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Spray Degreasers

Old 12-20-08, 07:07 PM
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bcarter6
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Spray Degreasers

So I went into the bike shop today to pick up some degreaser to clean my girlfriend's bike (I had used the last of my citrus degreaser doing mine the day before). The guy at the shop said that they didn't carry citrus degreaser because it would damage the bike, they only had the spray foam stuff. Rather than go to another store I thought I would try the foam, just spray it on, wait a bit and rinse it off... sounds easy.

However, it was a real PITA compared to citrus degreaser and my parks chain cleaning machine, so I don't think I want to use it much. But I am wondering about what he said about it hurting my bike... he just feeding me a line?
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Old 12-20-08, 07:58 PM
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I use Simple Green to clean just about everything on a bike. Not sure if it destroys the paint, but I seem to be able to manage that pretty well myself. I figure by simply riding every day, I will destroy a paint job quicker than Simple Green could.

BTW, regular dish detergent has some pretty good degreasing capability. Cheap too.
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Old 12-20-08, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
I use Simple Green to clean just about everything on a bike.

Same here. Key is you have to rinse it well. Simple Green will etch aluminum if it's left on. It also strips wax (as does dish detergent) so if you get it on paint it's adviseable to re-wax it.

WD-40 also functions well as a cleaner.

-Roger
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Old 12-20-08, 08:50 PM
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All of them will strip wax. The best cleaner and also the safest is automotive brake cleaner. It's designed to not attack rubber brake hoses, etc. and leaves behind no residue. You don't want to get it into bearings, however. It'll wash the grease right out. They all will, but the more effective as a cleaner it is, the faster it'll take grease out of bearings.
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Old 12-20-08, 09:30 PM
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I use the spray citrus stuff. It works. Dish detergent is worthless. I once ran the cleaning machine with dish detergent three times to get murky water. Then I sprayed citrus degreaser on the chain and ran the cleaning machine with water. The water was black when I finished.

I've never heard of this foam stuff. I imagine anything that works will strip paint, eat rubber, and corrode metal.
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Old 12-20-08, 10:09 PM
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I use mineral spirits.
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Old 12-20-08, 10:49 PM
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i find that Shout, that stuff for removing laundry stains, works really well, smells nice, and leaves my hands feeling silky smooth.
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Old 12-21-08, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by yan View Post
i use mineral spirits.
+1
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Old 12-21-08, 09:26 PM
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+1 mineral spirits, which is exactly what WD-40 is, except it's cheaper by the gallon.

+100 on the spray brake cleaner. Absolutely the best gunk remover there is. Evaporates to completely dry in seconds. Expensive, though. Caution: it also is very tough on your hands, so use gloves.

Simple Green is good, but really should be water rinsed, which might make it inconvenient. Buy it by the gallon and mix up a stronger solution in your sprayer.
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Old 12-22-08, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by jcm View Post
+1 mineral spirits, which is exactly what WD-40 is, except it's cheaper by the gallon.

+100 on the spray brake cleaner. Absolutely the best gunk remover there is. Evaporates to completely dry in seconds. Expensive, though. Caution: it also is very tough on your hands, so use gloves.

Simple Green is good, but really should be water rinsed, which might make it inconvenient. Buy it by the gallon and mix up a stronger solution in your sprayer.
Just cleaned my chain tonight w/ mineral spirits. It dries clean, is not a cleaner so once is dried, if water gets back into the chain, it will not re-activate and turn back into a degreaser like Simple Green can if you don't get it all out by rinsing.

The bike degreasers out there are pretty weak and really just shift the dirt around. I think those chain cleaners are a crock as they don't really remove all that much dirt and the most harmfull stuff (the stuff in the bushings) stays there. With a glass jar of mineral spirits and a chain, you can have a dirt free-chain in < 2 min.

Plus mineral spirits can be reused. Once you clean you chain, if you leave the jar un-touched for a few days all the particulate matter and grime sinks to the bottom. You can pour out the clean fluid into a second jar and re-use it.

Brake Cleaner is toxic but it works. I use it for REALLY old caked on grease , but mineral spirits works from 90% of everything else.
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Old 12-22-08, 10:47 AM
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simple green or Formula 409 will do a great job of de-greasing anything with NO damage
to the item whatsoever. I used both for decades with not one problem with them where I've
had other cleaning product wrinkle and damage the paint badly or stain the plastic.
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 12-22-08, 11:31 AM
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i used spray degreaser on the whole bike when i started out...i am convinced it stripped the grease out of all my bearings and caused free-hub failures and other issues. if you use it keep it away from bearings/seals. it is thin and can pass right thru seals. now i wash with water only and not that often.
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Old 12-22-08, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bikecopXXX View Post
i used spray degreaser on the whole bike when i started out...i am convinced it stripped the grease out of all my bearings and caused free-hub failures and other issues. if you use it keep it away from bearings/seals. it is thin and can pass right thru seals. now i wash with water only and not that often.
Very good point. It can definitely wash out your bearings. I limit its use to the chain. However, because it is fairly costly, I keep a couple gallon cans of mineral spirits in the shop and go at it with a couple brushes. Mineral spirits can also wash out the bearings. It is a powerful cleaner/solvent.

