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

Using Rubbing alcohol to clean WD-40

Notices
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.

Using Rubbing alcohol to clean WD-40

Old 06-10-20, 10:50 AM
  #1  
stephr1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Silicon Valley, CA (Yes, that one :)
Posts: 237
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 15 Posts
Using Rubbing alcohol to clean WD-40

For those in the know out there.....

I was wondering what the general consensus (and any chemist's observations) is for using WD-40 to clean grease/dirt/grime from ball bearings or chain and then soaking in 71% or 90% rubbing alcohol to clean off any WD-40 liquid or residue.

This has been my process when redoing my wheel bearings/hubs:

1. Soak the bearings into the WD-40 and occasionally swirl around to loosen/remove any crap
2. Use a paper towel/dry cloth to wipe off/reduce the WD-40 and get rid of any remaining grease or dirt
3. Drop into alcohol and swirl around to clean off the WD-40
4. Dry, grease and reinstall

I've done this for quite some time and the bearings are shiny when they get re-installed. The reason I am asking this now is I'm thinking about doing the same with my chain. I have 2 chains that I want to rotate every couple of months.

Any cautions or caveats of which I should be aware?

Thx and cheers....

Last edited by stephr1; 06-22-20 at 02:45 PM.
stephr1 is offline  
Old 06-10-20, 10:56 AM
  #2  
blamester
Blamester
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Ireland
Posts: 730

Bikes: Peugeot teamline

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 163 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 35 Posts
What harm can it do.
It won't break the chain.
I myself myself wouldn't bother, chains are consumables and cheap.
blamester is offline  
Old 06-10-20, 10:58 AM
  #3  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 39,133

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 475 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6479 Post(s)
Liked 1,022 Times in 677 Posts
WD40 is kinda-sorta OK for degreasing. Sometimes it's good enough when the grease isn't too hard or dry. I use it when it's all I have. Alcohol isn't very good. It's fine to wipe the WD40 out with a rag or paper towel, and you don't need alcohol to clear out the WD40.

Mineral spirits is better for degreasing in general, and it's great for when the grease is hard or dry.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Likes For noglider:
Old 06-10-20, 10:59 AM
  #4  
stephr1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Silicon Valley, CA (Yes, that one :)
Posts: 237
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by blamester View Post
What harm can it do.
It won't break the chain.
I myself myself wouldn't bother, chains are consumables and cheap.
I appreciate that. The chain rotation was, hopefully, to extend the life of the cogs/cassette and chainrings by minimizing exposure to chain stretch, etal. Since you mention it...am I overthinking this?
stephr1 is offline  
Old 06-10-20, 11:05 AM
  #5  
Iride01
Senior Member
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 4,308

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '91 Schwinn Paramount '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1622 Post(s)
Liked 515 Times in 395 Posts
The only thing I'd worry about getting that last little bit of WD-40 or any other product that had lubricant or slippery oily stuff is brake surfaces. Or things I'm going to paint or tape.

Although it won't hurt either. Just don't leave them wet with alcohol for any period of time. I've made some anodized aluminum look like crap by leaving it soaked with 99% Isopropyl alcohol.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 06-10-20, 12:22 PM
  #6  
alcjphil
Senior Member
 
alcjphil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 3,942
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 973 Post(s)
Liked 319 Times in 211 Posts
For bearings, as long as there is no remaining grit it is unecessary to remove any remaining oily film. After all, the bearings are going to be greased. Waste of alcohol in my opinion
alcjphil is online now  
Likes For alcjphil:
Old 06-10-20, 12:53 PM
  #7  
AlmostTrick
Tortoise Wins by a Hare!
 
AlmostTrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Looney Tunes, IL
Posts: 7,032

Bikes: Wabi Special FG, Raleigh Roper, Nashbar AL-1, Miyata One Hundred, '70 Schwinn Lemonator and More!!

