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  1. #1
    Senior Member loimpact's Avatar
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    Odorless Mineral Spirits......(Going away from store shelves or ???)

    So I posted in this thread....

    Best All-Purpose Lube and Chain Degreaser?

    .....a while back but never heard back & was just reminded in the latest chain-cleaning thread.

    I was at Lowe's the other day & asked for OMS and the gal started to point me in the direction but a light bulb went off in her head & she told me, "Sorry, it's not OMS anymore, but we do have Brush Cleaner!"

    I asked if it was still OMS & she said, "I think so."

    ???

    I notice the OMS listings on HD's website has reviews that seem to claim that people are not getting true OMS. So between the change & the reviews I'm wondering if there's something going on w/ OMS??

    Any place somebody can recommend FOR SURE that I can grab some?

    TIA

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    "Mineral Spirits"

    If you take oil from the ground and heat it up, different chemicals will boil off "spirits" at different temperatures. Mineral Spirits is a not very exact product name for those distilled spirits.

    I'm thinking the paint thinner companies have found they sell better, maybe for more money, if they have a different label.
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

  3. #3
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    It's part of the "going green" movement. OMS is being replaced with "green OMS" which is a water based paint thinner. It may be fine for thinning paint and cleaning brushes, but IMO you might as well use simple green as this stuff for chains.

    You can still get OMS at better hardware stores, or if it's not on the shelves buy naphtha (though it's more flammable) which is explicitly a petroleum distillate. I don't mind greener alternatives, but wish they'd give them honest rather than misleading names and labeling.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member loimpact's Avatar
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    I'm tempted to just go WD-40 for chains/sprockets and just be done with it.

    Maybe WD-40's next on their list.

  5. #5
    just pokin' along desertdork's Avatar
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    OMS disappeared from the shelves here in California sometime last year due to changes in State VOC requirements. It's in stock again here at HD and others, though I haven't checked Lowes. The "green" substitute is a different beast and is the source of complaints.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Malemute_Kid's Avatar
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    Last time i bought they had it at Mal-Wart. get the stuff in the clear jug, the white jug is the new "green" type.

  7. #7
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    After trying the citrus based degreaser, good for some thing, and the 'green' paint thinner, which worked poorly as a degreaser and brush cleaner, I went to my local Lowes and bought a gallon of OMS. It was on the bottom shelf(floor), so you might just have to look harder to find it. And BTW, asking the nice folks at Lowes or HD is truly hit or miss. You're just as likely to get a blank stare as a wrong answer as a correct answer.
    If you don't know the way, you shouldn't be going there.

  8. #8
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    In San Diego, Home Depot still sells OMS along with the "Green" alternative. Lowes only sells the "Green" version.
    Dan

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    I've has 2 respiratory infections from using Simple Green. I believe it's one of the top ten most hazardous household cleaners available.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Lamp oil, kerosene or diesel will work as well, though diesel and kerosene can be rather "fragrant". Another option that can be even better in some instances is turpentine, AKA white spirits, which is very similar to Stoddard solvent. Again, none of these are the new so-called environmentally friendly concoctions.

    Use in adequately ventilated areas and don't breath (snort or huff) the fumes or mist of any of these.
    Ride more. Fret less.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    Another option that can be even better in some instances is turpentine, AKA white spirits, which is very similar to Stoddard solvent.
    Turpentine is not a petroleum based solvent like kerosene, OMS, Stoddard Solvent, etc. It is derived from pine trees by distilling pine resin. It is also anything but "odorless" having a very strong, distinctive smell. It is a decent solvent but expensive and certainly not any less irritating or toxic than it's petroleum based competitors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Turpentine is not a petroleum based solvent like kerosene, OMS, Stoddard Solvent, etc. It is derived from pine trees by distilling pine resin. It is also anything but "odorless" having a very strong, distinctive smell. It is a decent solvent but expensive and certainly not any less irritating or toxic than it's petroleum based competitors.
    As Cycocommute pointed out in an earlier thread, the stuff sold as turpentine these days isn't real pine tar distillate, but a petroleum based analog. I don't know this for a fact, but he raised valid points and I defer to his expertise in things chemical, and pass it along accordingly.

    However, it doesn't change the other points you raised, except that where I shop "turpentine" in gallons costs about 10% more than petroleum distillate OMS.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Ride more. Fret less.

  14. #14
    Senior Member loimpact's Avatar
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    So Kerosene then?? (If I can't find OMS)

    All this is really just to get after something cheap for cleaning cassette & chain.

    Or maybe just WD-40 after all????

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by loimpact View Post
    So Kerosene then?? (If I can't find OMS)

    All this is really just to get after something cheap for cleaning cassette & chain.

    Or maybe just WD-40 after all????
    I don't use kerosene because it's very slow to evaporate dry (if it ever does) But it's a cheap alternative and does a great job. You can also use diesel fuel or #2 heating oil (wear gloves) if you don't mind the smell.
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  16. #16
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    They have both at the Big Orange box store by my house.....In So Cal.