Those one-gallon detergent jugs, with the spout pried out make great containers for chain cleaning. Pour in about three cups and drop in your chain. Screw on the top and shake for about three minutes and presto - super clean. I use a second one with a fresher rinse in it to finish off. I found out that a magnet is helpful to retrieve the roller that might come out with the shaking.

I know the chain is clean when I can twist it and not hear the grit in the rollers.
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Old 12-23-08, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by bikecopXXX View Post
i used spray degreaser on the whole bike when i started out...i am convinced it stripped the grease out of all my bearings and caused free-hub failures and other issues. if you use it keep it away from bearings/seals. it is thin and can pass right thru seals. now i wash with water only and not that often.
This is why I prefer a household spray bottle of Formula 409. It can be "targeted" to the dirt and
works so quickly that you wipe it away before the drips get into bearings. I take care around the
derailer/gears then soap & water. (I spray lube them right after I clean that area)
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 12-23-08, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post

BTW, regular dish detergent has some pretty good degreasing capability. Cheap too.
i find dish detergent very messy. Like some others here I use mineral spirits, but only on cogs and severe messes. It's very good for cleaning a tooth brush or whatever else you may be using. For most applications, I've found the tri-flow citrus degreaser very useful and not too abrasive (apply to rag first).

https://www.triflowlubricants.com/Cit...er/citrus.html

Last edited by bikepeddler; 12-23-08 at 01:29 PM. Reason: addendum
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Old 12-23-08, 01:14 PM
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I've never found dish detergent to do a darn thing about really bad grease. Honestly, nothing short of a fairly powerful, nicely flammable solvent really works. Mineral spirits or kerosene.

I don't clean my bike much though. I don't even really clean my chain anymore; I tried it and it doesn't improve its lifetime at all, so now I just lube and wipe down.
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Old 12-23-08, 01:27 PM
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Chain Cleaner

Rock and Roll is the best lube all in one cleaner I've found so far.

https://www.rocklube.com/
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Old 12-23-08, 01:42 PM
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My degreaser: One gallon can of WD-40 and a 99 cent spray bottle in lieu of a parts washer (which is better than anything).
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Old 12-23-08, 05:59 PM
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If you are talking about your chain, this is what I do in the winter Winter Chain Cleaning/Lube.

If you are talking about the rest of you bike, I wipe it down with a rag, and that's about it...
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Old 12-24-08, 04:54 AM
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Ya ya. I have been full circle - citrus degreasers, Simple Green, and then foam engine degreaser.

The best is the foam engine degreaser.

HOWEVER, I found the most economical solution was to fill up an old spray bottle with kerosene. This works EXCELLENT and is cheap enough that you don't have to think about it. Just keep squirting until the parts are clean.

PS; don't waste your money buying degreasers at a bike shop. That's crazy. Go down the street and get stuff like that at a hardware store. Use the money you save to buy a latte at Starbucks.
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Old 12-24-08, 04:50 PM
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One product I've used for years is "Pedro's" Biodegradable De-Greaser. It's a pump-spray bottle, works pretty good and I haven't noticed any problems on my paint or aluminum finishes. (Note: This is a spray on-hose off sort of cleaner, but I use a soft cloth afterwards to prevent splotches and haze)

Just a suggestion.

-3Bikes

P.S. Don't forget to use chain lubricant and rust protecter on brake calipers, axles, gears..... that sort of thing.
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Old 12-25-08, 08:51 AM
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"PS; don't waste your money buying degreasers at a bike shop. That's crazy. Go down the street and get stuff like that at a hardware store. Use the money you save to buy a latte at Starbucks."

+1 on the de-grease, but I'd just go get a couple 3lb cans of Folgers at the grocery store instead of Tarbucks.
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Old 12-25-08, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jcm View Post
"PS; don't waste your money buying degreasers at a bike shop. That's crazy. Go down the street and get stuff like that at a hardware store. Use the money you save to buy a latte at Starbucks."

+1 on the de-grease, but I'd just go get a couple 3lb cans of Folgers at the grocery store instead of Tarbucks.
In fact, I agree with you about the coffee. I was being a little sarcastic about going to Starbucks for a latte. Frankly, I find Starbucks to be just ghastly coffee. Folgers made at home has a lot less tannins and better flavor - but it is all what you get used to. I remember having a breakfast coffee at home. My son asked me to stop by Starbucks on the way to drop him off at work. The coffee cost him nearly $7.00 for his foo-foo coffee = that is one hour's work for him. 13% of his total day's wage for a cup of coffee. Latte... that means "Milk" doesn't it? I have that in the fridge too. If nobody's looking, I MIGHT even use the left-over milk from my Captain Crunch cereal in my coffee. Would that make it a Le Cap'n and Latte Mocha?
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Old 12-25-08, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mike View Post
Folgers made at home has a lot less tannins and better flavor - but it is all what you get used to.
Sorry, can't get used to Folgers no matter how cheap it is. Reminds me of ground pencil shavings.

Dunkin Donuts ground made at home here
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Old 12-25-08, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
Sorry, can't get used to Folgers no matter how cheap it is. Reminds me of ground pencil shavings.

Dunkin Donuts ground made at home here
Oops, I think this thread has been hijacked. Anyway, I will have to try the Dunkin Doughnuts coffee. Sounds promising.
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