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  1. #1
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    worth rinsing parts after cleaning in mineral spirits?

    This is just a quick procedural question. I use mineral spirits (paint thinner) for degreasing and cleaning bike parts. I'm just wondering if mineral spirits leaves some residue on parts, and thus whether it's worth rinsing or otherwise cleaning the parts afterwards. I assume that the mineral spirits completely evaporates and so there is no reason to rinse or clean the parts afterwards, other than to get dirt or grease off. But don't know enough to evaluate this assumption.

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    I'm pretty sure it doesn't leave much of anything. If I was cleaning w/ something I thought might leave a residue, I would probably use mineral spirits to clean it off. I wouldn't recommend eating off of whatever you use mineral spirits on though. I could be wrong.

    -Will

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    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Tim, The cyclist in me says, na don't worry about it. But the Chemist in me says yes, it leaves an organic residue. I've never conducted a residual solvent test or determined what is left behind, but it I'm sure the bike companies were not counting on it when they built shifting and braking mechanisms.
    Again, the Chemist in me (worse yet, a former Analytical Chemist) says rinse all solvents with mother natures rinse agent and neutalizer, water. Why? I just don't want to take a chance with an organic solvent attacking a metal or, especially, plastic. On some moving parts it may not be practical to rinse with water, so I use chain lubricant instead.
    But I was taught, always rinse.
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    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    What about just wiping it off with a rag? And doesn't water just kind of resist mineral spirits and not really do anything other than 'push' the spirits off? If so, I'd kind of think wiping with a rag would have the same effect. Of course, I'm no chemist.

    Maybe you could use a match and burn it off, also.

    Good question, though, I've been wondering the same thing.

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    Senior Member Surferbruce's Avatar
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    i'd rinse anything with plastic or rubber parts at least. m.s. probably wouldn't hurt anything, but it does leave a residue. clean, rinse, lube. thats what i do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roccobike
    I just don't want to take a chance with an organic solvent attacking a metal or, especially, plastic. On some moving parts it may not be practical to rinse with water, so I use chain lubricant instead. But I was taught, always rinse.
    I can't think of any consumer-type organic solvent that attacks metal. The plastics used for bike parts have to be able to reisist mineral spirits since most bike and chain lubes have mineral spirits, Kerosene or similar solvents as their carrier.

    Given that, what are you achieving by "rinsing" with chain lube?

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    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    I remember in the old days, some used kerosene because (apparently) there is some lubricant in kerosene. I have never tried it nor have researched it. Just passing it along.

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    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Mineral spirits (paint thinner) is indeed a good cleaning solvent because it will dissolve the lubes used on bikes, such as grease or light oils. And it will evaporate, although I'm sure it leaves some slight residue behind even in the best of cases. The key, if you're going to use it as a cleaner, is after you've dissolved and for the most part removed the dirty gunk, flush again with clean mineral spirits so that you're not leaving any gunky residue behind on the part............An anecdotal example of the different properties and affects of a couple of different cleaning solvents can be seen in the way I used to clean, and have my crew clean, paint brushes. If we were using an alkyd paint (aka "oil based" paint), we'd use kerosene as our cleaning solvent, flushing the brushes and working the paint out until the visual evidence of the residual paint was gone. Using kerosene this way, we could then store our brushes and they'd be fine the next time we used them, with maybe a little oily residue on the bristles from the kerosene, which was very slow to dry. But the brushes would be soft and supple. If you clean a brush in the same way with mineral spirits, it will look just as good as a brush that's been cleaned with kerosene immediately after the cleaning, but in a day or two the brush cleaned in mineral spirits will usually be hardened to some extent; maybe usable, maybe not, depending on how good a job was done in cleaning it. What happens with the mineral spirits brush is that, even if all visual evidence of residual paint is gone from the bristles, there will usually be enough paint residue left to mix with the mineral spirits (paint thinner), and because the thinner will completely evaporate in a fairly short time, the binders, fillers, etc. that are in the paint residue will harden on the bristles and can ruin the brush. With kerosene, because of its oilier and slower drying makeup, this wasn't a problem. But with bike parts, as long as you've gotten rid of the dirty gunk, you usually want the solvent to go ahead and evaporate, and for that reason I prefer mineral spirits over kerosene for bikes.............If you really want to get rid of whatever residue even clean mineral spirits might leave behind, after using the mineral spirits use something like dishwashing soap and warm water, or simple green with warm water, and then rinse afterwards with clean, warm water-
    Last edited by well biked; 09-23-06 at 11:48 PM.

  9. #9
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    I can't think of any consumer-type organic solvent that attacks metal. The plastics used for bike parts have to be able to reisist mineral spirits since most bike and chain lubes have mineral spirits, Kerosene or similar solvents as their carrier.

    Given that, what are you achieving by "rinsing" with chain lube?
    Uhh, how about a lubricant as I stated in my post.
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    WD-40? Works on everything
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    so I took the SUV ( Cannondale V2000 Active 100SL)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by roccobike
    Uhh, how about a lubricant as I stated in my post.
    What about it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by roccobike
    Uhh, how about a lubricant as I stated in my post.
    Yeah, I just follow the mineral spirits with an oil based chainlub and don't worry about it. I think washing a steel chain with water is counter productive. Fe + H2O = Fe2O3.

    Al

  13. #13
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roccobike
    Tim, The cyclist in me says, na don't worry about it. But the Chemist in me says yes, it leaves an organic residue. I've never conducted a residual solvent test or determined what is left behind, but it I'm sure the bike companies were not counting on it when they built shifting and braking mechanisms.
    Again, the Chemist in me (worse yet, a former Analytical Chemist) says rinse all solvents with mother natures rinse agent and neutalizer, water. Why? I just don't want to take a chance with an organic solvent attacking a metal or, especially, plastic. On some moving parts it may not be practical to rinse with water, so I use chain lubricant instead.
    But I was taught, always rinse.
    The chemist in me says don't worry about it. The amount of residue is vanishly small. They should have no effect on the parts on a bike that I can think of. If you want to see the compatibility of plastics, metals and exotic materials go here.
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    In my previous life I worked for a company thet specialized in welding tiny stainless steel components. Standard preparation for these parts was a vibratory wash in acetone (because it's a primo solvent) and then a rinse in alcohol (because it leaves no residue). I'd think that a wash in mineral spirits followed by a rinse in alcohol would leave your parts sparkling clean (and subject to immediate rusting if they're steel and exposed to humidity).

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    Quote Originally Posted by thomson
    I remember in the old days, some used kerosene because (apparently) there is some lubricant in kerosene. I have never tried it nor have researched it. Just passing it along.
    I've been using kerosene with success. My uncle said it was better than paint thinner, and he originally taught me about using paint thinner for degreasing. One advantage is that it doesn't evaporate much, so you can both leave stuff sitting in it for a long period soaking e.g. a week, and you can re-use it. I've found I can get a litre of it at the local supermarket for about AU$2.70 which lasts a long time and I think is pretty cheap. Once I've degreased it I then soak / shake / scrub the part with warm water and dish washing detergent, and then let it dry.

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