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1374 Post(s)
Liked 558 Times in 311 Posts
Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
For bearings, as long as there is no remaining grit it is unecessary to remove any remaining oily film. After all, the bearings are going to be greased. Waste of alcohol in my opinion
Agreed, WD-40 is not going to hurt anything, I use it all the time. Wipe dry, apply grease. When used on chains, I wipe dry and then lay it out on a piece of cardboard and blow the remaining WD-40 out with compressed air. Install chain, apply chain lube and wipe dry.
AlmostTrick is offline  
Old 06-10-20, 02:28 PM
  #8  
WizardOfBoz
Generally bewildered
 
WizardOfBoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 2,790

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 6.9, 1999 LeMond Zurich, 1978 Schwinn Superior

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1039 Post(s)
Liked 241 Times in 178 Posts
Originally Posted by noglider View Post
WD40 is kinda-sorta OK for degreasing. Sometimes it's good enough when the grease isn't too hard or dry. I use it when it's all I have. Alcohol isn't very good. It's fine to wipe the WD40 out with a rag or paper towel, and you don't need alcohol to clear out the WD40.

Mineral spirits is better for degreasing in general, and it's great for when the grease is hard or dry.
+100 You can use WD40 to clean stuff, but then just wipe it off. Don't depend upon it for lubrication, cuz it's not. Works ok on chains to clean some of the crud out (I use Dupont chain cleaner myself, though).
If you absolutely have to get the WD40 out (compulsive much?) use min spirits.
Even better, skip the WD40 and just clean with min spirits. Drip/air dry. Or wipe off excess with paper towels.

There seems to be a number of proposed multistep theories (including an incredibly stupid one: gasoline/degreaser/alcohol). No benefit to these, much messier, more dangerous (NEVER USE GASOLINE FOR ANYTHING ON A BIKE), and, well, just stupid.

Min spirits is one step, works well, and doesn't need to be removed - it will dry.
WizardOfBoz is offline  
Old 06-10-20, 03:07 PM
  #9  
sch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Mountain Brook. AL
Posts: 3,781
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 242 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 54 Times in 45 Posts
If you drill down mineral spirits and Dupont chain degreaser are essentially the same stuff: aliphatic hydrocarbons
with between 9 and 15 carbons perhaps with a little hexane as well. Alcohol (IPA or ethanol) are too hydrophilic
(water soluble) to be useful as degreasers, they will mix with gasoline (a C7-8 hydrocarbon) up to 10-15% but not
well with higher aliphatic hydrocarbons (greasese are in the C15+ range.) If you use water based degreasers then
alcohol will facilitate drying by mixing with the residual rinse water, but that is its only minimal benefit.

Finally FWIW WD 40 is mostly mineral spirits, not all, has some other stuff as well, but substantially mineral spirits.
sch is offline  
Old 06-10-20, 05:07 PM
  #10  
stephr1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Silicon Valley, CA (Yes, that one :)
Posts: 237
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 15 Posts
Thanks for the great feedback.

So, what I come away with (unless someone pops in with really innovative input) is that min spirits (which I don't have any of at the moment) would be the best, but nothing all that wrong with WD-40 (which I do have). Let dry (no alcohol needed), wipe down and grease. Nice to eliminate 1 step.

Brings up another related question (not to hijack my own thread any suggestions/experience/cautions abt using more environmentally-safe cleaners/degreasers (i.e. citrus-based)?
stephr1 is offline  
Old 06-10-20, 09:05 PM
  #11  
sweeks
Senior Member
 
sweeks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 1,491

Bikes: Airborne "Carpe Diem", Motobecane "Mirage", Trek 6000, Strida 2, Dahon "Helios XL", Dahon "Mu XL", Tern "Verge S11i"

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 610 Post(s)
Liked 98 Times in 80 Posts
Originally Posted by stephr1 View Post
...any suggestions/experience/cautions abt using more environmentally-safe cleaners/degreasers (i.e. citrus-based)?
Just one comment. The citrus-based degreaser may be more environmentally friendly, but once it has chain lube, grease or other petroleum-based products dissolved in it, it's not much different than any other solvent and probably should be disposed of in an appropriate way... not down the drain.
sweeks is offline  
Old 06-11-20, 08:13 AM
  #12  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 22,940

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3483 Post(s)
Liked 954 Times in 592 Posts
Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
For bearings, as long as there is no remaining grit it is unecessary to remove any remaining oily film. After all, the bearings are going to be greased. Waste of alcohol in my opinion
Correct.

Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
+100 You can use WD40 to clean stuff, but then just wipe it off. Don't depend upon it for lubrication, cuz it's not. Works ok on chains to clean some of the crud out (I use Dupont chain cleaner myself, though).
I have to disagree with the statement that WD-40 is not a lubricant. It’s 25% mineral oil which is a lubricant. It’s not necessarily a great lubricant but it does reduce friction.

