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Old 11-30-01, 05:23 AM   #1
roadbuzz
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Simple Green and Alu

Found this in rec.bikes.tech, cross posted from alt.mountain-bike. Thought it would be of interest:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gary J. Harris" <gharris2b26@yahoo.com>
Newsgroups: alt.mountain-bike
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2001 7:53 AM
Subject: Simple Green & Aluminum Mountain Bikes


> Presented for your consideration:
>
> I've seen a number of postings from mountain bikers that
> use Simple Green to clean their bikes and/or components.
> I myself used it as a general cleaner/degreaser on my bike
> but have discontinued the practice since I came across
> reports that the US Army and Air Force had prohibited its
> use on their aircraft and other equipment. Now you can
> think what you like about the Army and Air Force or even
> the US government in general, but when it comes down to
> taking care of its equipment, they have a pretty good
> record.
>
> The AOPA (Airplane Owners and Operators Association) has
> also come out recommending against its use. Airplanes
> constitue a pretty big investment and they are not cheap
> to repair and maintain. The AOPA is a private group not
> usually given to putting out bad advice to their members.
>
> Aviation-grade aluminum is pretty expensive stuff. The
> paint used in painting aircraft is usually very high
> quality and much more durable than auto paint, and
> probably the paint used to on bicycles. I don't have
> any credentials in metallurgy but I do know that aluminum
> bike frames in particular are touted as being high-grade
> aluminum. Other components are made of aluminum as well,
> like cassettes and handlebars. I also seem to remember
> the words 'aviation grade' used in describing the
> materials used in some bicycle parts.
>
> So between the the US Army, the US Air Force, and the
> AOPA, I think their advice on this issue is worth
> considering. There are enough other products available
> that do as good or better job than Simple Green that this
> should not be a showstopper for anyone.
>
>
> Below are excerpts of some of the inforamtion available
> on the web:
>
> Aircraft Cleaners
>
> Simple Green and other cleaners that are not listed in the
> Technical Manuals are taboo for a very good reason - they
> hurt the metal used to build the machine.
>
> It has been brought to the attention of the U.S. Army
> Aviation Missile Command (AMCOM) Depot Maintenance
> Engineering Team that numerous units are using the
> commercial product SIMPLE GREEN as an aircraft wash.
> STOP! This product has been through Department of Defense
> (DOD) testing and was determined to be highly corrosive
> on aircraft aluminum and also a catalyst for Hydrogen
> Embrittlement in high strength aircraft alloys.
>
> While a highly effective cleaning agent for floors and
> non-aluminum / non-high strength alloy vehicles this
> product is not approved for aviation usage. If your unit
> has been using SIMPLE GREEN on a regular basis, it is
> recommended that a thorough fresh water wash with the
> approved cleaners per the appropriate airframe maintenance
> manuals be accomplished as soon as practicable. This
> should be followed up with a corrosion inspection /
> treatment and application of approved Corrosion
> Prevention Compounds (CPCs).
>
> Mr. Richard Cardinale, corrosion@amcom-cc.army.mil
> (361)961-4041, DSN 861-4041
>
> http://safety.army.mil/pages/lessons...plegreens.html
> ============================
>
> AOPA advised caution with any cleaner and stated that "No
> cleaner should be left on an aircraft for an extended
> period; any cleaner should be promptly and thoroughly
> rinsed off the airframe with water."
>
> It's Simple -- Don't Use This To Clean Aluminum
>
> A well-known aviation magazine this month published a
> feature article on cleaning one's aircraft and getting
> it ready for spring flying. Only one problem -- a product
> the article recommended as safe for aviation use has been
> proven corrosive to aluminum. The product is Simple Green,
> a popular household cleaning liquid. According to the
> magazine's May issue -- which included a photo of Simple
> Green and other products -- the liquid "does an admirable
> job for a fraction of the cost of the aviation cleaners."
> While that may be true as far as it goes, both the U.S.
> Air Force and the U.S. Army have conducted tests of Simple
> Green and strongly urge that it not be used to clean
> aluminum structures. In one test conducted by the U.S.
> Air Force, results from which were published in 1989,
> aluminum alloy samples were immersed in Simple Green for
> a week then removed, cleaned and weighed. The results
> indicated that the approximately 3.5-gram aluminum alloy
> samples experienced a material loss of about 31 milligrams
> in a diluted solution and a whopping 295 milligram loss
> after spending a week in the undiluted liquid. The Air
> Force report summed it up this way: "We do not recommend
> the use of this product on Air Force equipment containing
> aluminum." Good advice, that.
>
>
> Gary (the other Gary from Virginia)
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Old 11-30-01, 08:19 AM   #2
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Thanks for the heads up! I guess I've got to go back to Finish Line's Citrus Cleanser! Ahh the price you pay to keep the bikes we love in good shape.
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Old 11-30-01, 08:46 AM   #3
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If Simple Green is bad, then I would imagine any citrus based product may be bad also.

One thing that may make a bike stand apart from a much more sophisticated machine is that when you rinse the bike, theres not a whole lot of places the water doesn't rinse.

Thanks for one more thing to worry about Roadbuzz.
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Old 11-30-01, 09:40 AM   #4
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Simple Green's FAQ website

http://www.simplegreen.com/faq.html

has the following entries


Aircraft Cleaning with Simple Green or Crystal Simple Green
Many private and commercial aircraft owners and operators have cleaned their craft with Simple Green or Crystal Simple Green for many years. However, these products do not have Mil-Prf (military testing) authority. The testing involves very long (168 hours in one test) soaking of various metals in the solution and then a corrosion inspection. If an aircraft owner only wants to use mil-prf approved products; he will not want to use Simple Green. Please see the additional information under "Aluminum".


