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Highly diluted bleach solution on bike?

Old 03-28-20, 07:14 PM
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Highly diluted bleach solution on bike?

Don't know if this is the right forum, but it seemed the best choice:

I'm going to bring a bike inside when my trainer arrives. (I'm not allowed outside for you know why.) My wife wants to wipe down the bike with a highly diluted bleach solution (4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water) and let it sit to dry before bringing it in. My bike is titanium, with carbon wheels. Is this going to harm the bike?
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Old 03-28-20, 07:22 PM
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Test in an inconspicuous location.
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Old 03-28-20, 07:56 PM
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I've seen bleach pit chrome plated brass bathroom fittings, but that was straight laundry bleach and it sat a very long time. It also isn't great on aluminum when left to sit. Don't know anything about titanium except what it is and how to spell it.

I'd rather use straight bleach and wipe it off immediately. Then use a damp towel to get the remaining bleach. If she'll agree to that.

Alcohol might be better, but again, I wouldn't let it sit. I'd just use it as undiluted as possible.
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Old 03-28-20, 08:09 PM
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Big guess. I think bleach would be my last choice as it is generally corrosive. But having said that, if it was my only choice, I do not think a one time application would be a problem. BTW, I would follow the directions which is to let it dry. One of the quat products maybe a better choice. You could call Clorox and ask them since they make bleach and quat products.

If you are the only one using the bike and you are the one who is sick, you could cover it after use so no one will touch it. And, if someone does touch the covering, they will need to wash their hands.

Just a side note,if you are sick, I hope you have a plan to not infect the family. I only say this since the bike might be able to follow you to your 'protected' space in which case it will not be touched by others in the house. Sanitation of that space would be less important.

Hoping all turns out well!
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Old 03-28-20, 08:33 PM
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Why bleach? Did you guys murder someone and have to remove all trace evidence?
Bleach (NaClO) is corrosive to most metals, and it could also interact with compounds of the epoxy that holds carbon fiber together.

Washing it with soap and water is likely as effective and is what is actually recommended against the Coronavirus.

Why soap is preferable to bleach in the fight against coronaviru
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Old 03-28-20, 08:39 PM
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As others have said, don't use bleach.

Sunlight or ultraviolet light kills bacteria and viruses. Just leave it sitting in the sunlight for awhile.
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Old 03-28-20, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
Why bleach? Did you guys murder someone and have to remove all trace evidence?
Bleach (NaClO) is corrosive to most metals, and it could also interact with compounds of the epoxy that holds carbon fiber together.

Washing it with soap and water is likely as effective and is what is actually recommended against the Coronavirus.

Why soap is preferable to bleach in the fight against coronaviru
After reading this and another article, I think this is the way to go.
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Old 03-28-20, 09:17 PM
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If you are concerned about the previous owner being infected, just store it in garage for 3 days or so.

Do you bleach all the food and deliveries coming to the house?
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Old 03-28-20, 09:25 PM
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Bleach is unnecessary. The main defense most viruses and bacteria have is a lipid membrane that breaks down easily with soap and hot water. Ordinary Dawn detergent and hot water will do.

Recently I've tried a few other liquid dish soaps, though, and found Palmolive Ultra Antibacterial may be even better -- it gets dishes and my hands even more squeaky clean and free of oil or grease than Dawn, which is already very good. It adds lactic acid as an antiseptic, which may be useful on our hands but probably unnecessary for our bikes.

If you want to try heat as a disinfectant, an ordinary steamer wand for de-wrinkling clothing works fine. I use it for all my fabric covered furniture too once or twice a year. It emits steam with very little force so there's little risk of blowing cooties around, unlike hair dryers, hot-air paint strippers and other stuff I've seen suggested.

Or a heavy duty steam iron, but those are really awkward and heavy. A clothing steamer wand is lightweight and easy to handle.
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Old 03-28-20, 09:40 PM
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NO BLEACH ..... ISO Alcohol ....
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Old 03-28-20, 09:42 PM
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Just use rubbing alcohol instead
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Old 03-29-20, 07:47 AM
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Titanium is fine. Titanium piping is regularly used in the chemical industry (including chlorine gas) for piping due to it's corrosion resistance. Carbon fiber I'd be a little leery of. Probably little effect on the actual fiber but the epoxy matrix probably wouldn't like it. I'm sure the chemical guy cyccommute would have a better idea of what to recommend.
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Old 03-29-20, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
Why bleach? Did you guys murder someone and have to remove all trace evidence?
Bleach (NaClO) is corrosive to most metals, and it could also interact with compounds of the epoxy that holds carbon fiber together.

Washing it with soap and water is likely as effective and is what is actually recommended against the Coronavirus.

