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  1. #1
    whatever
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! different way to clean chains

    hey, i use gasoline to clean my chains. its much cheaper, and it works great. but it may be a little more dangerous. just wondering if anyone else has heard of this. thanks!
    It's all downhill from up there.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtryder1000
    hey, i use gasoline to clean my chains. its much cheaper, and it works great. but it may be a little more dangerous. just wondering if anyone else has heard of this. thanks!
    yeah, works great, but there are the danger and environmental issues.

    What do you do with the dirty gasoline when you are done cleaning chains in it?

  3. #3
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    its much cheaper


    Never heard cheap and gasoline in the same sentence in a long time.

  4. #4
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    hahah not too sure if gasoline can be called "cheap" but i have never tried it, works well?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnpat
    yeah, works great, but there are the danger and environmental issues.

    What do you do with the dirty gasoline when you are done cleaning chains in it?

    i take it to the place that your supposed to.
    Last edited by dirtryder1000; 07-11-2006 at 03:49 PM.
    It's all downhill from up there.

  6. #6
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    Using Gasoline is a good way to burn your self crisp!!
    Don't argue with idiots...they will take you down to their level and beat you with experience

  7. #7
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    Gas no thanks..
    Spray or soak your chain in 409 or similar and put in the dishwasher, run it through the cycles dry it off and lube.
    The same way I clean my bar and chain!
    Last edited by rg32; 07-11-2006 at 03:30 PM.

  8. #8
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    Gas is not good!!

    Using GAS will actually deteorate the nickel plating on your chain and weaken the metal. A total .. I still haven't found a cheap alternative to quality bicycle degreasers that I'm not scared will damage other parts of the bicycle.

    I personally like to order the Pedros Orange Peelz by the vat (Shopworks size it's called) and it lasts me for a year using the Park Tool Chain Machine.

  9. #9
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    Dhpimp, did you try Simploe Green? I just tried it last night and it worked great. JUst be sure to relube your chain soon after and not the next morning because I was suprised to find rust spots on some of the rollers. Relubing and riding the bike seems to have rubbed the rust away, though.

  10. #10
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    gas fumes - yuck
    WD-40 works well as a cleaner although some lubes do not mix well with it no matter how long you let the chain dry between cleanning and lubing.
    besides the danger from the gas fumes there is the evaporation rate, gas evaporates fast so you would get fewer cleannings per gallon than WD-40.
    I have used mag wheel cleaner too.
    Have not found a citrus cleaner yet that really works.

  11. #11
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    I bought a gallon of auto parts cleaner at a local parts store and its suppose to be a neutral ph product that will not harm metals. I but chain in a small basket and swish it around and let it soak a while. I keep the dirty cleaner and pour it through funnel with a paper coffee filter so I can re-use it again. Then I place chain in an ultrasonic cleaner that I bought at Harbor freight on sale for $25, and I use a neutral ph citrus cleaner, a J&J product, or 409, and cycle a few times, then again with water. Chain is extremely clean.

    I try to clean change every 30 miles or so. I didn't see any benefit by lubing chain between cleanings. I tried wiping with rag soaked in WD40 then re-lubing, but I could still feel grit when chain is twisted. So it didn't make much sense to lube it because liquid is probably washing dirt into rollers.

    Using a sram powerlink on my shimano chain makes it so easy to remove and clean properly, plus, I can get to derailleur rollers? and clean them also.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWright
    WD-40 works well as a cleaner although some lubes do not mix well with it no matter how long you let the chain dry between cleanning and lubing.
    besides the danger from the gas fumes there is the evaporation rate, gas evaporates fast so you would get fewer cleannings per gallon than WD-40.
    I have used mag wheel cleaner too.
    Have not found a citrus cleaner yet that really works.
    WD-40 is NOT a cleaner . WD-40 is a Water Displacement utility. It's good for like cleaning humidity off pawls in shifters, but not cleaning chains! For the last 12 years that I have been a mechanic I have advised DIY'ers not to use WD40 or else they end up doing this:

    LWright: For citrus cleaners I still stand by Pedros Orange Peelz

    Quote Originally Posted by newMTBer
    did you try Simploe Green?
    I have heard of this product and looked for it but where I used to live it wasn't available. I just moved to the west coast so I will try to find some and give it a go. Heard good things about it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by newMTBer
    Dhpimp, did you try Simploe Green? I just tried it last night and it worked great. JUst be sure to relube your chain soon after and not the next morning because I was suprised to find rust spots on some of the rollers. Relubing and riding the bike seems to have rubbed the rust away, though.

    i get those rust spots too. after re lubing and riding as you said, they disappear.

