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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
    thecentralscrutinizer
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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
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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.
    I'm not broke but you can see the cracks.

    Rick’s Law Of Biking...
    At least two uphills are required for every downhill.

    Truth...
    I work to survive, I play to live.

    Mind, Body, Spirit...,which one is keeping you from getting better?

  50. #50
    Hack Racer
    Reputation: Cheers!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,564
    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

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