My son broke a Galileo thermometer I washed the towels in my machine and am concerned about using the dryer - they smell like lighter fluid

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My son broke a Galileo thermometer. I washed the towels in my washing machine that I used for cleanup. I am concerned about putting them in the dryer because they still smell like lighter fluid.
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Catina Mount

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  • concerned and afraid.

Posted 4 years ago

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AcuRite Megan

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Hi Catina,

The liquid in AcuRite Galileo Thermometers is 100% paraffin. Parrafin is flammable so do not expose to extreme heat or open flame. The colored bulbs are filled with paraffin and 3.4% dye. The liquid is non-toxic. The dye inside colored bulbs may stain fabric. If the thermometer breaks, clean the area with warm, soapy water. More information can be found in the instructions on our website:  http://www.acurite.com/media/manuals/00795-instructions.pdf
Please let us know if you need anything else. Thank you.



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Norbert Feldstrom

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this happened to me too, but it got thoroughly absorbed onto a stone fireplace, got on some cardboard and on some books and things, thoroughly absorbed and I do not want to throw them the books out. Does the residue of paraffin eventually wear out as far as the flammability? 
(Edited)
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George D. Nincehelser

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I don't think so.  Basically it's a highly refined mineral oil.
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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hello Norbert,

George is correct. Here is the information on the thermometer.

The liquid in AcuRite Galileo Thermometers is 100% paraffin. The colored bulbs are filled with paraffin and 3.4% dye.The liquid is non-toxic. The dye inside colored bulbs may stain fabric. If the thermometer breaks, clean the area with warm, soapy water.
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Norbert Feldstrom

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That's the same information as above, which I read before I asked my question. I already cleaned it without using soap, then checked here, and now it's not noticeable to see where it landed. It's all evaporated. What I want to know is if I can ever light my fireplace - so George is right? I can NEVER light a match near where the stuff got soaked into stone and books? 
(Edited)
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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hello Norbert,

You would want to make sure to really clean the stone and that nothing is saturated by the fireplace, and make sure you can't smell it. Move all the books, cardboard and anything else that was affected away until it is dried out.
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Norbert Feldstrom

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so, dried out means we're safe?
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Ric Barline

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If there are no remaining fumes I doubt there is a problem. Mineral oil is flammable but not like gas is (it won't explode). Why don't you take a piece of your Parrafin-soaked cardboard outside and hold a match near it and see what happens. Report back so we can all learn.
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Lynn Adams Kandefer

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My cats knocked my over and broke spilled on my carpeting. There is an odor to
it. Cleaned it with soap and water. Now what to do? Thinking replace carpeting.
Lynn
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George D. Nincehelser

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Cardboard and paper soaked in mineral oil is likely always going to be more flammable than cardboard or paper alone, but it's not like it's going to explode in flame.  Think of it as being as being a bit like a candle.  

Stone soaked in mineral oil might smoke/burn a bit, but again not explosively.  

Think of it this way... Crayola Crayons are flammable (colored paraffin wax), but folks don't worry about them too much.

"Paraffin" can also refer to kerosene or lamp oil, but I don't think that's what's being used in this case... we're talking about the non-toxic refined mineral oil that people might use a laxative.  It will burn, of course, like all oils might, but it's not a big concern.
(Edited)
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Lynn Adams Kandefer

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George, what else can I use to get rid of the smell in the room? any suggestions?
also is it harmful to my cats or myself? thank you. lynn
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George D. Nincehelser

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As much as I like cats (we must have at least 30 on the farm, and I care for a couple litters of kittens a year), I don't think anything could compare to the smell of a litter box.  ;)

It's not harmful.  The "paraffin" they are using is used in cosmetics and food, so it won't be biologically harmful.  I suspect you'll be "nose blind" to it before too long.  In any case, it will "out-gas" rather quickly and eventually be a distant memory.  The formaldehyde used in the manufacture of carpeting is much more noxious.  (i.e. that "new carpet" smell)
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Norbert Feldstrom

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Ric, i might be able to try that, but I think George's answer best addressed it. Thanks George, although, the dual use of the word paraffin has been confusing this whole time. And Lynn, the smell from my spill went away in a day, the carpeting might hold it for a while longer. But if George is right about which paraffin it is, then it sounds like it won't be harmful to any living thing if you've cleaned it up. But to me the smell was just like Kerosene, so I've been assuming it's that paraffin. I'd like to hear Jennifer's next clarification on that.
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Norbert Feldstrom

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sorry about the double post - I tried to edit it and then all hell broke loose for some reason - here's the real post:
Ric, i might be able to try that, but I think George's answer best addressed it. Thanks George, although, the dual use of the word paraffin has been confusing this whole time that I've been researching this. And Lynn, the smell from my spill went away in a day, the carpeting might hold it for a while longer. In my research the last few days the "getting rid of the smell" concern dominates my combustibility concern and I've read the use of baking soda, kitty litter, and most likely effective for the smell - dumping cinnamon on the affected area. But if George is right about which paraffin it is, then it sounds like it won't be harmful to any living thing if you've cleaned it up. But to me the smell was just like Kerosene, so I've been assuming it's that paraffin. I'd like to hear Jennifer's next clarification on that.
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AcuRite Rachell, Employee

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Hello All,
The liquid inside the Galileo thermometer is not toxic.  You should not need to worry if the liquid has been cleaned.
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Norbert Feldstrom

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Which kind of Paraffin is it Rachell?
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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hello Norbert,

It is a liquid paraffin.
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Norbert Feldstrom

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you guys are completely useless
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AcuRite Rachell, Employee

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Hello Norbert,
The Paraffin in the Galileo is white mineral oil.  You guys should not have anything to worry about if the area in which the mineral oil was cleaned. I apologize for any inconvenience experienced. Please let us know if you have any other questions. Thank you.
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Thelma Scott

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I have had my Galileo thermometer for a long time, more than 20 years, so I'm not sure what brand it is. Recently it broke and spilled the liquid on a wooden shelf. I liked how the shelf looks whitewashed and I want to finish the "damage". I tried alcohol but it was like putting water on it. Can you help.
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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hello Thelma,

Without knowing if it is an AcuRite product or not we would not know what was put in the thermometer. We would not be able to provide further information on the product. 
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Nuna

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what about the original one's hand blown in Germany what is fluid inside ? 
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AcuRite Rachell, Employee

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Hello Nuna,
If the product is not an AcuRite Galileo, we cannot guarantee what is inside the thermometer. We apologize for any inconvenience.