    as for using gasoline, i must ask, why? it smells, it's difficult to dispose of, and its dangerous. the many nice biodegradable citrus degreasers on the market do a much better job, and you can just dump that out when you're done...don't really know why you'd want to mess with that and reinvent the wheel

  14. #14
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    Run more lube through it, wipe the excess off, and get back out and ride again. Whenever the buildup on cogs and pulleys starts to look or feel too heavy, pull out the Park or Pedro's freewhel brush and brush/pick away for a couple of minutes to dislodge the worst of the crud, then lube/wipe/ride again.
    Last edited by Dawg Fu; 07-14-2006 at 01:37 AM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisJ
    Never heard cheap and gasoline in the same sentence in a long time.
    Ok... compared to the rest of the western world, gas in america is still cheap. How's that?

  16. #16
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    Here's a "different" way to clean a chain....

    Get an ultrasonic bath (available off ebay for about £50 in the UK). Put your degreasing solution of choice in (dish detergent and water is fine) and set it running. This will clean inside, outside, and in places that no brush or cloth or whatever will ever get, and all for minimum effort if you use a powerlink or similar so can easily remove the chain.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtryder1000
    i take it to the place that your supposed to.
    Where is that?

    Is there some place that recycles gasoline?

    Never heard of such a thing.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhpimp
    I have heard of this product and looked for it but where I used to live it wasn't available. I just moved to the west coast so I will try to find some and give it a go. Heard good things about it.

    The only place that I have found it at is Home Depot. Try looking there, Lowes, Menards, or any other home improvement stores around you.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhpimp
    Using GAS will actually deteorate the nickel plating on your chain and weaken the metal. .
    You have something to back that up with?

    Nickel plated fittings are commonly used with gasoline.
    Male fitting for external fuel tanks, nickel plated.

    Nickel plated. The Strain Relief Fitting is resistant to salt water, weak acids, weak alkalis, alcohol, esters, ketones, ether, gasoline, mineral oil, animal oil, vegetable oil and many other substances.


    Using gasoline will not harm the nickel plating on your chain. It may give you disfiguring burns , but won't harm your chain.

  20. #20
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by newMTBer
    The only place that I have found it at is Home Depot. Try looking there, Lowes, Menards, or any other home improvement stores around you.
    Must not be looking too hard.

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  21. #21
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    Beside the carcinogins(sp?)...

    you're cleaning metal with gasoline...see spark...brief second of heat...no hair...burnt to a cinder. If you really are this stupid (and that's being nice) enough to use gas for cleaning (yes it does a great job, but other non explosives do too) I only hope no one else gets injured when you go boom, whooosh!

    If only they'd just let all these morons blow themselves up all in one place at one time the world would be just that much better off.

    Lastly...yes it's been done before. Many decades before. Nothing new and it just goes to prove that being stupid still hasn't been genetically erradicated.

  22. #22
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    Do yourself a favor and try odorless mineral spirits from your favorite hardware store (in the paint department). Just as good of a solvent as gasoline, just as "cheap", and MUCH less volatile.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew
    Do yourself a favor and try odorless mineral spirits from your favorite hardware store (in the paint department). Just as good of a solvent as gasoline, just as "cheap", and MUCH less volatile.
    And reuseable over and over. I use a pickle jar filled 3/4. Nice wide opening makes getting the chain in easy. Large dia. makes it easy to coil the chain inside.

  24. #24
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    My great grandmother burned her house to the ground cleaning drapes with gasoline. Is it worth that?

    I tried cleaning parts with gasoline, it left residue on everything.

    I've had good luck cleaning with mineral spirits. It depends on your lube though. It has worked fine so far for Diamontec and White Lightening.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhpimp
    WD-40 is NOT a cleaner. WD-40 is a Water Displacement utility. It's good for like cleaning humidity off pawls in shifters, but not cleaning chains! For the last 12 years that I have been a mechanic I have advised DIY'ers not to use WD40 or else they end up doing this
    WD-40 is an excellent solvent, cleans chains very well. But then you have the whole environmental issue again.

    Never heard of getting humidity on pawls in shifters. Is this a UK thing?

  26. #26
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    There is nothing better to clean a chain than automotive brake cleaner. It comes in a spray can and really cuts the build-up of grease and grime. It evaporates quickly and won't discolor your chain. It's inexpensive to use and easy to find. Just remember that you HAVE TO re-lube the chain after use.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mopartodd
    There is nothing better to clean a chain than automotive brake cleaner.
    Sure there is. Lots of cleaners are more environmentally friendly.

