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  1. #1
    Got an old Peugeot kipibenkipod's Avatar
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    washing powder as chain degreaser?!

    Hi,
    Is it possible to use washing powder as chain degreaser?!
    I'm asking this because, in a tv documentary of BBC Horizon they showed that washing powder will dissolve flash and maybe the bone if left immersed. So I guess it will eat all the dirt and the grease from the chain if left immersed.

    What do you think?

    Thanks,
    Kfir
    On the bike I feel like a conqueror ;)
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  2. #2
    AEO
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    washing powder... like dish detergent or clothing detergent?
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

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    Got an old Peugeot kipibenkipod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    washing powder... like dish detergent or clothing detergent?
    Yep, clothing detergent.
    On the bike I feel like a conqueror ;)
    4 months touring trip from England to Spain http://www.underadometent.com

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    Senior Member TimJ's Avatar
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    Hmmm. Detergents can contain things like acids and abrasives and oxidants... would that be good or bad for a chain?
    fun facts: Psychopaths have trouble understanding abstract concepts.
    "Incompetent individuals, compared with their more competent peers, will dramatically overestimate their ability and performance relative to objective criteria."

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    thanks Karl Von Draise
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    why not just use degreaser? i mean if you have concerns about laundry powder why use it? if you just wipe down your chain and drivetrain once every week or so(depending on how much you ride), and put new lube on it it wont need degreaser.I have a 4 year old giant that has over 2500miles on it and i have never used degreaser on it. The drivetrain looks shiney and nice too,it just takes some care.

  6. #6
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    My guess is that it would work reasonably well. I can't imagine it would do anything bad to the chain unless you left it to soak for a long, long time. And probably not even then. If it has not eaten through the exposed steel workings of your washer pump yet, it will not hurt your chain.

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  7. #7
    AEO
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    the reason why laundry detergent breaks down flesh and bone is because it contains enzymes.
    I'm not too sure how well enzymes work as a degreaser with grease that has a petroleum base.
    enzymes typically break down grease, oil and fat that has an organic base.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  8. #8
    Got an old Peugeot kipibenkipod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigelbison View Post
    why not just use degreaser? i mean if you have concerns about laundry powder why use it? if you just wipe down your chain and drivetrain once every week or so(depending on how much you ride), and put new lube on it it wont need degreaser.I have a 4 year old giant that has over 2500miles on it and i have never used degreaser on it. The drivetrain looks shiney and nice too,it just takes some care.
    I agree, but I bought an old bike, and want to have a short route in cleaning the chain. I really thought someone tried it before, but do see I will have to try it myself.
    On the bike I feel like a conqueror ;)
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  9. #9
    DOS
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    Quote Originally Posted by kipibenkipod View Post
    Yep, clothing detergent.
    The good folks at United Bicycle Institute advocated dilluted liquid dish detergent. Its a very miled degreaser so it cleans without removing the oils you want to keep in the chain. That said, I agree with the pposter who advocated regularly wiping down the chain. A quick wipe and a few drops of oil a couple of times of week keeps my drive train as clean as it needs to be.

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    Laundry/dishwashing soaps,use sodium hydroxcide or sodium silicates as the base.They have a fairly high PH,around 10-11.Be careful with it,it will cause a chemical burn if your hands are wet and you get some powder on them.That is sort of the same thing I use at my shop to clean heads/blocks,except it's in a big heated spray tank.It should work fine.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

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    Got an old Peugeot kipibenkipod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
    Laundry/dishwashing soaps,use sodium hydroxcide or sodium silicates as the base.They have a fairly high PH,around 10-11.Be careful with it,it will cause a chemical burn if your hands are wet and you get some powder on them.That is sort of the same thing I use at my shop to clean heads/blocks,except it's in a big heated spray tank.It should work fine.
    If you heat the solution, it will work better? or faster?
    On the bike I feel like a conqueror ;)
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    AEO
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    you know, it's probably cheaper to use a 1:3 ratio mix of 10W30 and mineral spirit
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  13. #13
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Washing SODA is simply sodium carbonate (Arm & Hammer brand is available that only contains this). While a mild irritant to skin, it won't dissolve you for a long time. Sodium carbonate will indeed dissolve grease, and is an ingredient of dishwashing liquids. It should work to clean bicycle components such as chains. Certainly far less expensive than some of the whizz-bang goodies out there. Sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) does NOT contain sodium hydroxide (Lye, caustic soda) or silicates. Read the label to be sure. You don't want NaOH - sodium hydroxide - around aluminum alloys. It eats these.

