Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

"Green" cleaner for caked on grease?

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

"Green" cleaner for caked on grease?

Reply

Old 01-09-19, 11:04 AM
  #26  
TimothyH
- Soli Deo Gloria -
 
TimothyH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Northwest Georgia
Posts: 12,314

Bikes: 2018 Rodriguez Custom Fixed Gear, 2017 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2015 Bianchi Pista, 2002 Fuji Robaix

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5456 Post(s)
This is an excellent post.

Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
This can't be repeated enough in this thread.

There's a maxim "use the weakest chemical that will do the job." If you want to read between the lines here: use the weakest chemical that does the job using a reasonable amount of it [the chemical], doesn't waste a ton of your time, and isn't a nightmare to dispose of.

Do y'all know how you are supposed to dispose of Simple Green and all those other 'green' or 'natural' cleaners? You can't/shouldn't just pour it down a drain or into soil. Capture all of the used liquid (clean over a container), then pour it all out into an evaporation tray. Once the liquid evaporates off, you need to collect the remaining soil, and take it to a hazmat disposal, since it contains petroleum distillates. Compare this with using mineral spirits, for instance:

You clean over a container using a small amount of mineral spirits. Pour this suspension of crap into a jar, and allow the stuff to settle. Decant the mineral spirits off the top back into the container, or simply wait until you have a full jar, and use it until it no longer cleans effectively...which will be a far longer time than a water-based cleaner. Once it no longer works effectively for your purposes (oil in the mixture will become a larger and larger part), bring the jar to be disposed of at a hazmat site (some auto shops accept these...).

Considering that you need to work in a well-ventilated space, it's a small trade-off to have a superior tool for the job.
TimothyH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-19, 02:03 PM
  #27  
jadocs
Senior Member
 
jadocs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: USA
Posts: 193

Bikes: Fondirest P4 Carbon, Fuji Cross 2.0, Litespeed T2 Disc, Specialized Fatboy

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
The best way to remove caked on grease is not to allow it to get that way to begin with. Spend a few minutes after every ride to wipe down the drivetrain and your bike in general. Never allow grit to accumulate on your cogs/ring/chain because it acts like sandpaper on your components. Ever notice after a wet ride how "gritty" your drivetrain sounds when turning the cranks slowly? You can just hear the grit as the chain travels over your rings and cogs. My advice is to go ahead and do the degrease then spend a few minutes in upkeep after your rides. It saves a lot of time and headaches later. It's much easier if you are able to remove the chain, which is why I use stainless Connex chains with the Connex quick link on all my bikes. The quick link is designed to be removed by hand and does not wear, which means the link does not have to be replaced after repeated use. With the chain removed you can wipe it down in addition to your rings, jockey wheels, and floss the cassette very easily. The only time I have ever used any degreaser was to soak my chain maybe once or twice a year.
jadocs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-19, 09:19 PM
  #28  
50PlusCycling
Senior Member
 
50PlusCycling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 196
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 78 Post(s)
Stoddard solvent. Take your bike parts to your local car repair shop and ask them if you can use their parts cleaner. This looks like a sink which sits on top of a metal drum, it has a spigot with a hose, and usually a few brushes. The solvent will clean the grease off completely, the grease and metal particles are captured, and the solvent is recycled by "Safety Kleen" or whoever the garage uses to provide the cleaner. The solvent is safe enough that you don't need gloves, and can be used to clean grease and oil off your hands. Stoddard solvent is also popular with dry cleaners who use it for laundry.
50PlusCycling is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-19, 06:13 PM
  #29  
RGMN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 103
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
An ultrasonic cleaner is more thorough and less messy.
I have one. It doesn't replace the gear floss, unless you have an ultrasonic cleaner you can fit your frame in.
RGMN is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-19, 07:47 PM
  #30  
Marcus_Ti 
Only Slightly Bent
 
Marcus_Ti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 4,121

Bikes: Roadie: Seven Axiom Race Ti w/Chorus 11s. CX/Adventure: Carver Gravel Grinder w/ Di2