  28. #28
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    White Spirits

    I use mineral spirit, or white spirit as we call it in the UK. Like has already been said, it's cheap and very re-usable. I got some cable ties in a tube which is about 25cm long by about 4cm wide and it's perfect with its screw cap. It only needs to be maybe a quarter filled and, after a couple of minutes of even gently shaking, the chain comes out spotless. I use very hot water to rinse the spirits off then dry the chain thoroughly, compressed air gets the stubborn last few drops. I use different lubes depending on the time of year, or environment I'm riding.
    Spirits seem to be quite gentle; I don't a quick shake would do with set-on grime but it's perfect for keeping a chain clean from new.
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  29. #29
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    Almost forgot...

    ...I don't get the WD40 thing for drivetrains. If you intend to keep your drivetrain going until it has worn away to nothing, then WD40 will keep it spinning. If you are even slightly serious about maintaining your drivetrain, then it should never even get a splash of it. Few things will attract dust and grit as well as WD40. Plus, any over-splash will cheerily start disolving the grease in your hub or bottom bracket.
    Like I said, it's good for beaters, great for freeing rusty bolts/screws ( how many of those does a well maintained bike have? ) and for defrosting locks. There are too many better suited products for keeping your drivetrain in good nick.
    Rant over...

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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhpimp
    Using GAS will actually deteorate the nickel plating on your chain and weaken the metal. A total .. I still haven't found a cheap alternative to quality bicycle degreasers that I'm not scared will damage other parts of the bicycle.

    I personally like to order the Pedros Orange Peelz by the vat (Shopworks size it's called) and it lasts me for a year using the Park Tool Chain Machine.
    I am using the Orange degreaser you can buy in Walmart in the auto section for $2.50. It works just as good or better than the $12 can of orange degreaser I bought at the LBS before. I have used it on the whole bike and it works great. In fact, I spray the whole bike down with the stuff and then spray rinse it and the bike is clean. Hardly any scrubbing is needed at all. And for $2.50 a quart, it's cheap enough to do whatever you want.

  31. #31
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    dude...why was your grandmother cleaning her drapes with gas?????

  32. #32
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    simple green will eat your chain

    http://www.velonews.com/tech/report/...es/9216.0.html

    read this!!!!!

    gas just stinks, but will clean your chain without any side effects.
    Diesel works great as well. but what are you going to do with it afterwards

    WD-40 will work but you need to use a ton of it. it is a useless lubricant and if you lube your chain after using it, it will make your good lube turn bad. not worth using in my opinion.

    Citrus degreaser from an auto parts store or from your LBS when used with a chiancleaner will be the best.

  33. #33
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    Yes, Simple Green can eat your chain if you let it soak in there for days or weeks. So would a lot of other cleaners.

    I find it funny that people are worried about saving a few pennies in degreaser, or stretching a few more miles out of $15-$20 chains, on bikes that probably cost well north of $1000. Just clean the chain when you can, buy new chains when they die, throw the old ones in the metal recycling bin, and stop obsessing about it.

    My opinion: the old Supergo crank-powered chain cleaner is the best. (Pedro's and Park both suck.) Performance probably carries it now. A splash of degreaser, a minute of cranking, hose it off with the rest of the bike, another minute of spraying on Tri-Flow, and it's as good as I care to get it.

  34. #34
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    Never had problem with Simple Green, then again I never soak chains in it.
    Use it in Parktool chain cleaner for a few minutes, rince chain off with water, wipe dry, then lube.
    Rinse, lather, repeat.

  35. #35
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    Yea I wait until the chain gets good and muddy after a long ride and use a steel brush to get the crap out and also the cassette and after a few pedal revolutions its completely clean and dry. Re-lube and I am good to go. Been doing it for years. Does not work on a wet bike has to be dry.

  36. #36
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    For the mineral spirits users, you can also make your own super cheap chain lube by mixing that with motor oil (a favorite among some of the roadbikereview folk). Personally I have a lot of Simple Green around so use that the few times I take a chain off for cleaning; put the chain with some water in an old water bottle shake for a while and rinse. However, I usually just apply a fresh round of Boeshield, my lube of choice for many years now, and wipe down. Those chain cleaning machines I gave up on in my first year of serious cycling as they just weren't doing much more than applying fresh lube and wiping down. Gasoline isn't worth the potential problems.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by hossy
    dude...why was your grandmother cleaning her drapes with gas?????

    LOL i was thinking the same thing...i'd love to know the thought process behind that one...

  38. #38
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    Brake Clean

    I decided to try white lightening after using all sorts of things to lube the chain over
    time.