    I've never tried this, except on greasy clothing from my shop (works), but it stands to reason it would work. Give it a try. I'd suggest wearing kitchen gloves to prevent skin irritation. Just be sure to rinse it off thoroughly - like any other de-greaser.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

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    Got an old Peugeot kipibenkipod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you know, it's probably cheaper to use a 1:3 ratio mix of 10W30 and mineral spirit
    Thanks,
    I didn't know that.
    I asked this question, because I have washing powder in my home all the time. So its very hendy to use, instead going and buying oil, spirit, degreaser etc...
    On the bike I feel like a conqueror ;)
    4 months touring trip from England to Spain http://www.underadometent.com

  15. #15
    Got an old Peugeot kipibenkipod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
    Washing SODA is simply sodium carbonate (Arm & Hammer brand is available that only contains this). While a mild irritant to skin, it won't dissolve you for a long time. Sodium carbonate will indeed dissolve grease, and is an ingredient of dishwashing liquids. It should work to clean bicycle components such as chains. Certainly far less expensive than some of the whizz-bang goodies out there. Sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) does NOT contain sodium hydroxide (Lye, caustic soda) or silicates. Read the label to be sure. You don't want NaOH - sodium hydroxide - around aluminum alloys. It eats these.

    I've never tried this, except on greasy clothing from my shop (works), but it stands to reason it would work. Give it a try. I'd suggest wearing kitchen gloves to prevent skin irritation. Just be sure to rinse it off thoroughly - like any other de-greaser.
    So, what you esentially say, is that I need to check the specific washing powder I use for caustic soda? And if it does, I shouldn't use it?!
    If I use just the chain, which contain just steel, is it ok to use caustic soda as ingredient?
    Do you suggest to use pure Sodium carbonate?
    Kfir
    On the bike I feel like a conqueror ;)
    4 months touring trip from England to Spain http://www.underadometent.com

  16. #16
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kipibenkipod View Post
    I'm asking this because, in a tv documentary of BBC Horizon they showed that washing powder will dissolve flash and maybe the bone if left immersed. So I guess it will eat all the dirt and the grease from the chain if left immersed.
    Haven't used powdered detergent to wash clothes for a long time but don't remember any problems with my flesh dissolving when I last used it.

  17. #17
    Got an old Peugeot kipibenkipod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    Haven't used powdered detergent to wash clothes for a long time but don't remember any problems with my flesh dissolving when I last used it.
    Hehe, no, they are talking about soaking the flash for few days I think.
    On the bike I feel like a conqueror ;)
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  18. #18
    Lifer vegipowrd's Avatar
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    Another problem with this is that soaps are surfactants which break down polar and non-polar molecules. That's how they can clean grease and stains. Typically, you would clean a chain with a solvent that will just get rid of the grease.
    Powder soaps also clean by abrasion. You could end up leaving a film full of abrasive gunk, the exact thing you clean your chain to get rid of.
    Basically, I wouldn't put it on my chain.

  19. #19
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kipibenkipod View Post
    So, what you esentially say, is that I need to check the specific washing powder I use for caustic soda? And if it does, I shouldn't use it?!
    If I use just the chain, which contain just steel, is it ok to use caustic soda as ingredient?
    Do you suggest to use pure Sodium carbonate?
    Kfir
    There is no good reason to use Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH, caustic soda) to clean a chain. Read the label to ensure it says Sodium Carbonate. Sodium Carbonate (Na2CO3) is mild and will cut through grease on a chain like it cuts through grease and grime on your clothing. NaOH is corrosive, poisonous, and the wrong tool for the job.

    Happy Trails!
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  20. #20
    Got an old Peugeot kipibenkipod's Avatar
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    Update

    Hi,
    I have tried it on my MTB.
    I just immersed the chain for a day and it didn't work very well.
    It did something, but not much.
    Its like a lite solvent.
    Just using dish soap and scrubbing with a rug, had better results.

    Regards,
    Kfir
    On the bike I feel like a conqueror ;)
    4 months touring trip from England to Spain http://www.underadometent.com

  21. #21
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    That would explain why my light-colored clothing looks dirty, and I usually wear dark clothes.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  22. #22
    Senior Member Akadis's Avatar
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    I use washing powder for the whole bike (steel/alloy). About 1 measure for a clothes wash in a litre of warm water, it's got to be strong to cut grease and oil, and it also cuts through mud and other crud that degreaser doesn't work on.

    My process is as follows: spray degreaser on the chain and sprockets to quickly dissolve the grease and oils. Now I want to get all the degreaser off and this is where the washing powder comes in - I apply liberally to the chain and sprockets with a stiff paint brush and while I'm at it paint the whole bike just being careful to keep it out of bearings. Then hose it all off with a gentle spray, give the chain a thorough squirt, then spin and let dry. The chain and sprockets will begin to rust because all oils and dirt are flushed out, so as soon as it is dry I apply fresh oil.

    This method does not damage the paint, alloy, rubber; but I keep it out of the bearings as much as possible.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Akadis's Avatar
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    Just to add that I use washing powder method once or twice a year when the grunge gets out of hand.

    Like A.Winthrop and others I'm sure, wipe and oil every few weeks!

  24. #24
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    The problem with using any aqueous solution is that you can't get all of the water out completely. Especially inside the rollers of a chain. And putting in new oil won't help because the oil won't mix with the water. You'll end up with oil only on the outside of the chain, while the water does nothing to lubricate the actual wear-surfaces on the inside of the rollers.

    You'll need to follow up the water-based solution with acetone to dry out the chain. Then you can put fresh oil on.

  25. #25
    Yellow Bike mobile maint.
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    Or take the chain off and put it in a toaster oven for a bit to dry it. Works like a charm.

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