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Solvent for degreasing/cleaning?

Old 09-17-21, 04:02 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
I decant through a paper coffee filter, which further removes some of the particulates, but the used OMS is yellow compared to new OMS.
thats cool, how do you hold it? old coffee pot?
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Old 09-17-21, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
(I do need to buy a couple of bottles of Gatorade or another drink that comes in wide mouth bottles, to make it easier to extricate the chain which gets kinked after vigorous shaking.) Now that I am waxing my chains, acetone is good enough for surface cleaning..
Pro Tip: Hellmann's 30oz mayo jars (plastic) are great.

Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
I have also read the MSW instructions (MSPEEDWAX | Molten Speed Wax - How To Clean Your Bicycle Chain Before Hot Waxing) and the alcohol after mineral spirits part does not make sense. To the extent that mineral spirits leave a residue (which I don't see), I think an acetone bath would work better to chase that off.
Just for gits and shiggles, I may just pour some OMS out on a sheet of aluminum foil. let it evaporate and see what's left.
Originally Posted by rumrunn6
thats cool, how do you hold it? old coffee pot?
I'd just stick the coffee filter in a funnel, funnel held by whatever you're decanting into.
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Old 09-17-21, 07:58 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
The degreaser itself may be biodegradeable, but the stuff it removes from your bike components is not biodegradeable.

I like OMS because it is safe and effective, and can be reused multiple times by letting the particulate matter settle out and decanting clean solvent off the top.
I use the citrus degreaser in a spray bottle for a shop towel for a quick wipe of a chain stay or I see seeping form a freshly cleaned/lubed headset not major cleaning. When my wife was doing big paintings using OMS in to clean her brushes I built a 2" pipe decant tower which was kind of a mess but we did have a tap of pretty clean OMS but the sludge out the bottom sill needed further decanting. She is now using this: Anderson Stainless Steel Airtight Brush Washer. Works well for her but I am back to using jars which I find are not ideal.
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Old 09-17-21, 08:58 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
I have also read the MSW instructions (MSPEEDWAX | Molten Speed Wax - How To Clean Your Bicycle Chain Before Hot Waxing) and the alcohol after mineral spirits part does not make sense. To the extent that mineral spirits leave a residue (which I don't see), I think an acetone bath would work better to chase that off.
So.. my unscientific science project results. I poured about the same amount (guessing about 1/2 teaspoon) each onto an alu foil lined paper plate of OMS and Denatured Alcohol (FUEL/Ethanol). In about 20 mins the ethanol was gone. 1.5 hrs later there's still a decent puddle of the OMS.

My guess is the alcohol step is to just flush out the OMS and help ensure the chain is dry before going into the wax pot. Presumably, you want the wax to adhere to the steel surfaces, not be potentially blocked from doing so by a layer of wet OMS? OTOH Cycco seems to suggest that OMS can't hurt and might help. In theory this would mean you could consider adding an ounce or whatnot to the crockpot wax and mix it in before adding the chain?
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Old 09-17-21, 11:15 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene
So.. my unscientific science project results. I poured about the same amount (guessing about 1/2 teaspoon) each onto an alu foil lined paper plate of OMS and Denatured Alcohol (FUEL/Ethanol). In about 20 mins the ethanol was gone. 1.5 hrs later there's still a decent puddle of the OMS.
Kudos! You’ve confirmed what chemists have known for at least 150 years and maybe for a couple of hundred years. Ethanol has a higher vapor pressure than mineral spirits. That is reflected in the lower flash point of ethanol. Basically, the higher the vapor pressure over the liquid, the more easier it is set it on fire.

My guess is the alcohol step is to just flush out the OMS and help ensure the chain is dry before going into the wax pot.
Yes, except they suggest letting the OMS evaporate over night. There’s not going to be any mineral spirits in the chain. I’m fairly certain that they suggest an alcohol wash to remove any residual OMS that they think may not have evaporated. They also think…mistakenly…that the mineral spirits doesn’t allow the wax to adhere to the metal of the chain. They are using a belts, suspenders, duct tape, staples, surgical sutures, and fish hooks (the barbed kind) approach.