Why soap is preferable to bleach in the fight against coronaviru
+1 this. If you must use a sanitizing wipedown, consider isopropyl alcohol (aka "rubbing alcohol") or hydrogen peroxide solution.
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Old 03-29-20, 10:22 AM
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How are you going to clean the trainer? Leave that box outside for a few days.
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Old 03-29-20, 10:46 AM
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Bleach or not you are all forgetting he has a wife. Any recommendations you offer must pass the wife test first.
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Old 03-29-20, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by profjmb View Post
I'm not allowed outside for you know why.
If you're talking about COVID-19, riding a bike outside is about the safest thing you could do. Just stay away from other people. The virus is spread by close proximity to others, and to a lesser extent on surfaces.
Anti-viral wipes would suffice for your bike or trainer, as would rubbing alcohol (preferably the 91% variety). The diluted bleach your wife wants you to use wouldn't hurt your titanium bike, and probably not anything else. Straight bleach would be overkill.
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Old 03-29-20, 01:57 PM
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I'm still puzzled by "bring the bike inside". Is this your bike? Was it just sitting in your garage? If so, it shouldn't be necessary to clean it. I'd give it a cleaning if it were someone else's bike but not my ownonly used by me. The virus only survives for 3 days or so max, and that trainer has been in the box longer than that. The outside delivery box may have been touched and that may require a wipe down, or just leave it somewhere for a few days itself. I can tell you that an hour on a trainer will feel like 3 days anyway...

But soap and water is the best if you must. I use it on my bike all the time anyway. I have a whole setup for bike washing that I use every month or so, depending on use.
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Old 03-29-20, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Titanium is fine. Titanium piping is regularly used in the chemical industry (including chlorine gas) for piping due to it's corrosion resistance. Carbon fiber I'd be a little leery of. Probably little effect on the actual fiber but the epoxy matrix probably wouldn't like it. I'm sure the chemical guy cyccommute would have a better idea of what to recommend.
Titanium rates as ďfairĒ in terms of resistance to around 20% sodium hypochlorite solutions. Carbon fiber is about the same. Epoxy rates as ďpoorĒ. Household bleach is only 5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite so it likely wonít have much effect on any of these materials. That said, there is little reason to use it on bicycles.

Originally Posted by profjmb View Post
Don't know if this is the right forum, but it seemed the best choice:

I'm going to bring a bike inside when my trainer arrives. (I'm not allowed outside for you know why.) My wife wants to wipe down the bike with a highly diluted bleach solution (4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water) and let it sit to dry before bringing it in. My bike is titanium, with carbon wheels. Is this going to harm the bike?
You need to ask ďto what purpose?Ē Covid-19 isnít just hanging around outside waiting for us to open our doors. If the bike has been outside, away from people for more 24 to 72 hours, it canít have any virus on it. The virus just doesnít survive that long outside of a host. Most of us arenít in the habit of parking our bikes where people can handle them, sneeze on them, or cough on them.
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Old 03-29-20, 02:38 PM
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From the original poster: I appreciate all the replies so far. To clarify: no one is sick here. I am not allowed to ride outside, and I have accepted this fate. My wife has lupus, and she is also...anxious about germs. She is also scientifically sophisticated and is convincible. We live in a condo building with a basement, where my bike is. She is worried someone using the basement may have the virus, and so doesn't want me just to bring it inside. My take so far is:

1. for the highly diluted solution, there is little worry of damage to my (titanium) bike
2. there is also not much reason to prefer bleach to some other things like alcohol. (Regarding the National Geographic article arguing for soap and water, which I forwarded but did not read, she says it's about skin and won't disinfect metal.)
3. I'm in Chicago and it may be rainy, so I don't want to leave my bike outside for 2 days

cyccommute, since you have been singled out as an expert, given the above, what would you do?
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Old 03-29-20, 03:03 PM
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bleach is the last thing i'd use on my bike. Harmful to bike harmful to skin and eyes.
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Old 03-29-20, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
As others have said, don't use bleach.

Sunlight or ultraviolet light kills bacteria and viruses. Just leave it sitting in the sunlight for awhile.
Unlike bacteria the COVID-19 virus is NOT a living organism.

The information is from John Hopkins Hospital and hopefully will be if
interest.
-------------------------------------------
* The virus is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (DNA)
covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat), which, when absorbed by
the cells of the ocular, nasal or buccal mucosa, changes their genetic
code. (mutation) and convert them into aggressor and multiplier cells.
* Since the virus is not a living organism but a protein molecule, it
is not killed, but decays on its own. The disintegration time depends
on the temperature, humidity and type of material where it lies.
* The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin
outer layer of fat. That is why any soap or detergent is the best
remedy, because the foam CUTS the FAT (that is why you have to rub so
much: for 20 seconds or more, to make a lot of foam).
By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses and breaks
down on its own.
* HEAT melts fat; this is why it is so good to use water above 77
degrees Fahrenheit for washing hands, clothes and everything. In
addition, hot water makes more foam and that makes it even more
useful.
* Alcohol or any mixture with alcohol over 65% DISSOLVES ANY FAT,
especially the external lipid layer of the virus.
* Any mix with 1 part bleach and 5 parts water directly dissolves the
protein, breaks it down fat.
* LISTERINE. It is 65% alcohol.om the inside.
* NO BACTERICIDE OR ANTIBIOTIC SERVES. The virus is not a living
organism like bacteria; antibodies cannot kill what is not alive.
* Vinegar is NOT useful because it does not break down the protective
layer of fat.
* NO SPIRITS, NOR VODKA, The strongest vodka is 40% alcohol, and you
need 65%.