    I had a can of Brake Clean (or is it Brak Cleen) for cleaning automative brakes
    (leaves no residue). I did not have a full can, but put a tray to catch the drippings,
    and just spun the chain and blew it out (I ran out so I finished up with a can
    of Silicone Spray). I finished up with a can of compressed air before applying the
    white lightening.

    So a couple cans of Brake Clean (either the plastic safe or not version) worked
    really well (outdoors.)

    -r

  39. #39
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    Nashbar Dry Lube and cotton terry rag

    But use blue nitrile gloves, as I believe both Nashbar Dry Lube and Pro Gold cause arthritis symptoms in the finger joints if it is absorbed through the skin.

    Now, how on earth do I get the factory-preservative, sticky, gluey, grease off the chain so that I can apply a surface treatment? I'm going to try Nashbar Citrus when my mon's Sram PC 48 arrives. However, I suspect that nothing short of Brake Kleen will do the job to my satisfaction.
    Bankrupt the terrorists: commute by bike.

  40. #40
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    Sure there is. Lots of cleaners are more environmentally friendly.
    Environmentally friendly does not mean cleans better.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by mopartodd
    Environmentally friendly does not mean cleans better.
    Mineral spirits cleans as well, and can be re-used over and over, thus it is far better for the environment (and cheaper). Better x2

  42. #42
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    i pee on my chain. we all know the cleaning power of ammonia! plus its free, environmentally friendly, and marks my territory at the same time

  43. #43
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    This guy above me has got the right idea, and so do the people who use gasoline, except when i soak my chain in gasoline i usually set it on fire just to make sure its really clean... but seriously WD-40=bad idea, attracts more dirt than it gets rid of. Gasoline=never actually tried this myself but hey knock yourself out. Biodegreaser really isnt that expensive and stuff like Pedro's is the same as simple green etc. Something like Safety-Kleen is really best, it thoroughly cleans and doesnt do any damage.

  44. #44
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    thoughts on part washer solvent as a chain cleaner? is my chain going to explode now or what? we have a parts washer and i put some of the solvent in a chain cleaner to clean my chain, or just scrub it with the hose/brush for a deep clean... of course thoroughly dry and re-lube after.
    cycle tracks will abound in utopia.

  45. #45
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    finish line ecotech is by far and away the best cleaner ive ever used. It will strip the chain clean in a matter of seconds.

  46. #46
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    sparks?

    you're cleaning metal with gasoline...see spark...brief second of heat...no hair...burnt to a cinder.

    I agree that gasoline isn't that environmentally friendly, but you've got to be pedalling pretty damm fast to get your chain to spark - come on.
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrenchmonkey
    you're cleaning metal with gasoline...see spark...brief second of heat...no hair...burnt to a cinder.

    I agree that gasoline isn't that environmentally friendly, but you've got to be pedalling pretty damm fast to get your chain to spark - come on.
    I was wondering if someone was cleaning their chain in a bowl of gasoline with a cigarette hanging from the corner of their mouth...

  48. #48
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    Forget the gasoline, dangerous because of it's volatility, instead pump some diesel into an approved fuel container and bring that home. It's pretty safe as a solvent and leaves an oily residue as some lubricant.

    You can re-use the diesel as the dirt will settle in the solvent when you store it in a container. When your supply gets really dirty take it to a recycling center mixed into old motor oil.

  49. #49
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    1. Citrus cleaner of your choice.
    2. Plastic 2 liter bottle of your choice.
    3. Insert chain, shake well, rinse.
    4. Replace chain and lube with Tri-Flow.

    Tri-Flow!?!...now that's a whole 'nother dicussion.
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  50. #50
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    I use whatever I have left.

    Varsol
    Acetone
    Brake Cleaner
    Chem Dip
    Dawn
    Tide
    Whatever... they all work good. For all the cancer causing solvents and stuff, I just bring it to the recycling centre when I turn in my used motor oil and antifreeze

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlliKat
    My great grandmother burned her house to the ground cleaning drapes with gasoline.
    That's funny, my great grand mother cleaned her drapes with hand grenades and verbal abuse!
    Was your G-Grandmother from Baltimore too?

  52. #52
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    Forget cleaning... I just lease mine and get a new one each week on a low monthly payment.

  53. #53
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    Gasoline fumes will creep along the ground. If you have any gas appliances with a pilot light nearby you are toast

  54. #54
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    In his column in Velo News Zinn said that most european pro team mechanics clean chains with diesel (then probably just dump it...). As for gas being expensive... what does whatever degreaser cost per gallon? How long would a gallon of gas last you?


    I use an ultrasonic jewlery cleaner. Disconnect the snap link, toss the chain in it, buzz for 20-30 minutes in water and a pinch of dish detergent powder and it's clean. Really clean, like I wouldn't hesitate to lick it afterward (not that I do that - just saying how clean it is). Takes a while, but you don't have to pay attention to it while it's buzzing.