Presumably, you want the wax to adhere to the steel surfaces, not be potentially blocked from doing so by a layer of wet OMS?
It’s not the wet OMS, per say, but any associated previous oil that the 47 washes failed to remove…a three molecules of it

OTOH Cycco seems to suggest that OMS can't hurt and might help. In theory this would mean you could consider adding an ounce or whatnot to the crockpot wax and mix it in before adding the chain?
Hold yer horses there, buckaroo! Not what I said. Any previous lubricant left after washing with mineral spirits would be removed by the hot wax since it is a solvent in liquid form (it’s also a solvent in solid form but that’s a different discussion). That lubricant isn’t going to hurt the wax and might be beneficial since it reduces the viscosity of the wax (makes it “softer”).

Please DO NOT put mineral spirits in the wax and heat it. Heating solvents increase the vapor pressure over the wax and will result in a flammable vapor. Putting new chain lubricant (a wax itself) in hot wax is okay. Putting OMS in the wax is BAD!
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Old 09-17-21, 11:56 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by zandoval
Being cheap I carefully use gasoline. When I am worried about parts that contain plastic or rubber I use automatic transmission fluid or the old WD40. Marvel Mystery Oil is also an excellent cleaner. And lets not forget Diesel and Simple Green. Gone are the old Army days of using Barsol and MEK.

NOT
MEK was amazing.
Almost like the crud evaporated.
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Old 09-17-21, 12:23 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Kudos! Youíve confirmed what chemists have known for at least 150 years and maybe for a couple of hundred years. Ethanol has a higher vapor pressure than mineral spirits. That is reflected in the lower flash point of ethanol. Basically, the higher the vapor pressure over the liquid, the more easier it is set it on fire.
Sounds reasonable. The point of my 'experiment' originally was to see of after evaporation what kinda film might be left on the aluminum foil. I gave up after a couple hours waiting and dumped the OMS. Not sure why, I thought the OMS would evaporate more quickly than it was apparently doing. Anyway, I never did find out what, if any film I could detect after evaporation as my patience gave out.

Originally Posted by cyccommute
Yes, except they suggest letting the OMS evaporate over night. Thereís not going to be any mineral spirits in the chain. Iím fairly certain that they suggest an alcohol wash to remove any residual OMS that they think may not have evaporated. They also thinkÖmistakenlyÖthat the mineral spirits doesnít allow the wax to adhere to the metal of the chain. They are using a belts, suspenders, duct tape, staples, surgical sutures, and fish hooks (the barbed kind) approach.

Itís not the wet OMS, per say, but any associated previous oil that the 47 washes failed to removeÖa three molecules of it
FWIW, This excerpt of the instructions (steps 7 to 8) that was being referred to, doesn't indicate any wait time before alcohol dunking after OMS.

6. Place chain in clean container, cover with new mineral spirits and shake for one minute (3rd and final bath). Note: if mineral spirits not clear after 3rd bath, repeat bathing process with new mineral spirits until clear. Also note amount of dark residue on rag after wiping chain; repeat bathing process until residue is slight (or eliminated entirely for fastest chain).
7. Remove and wipe chain after final mineral spirits bath, empty used mineral spirits, wipe container and lid clean with paper towels
8. Place chain in container, cover with denatured alcohol, shake for one minute, remove chain and wipe clean (use new rag so chain isn't contaminated by mineral spirits from wiping chain in previous steps)
9. Clean container and lid. Note: turn container upside down during final cleaning with paper towels to facilitate removing any remaining filings or debris from bottom of container
10. Repeat alcohol bath (alcohol bath #2), shaking for one minute
11. Remove chain, wipe aggressively with rag, hang to dry for a minimum of 15 minutes before waxing. Note: for fastest chain repeat denatured alcohol step until no filings or debris remain in bottom of container and rag shows no residue from wiping chain


Originally Posted by cyccommute
Hold yer horses there, buckaroo! Not what I said. Any previous lubricant left after washing with mineral spirits would be removed by the hot wax since it is a solvent in liquid form (itís also a solvent in solid form but thatís a different discussion). That lubricant isnít going to hurt the wax and might be beneficial since it reduces the viscosity of the wax (makes it ďsofterĒ).