I would also argue that it isn’t a degreaser, either. It will remove grease because it is 75% mineral spirits but it leaves behind the stuff you are trying to remove. Just about any chain lubricant will remove the old grease since most of the have 50% or more of aliphatic distillates (a high falutin’ way of saying “mineral spirits”) along with the lubricant. The solvent forces out the old lube (or at least dilutes it) and leave the new oil behind.

Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
There seems to be a number of proposed multistep theories (including an incredibly stupid one: gasoline/degreaser/alcohol). No benefit to these, much messier, more dangerous (NEVER USE GASOLINE FOR ANYTHING ON A BIKE), and, well, just stupid.

Min spirits is one step, works well, and doesn't need to be removed - it will dry.
I absolutely agree. People like to come up with complicated methods to do something that should be very simple. If it takes more than 10 minutes to clean a chain...which includes drying time for mineral spirits and removing the chain as well as reinstalling...you spent too much time on the process.


Originally Posted by sch View Post
If you drill down mineral spirits and Dupont chain degreaser are essentially the same stuff: aliphatic hydrocarbons
with between 9 and 15 carbons perhaps with a little hexane as well. Alcohol (IPA or ethanol) are too hydrophilic
(water soluble) to be useful as degreasers, they will mix with gasoline (a C7-8 hydrocarbon) up to 10-15% but not
well with higher aliphatic hydrocarbons (greasese are in the C15+ range.) If you use water based degreasers then
alcohol will facilitate drying by mixing with the residual rinse water, but that is its only minimal benefit.

Finally FWIW WD 40 is mostly mineral spirits, not all, has some other stuff as well, but substantially mineral spirits.
The only quibble I have is the other stuff in the mineral spirits. The mineral oil means that it isn’t a “degreaser”. It’s a grease displacer.

Originally Posted by stephr1 View Post
Thanks for the great feedback.

So, what I come away with (unless someone pops in with really innovative input) is that min spirits (which I don't have any of at the moment) would be the best, but nothing all that wrong with WD-40 (which I do have). Let dry (no alcohol needed), wipe down and grease. Nice to eliminate 1 step.

Brings up another related question (not to hijack my own thread any suggestions/experience/cautions abt using more environmentally-safe cleaners/degreasers (i.e. citrus-based)?
You’ve kind of learned your lesson on the WD40. When you’ve used up the stuff you have now, buy a quart of mineral spirits and save some money.

As to the “environmentally safe” degreasers, they really aren’t, especially if you plan on using them for degreasing chains. For chains, you have to use a lot of degreaser because the solvating power of a detergent is much lower than a true solvent. A cup of mineral spirits will clean many chains. It will degrease a chain even if the mineral spirits is mostly previous grease. Water based degreasers require far more to do the job and then they need to be rinsed and, if you don’t want water on the chain, the water needs to be removed with another solvent. Cleaning a chain properly with a water based degreaser can generate a gallon of waste.

And it should be considered “waste”. While the “green” cleaner is biodegradable, most of the lubricants you are using aren’t. The greases and oils don’t just “go away”. Flushing them down the drain just makes them someone else’s problem.

I use Simple Green as a detergent but I would never use it to remove large amounts of grease.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Likes For cyccommute:
Old 06-11-20, 09:18 AM
  #13  
AlmostTrick
Tortoise Wins by a Hare!
 
AlmostTrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Looney Tunes, IL
Posts: 7,032

Bikes: Wabi Special FG, Raleigh Roper, Nashbar AL-1, Miyata One Hundred, '70 Schwinn Lemonator and More!!

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1374 Post(s)
Liked 558 Times in 311 Posts
I find an aerosol can of WD-40 way more convenient when rebuilding and maintaining bikes than a can of liquid mineral spirits.
AlmostTrick is offline  
Old 06-11-20, 09:19 AM
  #14  
WizardOfBoz
Generally bewildered
 
WizardOfBoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 2,790

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 6.9, 1999 LeMond Zurich, 1978 Schwinn Superior

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1039 Post(s)
Liked 241 Times in 178 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I have to disagree with the statement that WD-40 is not a lubricant. It’s 25% mineral oil which is a lubricant. It’s not necessarily a great lubricant but it does reduce friction.

