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  1. #1
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    They've ruined Kero - rant

    They've ruined Kero

    I use kerosene to clean the greasy bits of my bike - I like the way it works and I like the way it leaves an oily layer. I recognise that others use degreasers but I like the way kero does the job.

    In the past, I've bought the stuff in bulk - just got them to fill my 20 litre drum, the one with the tap and the dent where I hit it with the motorbike that time. Yes, it does take a looonnnnggg time to work my way through a 20l drum.

    Well, I finally got to the bottom of the drum and needed some more of the magic brew. Hmmn, they don't sell it in bulk anymore. You see, the hardware stores here now cater to the weekend warrior with gazillions of dollars to spend on all the latest trendy stuff they saw on that tele show last thursday. So instead of getting to buy the bolt you want, you have to buy 10 of them complete with washers and nuts, unless of course you wanted washers and nuts in which case you have to buy them in seperate packets of 10 ... or 8 ... usually packets of 2 less than you really want so you have to buy 2 packets.

    Kero - you can't get it in bulk any more so you have to buy it in bottles ... at horrendously inflated prices.

    Okay, I thought, it takes a while to use the stuff up, especially as I'm real slack when it comes to cleaning bikes, it won't hurt to buy a bottle of the stuff.

    Well, I found where they had the bottles of kero ... in the paint section for some reason.

    It's now a vibrant COBALT BLUE!
    Cripes, you couldn't miss the stuff, the glow was blinding. Remember the soft blue colour of real kero? This muck looked like it'd escaped from a modernist art studio.

    Ah well, methinks, it's only a colouring they've added. I can live with the colour.

    So I got it home and opened the bottle. Cor it STINKS!

    Yes, I know, kero has a certain ... odour.
    This stuff REEKED. The dog backed away in disgust and the cat next door fell out a tree with its eyes watering.

    I got to scrubbing away at my bike. Discovered once again why I'd decided those mechanical chain cleaners are an utter waste of space and time. Then realised that cleaning this bike was taking a lot longer than normal. Maybe it's just because it was extra greasy, maybe it's because I was tired, maybe they've done something to the kero.

    But I got the bike clean.
    I avoided stepping in the baking tray of kero like I usually do.
    Washed her down with my favourite car wash.
    Realised I stank of kero more than usual and went inside to have a shower ... and still stank afterwards

    Hang on, I'm used to having that certain 'atmosphere' after cleaning the bike but this stuff didn't even wash off.

    My bikes live in the dining room - none of this 'banished to the shed' for my darlings.
    Normally after a wash, there's a whiff of kero but it's gone in an hour or two.
    Not this time.
    The bike stank. It reeked. The paint on the ceiling discoloured and the dog lay gasping with his paws over his nose.
    I took the bike into town the next day - actually, I had to drive my daughter to school and ride from there. So this bike had a 20km trip on the back of the car (lots of nice, strong wind blowing over it), a 10km ride (gentle passage through the cleansing airs), six hours chained to a fence (where natural breezes gently caressed her steel soul), a 10km ride and 20km on the back of the car back home again. Surely that would have blown the pong away.

    IT STILL STINKS!

    The humble, effective and relatively easy to live with all purpose cleaner, Kerosene, has been ruined with gawd knows what stupid additives

    It's enough to make me go back to using petrol (gasoline to you American folks).

    Richard
    thus endeth the rant
    Last edited by europa; 11-03-08 at 11:03 PM.
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  2. #2
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    Nice rant.

    I'm a kerosene fan as well. I've always purchased it in bulk at gas stations until recently. Seems the kerosene pumps have all disappeared. Just as in your case, I was forced to buy it in a pre packaged container. Here it was about $7 (US) at the hardware.

    I have not noticed any difference in its look or smell but at these prices I'm certainly going to be more stingy with it from now on.

  3. #3
    Has opinion, will express
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    Diesel. Bulk no problem. Pretty well the same as kero, does the job as well if not better and smells better.

    If you want fragrant, get the bulk cans of WD40. It works as well as anything as a degreaser. Many shops use it in spray bottles to clean bikes before workiing on them.

    And it is obvious you haven't bought kero in a long time.. it's been blue for about a decade or longer. Differentiates it from meths and white spirit, I suppose.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Diesel. Bulk no problem. Pretty well the same as kero, does the job as well if not better and smells better.

    If you want fragrant, get the bulk cans of WD40. It works as well as anything as a degreaser. Many shops use it in spray bottles to clean bikes before workiing on them.

