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Forum topic by Blackfin29 posted 11-09-2019 02:02 AM 325 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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130 posts in 704 days

11-09-2019 02:02 AM

So apparently since the last time I used the “SAFE” version of Citristrip, maybe 2 years ago, someone has determined that NMP is no longer “SAFE” for us…. the ‘New and improved” version of Citristrip does NOT work. Just spent a night learning that.

1st question: Is this true? I simply do not know what is true… how can this product be safe as recently as 2 years ago yet now it’s banned like Anthrax??

2nd question: WHAT WORKS now that I can no longer find NMP in most stores? I haven’t looked at paint stores, only big box stores, but if it’s banned here in good ‘ol Massachusetts nobody will have it.

9 replies so far

View Jsok's profile


4 posts in 766 days

#1 posted 11-09-2019 02:53 AM

Both the big box stores and most everyone else quit carrying methylene chloride strippers. Here in Texas, Ace Hardware still carries Klean Strip but who knows for how long? I have bought a few gallons which should last me. Safe if used with care. Know the product and how to use it and then stock up before it’s gone.

View Blackfin29's profile


130 posts in 704 days

#2 posted 11-09-2019 03:11 AM

Well I guess I’m not alone… Very interesting read and truly underscores how large companies don’t really care about our health or well being, and instead just care about their brand. Tell me something else I didn’t know…haha

View ibewjon's profile


1035 posts in 3328 days

#3 posted 11-09-2019 03:49 AM

What is NMP? I don’t think it is another name for meth chloride, which is nasty stuff and should be banned. Breaks down even industrial gloves in about 30 seconds. I have some old citrustrip at home, which I will use sparingly, but I also like Soy Gel.

View Blackfin29's profile


130 posts in 704 days

#4 posted 11-09-2019 03:56 AM

NMP is not methyl chloride, which when used improperly in non ventilated areas (Bath Tubs for instance) can cause death as it ultimately turns into carbon monoxide once in the bloodstream. Follow directions, and use in ventilated areas, and this isn’t a problem.
NMP has been linked to birth defects in women… or suspected.

If you read the article I posted, it really puts things into perspective….

I’ll be using my heat gun, however, I am simply bothered by groups of citizens who feel the need to “protect” me from me… Cars, ladders, fast food, alcohol, cleaning my gutter on the roof all come with risks. If it doesn’t impact the environment, let me decide if I am capable to use a product or not safely. Rant over :-)

View corelz125's profile


878 posts in 1512 days

#5 posted 11-10-2019 12:04 AM

I used peel away before and see them use it on commercial buildings.

View CaptainKlutz's profile


1940 posts in 2030 days

#6 posted 11-10-2019 01:18 AM

FWIW > Today’s Chemistry lesson:

N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) is low evaporation rate and unique dipolar solvent that has the insidious ability to swell/dissolve many polymers. So it has the ability to soften/damage even cross linked polyurethane or epoxy finishes. It also has other uses like trans-dermal drug therapy patches due fast absorption through skin, and adhesive/sticker removing solvents.
It used to be considered one of the safer solvents (if such a thing even exists?), but technology has taught us the real dangers. Even most basic ‘safe’ solvent, water, has several ways to will kill a human. :-)

Methylene chloride is very high evaporation solvent, with very small molecule size capable of penetrating into gaps between polymer molecules. It’s a nasty solvent, not for use by the uninformed, and requires extensive personal protective equipment (PPE) to be used safely.

When MC is used with NMP something magical happens. The NMP breaks the polymer bonds, and the MC floods the zone preventing reattachment. This turns the softened polymer from putty consistency to pudding consistency. That is why it was a popular in paint strippers.

Diving down the rabbit hole:
Depending on type of paint/polymer being stripped; adding a strong alkaline base (such as sodium hydroxide) to the stripping compound and you have something that can soften and remove even cured Fluorosilicone rubber, which is one of the most stable polymers known (used in space missions).

Formulating paint strippers, and adhesive/polymer cleaning compounds is an art forum in chemical world. One of the champions during my time in the polymer industry was Dynaloy products. In the never ending cycle of corporate greed, the product line has been bought/sold several times, and most recently bought my Versum Materials (part of Air Products). If you seriously want to remove a polymer compound from anything; Dynaloy products can do it.

IMHO – If you want real paint stripper, stop buying from home centers. Serious wood workers should be talking to industrial paint shop(s). The industrial shops are not limited to ‘safe for home use’ products. They readily sell ‘graffiti’, paint, or even ‘aircraft’ (epoxy paint) strippers that suck paint off most things.

PS – Don’t forget disposing of waste product from paint removal also has to be done safely.
Professional paint removal shops are hard to find due the ever increasing EPA requirements for waste management. If you do have one near you, ask them to remove the paint for you. It might be more expensive, but it is whole lot safer, plus the dangerous toxic waste generated by removal of paint does not end up in household landfill.

PPS – Any paint applied prior to 1980, can have lead pigments. Removal of lead paint requires special PPE, and I do not recommended it as DIY project. The cost of proper lead removal PPE is several hundred dollars, before you even remove any paint, or pay some one to dispose it of properly.

Be safe, not sorry with chemicals.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View Blackfin29's profile


130 posts in 704 days

#7 posted 11-10-2019 01:31 PM

Captain Klutz you’re word ring true.

The NMP is sufficient for my needs, and low and behold I found a GALLON of the OLD formula last night sitting in the back row of an old Ace Hardware. The bottles in the front had the new formula which has a less turbid appearance. Night and day visually. Labeling identical with the exception of one say NMP on the back. The new product simply will NOT work, yet they keep the labeling dam near identical. Shady.

Anyways I agree paint removal will become a thing of the past soon, and only pros will have access to the stuff.

Methyl Chloride was commonly used to strip old Bath Tubs. The fumes would not be allowed to “woft” away in a bath tub strip and apparently 4 DIYers died from the fumes while stripping the bath tub paint.

Here’s a thought…. Though I appreciate the EPA trying to Protect ME FROM ME…. not


It emits CO.. ok well so do automobiles. Shall we ban them while we are at it?

View Lazyman's profile


4080 posts in 1923 days

#8 posted 11-10-2019 02:56 PM

LOL. I think if people were using their automobiles in their bathrooms, the EPA might get involved.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View corelz125's profile


878 posts in 1512 days

#9 posted 11-10-2019 04:17 PM

Peel away is what they use on commercial jobs to strip lead paint. The paper they put on top of the stripping chemical contains the lead. That way there is no airborne lead particles.

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