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Waxing chain, benzene a cancer risk?

Old 10-05-21, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
I think a lot of non-chemists worry needlessly over such things. I guess if you got wax to just the right temperature it could break down but the more likely result is shorter straight chain hydrocarbons, not benzene which is a 6 member aromatic ring. The World Health Organization is probably a more reliable source of information on the hazards of paraffin and it shows wax to be pretty safe. https://inchem.org/documents/icsc/icsc/eics1457.htm
Yes, the OP's link claim is confusing. Is the claim that when paraffin starts "fuming" it'll release trace amounts (probably parts per million or less) of benzene? But no, the claim seems to be a breakdown product. But how does a straight chain "break down" while forming a ring, losing H atoms, and reacting to form a higher energy species? It doesn't make sense to a chemist. Normally a break down product in the atmosphere would involve partial oxidation, but of course a furan is going to be even higher energy and more tightly constrained than benzene.
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Old 10-05-21, 11:09 AM
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I use approximately a gram of PTFE every two years ..... mixed in paraffin, applied to my chains. Every mile I ride on an errand or to a job is a mile I am not using my car, which is incredibly polluting, and supports every one of the most toxic industries out there (basically all chemical and petrochemical companies just make death and administer it slowly.)

After years as an environmental activist, I realized that A.) We are past the tilting point. No matter what "radical" changes we make now ("But I use reusable cloth shopping bags!") the world is in for a huge mess of problems ... more so than we see (or refuse to see) today.

B.) the reason we cannot "reverse" all this stuff is that our entire lifestyle is destructive, and also because we are selling older version to less-affluent countries (machinery and production techniques deemed "too toxic" for America get sold around the world. Communist China, the world's biggest coal consumer (https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=16271), is building 300 coal plants around the world to "help" developing nations.) If the U.S. went back to the stone age tomorrow, the rest of the world would still kill the place in two decades.

C.) While we should do what we can, we need to keep in mind that the vastest amount of pollution is corporate. If every private citizen went back to the stone age tomorrow, it wouldn't make a dent in global pollution because of the 100 or so companies that produce seventy percent of the toxic waste killing us slowly. (https://www.theguardian.com/sustaina...4-CSfcEcWNevds)

Yeah ... if a person has an extreme sensitivity to outgassing from carpets or VOCs in paint or something, that's all good to know. The amount of chemical waste my bike produces .... yeah, you go ahead and fret over that. Pretty sure when the ocean swallows California and Florida, it won't be because of which brand of chain lube I chose.
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Old 10-05-21, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I use approximately a gram of PTFE every two years ..... mixed in paraffin, applied to my chains. Every mile I ride on an errand or to a job is a mile I am not using my car, which is incredibly polluting, and supports every one of the most toxic industries out there (basically all chemical and petrochemical companies just make death and administer it slowly.)

After years as an environmental activist, I realized that A.) We are past the tilting point. No matter what "radical" changes we make now ("But I use reusable cloth shopping bags!") the world is in for a huge mess of problems ... more so than we see (or refuse to see) today.

B.) the reason we cannot "reverse" all this stuff is that our entire lifestyle is destructive, and also because we are selling older version to less-affluent countries (machinery and production techniques deemed "too toxic" for America get sold around the world. Communist China, the world's biggest coal consumer (https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=16271), is building 300 coal plants around the world to "help" developing nations.) If the U.S. went back to the stone age tomorrow, the rest of the world would still kill the place in two decades.

C.) While we should do what we can, we need to keep in mind that the vastest amount of pollution is corporate. If every private citizen went back to the stone age tomorrow, it wouldn't make a dent in global pollution because of the 100 or so companies that produce seventy percent of the toxic waste killing us slowly. (https://www.theguardian.com/sustaina...4-CSfcEcWNevds)

Yeah ... if a person has an extreme sensitivity to outgassing from carpets or VOCs in paint or something, that's all good to know. The amount of chemical waste my bike produces .... yeah, you go ahead and fret over that. Pretty sure when the ocean swallows California and Florida, it won't be because of which brand of chain lube I chose.
It doesn't matter how far a person goes to "save" the planet. There will always be that one person that tries to put holes in the good means of others.
If pollution were to be addressed to the extreme, we would not be riding bicycles. Instead, we'd all be walking barefoot.

