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  1. #1
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    Good cheap chain degreaser fluid?

    I used...half a bottle of the park degreaser bottle with my new chain cleaner.

    Could I just use like...pine sol or something cheap to clean the chain?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by adlai View Post
    I used...half a bottle of the park degreaser bottle with my new chain cleaner.
    Somehow I think you didn't follow the instructions or are way too anal about chain cleanliness. There is no reason to use that much Park cleaner for one cleaning.

  3. #3
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    Mineral sprits.
    Surly Pacer

  4. #4
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    yeah, but in any case, it's like 8 bucks for that bottle.

  5. #5
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    Don't be afraid to search the forum.....

  6. #6
    BeaverTerror Yan's Avatar
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    Mineral spirits can be found at all hardware stores.
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  7. #7
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Disolve some diswasher detergent in HOT water. Clean as a whistle. Low suds, very good degreasers....

    Dry very well, and reoil.

  8. #8
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    Simple Green is cheap and also works if you don't want to use a mineral spirits/kerosene type solvent.

  9. #9
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    The orange degreasers work pretty good.

    Mineral spirits supposedly can be reused if you pour the fluid into a glass bottle after cleaning your chain, then let the dirt and oil settle out, then carefully pour off the clean spirits on top.

  10. #10
    Senior Member SteelCan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage sale GT View Post
    The orange degreasers work pretty good.

    Mineral spirits supposedly can be reused if you pour the fluid into a glass bottle after cleaning your chain, then let the dirt and oil settle out, then carefully pour off the clean spirits on top.
    I'm big on the coffee filter method of removing contaminants.
    BTW from what I have read and what little first hand experience, solvents work much better than simple green.

  11. #11
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Yes to Mineral Spirits,Simple Green and Orange degreasers. All work well with the Park chain cleaner.

    Mineral spirits if it is particularly dirty, the others if you perform regular maintenance.

  12. #12
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Charcoal-Lighter Fluid. Also works great for de-greasing components during an overhaul. Those bike-specific Park and Inline and so forth cost a small-fortune and don't get the job done most of the time. And those stupid gadgets you run your chain through need about $50-dollars worth of that stuff they sell to do a lame job.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCan View Post
    I'm big on the coffee filter method of removing contaminants.
    Coffee filters won't remove oil, just particles. You have to let the oil settle out anyway; why not let the oil and particles settle out?

  14. #14
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    Brake Klean or mineral spirits and a towel is all you need. Leave the chain on the bike when you clean it. bk

  15. #15
    Senior Member anaheim flash's Avatar
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    +100 internets on the mineral spirits. car free rider, and still on one clean, well shifting, silent chain here. you can buy a chain cleaner for convenience sake, works very well.

  16. #16
    Senior Member surfengine's Avatar
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    If the chain is in bad condition then put it in a coffee can with this stuff overnight.
    http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...10000003+90048

    after its clean. then just do rubdown with a cloth 1 time per week and you wont ever have to worry about it again.
    the chain will need replacing before it needs to be cleaned.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfengine View Post
    If the chain is in bad condition then put it in a coffee can with this stuff overnight.
    http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...10000003+90048

    after its clean. then just do rubdown with a cloth 1 time per week and you wont ever have to worry about it again.
    the chain will need replacing before it needs to be cleaned.
    Your link is bad. What is the product name?

  18. #18
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    I got a refillable aerosol bottle at Harbor freight, filled it with odorless mineral spirits. Spray the chain while spinning it, wipe with a towel. Repeat once or twice. The chain is pretty darn clean! I wait for the mineral spirits to evolve off and lube the chain. If I'm using a oil type lube...I don't wait so long. Charcoal lighter fluid works great too. I like the odorless mineral spirits...It costs a little more but is much nicer to work with. Get a chain checker tool, check that chain first, no need to clean a spent chain!

  19. #19
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    The cheapest slovent you'll find is diesel fuel, followed by mineral spirits.

  20. #20
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    Either mineral spirits or similar agents which evaporate completely, or cheaper yet, a water based approach.

    If you have an automatic dishwasher, detergent made for it disolved in hot water makes an excellent cleaner. Otherwise dish detergent also does a decent job. I have two suggestions for those who water wash their chains.

    Add a tiny bit of the detergent to your rinse to break surface tension andcontrol PH. Also be sure to thoroughly dry your chain inside and out using heat. Too many people wash and rag dry their chains unknowingly leaving water trapped inside by capillary action. Any lube then added cannot pentrate because the chain is already full.

    Dry water washed chains either in an oven (200 degrees for 15 minutes) if removable, or using a hair dryer. If neither is a an option use a solar oven - Put your bike into your car with the windows cracked slightly and park in bright sunlight for a few hours.

    BTW- if you have re-usable link closure, it's faster, easier and better to clean the chain off the bike in a coffee can, or plastic soda bottle, whatever cleaning solution you use.
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  21. #21
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage sale GT View Post
    Coffee filters won't remove oil, just particles. You have to let the oil settle out anyway; why not let the oil and particles settle out?
    The oil doesn't settle out. The oil is dissolved in the mineral spirits to make a homogenous solution that can only be separated by distilling the mineral spirits away from the oil...not something to be done in your garage Eventually, you will reach a point where the oil saturates the mineral spirits and it can't dissolve any more but that takes a fair amount of oil to reach that point.

    The grit and particles make a heterogeneous mixture which can be separated by filtration.

    Detergents dissolve the oils using micelles which essentially wrap the oil molecules in a substance that is water soluble so that the oil...being water insoluble...can be flushed a way. The solubility of the oil in detergent is fairly low, however, which requires much more of the detergent and water to remove it.

    For example, I washed 3 chains (not terribly dirty ones) in about 500 ml of mineral spirits (about a pint for the metrically challenged) this weekend and I could probably wash 8 or 9 more if I wanted before the solvent would not work. Can't use that little of a detergent.
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  22. #22
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCan View Post
    I'm big on the coffee filter method of removing contaminants.
    BTW from what I have read and what little first hand experience, solvents work much better than simple green.
    I hadn't heard of the coffee filter method... smart!

    I generally use Simple Green because it's cheap and better for you/the environment than mineral spirits. I have found it works very well in most cases of regular maintenance, but maybe a stronger solvent is needed for a really dirty chain.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre View Post
    I hadn't heard of the coffee filter method... smart!

    I generally use Simple Green because it's cheap and better for you/the environment than mineral spirits. I have found it works very well in most cases of regular maintenance, but maybe a stronger solvent is needed for a really dirty chain.
    We've debated before whether Simple Green's so great for the environment. After a previous debate, I decided to switch from Simple Green to mineral spirits. I've been happy with that choice.

  24. #24
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    I use kerosene.

  25. #25
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
    We've debated before whether Simple Green's so great for the environment. After a previous debate, I decided to switch from Simple Green to mineral spirits. I've been happy with that choice.
    Yeah, I do remember that debate of a few years ago. You're right to point out that it may not be so great, and that there's really no panacea of non-toxic and biodegradable and effective degreaser.

    I still think of Simple Green as *better* than the alternatives, though. Anecdotally, when I've exposed my skin to mineral spirits, it's caused a weird dry feeling that I've never gotten from Simple Green, and I find the fumes from mineral spirits to be more pungent. Also, I asked a lab safety guy at U of Maryland (who I think is pretty knowledgeable) about a choice of degreasers about a year ago, and he recommended Simple Green and mentioned avoiding toxicity of petroleum-based fumes in particular.
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