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Old 12-05-10, 05:59 PM   #1
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Can't get rid of WD40 on the rims. I'm a fool!

Yes I admit it first hand. I'm a nimkumpoop. Bought a pair of used rims. It had some sticker residue. Didn't think much and sprayed WD40 to remove the residue. MISTAKE #1
Installed them on the bike and went for a ride. MISTAKE #2. Rear brakes lost all stopping power. Thankfully the front was disc brake. Otherwise I'd be careening right onto a tree or worse.
I have since applied degreaser on the rims & pads. The result was better, but still not good enough. Any ideas to try?
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Old 12-05-10, 06:11 PM   #2
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Alcohol is your friend. You'll also need to replace your brake pads as they will be contaminated and can't/shouldn't be cleaned.
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Old 12-05-10, 06:40 PM   #3
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Alcohol is your friend. You'll also need to replace your brake pads as they will be contaminated and can't/shouldn't be cleaned.
Disc brake pads can't really be cleaned (or so I've been told), but most rim brake pads can be cleaned pretty well. All you need is a few minutes and a sidewalk to scrape them against.
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Old 12-05-10, 06:43 PM   #4
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next time, use a blow dryer or heat gun (with the tires off) to peel the sticker off.

you can use rubbing alcohol, isopropanol, to cut down the oil on the rim and wash off the rest with some dish detergent or degreaser like simple green or orange peelz.
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Old 12-05-10, 06:47 PM   #5
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Alcohol doesn't cut oil very well. You need to use a non-polar solvent like acetone or lacquer-thinner. Or the spray-cans of brake-cleaner you get at auto-parts stores. Wipe off the rim and edge of the tyre.

Then take the brake pads off and lay them face down in a 2-3mm deep pool of solvent for about 10-minutes. Remove them and blow-dry. Then lay a piece of 200-grit sandpaper face-up on a table and rub the face of the pads on them to remove any remaining contaminated layer.
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Old 12-05-10, 06:51 PM   #6
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..... wash off the rest with some dish detergent.....
+1

Dish detergent and hot tap water is the best (and cheapest) way to wash oils off the rim. Dish detergent is formulated to breakdown oils, and rinse clean, otherwise how would you clean that pan after frying chicken. Wash well and be sure to rinse completely. The beauty of detergent and water for things like rims and brake shoes (don't forget them) is that it won't harm other things like tires or the environment.
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Old 12-05-10, 06:51 PM   #7
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Trawled google-land and some say use mineral spirit. Would that work?
I'm miffed that I got my brand new pads WD40-ed.
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Old 12-05-10, 06:53 PM   #8
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mineral spirit should work too.
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Old 12-05-10, 06:54 PM   #9
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Theres a paint prep solvent designed to remove all traces of oil from metal surfaces before painting. Its also available at auto parts stores. Not sure whats in it,but its one one more option for you. Brake clener should also do the trick. Good luck.
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Old 12-05-10, 07:18 PM   #10
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Luckily WD40 is about the least durable lubricant known to man so you should be able to get them back to like-new without too much work.
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Old 12-05-10, 07:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by AEO View Post
next time, use a blow dryer or heat gun (with the tires off) to peel the sticker off.
I've had good luck with a blow dryer and then judicious use of citrus-based solvent to remove the residual adhesive.
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Old 12-05-10, 07:43 PM   #12
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I've had good luck with a blow dryer and then judicious use of citrus-based solvent to remove the residual adhesive.
interesting, usually the sticky stuff remains on the sticker.
Must have been a really clean and flat surface.
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Old 12-05-10, 07:46 PM   #13
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Mineral spirits will mostly just spread it around. The oil in WD40 is very thin and light and responds well to washing away with a rich'ish mix of dish soap.

Soak the pads in some hot water and dish soap while you're doing the wheels. And then scrub them a little. That'll take the WD off the pads.
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Old 12-05-10, 09:18 PM   #14
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If citrus based dish detergent works, why not a degreaser?
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Old 12-05-10, 09:28 PM   #15
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If citrus based dish detergent works, why not a degreaser?
No reason, and the dish detergent doesn't have to be citrus based either. We're talking about washing some thin oil off an aluminum rim. It really isn't that complicated. The arguments for dish detergent are more about convenience and cost than some complex technical reason.
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Old 12-05-10, 09:32 PM   #16
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Some citrus cleaners will leave an oil film of their own behind, beware.
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Old 12-05-10, 09:40 PM   #17
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Soap and water is all you need for both rim and pads. Scrub with soap and rinse well.
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Old 12-05-10, 09:44 PM   #18
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Luckily WD40 is about the least durable lubricant known to man so you should be able to get them back to like-new without too much work.
This. I used to use WD40 (frequently) as a chain lube (I know). If I get the stuff on my rims, I just wipe it off and don't give it another thought. A couple of applications of the brakes is all it takes to burn the residue off, IME.