  55. #55
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    I have also found good old dish soap and hot water to be an excellant cleaner, rinses off good too

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules
    (not that I do that - just saying how clean it is)..
    admitting you have a problem is the first step towards overcoming it. You're among friends here, we won't ridicule you (much).
    “I don't like jail, they got the wrong kind of bars in there”

  57. #57
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    Just the other day I found the greatest engine degreaser in the world.

    Multimillions of dollar have been spent researching this magical degreaser. Researched, Designed, and manufactured by one of hte biggest coroporations in the world.

    This magical product is called TIDE. Use only the non bleach type!

    I was taking apart an engine the other day to rebuild. THe pistons were caked in carbon and grease. I tried varsol, diesel, gasoline. I was about to go out and buy a gallon of carb cleaner. Then I tried stuff at home first. Tried Dawn... didn't do anything. Tried TIDE.

    It worked. DO NOT BREATHE IN THE FUMES. USE GLOVES! I swear TIDE is worse than gasoline on your skin.

    Hot water and TIDE. For a chain I would say a bottle, put the chain in. HOT water from the tap. Table spoon of tide. Shake... let it sit. and wash clean and re-oil immediately.

  58. #58
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    Why cant you just put the dirty gasoline in your car? thats why you have fuel filter, right?

    OK, maybe your neighbors car.

    I have to get back to cleaning my drapes with gas now.

  59. #59
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    I thought i'd try out an alternative to kerosene and bought some white spirits (aka mineral spirits). I poured some in a container with the chain, swirled it around. At first it was cleaning it as i expected, then about a minute later, it started to rust right in front of me! Rust spots started to appear in the 'smaller/inside' links. What in the world happened?

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by peternguyen
    I thought i'd try out an alternative to kerosene and bought some white spirits (aka mineral spirits). I poured some in a container with the chain, swirled it around. At first it was cleaning it as i expected, then about a minute later, it started to rust right in front of me! Rust spots started to appear in the 'smaller/inside' links. What in the world happened?
    Humidity in the air during your winter?
    Hey everybody, ride my wheels! They ride good, real good.
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  61. #61
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    you dug up a 3yr old thread?
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  62. #62
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    A good chance to remind people of the proper way to clean a chain...

  63. #63
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    I've read in motorcycle sites that kerosene(deodorized) was the way to go,just yesterday i took the plung, the local hw store only had gallons(over 12 bucks), i wiped down my roadbikes' chain ,it really cuts the dirt and old oil loose and when you relube,that also gets thinned ,alot, but i kept oilling and wiping down,worked very well, my chain seemed very fast this morning stay away from brakekleen and stuff like that ,to harsh, there's a theory that certain mavic wheels with plastic bushings have been adversly effected by strong cleaners, that could soak in there. I guess if you have a quik link and you're taking your chain off, and make sure all that nasty cleaner is gone,befor putting the chain back on. I think kerosene is good because of it's oilly nature.Motorcycle chains have o-rings and are supposed to be lubed and cleaned only to prevent rust on the outside,and cleaners are not supposed to damage the o-rings.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4slomo
    Humidity in the air during your winter?
    No idea. I think i'll try kerosene again and see how that goes. Might get rid of the rust spots.

  65. #65
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    If you've cleaned your chain to bare metal, it will begin rusting when exposed to water or water vapor. If your white spirits has any water in it, that could cause rusting to begin.

    Just lube your chain and ride, this should wear off rust spots on the roller surfaces. If you wipe your chain off after lubing, you should be able to wipe off rust spots on the chain plate outer surfaces. If you've used kerosene, you likewise might be able to rub off the rust spots.

    As long as your chain isn't making unlubricated squeaking type noises when riding, rust spots probably aren't worth worrying about.

    If rust spots are an issue for you, there are many products to remove rust.

    You could also just replace your chain.
    Hey everybody, ride my wheels! They ride good, real good.
    I'm a wheel builder. SRLPE Wheel Works. Send me a PM.

  66. #66
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    I vote for Simple Green. Put it in a pump sprayer and wet the chain down well. Let it soak for a minute or two. Scrub the chain with an old tooth brush.

    Those new plastic containers that coffee now comes in work great for swishing the chain around in to get all of the Simple Green out. Poke a small hole in the lid or the thing will blow off all of the time.

    After the chain is cleaned I aim an old working blow drier at it for a minute or two. That gets the water dried up and if you want to re-install the chain immediately you can.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    A good chance to remind people of the proper way to clean a chain...
    Is that for real? If so, that's absolutely absurd!