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1587 Post(s)
Originally Posted by RGMN View Post
I have one. It doesn't replace the gear floss, unless you have an ultrasonic cleaner you can fit your frame in.
Take the chain and cassette off and drop them in. Is it that hard?
Marcus_Ti is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-19, 07:55 PM
  #31  
OrenNoah
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Sebastopol, CA, USA
Posts: 16

Bikes: 2019 Trek Madone SLR6; 2014 Specialized Langster

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Originally Posted by RGMN View Post
I have one. It doesn't replace the gear floss, unless you have an ultrasonic cleaner you can fit your frame in.
Unless you simply remove the chain and put in the ultrasonic cleaner. More and more, I'm coming to the conclusion that that is the way to go.
OrenNoah is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-19, 10:05 PM
  #32  
RGMN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 103
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Take the chain and cassette off and drop them in. Is it that hard?
If all you're cleaning is the chain and cassette. An ultrasonic clean that is large enough for your chainset is pretty pricey. And if you're trying to clean that gunk behind the derailleur mounting bolt the gear floss works much better than trying to immerse the hanger in an ultrasonic cleaner.
RGMN is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-19, 02:50 AM
  #33  
02Giant 
Home School Valedictorian
 
02Giant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2,571

Bikes: 13 Orbea Orca 02 Giant Cypress 88 Mongoose ATB

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 694 Post(s)
Don't use petroleum based lubes in the first place.
__________________
Excuse me if I, have some place in my mind,
Where I go time to time
02Giant is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-19, 10:46 AM
  #34  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 19,874

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 87 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1485 Post(s)
Originally Posted by OrenNoah View Post
Unless you simply remove the chain and put in the ultrasonic cleaner. More and more, I'm coming to the conclusion that that is the way to go.
Given that riveted chains with master links are pretty much Standard Practice these days, there's no reason not to remove the chain for cleaning.
JohnDThompson is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-19, 08:57 AM
  #35  
Dave Mayer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,684
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 515 Post(s)
Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
Don't use petroleum based lubes in the first place.
Please back up this bold statement. A while back, at the shop, we bought some 'organic' greases, presumably based on plant oils. They were useless, as the oils separated out quickly, and the tins started to emit a foul odor, presumably due to organics decomposition. So like most 'green' bike products, they were overpriced and inferior.

And in theory, thinking as a chemist (which I am) petroleum-based oils and greases make total sense simply from a performance basis.

Last edited by Dave Mayer; 01-12-19 at 09:01 AM.
Dave Mayer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-19, 05:57 AM
  #36  
02Giant 
Home School Valedictorian
 
02Giant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2,571

Bikes: 13 Orbea Orca 02 Giant Cypress 88 Mongoose ATB

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 694 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Please back up this bold statement. A while back, at the shop, we bought some 'organic' greases, presumably based on plant oils. They were useless, as the oils separated out quickly, and the tins started to emit a foul odor, presumably due to organics decomposition. So like most 'green' bike products, they were overpriced and inferior.

And in theory, thinking as a chemist (which I am) petroleum-based oils and greases make total sense simply from a performance basis.
You are correct.

My comment was intended to be, avoid the petroleum based oils. Use a wax lube (which is still petroleum based) to avoid the caked on grease, requiring the chemicals to remove.
__________________
Excuse me if I, have some place in my mind,
Where I go time to time
02Giant is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-19, 08:25 AM
  #37  
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 31,186

Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1029 Post(s)
Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling View Post
Stoddard solvent...........The solvent is safe enough that you don't need gloves, and can be used to clean grease and oil off your hands..
Stoddard solvent is chemically very closely related to mineral spirits and isn't as safe as you imply. Here is an MSDS for it: https://fscimage.fishersci.com/msds/13692.htm

It's not terribly toxic but don't handle it without some type of resistant gloves and avoid inhaling the fumes.
HillRider is online now  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service