Please DO NOT put mineral spirits in the wax and heat it. Heating solvents increase the vapor pressure over the wax and will result in a flammable vapor. Putting new chain lubricant (a wax itself) in hot wax is okay. Putting OMS in the wax is BAD!
Got it!
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Old 09-17-21, 01:51 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Yes, except they suggest letting the OMS evaporate over night. Thereís not going to be any mineral spirits in the chain. ...

Please DO NOT put mineral spirits in the wax and heat it. Heating solvents increase the vapor pressure over the wax and will result in a flammable vapor. Putting new chain lubricant (a wax itself) in hot wax is okay. Putting OMS in the wax is BAD!
Is a little residual OMS dangerous (in the Crock Pot) or bad for wax adhesion? I just wipe, hang, and blow dry the chain with compressed air.
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Old 09-17-21, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene
Sounds reasonable. The point of my 'experiment' originally was to see of after evaporation what kinda film might be left on the aluminum foil. I gave up after a couple hours waiting and dumped the OMS. Not sure why, I thought the OMS would evaporate more quickly than it was apparently doing. Anyway, I never did find out what, if any film I could detect after evaporation as my patience gave out.
Odorless mineral spirits has a flash point of about 100 to 150įF. It could take some time. Perhaps not as long as water but close.

FWIW, This excerpt of the instructions (steps 7 to 8) that was being referred to, doesn't indicate any wait time before alcohol dunking after OMS.
My mistake. They said to leave it overnight in the mineral spirits and I remembered them say to let it dry overnight. My mistake.


6. Place chain in clean container, cover with new mineral spirits and shake for one minute (3rd and final bath). Note: if mineral spirits not clear after 3rd bath, repeat bathing process with new mineral spirits until clear. Also note amount of dark residue on rag after wiping chain; repeat bathing process until residue is slight (or eliminated entirely for fastest chain).
7. Remove and wipe chain after final mineral spirits bath, empty used mineral spirits, wipe container and lid clean with paper towels
8. Place chain in container, cover with denatured alcohol, shake for one minute, remove chain and wipe clean (use new rag so chain isn't contaminated by mineral spirits from wiping chain in previous steps)
9. Clean container and lid. Note: turn container upside down during final cleaning with paper towels to facilitate removing any remaining filings or debris from bottom of container
10. Repeat alcohol bath (alcohol bath #2), shaking for one minute
11. Remove chain, wipe aggressively with rag, hang to dry for a minimum of 15 minutes before waxing. Note: for fastest chain repeat denatured alcohol step until no filings or debris remain in bottom of container and rag shows no residue from wiping chain
They are probably using the alcohol to remove the mineral spirits but just putting it out in the sun for a while does the same thing without generating more waste. When developing methodsÖsomething that I have some experience in (40 years of chemistry)Öitís best to put in only steps that serve a purpose. If you can avoid a step and make the procedure easier, by all means avoid the step.


Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
Is a little residual OMS dangerous (in the Crock Pot) or bad for wax adhesion? I just wipe, hang, and blow dry the chain with compressed air.
No, a small amount wonít cause problems. Methane, butane, naphtha, mineral spirits, kerosene, and wax (as well as others) are all part of what is called a homologous series of hydrocarbons meaning that they are all related in properties and molecular structure. They will all dissolve in each other (butane and methane are harder to dissolve but they will) so in a melt of wax, the OMS will just dissolve up into the wax. A residual amount of OMS in the wax wonít be a problem. Donít go pouring a cup of it into the wax. Bad idea.
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Old 09-17-21, 08:34 PM
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I think I could do my hoovering, dusting, make bread, and walk the dogs in the time it would take me to clean a bike chain properly. If my time is worth anything I should just Amazon me a new chain every time the previous one gets dirty.
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Old 09-18-21, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by grizzly59
I think I could do my hoovering, dusting, make bread, and walk the dogs in the time it would take me to clean a bike chain properly. If my time is worth anything I should just Amazon me a new chain every time the previous one gets dirty.
Iím going to try another theory. I was thinking about just having 2 chains for every bike I was riding regularly. One stays submerged in something like ATF. The other on the bike. When I feel the chain on the bike is dirty, just swap chains. Seems like other than wiping down, same amount of time as using a new chain.
Just an idea.
But like you, I was thinking about all these super lube/wax techniques. ďthatís an awful lot of work for a ~$30
part thatís a consumable anyway.Ē
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Old 09-18-21, 06:19 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by Pantah
The number one reason I typically use solvent with a brush is because of someone else's lack of maintenance.
This. All my gear wipes clean with a dry rag.