    Edit- After a second look, I realize that it's clearly a joke. Pretty good.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinepig
    Edit- After a second look, I realize that it's clearly a joke. Pretty good.
    It does say something about a JOKE at the bottom, if you get that far without laughing...

    The right way to treat a chain is a source for lots of heated debates. Perhaps the late Uncle Sheldon thought people take it too seriously.

  69. #69
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    Those citrus cleaners are not all created equal. Industrial supplier rep was showing us the dif, some clean far better. He wasn't just talking up his product, he carries 3 strengths basically.

    I took a can of strongest citrus degreaser home, used it on chain on bike and a BBQ grate in corner of yard. Worked really well, flushed it off with garden hose- within 5 minutes worms come crawling up from ground. Not just 1 or 2....about 2 dozen. Guess the 100% citrus degeaser wasn't too enviromentally friendly for them-they all died in minutes.

    My young kids did not enjoy seeing this, take the bike to driveway if using citrus degreaser requiring a hose flush off.

  70. #70
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    i have had great luck w/ pedros chain cleaner w/ gas. Gas is cheap compared to the aerosol cleaner that you get at the LBS, and no, i have never caught myself on fire w/ the gas, nor has it worn off the nickle plating. I have never had any good luck w/ anything environmentally friendly. I have also used park tools chain cleaner, and the tool isnt as good as pedros. The ultrasonic cleaner is interesting. Have you also used that on your cassette? I might give that a try.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnpat
    yeah, works great, but there are the danger and environmental issues.

    What do you do with the dirty gasoline when you are done cleaning chains in it?
    All throw away gas here just gets poured out onto the concrete driveway in small amounts and is allowed to evaporate. Besides no one will take it around here and I will not make the trash men take it, they just throw it in the ground. I doubt I would clean my chain with it.

  72. #72
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    I use barbeque lighter fluid, it evaporates much faster than gasoline. Put in in a Zippo lighter fluid refill bottle so there is little waste. I tried the brake cleaner spray but it dissolves some stickers and paint...watch your rims!

    Lighter fluid does not dissolve any stickers or paint and is nearly as cheap. If your smoking near your bike while you clean your chain then you deserve the fire and resultant burns.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnpat
    yeah, works great, but there are the danger and environmental issues.

    What do you do with the dirty gasoline when you are done cleaning chains in it?
    All throw away gas here just gets poured out onto the concrete driveway in small amounts and is allowed to evaporate. Besides no one will take it around here and I will not make the trash men take it, they just throw it in the ground. I doubt I would clean my chain with it.

  74. #74
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    Hmmm...boy I never even thought of using an ultrasonic cleaner..but that's a great idea, I think I may just try that. I know they work great too...we used them to clean Ti tubes before welding.
    This post brought to you and provided by:

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  75. #75
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    mineral spirits user

    The reason against the mineral spirits is that it dries out the chain and corrodes the nickel plating, the same with gasoline. Kerosene has a higher petroleum content that acts as alubricant while cleaning your chain. Still apply your favorite bike chain specific lubricant afterward.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by slipfitting 2
    The reason against the mineral spirits is that it dries out the chain and corrodes the nickel plating, the same with gasoline. Kerosene has a higher petroleum content that acts as alubricant while cleaning your chain. Still apply your favorite bike chain specific lubricant afterward.
    The only legitimate objections to gasoline as a chain cleaning solvent are it's high volitility, flamability, and toxic compounds conatined within. It's OK if used exclusively outdoors with due caution in handling, and breathing the fumes. Mineral spirits are preferable because they're somewhat safer to work with.

    Years past, there were a large variety of chlorinated solvents, which had excellent solvent action and little or zero flamability, but these are no longer produced because of environmental concerns.

    Neither gasoline nor mineral spirits will attack the metal or plating in a chain, but it may appear so because they leave the metal truly bare, and vulnerable to corrosion until oiled.

    Kerosene, is OK as a solvent, being less flamable than gasoline, but presents the problem of not drying completely. It has almost zero lubricating properties and unless thoroughly purged from the chain will inhibit penetration of newly applied lube, and will dilute and compromise what does penetrate.

    Whatever solvent one uses, one should be mindful to purge it completely before adding lubricant. Solvents are for cleaning, and lubricants are for lubricating, and when mixed neither do their jobs well.
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  77. #77
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    i think i mentioned this before but kerosene also really breaks the greasy dirt loose really quickly and very efficiently, soaking is very unecessary,just wipe the chain down on or off the bike. It probbaely has something to do with the oilly content of the kerosene.

  78. #78
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    gasoline rocks! need it to dry fast? evaporation is too slow, just light it.