I would also argue that it isn’t a degreaser, either. It will remove grease because it is 75% mineral spirits but it leaves behind the stuff you are trying to remove. Just about any chain lubricant will remove the old grease since most of the have 50% or more of aliphatic distillates (a high falutin’ way of saying “mineral spirits”) along with the lubricant. The solvent forces out the old lube (or at least dilutes it) and leave the new oil behind.
cycommute, I took a look at the MSDS for WD-40 and you're right. It has some heavier hydrocarbon fractions that could suit as lubricants. Not ideal, but better than nothing.

I think we agree that its difficult to call something both a hydrocarbon-based lubricant AND a degreaser! It will leave some of the grease behind. I did a quick check of the aliphatics in WD-40, and all of them are higher boiling fractions than min spirits. More viscous, less able to penetrate. They will dissolve most of the even higher boiling stuff like grease but they'll leave a grease film.

But this is somewhat "How many angels fit on the head of a pin" argument on my part. You're right: WD-40 can clean some crud off AND it can lubricate to some extent. But IMHO min spirits works better and more completely for cleaning, and real lubricants - even good old Tri-Flow - works better for lubrication.

Regarding Dupont (my old employeer, btw) Chain and sprocket cleaner, I looked that up too. You mentioned your thought that it was pretty much min spirits. It's close, but again uses a slightly higher boiling fraction. Because DuPont usually tried to market stuff with superior value (and get money for that value) I wanted to find out if there were any value adds in shown in the MSDS. One component in the DuPont product and not in min spirits is Dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether (5-10%). This has some solvating properties not found in min spirits, and the mix probably works a bit better, but not world-changing. Perhaps the most interesting thing in that product was citrus terpenes, which is mostly d-limonene, the active ingredient in Goo-Gone, my favorite product for removing adhesive residue (From price tags, etc). It's less than 1%, but that stuff packs a wallop if you have something that min spirits won't touch.

I strongly endorse your point about the amount of "green" cleaner needed to remove heavy grease gunk off of parts. For chains, I put some min spirits in a cleaned, dried V-8 bottle, and put the chain in. A good shake, and most crud comes off. Rarely not everything comes off. I can take the chain out, put in on cardboad, and use an old toothbrush on the wetted chain. Takes almost everything I want off, off. Reimmerse the chain, shake, pull the chain out, wipe dry with rags, and hang to drip-dry. Then apply wax, oil, or DuPont Chain lube (a dry wax/Teflon lube, seems to work great).

I can let the crud settle in the original V-8 bottle, decant the clear min spirits into another, clean bottle, and I'm good to go for the next chain cleaning. Minimum use of and release of hydrocarbons to the environment.

I'd have to run several buckets of hot water and "green" detergent to get that grease and crud off, and it would all go into the sewer. Residential sewer systems are not optimized for hydrocarbon treatment, so this is pretty pernicious.

Last edited by WizardOfBoz; 06-11-20 at 12:05 PM.
WizardOfBoz is offline  
Likes For WizardOfBoz:
Old 06-11-20, 10:37 AM
  #15  
robertorolfo
Senior Member
 
robertorolfo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Queens, NY for now...
Posts: 1,403

Bikes: 82 Lotus Unique, 86 Lotus Legend, 88 Basso Loto, 88 Basso PR, 89 Basso PR, 96 Bianchi CDI, 2013 Deda Aegis, 2019 Basso Diamante SV

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 855 Post(s)
Liked 96 Times in 71 Posts
Originally Posted by sch View Post
Finally FWIW WD 40 is mostly mineral spirits, not all, has some other stuff as well, but substantially mineral spirits.
So then why does WD-40 smell soooooo much better than mineral spirits? I used a tiny amount of mineral spirits recently to clean up a shift lever (maybe an 8th of a cup in a jar, plus a few q-tips dipped into that jar), and my bike room stunk like mineral spirits for a couple of days. And yes, I had the windows wide open and had good cross ventilation when I was working in there.