I'd suggest the OP's difficulties are a result of the combination of the WD40 residue being more persistent due to being mixed with the sticky crap, and the brand new pads.

IMO using WD40 to clean sticker residue off your rims isn't a real bad idea; it's not the best stuff to use, but if it's all you have, it shouldn't be a drama. Just wipe your rims before riding.
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Old 12-05-10, 09:48 PM   #19
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This stuff, in the red or green can.



After all, it is designed for cleaning all the auto mechanics dirty greasy fingerprints off of the rotors before he sends the customer rolling down the road, ha! Put on gloves, spray on rag and wipe the wheels off. I'd try not to get it on the tires since it's probably not great for rubber...
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Old 12-05-10, 09:52 PM   #20
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Whether you want to wash the oil off with soap and water or try to thin it out with a solvent so that you could wipe most of it off, you'll know the rim is clean when it won't bead water.
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Old 12-05-10, 10:02 PM   #21
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You made a bit of a boo-boo. Don't over think the solution. Soap, water and some elbow grease on a scrub brush will make it all right.

Brake Kleen is good degreasing solvent but it's hell on tires. Your rags or paper towels WILL come away black from wiping the solvent off the tires. That'll be the rubber dissolved from the tires you'll be seeing.

FB is right, any soap will do. It's just that dish soap is cheap and always there.

But one warning should be added.... DISHWASHER MACHINE soap such as Cascade or any other MACHINE washing "soap" is not the stuff to use. That stuff is actually quite basic and will etch the aluminium of the rims if used in too strong a mix or for too much exposure time. The fact that it says to avoid skin contact and to rinse copiously if skin contact does occur is your clue.
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Old 12-05-10, 11:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
Disc brake pads can't really be cleaned (or so I've been told), but most rim brake pads can be cleaned pretty well. All you need is a few minutes and a sidewalk to scrape them against.
Even rim brakes would be iffy. Just change the pads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AEO View Post
next time, use a blow dryer or heat gun (with the tires off) to peel the sticker off.

you can use rubbing alcohol, isopropanol, to cut down the oil on the rim and wash off the rest with some dish detergent or degreaser like simple green or orange peelz.
Mineral spirits do the same job without heat.

Alcohols don't work very well on grease and oil. See below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Alcohol doesn't cut oil very well. You need to use a non-polar solvent like acetone or lacquer-thinner. Or the spray-cans of brake-cleaner you get at auto-parts stores. Wipe off the rim and edge of the tyre.

Then take the brake pads off and lay them face down in a 2-3mm deep pool of solvent for about 10-minutes. Remove them and blow-dry. Then lay a piece of 200-grit sandpaper face-up on a table and rub the face of the pads on them to remove any remaining contaminated layer.
Lacquer-thinner, aka mineral spirits, work very well but acetone isn't a good choice for grease cutting. Acetone and alcohols are too polar to do a good job. It takes too much material to do the job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
+1

Dish detergent and hot tap water is the best (and cheapest) way to wash oils off the rim. Dish detergent is formulated to breakdown oils, and rinse clean, otherwise how would you clean that pan after frying chicken. Wash well and be sure to rinse completely. The beauty of detergent and water for things like rims and brake shoes (don't forget them) is that it won't harm other things like tires or the environment.
Detergents might work but they take a much larger volume to get the same result as a very small amount of mineral spirits. Getting the lubricant out of the rubber pads is probably a fools errand anyway.

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Trawled google-land and some say use mineral spirit. Would that work?
I'm miffed that I got my brand new pads WD40-ed.
Bingo. Mineral spirits will do the job on the rims. It might do the job on the pads. It will also remove the adhesive from labels and tape quite handily. It'll even take off the crusty adhesive left over when tape dries in place.
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Old 12-05-10, 11:33 PM   #23
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Lacquer-thinner, aka mineral spirits, work very well but acetone isn't a good choice for grease cutting.
I think laquer thinner is typically a little hotter than mineral spirits.

I've had good luck removing overspray from rims with a couple of good scrub and ******s with a Dawn-soaked sponge and a garden hose.

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Old 12-06-10, 01:35 AM   #24
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" Lacquer-thinner, aka mineral spirits..."
Lacquer thinner and mineral spirits are two totally differ substances - i.e. not the same thing.
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Old 12-06-10, 01:39 AM   #25
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Dawn + water + elbow grease. Don't overthink this.
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