  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    I use mineral spirit, or white spirit as we call it in the UK. Like has already been said, it's cheap and very re-usable. I got some cable ties in a tube which is about 25cm long by about 4cm wide and it's perfect with its screw cap. It only needs to be maybe a quarter filled and, after a couple of minutes of even gently shaking, the chain comes out spotless. I use very hot water to rinse the spirits off then dry the chain thoroughly, compressed air gets the stubborn last few drops. I use different lubes depending on the time of year, or environment I'm riding.
    Spirits seem to be quite gentle; I don't a quick shake would do with set-on grime but it's perfect for keeping a chain clean from new.
    Peace,
    Steve.
    Yeah, that's what I use. I find I can keep reusing the same jar of the stuff over and over. After soaking and shaking the chain in a jar and removing the chain to rinse off, I dump the dirty mineral spirits into another jar and let it sit until the next cleaning. By then all the dirt settles to the bottom, and I can pour the clean spirits off into the the original cleaning jar to clean the chain in again. So the mineral spirits just keep going between these two jars, with the gunk in one getting deeper and deeper.

  80. #80
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    If you want that chain REALLY clean, use xylene.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by karpiel666
    If you want that chain REALLY clean, use xylene.
    Man, I don't want it THAT bad

  82. #82
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    You guys that use degreaser all over the bike, besides the chain, what else do you lube after everything's clean? Do you spray the hubs and derailleurs with the degreaser?

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by karpiel666
    If you want that chain REALLY clean, use xylene.
    nah, man, MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) is where it's at!!
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY
    Whatever solvent one uses, one should be mindful to purge it completely before adding lubricant. Solvents are for cleaning, and lubricants are for lubricating, and when mixed neither do their jobs well.
    Just quoting for truth, plus I'd also add that water is a solvent.

    What use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings? -
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  85. #85
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    most bike lubes are suspended in solvents.. kinda running in circles purging solvent from a chain just to add more solvent to the chain.

    i lube with prolink. i clean with prolink. i pour prolink in my cereal and coffee. it works, no gas, no extra solvents, nothing weird. the solvent in the lube washes out crap as it adds in new lube. i get about the same mileage out of a chain as people doing the crazy cleaning proceedures.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    ... plus I'd also add that water is a solvent.
    In fact, it's THE universal solvent
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    In fact, it's THE universal solvent
    Huh?

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Huh?
    Do your homework. Water is the most abundant solvent on the planet. It may not be the best in every situation, but it will be in many. Adding detergent/soap acts to decrease surface tension and increase the effectiveness of solvent properties of water, allowing it to work better against oils/grease. Up a level, and the use of an ultrasonic cleaner with such solutions allows them to penetrate deep into confined spaces. I'm sure somebody could give you a more detailed/concise answer, but that roughly sums it up.

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  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Huh?
    It is the most abundant solvent anywhere...hence the name
    - In science/ chemistry, water is often referred to as "The universal solvent"
    Out of all substances, water has the most capacity to dissolve other substances into solution.

    check it
    Honestly... ahh I give up

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    edited.
    Last edited by SteveUK; 07-31-2009 at 02:42 PM. Reason: response to now-removed spam

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    i'm not one for solvents either,if it's striping the bearing down to bare metal they will almost certainly oxidize immediately. If i'm gonna clean a bearing ;
    i remove seals if possible
    ,add oil,
    blow out with air,i figure it'll leave a bit of a film and i'm not gonna worry about a little condensation in the air,
    then relube immediately
    ,put the seals in,
    maybe top off the lube after the first seal is in,
    ,spin them a bit and wipedown.
    All the lube and cleaner isn't going to repolish the races of a worn bearing,replace them when their old and clapped out.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    It is the most abundant solvent anywhere...hence the name
    - In science/ chemistry, water is often referred to as "The universal solvent"
    Out of all substances, water has the most capacity to dissolve other substances into solution.

    check it
    That's right, I forgot is is called that sometimes but IMO it's actually a pretty inaccurate term for it because there is nothing "universal" about it. It is a very powerful polar solvent (itself being a highly polar molecule), but it is one of the worst at dissolving non-polar, non-ionic substances, such as oils, by itself. Ever try to clean up oil-based paint on it with just water? Now try any non-polar solvent (paint thinner, gas). Much better.

    Polar solvents dissolve polar substances, non-polar dissolve non-polar substances. There are varying degees of how polar (or non-polar) substances (both solvents and solutes) are. Water is at the far "polar" extreme, so it is actually worse at dissolving non-polar substances that other less-polar liquids. Alcohol is a polar solvent, but less polar than water, and you may have found that it cleans up (dissolves) many things better than water.

