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  1. #1
    dlk
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    Most environmentally-friendly, non-toxic cleaner for bike parts?

    every bike mechanic I've encountered sings the praises of simple green, but I've encountered evidence that it isn't as great as it purports to be. are there other options that do not use harsh chemicals, or is simple green really the best option that gets the job done?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    From the link you provided:

    "Owner FaBrizio used to drink a glass of the cleaner at trade shows to prove its safety."

    Wikipedia page on the substance:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butyl_cellosolve

  3. #3
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    How about soap and water?

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    Senior Member mkael's Avatar
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    I guess dust from bikes must be toxic. Think what's in it. Grit from roads on which cars drive on. Traces of paint and lubricants. It's not possible that is not unhealthy.

    If the crap sticking to bikes after rainy winters was just sand out of the Sahara it would still be bad for the lungs. The sand against icing sprayed onto roads in winter has come under scrutiny because of the tiny particules being harmful to the lungs.

    Wrenching must cause cancer

    Now how bad this and in what concentration someone tell me. I'm not worried

  5. #5
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    mostly just soap and water. if you wash regularly, you won't need much more. when i need to soak something, i use mineral spirits. pretty nasty stuff, but i use a coffee filter and use it over and over and over. when i move, i'll drop it off at a recycling center.

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    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Way back when, we had a parts-washing sink at a shop (non-bike) from Safety Kleen (not sure how you spell that). It used toxic chemicals, IE, petroleum based, but the thing was that it all stayed there in the barrel and in the sink, minimal evaporation, and could then be recycled when the Safety Kleen guy came around. Much much better than the old alternative- which was a little gasoline in a pan, then pitch it out the door when you got done. No help for the home worker, but a good solution for a shop.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

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    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    Way back when, we had a parts-washing sink at a shop (non-bike) from Safety Kleen (not sure how you spell that). It used toxic chemicals, IE, petroleum based, but the thing was that it all stayed there in the barrel and in the sink, minimal evaporation, and could then be recycled when the Safety Kleen guy came around. Much much better than the old alternative- which was a little gasoline in a pan, then pitch it out the door when you got done. No help for the home worker, but a good solution for a shop.
    I've considered trying an ultrasonic cleaner. But in pricing models large enough to take something the size of a large chainring and crank, DAMN they are expensive!

  8. #8
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    A cat's tongue is the most environmentally-friendly, non-toxic cleaner for bike parts.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mackerel View Post
    A cat's tongue is the most environmentally-friendly, non-toxic cleaner for bike parts.
    But that only works if you do most of your riding around fish markets.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    But that only works if you do most of your riding around fish markets.
    I do indeed for I am Mr. Mackerel.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Barchettaman's Avatar
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    Bilt Hamber Surfex is amazing stuff - not sure if it's available in the US though.

  12. #12
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  13. #13
    dlk
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    re: dawn

    I was wondering about dish detergent. would you just take a blow dryer to the parts?

  14. #14
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Nah. I just bounce it on the tires a couple of times to shake off most of the water and then dry it with a clean rag.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  15. #15
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    ^ +1

    When I bring my bikes home, for the first time - brand new... the first thing I do is apply several coats of those space-age Teflon-based "apply-once-a-year" automotive/aircraft polymer product - not a wax... (you know, the one you see in the TV infomercials that dries into a protective film and you can pour lighter fluid over it and ignite it and the paint underneath doesn't bum, etc.)

    Then I just do that... water hose, then bounce dry, then rag. Sometimes if it's not real muddy (off-road mountain bikes I use) I skip the water hose and just use an old wet face towel after brushing any abrasive grit off. The less time I drench the bike in water the better for the bearings. Most of the time a soft dry brush will clean off small dried mud splatter from the "non-stick" surface of the bike. When I notice that dirt/mud/grease/oil/road grime begins to adhere to the frame again, it's time for another coating (about once a year).

    I used to think nothing of detergent, until I imagined all those tons and tons of soap and detergent we produce each year all ending up in our drains and into the oceans. I'm not saying don't use detergent, or solvents, just minimizing here and there all helps.

    Cheers

    .
    Last edited by Pocko; 12-18-08 at 06:13 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    Like clever mice, if there is a any crevice to exploit, a chain will find room to jump and derail; you can count on it.

  16. #16
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    I use Method Naked, which is supposed to be eco-friendly. Works fine for me, although I don't have to deal with thick grease since I use Pro Link lube.
    "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)

  17. #17
    Senior Member Herbie53's Avatar
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    something besides brake cleaner, but boy does brake cleaner do the job!
    "Today me will live in the moment, unless it's unpleasant, then me will eat cookie." -Cookie Monster

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