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Old 06-07-08, 03:35 PM   #1
mike
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Kerosene vs. Simple Green as a cleaner

I am doing a lot of bicycle work this weekend.

Got my kerosene as a cleaner/degreaser. Got my Simple Green as a cleaner degreaser.

Not sure why I got both.

Kerosene = $3.50 per gallon.
Simple Green = $5.00 per gallon.

Kerosene = Squirt, Squirt wipe
Simple Green = Squirt, Squirt, Squirt, Squirt, Squirt, wipe wipe, Squirt, Squirt, Squirt, wipe wipe, repeat.

Refresh my memory. Why do we use Simple Green?
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Old 06-07-08, 04:01 PM   #2
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Not flamable, not toxic, not carcinogenic, not explosive, not poisonous, ... I could go on.
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Old 06-07-08, 04:24 PM   #3
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I soak berings in a little paint thinner. probably shouldn't cause of the fumes but they clean up nice and easy.
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Old 06-07-08, 04:33 PM   #4
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because those damned kids! They are stupid! drinking that kerosine.......

actually if its just you that has access to it than just use the kerosine. I used to use gasoline until it shoot up to $2.50 per gallon.
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Old 06-07-08, 04:39 PM   #5
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Not flamable, not toxic, not carcinogenic, not explosive, not poisonous, ... I could go on.
Ding Ding Ding Ding...give that man a ceeeegar. Can't recall what forum, but someone recently posted "Never Ever" use simple green to clean yer bike. Got a good chuckle from that one...
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Old 06-07-08, 04:40 PM   #6
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because those damned kids! They are stupid! drinking that kerosine.......

actually if its just you that has access to it than just use the kerosine. I used to use gasoline until it shoot up to $2.50 per gallon.

I was thinking the same thing. Now with gasoline at over $4.00/gallon, it has become an expensive cleaner/solvent.
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Old 06-07-08, 05:24 PM   #7
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Please will you ship me some of that there $4.00 a gallon gasoline over here to England? !!!!! It now costs 6.00 a gallon here (I think that's about $12.00). Our Government takes most of that in tax - "Greedy Gordon Brown" tells us it's for our own good, to save the planet. I'll lick my bike parts clean if I could only afford to drive my car - 50 miles each way is just too long a commute to do by bike and get to work on time - and public transport in the UK is a joke! OK I've got that off my chest now, back to bike mechanics!
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Old 06-07-08, 05:31 PM   #8
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Please will you ship me some of that there $4.00 a gallon gasoline over here to England? !!!!! It now costs 6.00 a gallon here (I think that's about $12.00). Our Government takes most of that in tax - "Greedy Gordon Brown" tells us it's for our own good, to save the planet. I'll lick my bike parts clean if I could only afford to drive my car - 50 miles each way is just too long a commute to do by bike and get to work on time - and public transport in the UK is a joke! OK I've got that off my chest now, back to bike mechanics!
I've only been to England once, but Maidstone is near Leeds Castle, right?

Tough commute, but at least it must be really pretty...
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Old 06-07-08, 06:35 PM   #9
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If you're going to use kerosene (or mineral spirits or paint thinner) then definitely wear gloves and work outside. Disposable latex gloves won't cut it, as you'll surely know if you've tried before; latex is dissolved by all of these solvents. I use disposable nitrile gloves for all my car, bike, and furniture finishing work. Any of these solvents will perform better than Simple Green. Don't use gasoline though; it ignites way too easily to be a safe degreaser.

Simple Green isn't so great for you either, ya know. I saw a study that correlated use of spray cleaners with asthma, probably because the atomized chemicals irritate and inflame your lungs. That's all it takes to contribute to asthma. The study didn't single out Simple Green, it was all spray cleaners, but it's enough to make you wonder.

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Old 06-07-08, 07:20 PM   #10
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Not flamable, not toxic, not carcinogenic, not explosive, not poisonous, ... I could go on.
you forgot not effective.............
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Old 06-07-08, 07:58 PM   #11
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because those damned kids! They are stupid! drinking that kerosine.......

actually if its just you that has access to it than just use the kerosine. I used to use gasoline until it shoot up to $2.50 per gallon.
Gasoline - not the most unsafe solvent but it's up there.
Kerosene - used it on chains 20+ years ago. Poured it on the ground to kill the weeds when it got too dirty. I'm smarter now than I used to be.
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Old 06-07-08, 08:11 PM   #12
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kerosine vs. acetone vs. mineral spirits/paint thinner vs ...

Any difference between them all? Acetone is 100% water miscible and dries the fastest so wouldnt that be best?
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Old 06-07-08, 08:29 PM   #13
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Shimano recommends that you NOT use caustic cleaners, such as simple green, on chains....fyi
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Old 06-07-08, 08:42 PM   #14
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I took home a can of flux remover at work, which seems to be mostly pressurized acetone. When that stuff sprays out, I can litearlly see gunk being melted and blown off the chain.
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Old 06-07-08, 08:49 PM   #15
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kerosine vs. acetone vs. mineral spirits/paint thinner vs ...

Any difference between them all? Acetone is 100% water miscible and dries the fastest so wouldnt that be best?
Haven't tried acetone but mineral spirits dry fast enough for me.
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Old 06-07-08, 08:55 PM   #16
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Please will you ship me some of that there $4.00 a gallon gasoline over here to England? !!!!! It now costs 6.00 a gallon here (I think that's about $12.00). Our Government takes most of that in tax - "Greedy Gordon Brown" tells us it's for our own good, to save the planet. I'll lick my bike parts clean if I could only afford to drive my car - 50 miles each way is just too long a commute to do by bike and get to work on time - and public transport in the UK is a joke! OK I've got that off my chest now, back to bike mechanics!
Ha haa. Good one, Oldpeddaller. Lick a bicycle clean for gas money? I think there might be employment possibilities for you here in the USA.