When I lube stuff, I try to put only enough lube to do the job, only where the job is. When I lube a chain, it's a manually placed drop at every roller and the chain gets thoroughly wiped a few times afterwards as the lube works out.

Almost everybody uses more lube than me. Folks say to liberally grease cassette splines, but that's rubbish - leave them dry. Just do the lockring tight enough, which by the way is only about half or maybe 2/3 the recommended 40Nm. (The main reason people experience problems here is the profusion of unreinforced aluminium Shimano splines, while the spline pattern is obviously meant to be in steel - the only workaround is a billet cassette, not grease and thread-stripping torque.)

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Old 09-18-21, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
A residual amount of OMS in the wax wonít be a problem. Donít go pouring a cup of it into the wax. Bad idea.
Thank you. I am only talking about the residual OMS in the rollers. (I don't want to risk blowing up my remaining working oven by baking it to dry.)
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Old 09-18-21, 10:17 PM
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Soaking in a tupperware container of WD40 works
Soaking in a container of diesel or gasoline works better and faster
Wear proper gloves, use proper container and do it in a ventilated area plus some common sense if using gas of course
If using fuel, remove and let dry on a rag or cardboard, then rinse it out with some isopropyl alcohol, shake and compressed air dry or put it infront of a fan for a few.
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Old 09-19-21, 12:54 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by trikeBoomer
Soaking in a tupperware container of WD40 works
Soaking in a container of diesel or gasoline works better and faster
Wear proper gloves, use proper container and do it in a ventilated area plus some common sense if using gas of course
If using fuel, remove and let dry on a rag or cardboard, then rinse it out with some isopropyl alcohol, shake and compressed air dry or put it infront of a fan for a few.
I haven't had time to get into it yet but I bought two gal off OMS at Lowe's for 25 bucks.
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Old 09-19-21, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by trikeBoomer
Soaking in a tupperware container of WD40 works
Why not use mineral spirits? Itís the solvent without the 25% mineral oil that WD-40 contains. Itís also cheaper in greater quantities.

Soaking in a container of diesel or gasoline works better and faster
No. Neither of those work any better nor faster than mineral spirits. Diesel is oily and gasoline is just too hazardous. For those people who go around suggesting gasoline for cleaning solvent, why donít you go down to your local firehouse and ask a fireman how they feel about you using gasoline in large (or even small) quantities for cleaning parts. Make sure you give them your address so that they know what to expect when you set your house on fire.

Wear proper gloves, use proper container and do it in a ventilated area plus some common sense if using gas of course
ďCommon senseĒ would dictate that you use the least hazardous solvent. In other words, donít use gasoline
.
If using fuel, remove and let dry on a rag or cardboard, then rinse it out with some isopropyl alcohol, shake and compressed air dry or put it infront of a fan for a few.
So let me get this straight: you are suggesting taking a highly flammable material and putting it on an absorbent surface so that it has a higher surface area? And/or spraying a flammable solvent into a mist? Great idea. Tell the firemen about that too.
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Old 09-19-21, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by cyrano138
I'm going to price a gallon of mineral spirits at Lowes and get a gallon of diesel and see how they compare. Lots of great advice -- much appreciated
I filled an old isopropyl pint bottle with odorless mineral spirits. That lasts me a year or so. I mostly rip paper towels in smaller sizes and wet them with the mineral spirits. I just slightly turn the cap and dribble out a little solvent. For cassettes off the bike, a small plastic dish and dribbling a small amount of mineral spirits onto the cassette, cleaning with rags, then finishing with a bit of paper towel. The gallon is going to last me 10 years at least!