    If the powers that be keep this up,I will have gone full circle and be back to gasoline for cleaning things like when I was 10 working on go-carts....
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
    If the powers that be keep this up,I will have gone full circle and be back to gasoline for cleaning things like when I was 10 working on go-carts....
    No, the greenies will be pushing for bio-degradable, water based gasoline.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    As Cycocommute pointed out in an earlier thread, the stuff sold as turpentine these days isn't real pine tar distillate, but a petroleum based analog. I don't know this for a fact, but he raised valid points and I defer to his expertise in things chemical, and pass it along accordingly.

    However, it doesn't change the other points you raised, except that where I shop "turpentine" in gallons costs about 10% more than petroleum distillate OMS.
    Looks like The Home Depot is selling tree resin based Turpentine as " Green Turpentine."
    Klean-Strip 1-Qt. Green Turpentine-QKGT75004 at The Home Depot

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhchdh View Post
    Looks like The Home Depot is selling tree resin based Turpentine as " Green Turpentine."
    Klean-Strip 1-Qt. Green Turpentine-QKGT75004 at The Home Depot
    Yep, that's the real stuff, but $9.00/quart ain't cheap. The fake petroleum turpentine is about $11.00 a gallon around here. Of course, pretty soon they'll be selling greener water based "turpentine" just to keep us on our toes.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    OK but it's still not really turpentine. It's mineral spirits incorrectly named.

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    Odorless Mineral Spirits......(Going away from store shelves or ???)

    So why are you using mineral spirits or any kind of petroleum product on your bike??????

    Get some Challenger by Reliable Products. Dissolves grease and oil like nothing else. Heck it will restore old dried out brake pads and tires. It does it all.

    I recently bought an old '70's Peugeot. It was caked with dirt, grime, grease. Spayed Challenger all over the bike, and hosed it off with water. Done.

    Chain, bearings, even my white bar tape cleans almost instantly with Challenger. Get rid of that nasty spirits stuff.

  22. #22
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
    So why are you using mineral spirits or any kind of petroleum product on your bike??????

    Get some Challenger by Reliable Products. Dissolves grease and oil like nothing else. Heck it will restore old dried out brake pads and tires. It does it all.

    I recently bought an old '70's Peugeot. It was caked with dirt, grime, grease. Spayed Challenger all over the bike, and hosed it off with water. Done.

    Chain, bearings, even my white bar tape cleans almost instantly with Challenger. Get rid of that nasty spirits stuff.
    So you want to trade a relatively nonhazardous, low flash point solvent that you can use in very tiny amounts to do a lot of work for a cleaner that contains up to 5% potassium hydroxide and requires much more volume to do the same job? It's a good thing that your bike was a '70s Peugeot because it probably has a dirth of aluminum parts. 5% potassium hydroxide is enough to start dissolving aluminum.

    Even with a steel bike, you have to worry about a water based solvent system. The base acts as a medium for corrosion so you should wash it off. But you wash it off with water which cause its own problems.

    I also wouldn't consider a solution with a pH of 14 to be "safe". If I were working with it in a laboratory, I'd use gloves and would have to dispose of the material as a hazardous waste, i.e. it isn't safe to pour down the drain.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member loimpact's Avatar
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    Ha ha.......I was waiting for cycco to chime in!!!


    Cycco........have any suggestions otherwise if OMS does eventually get booted??? (Especially around my parts, I am in So Cal like others in this thread & we've got the crazy train headed by Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown himself & he'd love to have us cleaning our bikes with nothing but our own spit........properly disposed of, of course!)

    Nobody's really addressed my tongue-in-cheek WD-40 comments, but I'm truly being serious. Why not just WD-40 & be done. It's also relatively cheap, WAAAAY readily available and solvent based so it's definitely gonna clean my chain & cassettes and do it all without the introduction of any water. (much like I'd be trying to accomplish w/ OMS)

    ??????

    TIA

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by loimpact View Post

    Nobody's really addressed my tongue-in-cheek WD-40 comments, but I'm truly being serious. Why not just WD-40 & be done. It's also relatively cheap, WAAAAY readily available and solvent based so it's definitely gonna clean my chain & cassettes and do it all without the introduction of any water. (much like I'd be trying to accomplish w/ OMS)
    Nothing wrong with going the WD-40 route except that it doesn't dry completely, but that's probably OK for your purposes. But there's always kerosene or diesel fuel, both of which are far cheaper than WD-40.

    There are any number of petroleum distillates available, which can be used safely, and more important, saved and reused time and again.
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  25. #25
    I WILL BE YOUR LARRY arex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    There are any number of petroleum distillates available, which can be used safely, and more important, saved and reused time and again.
    Examples, por favor. I'm in need of something to clean up old crudded-up parts, and I didn't want to resort to lighter fluid...I may as well do things properly.
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