    And it is obvious you haven't bought kero in a long time.. it's been blue for about a decade or longer. Differentiates it from meths and white spirit, I suppose.
    I use the agricultural red Dyed kerosene. Buy it for my farm tractor at local farm store. Pay less taxes so cheaper but not much.
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

  5. #5
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip on diesel. I'll look into that.

    It's been blue here for decades, but just a light blue tint. Dead set, this was BRIGHT COBALT - caps used because that's how it's coloured. It looks like concentrated blue cordial. They've changed something. And the lingering stink - peeewwwww. It's still stinking and it's four days since the wash.

    Anyway, I'll give diesel a go. Thanks for the tip.

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  6. #6
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    I guess the refinery is not bothering to de-sulphur kero nowadays. I would have thought diesel would have been worse. I'm not surprised it's hard to get -- its main uses historically are kero space heaters and lamps -- not much used these days.

    I sometimes use mineral turps -- it cleans like kero and smells OK. And it's available in a variety pack sizes at the local big-box hardware store: 1l, 5l, and 20l drums.

    If you're a kero lighting and heating buff and aren't from Melbourne, eat your heart out:

    http://melbourne.citysearch.com.au/E...4/61/63/1.html
    Last edited by bmorey; 11-04-08 at 04:09 AM. Reason: Typo

  7. #7
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmorey View Post
    I sometimes use mineral turps -- it cleans like kero and smells OK.
    Have you tried the odourless mineral turps? Actually, it's a 'turps substitute' so goodness knows what it really is. I tried it for cleaning brushes and went back to 'the real thing'.

    I guess I could nip down to the airport and siphon some kero out of a Jumbo Jet.

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  8. #8
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Reminds me------I have a gallon of varisol (sp) on the shelf that has a variety of uses. What is that stuff anyway???

  9. #9
    2011 TCR Advanced SL Spinz's Avatar
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    Radiator Specialty markets a product sold under the name of Gunk part# EB1. It is an engine degreaser that leaves no residue. Gunk is available in a spray can or in concentrate quantities.Smells like kerosene but is superior in it's cleaning properties, less $$ too. Lp
    Last edited by Spinz; 11-04-08 at 02:55 PM.

  10. #10
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by europa View Post

    It's enough to make me go back to using petrol (gasoline to you American folks).
    Now, don't get carried away. The hazards of gasoline are so great that it should only be used for powering internal combustion engines.

    When I used kerosene 20+ years ago, I just bought a can at a time. Not a big can and it lasted a long time. Didn't know any better, so when it was too funky to keep using, I poured it on the ground, on weeds. Now I know better. I don't worry so much about making chains or other parts squeaky-clean, so I don't use much degreaser, and when I do, it's the water-soluble stuff. Just wiping bits and pieces with a rag generally gets things clean enough.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    This conversation, plus it being campaign season, reminds me of one of the dumber things I ever did. My first boss was running for reelection as state attorney, so I went to build campaign signs. He was a cheap ba*tard, and we were gluing paper posters on 4 by 8 sheets of plywood. Someone had the brilliant idea to cut the glue with gasoline, which we did in an indoor warehouse. By the end of the day, I was high as a kite, and down a few million brain cells to boot, I bet. I'm glad we didn't burn the place down.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe View Post
    Reminds me------I have a gallon of varisol (sp) on the shelf that has a variety of uses. What is that stuff anyway???
    Do you mean Varsol?
    try this; http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...ol&btnG=Search

  13. #13
    Grammar Cop Condorita's Avatar
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    The stuff Americans call "diesel" is #2 diesel. The stuff Americans call "kerosene" is #1 diesel. Red-dyed is for off-highway (no road taxes) use only.
    That which does not kill me has made a massive tactical blunder.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    mineral turps
    Is this the same (or almost the same) as mineral spirits (paint thinner)?
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  15. #15
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Kerosene ( Parafin as we call it) disappeared in bulk many years ago. There is no use for it since Parafin heaters went the way of the Dinosaurs. LPG heaters are easier and cleaner to use and took over.

    And as to price- parafin is the same price as Gas. It used to be at least half the price but no- one wants it any longer. Well not at that price anyway.

    There are better products around for cleaning greasy items- Soap and water is a lot cheaper and does a better job- and a quick spray of WD gives an oily coat over everything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    Is this the same (or almost the same) as mineral spirits (paint thinner)?
    I think so. I usually use it for cleaning paint brushes after using oil-based paints.

  17. #17
    el padre
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    bet you are glad you only got the small bottle....................

  18. #18
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floyd View Post
    bet you are glad you only got the small bottle....................
    I bought the bigger of the two bottles - I've got 4 litres of the muck to get rid of

    But yeah, imagine filling my 20 litre drum with the stuff - I wouldn't need the internet to tell you all how cranky I was

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

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