Cheers
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Old 03-29-20, 03:43 PM
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Soap and hot water is reportedly better than alcohol solutions, at last for porous surfaces. I would just wash it with soap and water. But your wife's peace of mind is what is important, so as long as it is effective and won't damage the metal/paint.

Last edited by GeneO; 03-29-20 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 03-29-20, 03:59 PM
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As mentioned, soap kills (or disintegrates) the coronavirus. Give the bike a good old fashioned soapy wash, then wipe with alcohol for extra peace of mind if desired.
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Old 03-29-20, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by profjmb View Post
From the original poster: I appreciate all the replies so far. To clarify: no one is sick here. I am not allowed to ride outside, and I have accepted this fate. My wife has lupus, and she is also...anxious about germs. She is also scientifically sophisticated and is convincible. We live in a condo building with a basement, where my bike is. She is worried someone using the basement may have the virus, and so doesn't want me just to bring it inside. My take so far is:

1. for the highly diluted solution, there is little worry of damage to my (titanium) bike
2. there is also not much reason to prefer bleach to some other things like alcohol. (Regarding the National Geographic article arguing for soap and water, which I forwarded but did not read, she says it's about skin and won't disinfect metal.)
3. I'm in Chicago and it may be rainy, so I don't want to leave my bike outside for 2 days

cyccommute, since you have been singled out as an expert, given the above, what would you do?
The amount of bleach you are talking about is about 0.1% bleach. The suggested amount in Miele Manís post is 1%. I suspect that even 1% is too dilute to do much good. There is also the issue of how you are going to apply it, where you are going to apply it, and, perhaps more importantly, how you are going to protect yourself and others. You are at home and canít really run out and buy the personal protection equipment (PPE) that you might need. At the very least, you want some gloves that are high enough to protect your arms as well as safety glasses. You also want to do the washing with adequate ventilation which usually means outside...some place you canít currently go.

Soap...lots of soap...and water donít require as much to deal with it. You donít need PPE, you probably have soap around the house...dish soap of any kind will do..., and you donít have to worry about ventilation. You can do wash your bike in the storage unit if necessary. It also easier to dispose of gallons of soapy water as well as make gallons of soapy water than it is to make even a small amount of bleach solution.
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Old 03-29-20, 08:03 PM
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I doubt this information came from Johns Hopkins Hospital because of a number of factual errors. A virus is not a "protein molecule". See VIRUS STRUCTURE. Also, DNA is not a protein. There are "DNA" viruses and there are "RNA" viruses. Their status as "living organisms" is somewhat murky; see below. If you want to post a link to the "Johns Hopkins" source, I am prepared to eat my words.
Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Unlike bacteria the COVID-19 virus is NOT a living organism.

The information is from John Hopkins Hospital and hopefully will be if
interest.
-------------------------------------------
* The virus is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (DNA)
covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat), which, when absorbed by
the cells of the ocular, nasal or buccal mucosa, changes their genetic
code. (mutation) and convert them into aggressor and multiplier cells.
* Since the virus is not a living organism but a protein molecule, it
is not killed, but decays on its own. The disintegration time depends
on the temperature, humidity and type of material where it lies.
Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
* LISTERINE. It is 65% alcohol.om the inside.
Listerine is *not* 65% alcohol. "Ethanol, which is toxic to bacteria at concentrations of 40%, is present in concentrations of 21.6% in the flavored product and 26.9% in the original gold Listerine Antiseptic."(Reference)

Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
* NO BACTERICIDE OR ANTIBIOTIC SERVES. The virus is not a living
organism like bacteria; antibodies cannot kill what is not alive.
Antibodies are how we are protected against viruses. They are why we usually only get most viral infections once. They are the basis of the mechanism of action of most vaccines. See THIS.
*Antibiotics* are not effective against viruses. Viruses aren't "alive" in the normal sense, but neither are they "dead". They can reproduce and evolve, but they require a living cell to complete their life cycle; you could think of them as parasites of a sort. (VIRUS)

There are too many errors in the above information to have Johns Hopkins as their credible source. Sorry.


Originally Posted by profjmb View Post
My wife has lupus, and she is also...anxious about germs. She is also scientifically sophisticated and is convincible. We live in a condo building with a basement, where my bike is. She is worried someone using the basement may have the virus, and so doesn't want me just to bring it inside.
You could keep the bike in the basement and wipe the contact points (well, saddle and hand grips, brake and shift levers) with anti-microbial wipes, rubbing alcohol, your dilute bleach solution (see below). Then go outside and ride, where you are safer than you are indoors with other people around. On return, wash your hands after touching any doorknobs.


Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The amount of bleach you are talking about is about 0.1% bleach. The suggested amount in Miele Manís post is 1%. I suspect that even 1% is too dilute to do much good.
1% is way more than necessary. Rutgers University has a page on the best ways to kill coronaviruses in your home: LINK. They call for a quarter cup of bleach in a gallon of water. I'm too lazy to calculate the concentration, but it's quite a bit less than 1%.
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