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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Accidentally used Park Tools Citris ChainBrite on my rotors :(

    I accidentally got my bottles mixed up and instead of using isopropyl alcohol to clean my rotors, I used Park Tools Citrus ChainBrite. I know this solvent tends to leave behind a oily film and the product claims to "leave a light protective shield after drying."

    Unfortunately, these are new brakes with a smaller rotor than I had before so I don't even know how they're supposed to perform as far as stopping power.

    Do I need new pads?

    Here are the ingredients if it helps:


    Non-ionic Surfactant Blend

    2-Butoxy Ethanol

    Methyl Soyate

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Bald_Ben's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    I'm sure someone with a solid understanding of chemistry will be along shortly, but the usual fix for contamination is to lightly sand the rotors and pads, properly clean the rotor, and bed the pads again. You'll probably be fine after that.
    "A thing is right when it tends to perserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise." - Aldo Leopold

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    If you actually used the brakes, replace the pads/rotor. Or try to fry the pads and sand the rotor, whatever floats your boat.

    If you didn't use them yet, just wipe down the rotor with either iso or brake cleaner (White Lightning Clean Streak is good stuff).

  4. #4
    One Gear
    Reputation: .40AET's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Get a can of brake cleaner from an Auto parts store. Clean the rotors and wipe them down well. If it were me, I'd take the rotors off to make sure the brake cleaner doesn't get into the hubs.

    Good luck

  5. #5
    Trail Tire TV on blogger
    Reputation: thomllama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    I've hit the pads and rotors with orange based cleaners before Have actually cleaned oil off them with it,..stuff is water soluble and is designed to remove oils... simply just soak pads in water for an hour or 2, pad dry them with a paper towel or clean rag then a hour or so in rubbing alcohol, again dry with towel or rag and they will be good to go. And honestly that's probably over kill, Pads aren't absorbent as everyone thinks. If you're still paranoid about them take some sand paper and fold in half, take the pads and hold the sand paper between them and pull it thru a few times, then wipe clean with a dry cloth. If any thing has actually absorbed into the resin of the pad you'll see dark spots.
    Rotor just scrub down with alcohol,.. Make sure you get inside the vents/knock outs. they will be "soft" feeling for the first few dozen stops then will build back up to normal stopping power.

    don't know if it's true or not, but I've heard that Auto type brake cleaner sprays will actually break down the resins in bike pads and cause extra wear and "gumming".. never bothered to use it so I can't say for sure... never needed to either
    Last edited by thomllama; 01-06-2013 at 07:26 AM.
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look...

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Just to follow up on this....

    To confirm the affected pads weren't performing as intended, I swapped out the pads with the front (after thoroughly cleaning the rotor) and yes the chainbrite most definitely screwed up the original pads. Even after cleaning them with alcohol and sanding, they just would not grab.
    I ended up baking the pads at 450F in the oven for about 1/2 an hour, followed by more sanding and that seemed to have fixed it. After bedding in, there is now no appreciable difference between the previously contaminated pads and the unaffected pads from the front. These were metallic sintered pads by the way. I suspect resin pads would've just have to be replaced no matter what.
    That'll teach me to do work on the bike late at night after some beers.

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