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  1. #1
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    Bench top parts washer

    What does everyone use to clean their parts? I was using canned brake cleaner but it's messy due to the pressure it shoots out at. I question how flamable it is as well.

    I was thinking of picking up a small bench top parts washer. Looks like I can find one for $50. Would something like this be safe for a basement? How often do you need to change the fluid? Overall I think this may be my best bet but wondering what everyone else does.

    The other option I thought was just to pick up a gallon of cleaner and use a plastic container and after each use funnel it back into the jug.

  2. #2
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    Not sure that I see the point. If you're sensible with the chain lube you pick, the majority of the dirt you're parts will accumulate is going to be soil. The pullies can usually be dry-cleaned, and the derailleur body gets a quick spray of bike wash, a scrub with a toothbrush and then rinsed under a hot tap. I clean my cassette on a plastic bag or old newspaper/magazine, with the only addition to the process above being that I may use WD40 (and a toothbrush) before moving on to the bike wash part.

    My method of chain cleaning is described here.

    Brake calipers get a spray with bike wash, which is then just wiped off. A quick spray of silicone lube will get ride of the bike wash, clean the inside of the caliper with a cotton bud then the wipe away the silicone excess with a tissue.

    You don't, in my opinion, need lots of strong cleaners to clean well-maintaned parts.
    Last edited by SteveUK; 02-13-2010 at 09:02 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Sort of agree with steve. Its not like its exposured to high heat cycles everyday that bake and tarnish the grease to the parts, its just gease sitting on cold metal. Wipe or bush it off. Worst case use hot water and detergent/degreaser/dishwashing soap/plain soap.

    There are plenty of people here though that use parts cleaner and ultrasonic cleaners so this is just imho.

  4. #4
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    Will give that a try. Thanks for the feedback.

  5. #5
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    I've got one of these;



    Worked great until I put Varsol through it, seems the manual mentions on the next to last page not to use solvent in the pump. Seemed kind of useless to sell a parts cleaner that does not allow solvent in it? I got a replacement pump and just never got around to installing it just to put simple green in it. I never use the damn thing.

    Waste of money for a bike use if you ask me, now I just throw solvent in a coffee can and agitate...works better anyway.
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  6. #6
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    Seal your chain/parts with solvent into a Tupperware and tape it to a back or muscle massager. Let it agitate clean.

  7. #7
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    you can get 1 gallon parts wash buckets at most parts stores. has a little basket in them to dip and remove parts.


    i dont know what kind of solvent it is. its not super harsh like brakeclean, but it works extremely well. its almost oily, so it does leave residue.

    they're great for stripping grease out of stuff. instead of washing the hell out of bearings to get them clean, you can just toss them in overnight and they come out sparking clean and grease free.

  8. #8
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    Dude you do know that Chem-Dip is mostly methylene chloride with traces of hexavalent chromium...you know, the stuff thats in the water supply in the movie Erin Brokovich. I use it for cleaning carburators and other automotive components like valves etc. But to suggest it for use on Bicycle parts seems a little extreme, I hope your wearing PPE and a supplied air respirator because thats caustic soda your playing with there!

    Thats stuff is downright nasty!
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  9. #9
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    eh, im in california. i bet you could drink the stuff they send to us! its non chlorinated here. hardly even smells. other states get all the good stuff

    http://www.berrymanproducts.com/Port...0MSDS/0996.pdf

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4JawChuck
    Dude you do know that Chem-Dip is mostly methylene chloride with traces of hexavalent chromium...you know, the stuff thats in the water supply in the movie Erin Brokovich. I use it for cleaning carburators and other automotive components like valves etc. But to suggest it for use on Bicycle parts seems a little extreme, I hope your wearing PPE and a supplied air respirator because thats caustic soda your playing with there!

    Thats stuff is downright nasty!
    In the 70's its all I used to clean automotive parts, had several cans split down the seam and leak all over my moms garage.

  11. #11
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    An ultrasonic cleaner. I use a surplus medical one, but jewelry ones are easy to find, and can be found quite cheap. Just fill it with a 50/50 solution of Simple Green and water. Once the cleaning cycle is done, just run it under water to rinse clean. The one danger is, the ultrasonic action will force degreaser through most seals, so don't drop a bearings in there.

  12. #12
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    I use an old tupperware container, it's about the size of a small shoebox and has a plastic grill in the bottom. I use old paint thinner as a solvent, and recycle it over and over. An old paintbrush, a few toothbrushes, a juice bottle to shake the chain in. That's it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot
    you can get 1 gallon parts wash buckets at most parts stores. has a little basket in them to dip and remove parts.


    i dont know what kind of solvent it is. its not super harsh like brakeclean, but it works extremely well. its almost oily, so it does leave residue.

    they're great for stripping grease out of stuff. instead of washing the hell out of bearings to get them clean, you can just toss them in overnight and they come out sparking clean and grease free.
    I love this stuff!!!!

  14. #14
    Stay thirsty my friends
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot
    eh, im in california. i bet you could drink the stuff they send to us! its non chlorinated here. hardly even smells. other states get all the good stuff

    http://www.berrymanproducts.com/Port...0MSDS/0996.pdf

    True...true, just remember not everyone gets the non-chlorinated stuff. Actually I can't even get the Cali stuff here as no one carries it since the caustic soda is far more effective as a carb cleaner.

    Beware what your buying out there!
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  15. #15
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    Snap-On has a really nice one. However it is overkill for your application and most likely much more than your willing to spend.
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