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07-30-11, 03:00 PM
Hi guys I was wondering if this degreaser is safe for cleaning a bike chain(I have a gallon of this in the garage):
If it is safe or good to use, how much ratio to water do you guys recommend?
Since it doesn't say what's in it, I can't give you an informed opinion. The warning about use on aluminum raises some red flags, but doesn't automatically disqualify it for chains if cleaning off the bike.
The key things to avoid in chain cleaners are any acids, and anything containing chlorine. The plates on chains are very thin and even if not causing any visible damage ions in acids and chlorine containing products can migrate into the steel affecting the crystal structure. This type of chemical damage makes the plates more brittle and can lead to stress cracking under load.
FWIW, the easiest, most cost effective way to wash chains is with solvents like mineral spirits or naphtha. They can very economical to use if kept in closed jars and allowed to settle between uses. I keep 3 jars of napatha; dirty for the first wash, fairly clean for the first rinse, and very clean for the last rinse. I pour off the top into a working jar, process the chain, and pour back into the storage/settling jar. Over time as the contents get dirtier, the worst is disposed of, each jar moves one place toward dirty, and fresh solvent is used for the final rinse.