I often see people asking how to clean a Passap machine. I have restored quite a few machines and I am going to share how I do it. I recently picked up a machine which was absolutely filthy. Not only was the machine very dirty, it also had a yellow film of nicotine on all of the metal parts.
So how do you clean the machine? Wait until you have a nice warm day. Take the machine and stand outside. You will only have the stand and knit beds. All these parts are removed: the locks, end extensions, racking handle, color changer, motor/console/cords, and masts. Remove all the needles and pushers (soak in denatured alcohol). Now all you have is the knit beds on the stand. Keep the needle retainer bars IN.
Keep the machine on the stand. You will be using a pressure washer with a soap attachment to spray clean the knit beds. I use blue Dawn soap in the soap dispenser. The blue Dawn soap removes nicotine and does a great job of cleaning off all dirt and oil. It is a dish detergent which is known to safely remove oil. If you have access to warm water use it. I use cold water with excellent results but warm water would be great. Soap down the knit beds and under the beds. I use a thick paper shop towel to scrub the bed and rails. The pressure washer does most of the work, but a paper shop towel does help with removing the dirt/nicotine especially off the metal rails. I do not worry about scrubbing any of the needle or pusher tracks or the flow combs.
I soap down the beds until the dispenser is empty, then do a clean water rinse. I repeat this process one more time. When I do the clean water rinse, I remove the soap attachment and put a pressure wash tip on the pressure washer. This is not the most powerful pressure tip, but the least powerful one. If your pressure washer doesn’t have interchangeable tips, be sure to stand back a distance from the knit beds. You do not want to use so much power that you will cause anything (such as the flow combs) to break and you don’t want to knock the machine over from the pressure!!. Rinse down the knit beds and also under the knit beds. Be sure to rinse every last bit of soap off on the final rinse.
When I am done with the pressure washer soap and rinses, the machines always look brand new. I remove the spring retainer bars while the machine is drying. I leave the machine outside to dry in the shade. I put a fan under the machine (facing up) and also a fan blowing across the knit beds. I always make sure to dry the machine completely.
I had put all the needles and pushers in a soak of denatured alcohol when I took them out of the machine. After soaking them a few hours, I spread them out on a paper shop towel and spray them with Hoppes Gun Cleaner and Lube . I then put them back in the machine. Once all needles and pushers are back in the machine, I oil them with Hoppes Gun Oil.
So there you go that is all you need to do. There is absolutely no reason to disassemble the machine to clean it if you use this method. I know it sounds too simple.
Here are some before and after photos. This machine was very dirty. It looked like it had been stored in a barn. The metal pieces were covered in yellow film of nicotine. It was way worse than the photos even show. It was disgusting. Now I know there will be some “nay sayers” saying this does not work or it will damage the machine. Nope. It works and there is no damage to the machines. The person who taught me this method is a well-known production knitter and repair person who has restored many machines over the years.
Below you will see how pristine clean the machine is after pressure washing.