I used to clean chains by shaking them in a two liter bottle with a few cups of mineral spirits. Pour off into another bottle to save it. It does settle out the black gunk and is reusable. (I don't do this anymore, I just wipe off the chain with a dampen mineral spirits rag, and relube. It seems to last just as long.)

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Old 09-19-21, 11:52 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by grizzly59
I think I could do my hoovering, dusting, make bread, and walk the dogs in the time it would take me to clean a bike chain properly. If my time is worth anything I should just Amazon me a new chain every time the previous one gets dirty.
The initial cleaning does take some time, but once properly cleaned and waxed, subsequent iterations take very little time. 11 speed chains are getting harder to come by during this pandemic, and even if they were readily available, not having a greasy drive train makes it more enjoyable to tinker with my bike.

Originally Posted by Kimmo
This. All my gear wipes clean with a dry rag.

When I lube stuff, I try to put only enough lube to do the job, only where the job is. When I lube a chain, it's a manually placed drop at every roller and the chain gets thoroughly wiped a few times afterwards as the lube works out.
Before going to wax, I used to do the same as you, only 1 or 2 drops per roller, follow by thorough wiping. I did this every 150 miles, but I could never achieve a chain which just wipes clean with a clean rag. (This took longer than my maintenance routine with wax.) Perhaps the environment in Oz is more pristine than the OC.
​​​​​​
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Old 09-20-21, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
Before going to wax, I used to do the same as you, only 1 or 2 drops per roller, follow by thorough wiping. I did this every 150 miles, but I could never achieve a chain which just wipes clean with a clean rag. (This took longer than my maintenance routine with wax.) Perhaps the environment in Oz is more pristine than the OC.
​​​​​​
I'd probably spend five minutes, a few times, to get all the excess lube off, so if I brush the chain or even grab it from the sides, I'm clean.
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Old 09-20-21, 08:26 AM
  #70  
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I find WD40 works good for cutting grease. I only using small amounts of it for cleaning stuff like derailleurs and cassettes.
For chains I use Rock N Roll Gold lube. I apply it, then wipe it off and a lot of dirt and grime comes off.
I don't feel a need to get the chain so clean that I need to soak it in solvent.
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Old 09-20-21, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by cyrano138
The grease would wash away like my problems when I get to the third or fourth tequila.
I can't believe no one in this thread has suggested just using tequila as a de-greaser.
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Old 09-20-21, 09:48 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by msu2001la
I can't believe no one in this thread has suggested just using tequila as a de-greaser.
That'd be a waste of good tequila, and bad tequila is more than half water, so it wouldn't dissolve much grease.
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Old 09-20-21, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
That'd be a waste of good tequila, and bad tequila is more than half water, so it wouldn't dissolve much grease.
I fully agree that tequila wouldn't make a good solvent, as well as not being cost effective, but seeing as I hate the stuff, I'd find it amusing to try out on a gunky old broken part. After all, there really only is one true way to find out the cleaning properties.
That being said, I'm going to use vodka instead as I've had a half a bottle in my freezer for 4 years, 'bout time I freed up that space.
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Old 09-20-21, 12:14 PM
  #74  
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Mineral spirits still work wonderfully. I rarely soak anything. I'll put the part into something like a tupperware tub and then put a small amount of mineral spirts in a cup and using an old tooth brush dip it into the cup and then scrub the part. When done, I store the used mineral spirits in a plastic screw top container and sometimes use it again. The problem with mineral spirits is that it's hazardous waste so you have to wait for your town to have a hazardous waste collection day to get rid of it.
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Old 09-20-21, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by REV160
The problem with mineral spirits is that it's hazardous waste so you have to wait for your town to have a hazardous waste collection day to get rid of it.
Thankfully, the OC has 4 household hazardous waste collection centers:

Household Hazardous Waste | OC Waste & Recycling (oclandfills.com)

Used odorless mineral spirits would qualify both as a "solvent" and "paint thinner" under the items accepted:

HousewholdHazardousWasteFactSheet_OCRecycleGuide(7) (oclandfills.com)
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