Aluminum - Is it safe to use Simple Green?
Simple Green products have been successfully and safely used on aircraft, automotive, industrial and consumer aluminum items for over 20 years. However, caution and common sense must be used: Aluminum is a soft metal that easily corrodes with unprotected exposure to water. The aqueous-base and alkalinity of Simple Green or Crystal Simple Green can accelerate the corrosion process. Therefore, contact times of Simple Green and Crystal Simple Green with unprotected or unpainted aluminum surfaces should be kept as brief as the job will allow - never for more than 10 minutes. Large cleaning jobs should be conducted in smaller-area stages to achieve lower contact time. Rinsing after cleaning should always be extremely thorough - paying special attention to flush out cracks and crevices to remove all Simple Green/Crystal Simple Green residues. Unfinished, uncoated or unpainted aluminum cleaned with Simple Green products should receive some sort of protectant after cleaning to prevent oxidation.

I will continue to use Simple Green with a thorough rinse.
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Old 11-30-01, 10:29 AM   #5
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I guess the message is don't use simple green as a solvent!! This includes bearings, cups, cones, chains, races, and other such unpainted metal objects. Not only is simple green corrosive, but it also contains a soap. You don't want soap film left on any bearing surface (chain links included).
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Old 11-30-01, 10:56 AM   #6
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Sooooooo....What do we clean our bikes with? Is Simple Green a Citrus based cleaner? I don't think so, I'll have to go look at my bottle of Simple Green. Citrus cleansers are made by Pedros and a few others...I don't think there would be a market for them if they were bad for bikes. WD-40 wouldn't work because if there was any trace left it would eat the lube away.....Hmmm, I wonder what we are going to do?
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Old 11-30-01, 10:58 AM   #7
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Oh, yeah! I use good old hydrocarbon-based stuff for actual grease cleaning like bearings. It may not be environmentally friendly, but I do reuse it as much as possible, letting the gunk settle out, pouring off the good stuff for use, and a final rinse with fresh, which then goes into the settling jar.
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Old 12-02-01, 09:23 PM   #8
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Anyone ever try S100 Cleaner? It is actualy designed for motorcycles.. (atleast designed for somethign with 2 wheels).. Is a great cleaner.. I have not tried it on my bike yet.. just found it last week..I'll probably give it at try.. Works great on everything else.. similar to simple green..
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Old 12-03-01, 02:56 AM   #9
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The last bike cleaner I bought - I can't remember the name, something like MUCK OFF, produced by Raleigh, warned that it shouldn't be left in contact with the bike for more than 30 secs before being rinsed off.

I guess for frame cleaning c*r shampoo might be as good as anything. Browsing the labels of various household cleaners in the local supermarket (my wife was getting quite worried about me at this stage )most of them seemed to warn against prolongued contact with Aluminium (with two i's ).

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Old 12-09-01, 12:03 AM   #10
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Rainman,

what do you use on the chain, kerosene also? I used that for long time and then tried detergent as kerosene takes so much longer to cut the grease. then after reading about corrusion I am not cleaning the chain as much.
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Old 12-09-01, 04:20 AM   #11
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Why don't you guys try some diesel oil, the european pro mechanics have been using it for years! It works great. Technically diesel is a lubricant so it won't harm harm grease etc like solvents can. You can recycle it yourself- put the dirty oil in a glass jar and let it settle out for a few days and pour off the the good part and re-use it! Kerosene does cut the grease a little better and I do use it on some things, but I try to use diesel for the last step to wash the Kerosene away as it can be harmful to some lubricants and surfaces. ( I sometimes use a three step process to clean some parts, ( ie; chains), transfering the parts form one coffee can to another using progressivly cleaner solvent/deisel.
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Old 12-10-01, 11:17 AM   #12
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Erik, I use Simple Green in a Park chain scrubber to clean my chain then rinse well with clean water. Since I have only been riding regularly for just over a year I can offer no real long term experience. I just replaced my first chain. The old one, though "stretched" showed no signs of unusual corrosion.

Pat, do you clean by placing the chain in the jar of diesel fuel and agitating?
Thanks,
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Old 12-11-01, 02:34 AM   #13
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Raymond,
I put the parts in old coffee cans to agitate and to brush over. I like the coffee cans because they come in two useful sizes and the plastic tops keep spillage low. I keep them in a large 2X2/12 drip pan to catch any spillage as well. I also will wash my chains in hot water with dish detergent and rinse with hot water, if I'm using a non petroleum lubricant. (Since my Dad died I'm wondering where I'm going to get more coffe cans without buying some of that nasty canned stuff myself.)
I use glass jars to "settle out " the used deisel, because it's easy to see when it's ready to use again and any magnitized bits won't stick to it.
On parts that have light use and get dirty easily like brake and deraileur pivots and springs I use silicon spray for lubrication.
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Old 12-11-01, 12:51 PM   #14
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Pat,
I'm not sure if by "nasty stuff" you mean all coffee or just the canned variety. I am a fanatic for fresh taste in coffee. Try Folger's 100% Colombian in the can. It might change your mind. To me it is better than any Colombian I have ever had. The only coffee I like just slightly better is Starbuck's House Blend.
FWIW,
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Old 12-12-01, 09:10 AM   #15
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Rainman,

Does this mean you use Folgers to clean or to lubricate your chain. Or did I miss the point?

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