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  1. #1
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    household remedies?

    If it isn't apparent enough in my previous threads, I'm dirt poor, mostly because I'm a college student. So I'm always looking for ways to save money.

    I have a question about lubricants mainly just chain lubes. Can you use cooking oil to lube the chains? A guy I know told me about this, but I'm not sure if it'll work or not. I think it might attract more dirt, clog up the chain, and cause more resistance.

    which leads to my next question. Is there a cheap way to clean a chain? I'm thinking I could dump the chain in a 2 liter bottle of water, put some detergent or some sort of base solution in there, and shake the hell out of it.

    I find it necessary for me to cut as much cost as possible. So don't judge me.

  2. #2
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    Too viscous

  3. #3
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    I tried it just now, and I see how the viscosity prevents the oil from seeping into the thin cracks, but once I ran my chain through the gears, it doesn't seem to be a problem. It's really easy to put a lot of oil on the chains too, but you can always wipe that off like you do with other lubes. right?

  4. #4
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Almost anything can be used as a chain lube. Some things are better than others. Cooking oil would be better than nothing, but motor oil (unused) would be better, if a bit messier.

    I've also heard of using bar oil (for chainsaws) mixed with thinner.

    Any light oil will do. I'd suggest a light machine oil. You may be able to find a quart of it for a good price. It's a lot cheaper than buying a 3oz bottle for $9.

    // I buy the 3oz bottle of lube for $9 ... sigh
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  5. #5
    These go to 11. DavidLee's Avatar
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    Chain lube is cheap, buy a bottle of wax lube from your LBS or an online retailer, it will last a season or 2 or longer. As for cleaning, wipe with a paper towel or an old rag using mineral spirits while pedaling with your hand, lube, let dry & wipe off excess.
    Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~ James E. Starrs

  6. #6
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Vegetable oil will get gummy. In the past I used gasoline for cleaning and motor oil for lubrication...however that was back when gas was under a a buck a gallon and motor oils was something like 30 cents a quart... Now I usually use Simple Green for cleaning and Tri-Flow for lubrication.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  7. #7
    Senior Member travelmama's Avatar
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    If you have a biodegradable cleaner like Simple Green, mix it with water to wash. You can clean the chain with an old toothbrush and rags. As mentioned previously, bike lube can be found on the cheap. I have never paid full price for it because I am a deal catcher.
    Two Wheels One Love

  8. #8
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    I've found '3 in 1' oil to work as good as any chain lube. I get it in the 3oz bottle for less than $2 and it lasts me a few years. If you can do better than that please let me know.
    There are 10 types of people in the world - the ones that can count in base 2, the ones that can't count in base 2, and the ones that didn't expect this to be in base 3.

  9. #9
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
    I've found '3 in 1' oil to work as good as any chain lube. I get it in the 3oz bottle for less than $2 and it lasts me a few years. If you can do better than that please let me know.
    The 3 in 1 oil in the red and white can is veggie based and will get gummy with age. Use the 3 in 1 in the blue can it is dino based.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

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  11. #11
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    The 3 in 1 oil in the red and white can is veggie based and will get gummy with age. Use the 3 in 1 in the blue can it is dino based.
    More of a black and white can these days, All-in-one oil is not so much veggie based. Check the MSDS: http://www.3inone.com/files/pdf/msds-3in58412697.pdf
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  12. #12
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    More of a black and white can these days, All-in-one oil is not so much veggie based. Check the MSDS: http://www.3inone.com/files/pdf/msds-3in58412697.pdf
    Interesting...my local hardware store still has the red can on the shelf. They must have just recently change the formulation.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  13. #13
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Interesting...my local hardware store still has the red can on the shelf. They must have just recently change the formulation.
    They claim it's the 'original formula'. "3-IN-ONE's original multi-purpose drip oil: it lubricates, cleans and prevents rust."
    I remember it long ago as seeming to turn gummy/sticky. Maybe it was just attracting dirt. Who knows?
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrund3rd09 View Post
    If it isn't apparent enough in my previous threads, I'm dirt poor, mostly because I'm a college student. So I'm always looking for ways to save money.
    Well then, stop being poor.
    Own: 2010 GT Tachyon 3.0
    Own: 2013 Trek Domane 2.0 + Revolution REV22 wheels

  15. #15
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    think you're poor now, wait till you graduate! go to walmart and drop $2 on some white lightening. it's a "dry" lube and won't gunk up your junk
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  16. #16
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    A tip about Simple Green ...

    Go to your local department store, or even better a Canadian Tire. Look at the Simple Green in the automotive section and make a note of the price. Then walk over to the household cleaning section and have a look at the Simple Green there.

    I had been buying my Simple Green from the automotive section, and then I discovered that it was quite a bit less expensive in the household cleaning section.

    Have a look. Maybe that's changed now, but it might be worth checking.

  17. #17
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    A tip about Simple Green ...

    Go to your local department store, or even better a Canadian Tire. Look at the Simple Green in the automotive section and make a note of the price. Then walk over to the household cleaning section and have a look at the Simple Green there.

    I had been buying my Simple Green from the automotive section, and then I discovered that it was quite a bit less expensive in the household cleaning section.

    Have a look. Maybe that's changed now, but it might be worth checking.
    I wonder if there is a difference in strength?

    I buy the gallons of concentrate and dilute it down to what I need.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  18. #18
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    Free oil for your chain: scrounge the empty oil containers at an autoparts store. There's normally at least a table spoon of oil left in each one, sometimes much more.

  19. #19
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    The 3 in 1 oil in the red and white can is veggie based and will get gummy with age. Use the 3 in 1 in the blue can it is dino based.

    Aaron
    I didn't know that... thanks!

    I haven't had it turn gummy on me, not that I've noticed anyhow, but it washes off easily in heavy rain. So long as I re-lube as soon as the chain is dry it's OK. I also noticed that it's easier to wash the chain & sprockets with dishwashing detergent which I much prefer over petroleum based solvents.
    There are 10 types of people in the world - the ones that can count in base 2, the ones that can't count in base 2, and the ones that didn't expect this to be in base 3.

  20. #20
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
    I didn't know that... thanks!

    I haven't had it turn gummy on me, not that I've noticed anyhow, but it washes off easily in heavy rain. So long as I re-lube as soon as the chain is dry it's OK. I also noticed that it's easier to wash the chain & sprockets with dishwashing detergent which I much prefer over petroleum based solvents.
    Check the MSDS sheet for the version you have.

    FWIW Tri Flow is making soy based lubricants now.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  21. #21
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    The home brew chain lube fans mix a quart of motor oil (Mobile 1) with a gallon of mineral spirits to make relatively inexpensive chain lube. I'd give it a try but, at my age, I'll definitely die before I can use up 5 quarts of chain lube.

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