General Cycling Discussion - Cleaning with white spirit!!
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Hi, I'm prepearing to sell my Dawes Galaxy Tourer after 1000 miles of use without any real care during the trip.
The bike is covered in oil and even tar from the road. Is it ok to use white spirit or equivalent on the derailer, cogs, etc without damaging the bike?
I was then hoping to wash it off with soapy water.
L J Horton
09-15-02, 10:51 AM
If "white spirit" is kerosene, then it won't hurt the parts or the bike. But there are citric degreasers that are less harmful to the environment and to you.
Thats all I use on my bike. White spirit is cheap and you can reuse it. I keep a separate container to pour the dirty spirit into. The next time I use it the gunge has settled to the bottom of the container and I decant the clear fluid to use again. This way a 2ltr can goes a very long way. Once the fluid becomes unusable I take it to the local garage and they dispose of it for me. They tip it in the used oil drum I think. By this time its mostly drty oil anyway.
Once your bike is dry, wash the bike in warm soapy water, oil up your bits ( bike bits) and away you go. Excellent chain degreaser as well.
The Speaker Guy
09-15-02, 11:19 AM
Can't say for the affect on your bikes parts, but I believe white spirit is what I call white gas. Incredibly volatile, used in coleman lanterns n stuff. And yes, it is excellent and often recommended for removing tar.
Will it not remove the grease from the internal bearings of the rear axle if I scrub the teeth with a tooth brush and whit spirit?
It does work incredibly well though! Makes bike look new!! :)
White spirit is light petroleum used as a solvent. Most commonly found in shops that sell decorating materials as it is widely used for cleaning paint brushes etc.
Yes Brooky. If it gets into the bearings it will dissolve the grease. Either protect the bearings or keep the white spirit away from bearings . It only takes a little extra care. Otherwise you will have to regrease your bearings. Take the rear wheel out and hold it horizontal while cleaning the cogs do not let the white spirit run into the back of the freewheel. I guess you know what I mean.
It is superb for cleaning chains etc but as someone has already said, it is EXTREMELY bad for the environment, especially aquatic life. If I have to use it, for decorating etc, I don't pour it anywhere, I leave it to evaporate into the atmosphere. It still eco-sucks but it's better than it getting into groundwater. I guess it would be even better to burn it on a fire, at least then you just end up with some soot and carbon dioxide :( .
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