If it makes you feel any better, England has long been an inspiration for USA bicycle commuters - myself included.

As a youth, I used to imagine the British streets filled with all kinds of people floating by on their Raleigh 3-speeds going to work and so-forth.

Imagine my culture-shock when I went to London and couldn't cross the streets for all the automotive traffic.

Still, the imagery exists and I dream that somewhere in England people commute by bicycle and coppers chase down houligans on their two-wheelers.
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Old 06-07-08, 09:01 PM   #17
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Forget about the environment for just one second. What is THE fastest, THE easiest, THE BEST way to get grease off? What is it? Gasoline? Kerosene? Brakleen? What?
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Old 06-07-08, 09:19 PM   #18
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kerosine vs. acetone vs. mineral spirits/paint thinner vs ...

Any difference between them all? Acetone is 100% water miscible and dries the fastest so wouldnt that be best?
Acetone is 100% water miscible because it's a polar organic solvent. Greases and oils are non-polar, so they're better dissolved by non-polar solvents such as paint thinner, mineral spirits, kerosene, perchloroethylene, etc. Acetone is safer than the nonpolar organic solvents, but it has its own dangers, and the relative safety doesn't mean much if it doesn't do the job in the first place.

Acetone is great for other things though, just not grease.
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Old 06-08-08, 02:54 AM   #19
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Acetone is 100% water miscible because it's a polar organic solvent. Greases and oils are non-polar, so they're better dissolved by non-polar solvents such as paint thinner, mineral spirits, kerosene, perchloroethylene, etc. Acetone is safer than the nonpolar organic solvents, but it has its own dangers, and the relative safety doesn't mean much if it doesn't do the job in the first place.

Acetone is great for other things though, just not grease.
Acetone might be a bit too aggressive for bicycle cleaning. It is really wicked on human skin. Acetone will dissolve paint too, which is why I don't use it.
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Old 06-08-08, 04:41 AM   #20
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I personally use diesel as a degreaser, as it gets rid of built up gunge and grime very effectively but doesn't strip the lubrication out of chains like many cleaners such as citrus oil can. At A$1.80/L it's not overly expensive either.
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Old 06-08-08, 06:14 AM   #21
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Forget about the environment for just one second. What is THE fastest, THE easiest, THE BEST way to get grease off? What is it? Gasoline? Kerosene? Brakleen? What?
Carbon tetrachloride.






The history of that will explain why we now use simple green.....
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Old 06-08-08, 06:41 AM   #22
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Acetone is 100% water miscible because it's a polar organic solvent. Greases and oils are non-polar, so they're better dissolved by non-polar solvents such as paint thinner, mineral spirits, kerosene, perchloroethylene, etc. Acetone is safer than the nonpolar organic solvents, but it has its own dangers, and the relative safety doesn't mean much if it doesn't do the job in the first place.

Acetone is great for other things though, just not grease.
Makes sense. So between the nonpolar solvents are some better then others? Would Kerosene be better then mineral spirits or vice versa? All basically the same?
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Old 06-08-08, 06:58 AM   #23
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Makes sense. So between the nonpolar solvents are some better then others? Would Kerosene be better then mineral spirits or vice versa? All basically the same?
As mentioned above, I don't use acetate because it can remove paint and is so bad on the skin.

Between kerosene, diesel fuel, mineral spirits, and gas, I guess I like kerosene best. They all work pretty well, but kerosene is less explosive and is more mild on the hands.

Gas is just so spooky to work with.

Diesel is pretty good, but it stinks and it is hard to wash out the smell.

Mineral spirits have the advantage of being able to use something that is multi-purpose for around the house. It evaporates nicely and is clean. Mineral spirits are second to gasoline for explosivity and it is very drying on the hands.
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Old 06-08-08, 07:06 AM   #24
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I am doing a lot of bicycle work this weekend.

Got my kerosene as a cleaner/degreaser. Got my Simple Green as a cleaner degreaser.

Not sure why I got both.

Kerosene = $3.50 per gallon.
Simple Green = $5.00 per gallon.

Kerosene = Squirt, Squirt wipe
Simple Green = Squirt, Squirt, Squirt, Squirt, Squirt, wipe wipe, Squirt, Squirt, Squirt, wipe wipe, repeat.

Refresh my memory. Why do we use Simple Green?
Mix Simple Green with Formula 409 or use 409 alone. Excellent hand cleaner and doesn't damage skin. I use surgical gloves instead of a cleaner later. You'll be amazed. 'Been doing it for years. Simple Green is better for taking the black stains out of carpet from rim contact brakes that are wet and drip after a ride in the rain.


The mixture I suggested is for hand cleaning. I use dish detergent and water for my bike. If I work on any bearings, I wear surgical gloves, and clean with virgin lacquer thinner. Leaves no residue at all, but not good for paint, rubber or skin.

Last edited by kellyjdrummer; 06-08-08 at 07:55 AM. Reason: Clarification.
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Old 06-08-08, 07:25 AM   #25
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Shimano recommends that you NOT use caustic cleaners, such as simple green, on chains....fyi
what do they recommend?
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