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Old 03-22-05, 08:29 PM   #1
genec
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What is the best degreaser?

I'm old school, and I used to use something called safety kleen... But now I am just cleaning up the old vintage bike at home. So I don't have the parts washer, nor the industrial kleener.

So what is the good stuff for getting out the old gummy grease? I have heard Simple Green, but have never really been impressed with the stuff.

Any hints?
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Old 03-22-05, 08:36 PM   #2
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Simple green works for me, just give it a good scrub. There are plenty of bio auto degreasers out there. Pedros Orange peelz or something like that is quite nice and smells good too
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Old 03-22-05, 08:37 PM   #3
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I thought I would never say this but the enviro friendly Pedros Oranj Peelz is really good. Use it full strength and it will take off most grunge.(Aside from the cur-sed wax based lubes)
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Old 03-22-05, 08:39 PM   #4
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My all time favorite is Finish Line citrus degreaser. That stuff is nice and biodegradeable (and even non-toxic as I recall, though it boggles the mind) but will strip a dollar from a lawyer's palm.

But my local hardware store carries Simple Green in gallon bottles for the same price as I was paying for a quart or liter of Finish Line at the LBS, so...
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Old 03-22-05, 08:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
I thought I would never say this but the enviro friendly Pedros Oranj Peelz is really good. Use it full strength and it will take off most grunge.(Aside from the cur-sed wax based lubes)
Thats right, its spelled Oranj Peelz. I keep thinking orange peels
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Old 03-22-05, 08:44 PM   #6
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Me, I use a more simpler method dishwasher soap, some water and an old toothbrush.
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Old 03-22-05, 08:44 PM   #7
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At eight bucks a gallon, I'm getting tons of mileage out of this citrus degreaser sold at Home Depot....
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Old 03-22-05, 08:45 PM   #8
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Pedros Bio Degreaser works great from the spray bottle for on the bike cleanings. When I need to soak a part, I use Simple Green. Cost 4.99

"will strip a dollar from a lawyer's palm" Priceless!!!!
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Old 03-22-05, 08:48 PM   #9
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My old man's an attorney at law, so I was kind of raised on lawyer jokes.
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Old 03-22-05, 09:37 PM   #10
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simple green or the generic home depot stuff are the best way to go.

i think i bought one small bottle of pedro's or similar at the LBS for $12 before i realized i could get 10x as much for $8 at home depot.
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Old 03-22-05, 09:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0502
At eight bucks a gallon, I'm getting tons of mileage out of this citrus degreaser sold at Home Depot....
Hey, thanks!

I've been using Simple Green but when my current stash is out I'm going to give this ZEP 1 Gal. Professional Strength Citrus All-Purpose Cleaner at HD a try.
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Old 03-23-05, 10:47 AM   #12
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I use Simple Green, Mineral Spirits & WD-40 (not together?).
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Old 03-23-05, 11:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunning
simple green or the generic home depot stuff are the best way to go.

i think i bought one small bottle of pedro's or similar at the LBS for $12 before i realized i could get 10x as much for $8 at home depot.
Anything that is marketed as "cycling" anything will carry a premium sticker price, even though there are plenty of less expensive and equally viable substitutes available. Frankly, some of it is a racket.
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Old 03-23-05, 01:02 PM   #14
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How about a coffee can full of diesel fuel? Less than 1$ from your local service station.
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Old 03-23-05, 01:24 PM   #15
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I've tried them all and Finish Line Speed Clean is the hands-down winner for me. It's quick, easy and very powerful.
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Old 03-23-05, 01:25 PM   #16
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I agree on the Home Depot Orange stuff for regular cleaning. For the really tough grunge, if you are willing to be less environmentally sensitive, "Brake Parts Cleaner" aerosol spray from Auto Zone for about $2/large can is extremely fast and effective. Gumout (carb cleaner) works great too but it is more expensive. Either one blows away mineral spirits for ability to disolve virtually anything. Use with extreme care, in well ventilated areas and away from sources of ignition.
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Old 03-23-05, 01:56 PM   #17
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The walmart carb cleaner is a good buy at 93 cents a can... but watch out 'cuz it is TOUGH on rubber. It'll strip grease in no time though.
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Old 03-23-05, 02:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KonaRider24
Me, I use a more simpler method dishwasher soap, some water and an old toothbrush.
After I finished the bottle of pedros chain degreaser (that came with chain cleaning tool) I tried dish detergent. Even at 100% it only worked half as good as the degreaser. Not only that I ended up using half a bottle of it just cleaning my chain and bike. Maybe it was the brand (some citrus scented kind) but I'm gonna try real degreaser or simple green next time. The only benefit of dish detergent is that is is easier on the skin (it 'softens hands while cleaning bike' )

Al
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Old 03-23-05, 03:02 PM   #19
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Diesel fuel, carb cleaner, and brake cleaner are best left to their intended purposes. Why use something so toxic and hazardous to clean a bicycle?

The good Doctor M. mention Zep products. I used their carpet cleaner (on carpets) and it worked great and was cheap. I'd cetainly give their degreasers a go. Zep products are used by commercial cleaning professionals, so they've got to be good.
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Old 03-23-05, 04:17 PM   #20
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I currently use a product called Awesome Orange, that I get at the local dollar store. Works fine
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Old 03-23-05, 04:19 PM   #21
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[QUOTE=noisebeam]After I finished the bottle of pedros chain degreaser (that came with chain cleaning tool) I tried dish detergent. Even at 100% it only worked half as good as the degreaser. Not only that I ended up using half a bottle of it just cleaning my chain and bike. Maybe it was the brand (some citrus scented kind) but I'm gonna try real degreaser or simple green next time. The only benefit of dish detergent is that is is easier on the skin (it 'softens hands while cleaning bike' )

You need to have the chain soak in it for an hour or so. then you use the toothbrush to remove the stuff that didn't come off.
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Old 03-23-05, 04:20 PM   #22
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Thanks for the info on the HD cleaner... I'll combine that with an empty paint can from HD and a dip basket and I am sure my home shop will smell 10X better.

I got a "paint can" of carb and parts cleaner, but that stuff is just nasty smelling.... Think I'll reserve it for the really tough jobs.

Thanks all.
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Old 03-23-05, 04:28 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KonaRider24
You need to have the chain soak in it for an hour or so. then you use the toothbrush to remove the stuff that didn't come off.
Do I soak my bike in it too? It wasn't just the chain that challenged the dish detergent, but grease spots on the frame as well - usually grease spot on the frame (like splatter from chain) get removed with one wipe using a degreaser, I was scrubbing away with detergent, but agree it worked better than plain water. As specifically to the chain, I just put detergent in the chain cleaning tool and spun it like I would have the degreaser, it didn't work.

I do like detergent for cleaning rims and tires, handlebars - that type of stuff.

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Old 03-23-05, 06:52 PM   #24
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I used to work on ships. We used all kinds of industrial degreasers. The best thing we ever found was Formula 409. Available in the grocery store.

I personally use Simple Green on my bike.
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Old 03-23-05, 09:22 PM   #25
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Just thought I'd throw out a couple of comments here.

Simple Green is great stuff but must be rinsed off completely or it will cause corrosion.

Mineral Spirits (paint thinner) is a great solvent that's not overly toxic. After soaking a part such as a chain, you can dump the used stuff in an old gas can or similar and set aside. After a few days the black sludge will settle down to the bottom of the can so you can pour off the clean stuff on top to be used again and again.

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