    As it applies to cleaning your chain, if it has oil or grease on it, water ALONE is a piss poor solvent to dissolve it. One of the least effective liquids I can think of.
    Last edited by kapusta; 08-01-2009 at 02:40 AM.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    As it applies to cleaning your chain, if it has oil or grease on it, water ALONE is a piss poor solvent to dissolve it. One of the least effective liquids I can think of.
    You've taken the comment out of context. Furthermore, and as I added before highdell, adding soap to water will improve its suitability as a solvent of oil/grease. A soap and water solution in an ultrasonic cleaner will separate oils or grease from a chain, although a rinse will be required to wash them away.

    Water was first mentioned as a solvent by myself. I did so because FB correctly pointed out that lubricants will not adhere as well as they can if there is still solvent present on the chain - their effectiveness is reduced. I thought it necessary to include that water should be considered a solvent.

    In a nutshell, what I was saying is that lube should not be applied to a wet chain, as most manufacturers will clearly state on their packaging.

    What use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings? -
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  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    You've taken the comment out of context. Furthermore, and as I added before highdell, adding soap to water will improve its suitability as a solvent of oil/grease. A soap and water solution in an ultrasonic cleaner will separate oils or grease from a chain, although a rinse will be required to wash them away.

    Water was first mentioned as a solvent by myself. I did so because FB correctly pointed out that lubricants will not adhere as well as they can if there is still solvent present on the chain - their effectiveness is reduced. I thought it necessary to include that water should be considered a solvent.

    In a nutshell, what I was saying is that lube should not be applied to a wet chain, as most manufacturers will clearly state on their packaging.
    My post had nothing to do with yours, I was responding to Highdell. Yes, I am very well aware of what happens when you add soap. I was simply pointing out why I think the term "universal solvent" is a bit misleading, despite its common use.

    Yes, I agree with you that lube should not be applied to a wet chain. Interestingly, I would guess that the reason for this has largely to do with the lubes not being water soluble.
    Last edited by kapusta; 08-01-2009 at 03:56 AM.

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    I use Breakfree CLP, which is primarily a gun lube, approved by NATO, haha. Seriously it works, it's a cleaner, lube, and protectant, hence the anagram CLP. Give it a try.

  96. #96
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    i certainly agree with the "science teacher" explanation of polar/nonpolar solvents,i've heard it before in a class room somewhere,a long time ago.I think if anybody was confused about water being able to dissolve the oil on their chain it's from the way rainwater or other outdoors water seems to wash the oil off your chain. Rainwater is probabely acidic or in some other way impure and then there's just plain ol errosion just knocking off the oil by friction,very ineffective and not the way you'd want to clean a chain. I'll restate my recent find/advised by others, kerosene seems like just the right polarity for cheaning ugly contaminated oil off a chain.

  97. #97
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    To clean a chain, I use an old water bottle, pour in a little Simple Green, then a large coffee cup of boiling hot water heated in a microwave. Shake and let set for a half an hour, then rinse repeatedly to get all the Simple Green/remainder of the dirt out. It works very well and the boiling hot water does most of the job of removing the gunk. Wear rubber gloves to keep from scalding your hands. Of course, using a lube that doesn't attract a lot of dirt to begin with (e.g., ProLink, Dupont Teflon Multi-purpose, Squirt, other wax type lubes) makes the clean up job easier.

  98. #98
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    I use a wax lube and a towel. I put the bike upside town and backpedal while putting pressure of a towel on one side of the flopping chain. The towel spins the rollers on the chain letting the lube soak in as well as cleaning it. Then i put pressure from the other side.

  99. #99
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    http://www.mxwash.com/
    You should try this stuff! I started using the wash and the degreaser about 3 months ago. We wash every bike at the shop with it. Degreases the chain well, biodegrable and cheap! You can order online, too. $38 for 5 gallons! The guys are super cool and come by the shop all the time. Check it out....

  100. #100
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    I've tried a few chain cleaning apparati, and I find the Finish Line one to work the best. I fill it it Mr. Muscle kitchen degreaser ($4 SGD for a big bottle).

    Usually run it though twice, hosing it off in between runs and using clean Mr. Muscle each time.

    Then I towel dry the chain and apply GT-85 to it using a rag (just to prevent rust/displace water).

    After a little while I wipe it agin with a dry rag and then lube the chain with Pro-Gold. Done.

    I do this once a week, which for me is about every 3 rides. It may sound involved, but it's really not and it allows my expensive KMC X9SL chains to last me about 1 year. I've known other people to claim they only last a few months.
    Rigid bikes FTW!

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