And is everyone saying that mineral spirits just dry on their own and don't leave any residue behind? Just curious.
robertorolfo is offline  
Old 06-11-20, 11:59 AM
  #16  
WizardOfBoz
Generally bewildered
 
WizardOfBoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 2,790

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 6.9, 1999 LeMond Zurich, 1978 Schwinn Superior

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1039 Post(s)
Liked 241 Times in 178 Posts
Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
So then why does WD-40 smell soooooo much better than mineral spirits? I used a tiny amount of mineral spirits recently to clean up a shift lever (maybe an 8th of a cup in a jar, plus a few q-tips dipped into that jar), and my bike room stunk like mineral spirits for a couple of days. And yes, I had the windows wide open and had good cross ventilation when I was working in there.

And is everyone saying that mineral spirits just dry on their own and don't leave any residue behind? Just curious.
Last question first. All of the components of all grades of mineral spirits were obtained by boiling petroleum, and condensing the vapors. Thus all of the components of min spirits will evaporate eventually. If you use the min spirits to clean something, there may be very low volatility stuff (grease, dirt, metal particles) dissolved or suspended in the mix. These things won't evaporate. It's why its a good idea to dry with a rag or with paper towels.

Next question. See the Wiki page on White Spirits. But, basically "Mineral spirits have a characteristic unpleasant kerosene-like odor. Chemical manufacturers have developed a low odor version of mineral turpentine which contains less of the highly volatile shorter hydrocarbons. Odorless mineral spirits are mineral spirits that have been further refined to remove the more toxic aromatic compounds, and are recommended for applications such as oil painting, where humans have close contact with the solvent."

So get odorless min spirits and you won't have those nasty smells.
WizardOfBoz is offline  
Likes For WizardOfBoz:
Old 06-11-20, 12:10 PM
  #17  
robertorolfo
Senior Member
 
robertorolfo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Queens, NY for now...
Posts: 1,403

Bikes: 82 Lotus Unique, 86 Lotus Legend, 88 Basso Loto, 88 Basso PR, 89 Basso PR, 96 Bianchi CDI, 2013 Deda Aegis, 2019 Basso Diamante SV

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 855 Post(s)
Liked 96 Times in 71 Posts
Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
Last question first. All of the components of all grades of mineral spirits were obtained by boiling petroleum, and condensing the vapors. Thus all of the components of min spirits will evaporate eventually... So get odorless min spirits and you won't have those nasty smells.
Interesting and informative. Thanks so much for the response. I don't remember there being too many options for the mineral spirits at the store, but later today I'll take a look at exactly what I have.
robertorolfo is offline  
Old 06-11-20, 01:32 PM
  #18  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 22,940

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3483 Post(s)
Liked 954 Times in 592 Posts
Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post

So then why does WD-40 smell soooooo much better than mineral spirits? I used a tiny amount of mineral spirits recently to clean up a shift lever (maybe an 8th of a cup in a jar, plus a few q-tips dipped into that jar), and my bike room stunk like mineral spirits for a couple of days. And yes, I had the windows wide open and had good cross ventilation when I was working in there.
WD-40 smells like it does because they put a fragrance in it. The MSDS says less than 1%. WD-40 puts fragrances in all of its products. Their chain lube smells like Hai Karate! Really brought back my high school days the one time I used it.

WizardOfBoz gets the rest completely right. I don’t notice the smell of odorless mineral spirits unless it right at my nose but I’ve been working in a chemistry lab for 40 years which does a number on your olfactory senses.

Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
And is everyone saying that mineral spirits just dry on their own and don't leave any residue behind? Just curious.
Mineral spirits are right at the edge of not being too volatile. Flash point can be an indicator of how quickly something evaporates. The flash point for mineral spirits is from 20°C to about 200°C (70°F to 400°F). The most common one you’ll run across is in the middle of that range with a flash point around 30°C to 50°C (90°F to 130°F). It won’t flash to flame easily but it evaporates fairly quickly and cleanly. The higher boiling material is more in the kerosene and/or diesel range. If you use kerosene, it will leave residue behind. Mineral spirits are just slightly smaller molecules that evaporate a little more easily. Diesel is definitely an oil and doesn’t evaporate very quickly, if at all.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Likes For cyccommute:
Old 06-11-20, 02:05 PM
  #19  
WizardOfBoz
Generally bewildered
 
WizardOfBoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 2,790

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 6.9, 1999 LeMond Zurich, 1978 Schwinn Superior

