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  1. #1
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    Dish soap and hot water as degreaser?

    Using dish soap and hot water as chain degreaser is an easy solution, but are there any side effects?

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    rust?
    "Why is it that one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a barbecue?" Anonymous

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    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Side effects? YES! Water will remain in the pin area of each link displacing any lubricant. NOT good.

    Best to wash your chain in Kerosene then lube it.

    A gallon of Kerosene will wash your chain for a long time if kept in a closed top pail.

    The dirt will settle to the bottom leaving clean kerosene for next time.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
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    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

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    surely the rust problems comming from it wont be much worse than those that come from riding in the rain once in a while..? you could also dry the chain properly getting rid of almost all leftover water.

  5. #5
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mozad655 View Post
    surely the rust problems comming from it wont be much worse than those that come from riding in the rain once in a while..? you could also dry the chain properly getting rid of almost all leftover water.
    Listen, If you wanna clean your chain with soap/water go the hell a head and do it! You asked if it did harm and it will in time.

    Kerosene is a petroleum distillate that cleans and leaves a little lube in all those hard to get places. If you apply a chain lube after you clean it with kero your chain should last a long time.

    Or you can keep washing it with soap/water and buy a new chain more often.

    Your choice..........
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

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    lol relax I asked and responded critically to your argument (that it makes lubing hard) since thats not (for me at least) a valid reason as you could easely dry the chain. Kerosene being a good degreaser as it also acts as lube in the hard to get to places is however a more logical reason. So thank you for that clearification. What about other non kerosene degreasers? will they not leave behind a little lube in "all those hard to get places" ?

  7. #7
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    This should be part of Chain Questions 101:
    http://www.bikerumor.com/2011/06/28/...-with-shimano/

    Quote Originally Posted by bikerumor.com
    BikeRumor: What is Shimano’s official stance on the chain lube that comes stock on a shimano chain? Is it actually a lube, or a grease? And is it best to leave it on until the chain gets noisy and relube, or strip it right away and relube before riding?

    Nick: So that brings us to lubrication. I mentioned that the chain wears because of friction as the chain moves to wrap around a gear. Well, that friction is reduced if there is lube on the chain. If there is dirt mixed in, the lube makes a bigger difference in reducing friction. If there is water mixed in, the lube helps displace the water. The grease that comes on a Shimano chain is applied at the factory to the individual pieces before the chain is assembled. The grease does a better job of reducing friction than aftermarket chain lubes and it lasts longer. The main reason we use liquid chain lube, whether it is one that stays liquid or a dry lube that has a solid lubricant in a liquid carrier (like a PTFE lube) is because we need to get the lube on a part that is not accessible without disassembling the chain. So the best thing to do when installing a new chain is to leave the factory grease on, not apply any other lube, ride until it wears out and then start applying liquid chain lube. In dusty conditions you can wipe off the outside of the new chain with a rag that is wet with a gentle degreaser to keep dirt from sticking to the grease. The factory grease also keeps the chain nice and quiet. After soaking a chain in degreaser and then lubing the chain with liquid lubricant the chain gets noticeably louder.

    Shimano does not have an official recommended chain lube. They all seem to work pretty good. Different people have different preferences and different conditions require different lubes.

  8. #8
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    Only problem with keresone is that it smells terrible and is so toxic. You could just buy a cheap degreaser at any bike shop for less than $10

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mozad655 View Post
    Using dish soap and hot water as chain degreaser is an easy solution, but are there any side effects?
    Yeah ... whatever you're degreasing with be ... degreased.

    Just be sure to dry and lubricate when you're finished the degreasing process.

    When I've done it, I spray the chain with Simple Green, let it sit for 10 minutes or so, then wash with dish soap and hot water ... let drip dry, and then relubricate.

    My chains have lasted for many thousands of kilometres.

  10. #10
    Sputnik - beep beep beep Wake's Avatar
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    You don't really need the hot water.

  11. #11
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    you can bake or "fry" the chain to evaporate any traces of H2O that might have been left behind during the washing process.

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimi77 View Post
    you can bake or "fry" the chain to evaporate any traces of H2O that might have been left behind during the washing process.
    Or blow dry ... like with a hair drier.

  13. #13
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    Diesel is the chain wash of my choice. Really cheap, smells better than kerosene, as effective in the cleaning process as kerosene. Sheldon Brown's cocktail shaker method really works (but I do it twice).

    For me, a solvent is much more effective than using a detergent.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

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    Yeh i've thought of the blow drying aswell, would surely remove all water. The reason I havent bought degreaser is that its actually quite expensive where I live, and mostly comes in either small liquid quantities or slighly larger quantities in the shape of sprays. I mention hot water as I assume that heating up any grease will make its density slighly lower, thus making it easier to get rid of. Normal cooking oil on a pan being heated up, clearly shows how the otherwise somewhat sticky oil raipidly turns into waterlike liquid that can easely be turned from side to side.

  15. #15
    I am the Muffin Man Muffin Man's Avatar
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    So would a simple green/water mix in a bottle work? Or should i get some mineral spirits? I don't have either, so I would need to buy one or the other, and they both cost about the same.
    Quote Originally Posted by johnnytheboy
    I've done more ridiculous things than ride 55mi for poon.

  16. #16
    Crispy Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    I use a mix of mineral spirits and 30 weight motor oil in a roughly 60/40 mix. I put it in either a lidded jar (the cocktail shaker) or I have one of those chain cleaner deals with the brushes inside.

    Like this:


  17. #17
    I am the Muffin Man Muffin Man's Avatar
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    Nvm I found some paint thinner at home. Thats a mineral spirit right?
    Quote Originally Posted by johnnytheboy
    I've done more ridiculous things than ride 55mi for poon.

  18. #18
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wake View Post
    You don't really need the hot water.
    From another thread:

    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  19. #19
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    It should work fine (The water and dish soap); as long as you dry it thoroughly. After cleaning in this manner, WD-40 for displacing the water, or a good go with a heat ***/hair dryer, and a good and thorough lubing.

    However: I question the utility of completely degreasing a chain, because you'll never get grease back into all the nooks and crannies where it's needed the most.

    Wiping a chain down, and re-oiling, and then re-wiping should be plenty for a chain.

  20. #20
    Crispy Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muffin man View Post
    Nvm I found some paint thinner at home. Thats a mineral spirit right?
    Yeah. I think a little extra refined to reduce the odor.

    I pour the used mix from the device into the jar I use as the cocktail shaker. The dirt settles to the bottom. Next cleaning I'll carefully pour the mix (now gravity cleaned) into the chain cleaners solvent well. Eventually you'll collect a pretty big "heel" and need to start a new mix but a liter or a quart of the mix will last a pretty good while if your careful. If your going to use the cocktail shaker exclusively get two jars and gently pour the mix from the previously used jar to the fresh one and then wipe clean the used jar. Remember that this isn't rocket science. Perfectly clean mix isn't really necessary.

  21. #21
    Crispy Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UberGeek View Post
    It should work fine (The water and dish soap); as long as you dry it thoroughly. After cleaning in this manner, WD-40 for displacing the water, or a good go with a heat ***/hair dryer, and a good and thorough lubing.

    However: I question the utility of completely degreasing a chain, because you'll never get grease back into all the nooks and crannies where it's needed the most.

    Wiping a chain down, and re-oiling, and then re-wiping should be plenty for a chain.
    Yeah, completely degreasing a chain is counter-productive.

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