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Thread: Chain soaking

  1. #1
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    Chain soaking

    So I installed a Missing Link into my chain today so I can start to clean my chain more efficiently like many of you recommend. I wiped off the excess dirt, there wasn't much, with a rag. Then I put it in a glass jar and soaked it in kerosene for about 30 minutes. stired it around every once in a while too. The chain came out spotless so I wiped off all the excess kerosene and was gonna let it sit over night. Problem is even though the chain looked brand new I can still hear what sounds like fine grit in some of the rollers. Is this typical? Should I try soaking the chain again? I know that any grit, dust, or debris in the rollers is less than desirable and can lead to premature wear.

  2. #2
    CSC
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    I am currently soaking my chain in a baggie of WD 40.
    I would say that while the kerosene would do a good job at breaking down the old grease (organic chem 101...like dissolves like), it won't free up "grit" the way WD 40 or a good detergent will. I might try washing it in a tub of warm water w/ Dawn or some other dish soap...really work the chain to move the links around. If that does not work, rinse it off, and douse it with WD 40, which will drive out the water in the links, and, in theory, wash out the grit, too. Good luck, and good on you for washing the chain...way cheaper than running it for 3 years (as I had on my old bike...yikes) and having to replace the cassette, too!

    NOTE: either way, you will need to thoroughly rinse off any solvents (WD 40, soap, etc...) before re-installing and re-oiling. The WD 40 will keep the oil from remaining on the chain, and soap residue will break down new (and old) oil/lube.

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    Thanks for the note. I was gonna say you just contradicted everything else I have read. lol

    Edit: What is a good rinse to use? I would think that water would be counter productive. Denatured alcohol maybe?

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    CSC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danielrg_usa View Post
    Thanks for the note. I was gonna say you just contradicted everything else I have read. lol

    Edit: What is a good rinse to use? I would think that water would be counter productive. Denatured alcohol maybe?
    Haha, good thing I caught myself...I almost forgot to add the part about cleaning off the solvents.

    Again, dish soap mixed with water to rinse off the kerosene/ WD 40...whatever you used, it needs to come off, and the detergents in dish soap should do it. Alcohol is good to evaporate water, and therefore keep the un-oild chain from rusting as it dries



    After the soap, rinse well with water (get ALL the soap residue off of it...take your time), then use rubbing alcohol to evaporate off the water (soak the chain in it, slosh it around real well, than lay the chain out on a paper towel). Let the chain really dry out, over night would be good, before re-installing and oiling it. I rushed the process the first time I did it, and I think it made the new oil job not last as long as it should have.

    Water is a good step in the rinse procedure...it is the #1 solvent on earth, after all. The issue is water + air, which causes rusting...hence the use of alcohol as the final rinse...to evaporate off the water before it helps rust the chain.

    Good to be of help.
    Last edited by CSC; 08-05-2012 at 09:41 PM.

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    I do two soaks in kerosene. First wash and then another in clean kerosene. Gets that grit sound taken care of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thickfog View Post
    I do two soaks in kerosene. First wash and then another in clean kerosene. Gets that grit sound taken care of.
    Do you filter your kerosene so you can use it again? Just wondering how well this actually works as I usually toss it after a few uses.

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    I clean chains in kerosene too. Works pretty good. Then wash with hot water and dish detergent. Hang to dry. Then put chain in a frying pan, pour in some 90 wt gear lube and heat up until lube gets thin and stir around. Let set until cool. Then remove, wipe and install.

    The hot 90 wt will seep into the chain rollers and pins and when cool, stays there. Old school trick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danielrg_usa View Post
    Do you filter your kerosene so you can use it again? Just wondering how well this actually works as I usually toss it after a few uses.
    Yes, with a coffee filter. But letting it sit and then pouring out slowly so the sediment stays on the bottom yields clean kerosene.

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