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1039 Post(s)
Liked 241 Times in 178 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
WD-40 ... chain lube smells like Hai Karate! Really brought back my high school days the one time I used it.
This was hilarious. Had me chuckling, and thinking about all the smell-good stuff we used back in the day. And then I recall walking on (the U. of Wisconsin) campus one evening with one of the really pretty cheerleaders from my high school. Missy says "What are you wearing? It smells really good". I completely missed the hint. Proving that no amount of personal product conquers cluelessness. Sigh.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I don’t notice the smell of odorless mineral spirits unless it right at my nose but I’ve been working in a chemistry lab for 40 years which does a number on your olfactory senses.
Aha! The explanation for why you can speak with authority about this stuff. I suspected as much. For my PhD, I ran a moonshine still. Serious.


WizardOfBoz is offline  
Likes For WizardOfBoz:
Old 06-11-20, 03:11 PM
  #20  
Gresp15C
Senior Member
 
Gresp15C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,137
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 804 Post(s)
Liked 228 Times in 167 Posts
Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
I find an aerosol can of WD-40 way more convenient when rebuilding and maintaining bikes than a can of liquid mineral spirits.
I keep promising myself that I'm not going to buy another can of WD-40, but the spray is convenient. But I got a big bag of plastic eye droppers from the surplus pile, and they last a long time with fluids such as mineral spirits. Also, truth be told, the overspray from the WD-40 is going somewhere in my garage, and eventually I'll have to clean it up.

I have no serious objections to any of the stuff that's been mentioned, including WD-40, but I'm on a mission to reduce the quantity and variety of fluids in my garage.
Gresp15C is offline  
Old 06-11-20, 03:47 PM
  #21  
WizardOfBoz
Generally bewildered
 
WizardOfBoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 2,790

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 6.9, 1999 LeMond Zurich, 1978 Schwinn Superior

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1039 Post(s)
Liked 241 Times in 178 Posts
Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
I keep promising myself that I'm not going to buy another can of WD-40, but the spray is convenient. But I got a big bag of plastic eye droppers from the surplus pile, and they last a long time with fluids such as mineral spirits. Also, truth be told, the overspray from the WD-40 is going somewhere in my garage, and eventually I'll have to clean it up.

I have no serious objections to any of the stuff that's been mentioned, including WD-40, but I'm on a mission to reduce the quantity and variety of fluids in my garage.
I'm on the opposite side: I'm trying to build up the number and type of fluids in my liquor cabinet. Succeeding wildly so far. All good, except for the mistaken purchase of Ginger Liqueur (same size bottle as Curacao, my mistake). There's very few palatable cocktails made with Ginger Liqueur. And many that require me to have other obscure ingredients like Pimento Dram (of all things, an Allspice flavored liqeur).

Seriously, I have so many fluids of so many times that I need to put them all in a tub and take them to the next hazmat day I see.
WizardOfBoz is offline  
Old 06-11-20, 03:51 PM
  #22  
Gresp15C
Senior Member
 
Gresp15C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,137
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 804 Post(s)
Liked 228 Times in 167 Posts
Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
I'm on the opposite side: I'm trying to build up the number and type of fluids in my liquor cabinet. Succeeding wildly so far. All good, except for the mistaken purchase of Ginger Liqueur (same size bottle as Curacao, my mistake). There's very few palatable cocktails made with Ginger Liqueur. And many that require me to have other obscure ingredients like Pimento Dram (of all things, an Allspice flavored liqeur).

Seriously, I have so many fluids of so many times that I need to put them all in a tub and take them to the next hazmat day I see.
Ah, you got me. I wasn't thinking about, er, those fluids. Although, I'm doing a pretty good job of keeping them in check.
Gresp15C is offline  
Old 06-11-20, 08:28 PM
  #23  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 22,940

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3483 Post(s)
Liked 954 Times in 592 Posts
Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
This was hilarious. Had me chuckling, and thinking about all the smell-good stuff we used back in the day. And then I recall walking on (the U. of Wisconsin) campus one evening with one of the really pretty cheerleaders from my high school. Missy says "What are you wearing? It smells really good". I completely missed the hint. Proving that no amount of personal product conquers cluelessness. Sigh.


Aha! The explanation for why you can speak with authority about this stuff. I suspected as much. For my PhD, I ran a moonshine still. Serious.

