaning it with CRC QD Electronic Contact Cleaner? The stuff is quick drying (QD) and leaves no residue. Can be found in most hardware stores, NAPA auto, etc.
 
Messages
484
Location
Washington DC area
quote:
Originally posted by TallPaul: What about cleaning it with CRC QD Electronic Contact Cleaner? The stuff is quick drying (QD) and leaves no residue. Can be found in most hardware stores, NAPA auto, etc.
That stuff is just basically isopropyl alcohol in aerosol form.
 
Messages
2,154
Location
New Hampsha
Nothing for nothing but if you ask Blackstone for a sample kit you should get it in a short amount of time. After my first UOA they sent me a case of 6! Goose [Patriot] EDIT- Whoops! Just noticed this thread is over a year old!! [Freak] Well I'm sure you made out ok [Wink]
 
Messages
13,132
Location
By Detroit
quote:
Originally posted by Lumberg:
quote:
Originally posted by TallPaul: What about cleaning it with CRC QD Electronic Contact Cleaner? The stuff is quick drying (QD) and leaves no residue. Can be found in most hardware stores, NAPA auto, etc.
That stuff is just basically isopropyl alcohol in aerosol form.

Hey, that's great. I can use it to power wash wounds. Especially good for puncture wounds. [Freak] See future news article: "Man Dies Injecting Electronic Cleaner Aerosol in Arm." [LOL!]
 
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