I’ve spent most of my career working on stuff to feed to bugs so that they can feed your still. In other words, I separate cellulose from wood mostly to make ethanol. Unfortunately, the cellulose I make is too good for making cheap ethanol. Makes good plastics but not cheap ethanol.

But the stuff that mostly blew out my nose was pyrolysis oil. I spent about 5 to 10 years breathing in concentrated wood smoke and it did a real number on my sense of smell. I did figure out how to make something useful out of the pyrolysis oil after fractionating it with ethyl acetate. It made good plywood adhesives but not quite cheaply enough.

Oddly enough, I do have a good appreciation for good smoked barbecue partly because of my experience with pyrolysis oil. I smoke my own stuff...not just meat but various vegetables. I find the common woods like hickory and mesquite to be very harsh. Fruit woods are my favorite to smoke with as they are a more delicate smoke. Peach is really good. So is cherry. One of my favorite, however, is pear. Very delicate without being harsh.

A couple of my favorite things to smoke are sweet onions and chili peppers. They are fantastic in a warm pasta salad.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 06-11-20, 08:40 PM
  #24  
WizardOfBoz
Generally bewildered
 
WizardOfBoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 2,790

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 6.9, 1999 LeMond Zurich, 1978 Schwinn Superior

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1039 Post(s)
Liked 241 Times in 178 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
A couple of my favorite things to smoke are sweet onions and chili peppers. They are fantastic in a warm pasta salad.
Mmmm. Smoked onions and chilis. Pasta salad. Mmmmm. You use vidalia onions? Which chilis?

This sent me into a meditative trance....

I grew up in Wisconsin (bratwursts!), but we spent years in So Cal and in Texas. Really enjoy Mexican food (and Mexican food in the NJ and Philly area is, um, well... Let's just say that if we want a good mole or chicken enchilada, we make it ourselves*). But in Austin, used to go to a place called the Salt Lick. Great BBQ. Outdoor picnic tables, cold beer. Good times. Another place was higher end. We were grad students, could only go with a two-fer coupon. Hudson's on the Bend. You'd walk up to the old house containing the restaurant and the smoker would be going outside, with mesquite and hickory smoke. Man, that place was great.

These days, we have a superb firm near us that smokes a lot of fish. Tasmanian trout. Salmon. And the weirdest one of all: smoked scallops. They're terrific too. Sugartown Smoked Specialties.

*My wife makes the best guacamole I've had.
WizardOfBoz is offline  
Old 06-11-20, 08:52 PM
  #25  
WizardOfBoz
Generally bewildered
 
WizardOfBoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 2,790

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 6.9, 1999 LeMond Zurich, 1978 Schwinn Superior

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1039 Post(s)
Liked 241 Times in 178 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I’ve spent most of my career working on stuff to feed to bugs so that they can feed your still. In other words, I separate cellulose from wood mostly to make ethanol. Unfortunately, the cellulose I make is too good for making cheap ethanol. Makes good plastics but not cheap ethanol.
So I was working in So Cal for a heavy engineering contractor, Fluor, working mostly nuclear projects (uranium gas centrifuge project, PUREX process...) when some guys in S. San Francisco started editing the genes in bugs. Fluor decided that this could lead to bioprocesses to make plastics, and I was asked to be on the team building knowledge and sales credibility. I sold our first job, and was project manager. We installed control systems on the S. San Fran company's first fermentors. Kind of weird to think that a 10 liter fermentor had a billion dollars of product in it! But the bioprocess to plastics thing never developed. I went off to grad school. Went to work for DuPont, where we made fluoroproducts, like Teflon(R). Change of management: new managers announced "We have a cost crisis". The next week "We have a cost catastrophe!". I was an internal consultant, and the way the company layered burden costs onto me I figured that I was costing the business $479,000! So I asked my boss to find another business. Got assigned to Biochemical Science and Engineering. Making plastics from bioprocesses!

Some colleagues of mine had developed a process to have bugs produce 1,3 propanediol. For non-chemists, that's 3 carbons with an alcohol group at each end. If you react this with terepthalic acid, you get polyester. (Petroleum based polyester uses 1,4 butanediol, which has 4 carbons. 1,3 propanediol makes polyester that's more flexible and has better wear properties). This is Sonora(R) polyester.

It's interesting that your cellulose is too good to be cost effective. Is it fibrous enough to make thread and fabric?
WizardOfBoz is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.