I would use the wax that best performs to your needs & not really be concerned of the long term impacts if you are handling them with decent PPE.
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Old 10-05-21, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
what about if they are yolkless?
Yolkless is the tubeless of the poultry world.
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Old 10-05-21, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Yolkless is the tubeless of the poultry world.
eggcellent
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Old 10-05-21, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Wattsup View Post
I just read that heating paraffin creates benzene. What do you all think? Here's where I read it. Search on benzene.

https://zerofrictioncycling.com.au/w...-FAQ-v1.3a.pdf
I think it's about the least of our health worries. Maybe start with the lower hanging fruit first. Like what are you breathing when in traffic? What are you eating? etc, etc, etc.
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Old 10-05-21, 02:43 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I use approximately a gram of PTFE every two years ..... mixed in paraffin, applied to my chains. Every mile I ride on an errand or to a job is a mile I am not using my car, which is incredibly polluting, and supports every one of the most toxic industries out there (basically all chemical and petrochemical companies just make death and administer it slowly.)

After years as an environmental activist, I realized that A.) We are past the tilting point. No matter what "radical" changes we make now ("But I use reusable cloth shopping bags!") the world is in for a huge mess of problems ... more so than we see (or refuse to see) today.

B.) the reason we cannot "reverse" all this stuff is that our entire lifestyle is destructive, and also because we are selling older version to less-affluent countries (machinery and production techniques deemed "too toxic" for America get sold around the world. Communist China, the world's biggest coal consumer (https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=16271), is building 300 coal plants around the world to "help" developing nations.) If the U.S. went back to the stone age tomorrow, the rest of the world would still kill the place in two decades.

C.) While we should do what we can, we need to keep in mind that the vastest amount of pollution is corporate. If every private citizen went back to the stone age tomorrow, it wouldn't make a dent in global pollution because of the 100 or so companies that produce seventy percent of the toxic waste killing us slowly. (https://www.theguardian.com/sustaina...4-CSfcEcWNevds)

Yeah ... if a person has an extreme sensitivity to outgassing from carpets or VOCs in paint or something, that's all good to know. The amount of chemical waste my bike produces .... yeah, you go ahead and fret over that. Pretty sure when the ocean swallows California and Florida, it won't be because of which brand of chain lube I chose.


Good points.

I go through a 2 fluid oz. bottle of Tri-Flow every few years, but it seems like some chain wax folks are buying PTFE powder by the 1/2 pound, for a .5% performance gain over plain wax.
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Old 10-05-21, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
PTFE is a problem because it basically never breaks down, and is accumulating in the environment, including in your body.

Using your bike to spread large amounts of it is irresponsible.

https://greensciencepolicy.org/harmful-chemicals/pfas/
I really hate this ďPFASĒ thing that is going on now. While PTFE or polytetraflouroethylene is a polyfluoroalkyl substance, itís not on the same level as other chemicals that are causing issues. PTFE used in chain lubricants is a powder that has no reactivity towards anything. Yes, it will last essentially forever because nothing breaks it down. But, because it doesnít react with anything, itís not a hazard. There are other PFAS like PFOA (perflouroctanoic acid) and the salts of PFOA that are called PFOS. But those are used as surfactants and arenít polymerized. Polymerization or linking molecular chains generally reduces reactivity and toxicity. Doubly so where PTFE is concerned.

Donít heat it over about 325įC (617įF), however. It will start to decompose at that temperature but that is a difficult temperature to reach in a home environment.


I would also argue that scent added to candles is toxic.

https://greensciencepolicy.org/harmf...ls-phthalates/

"...The words ďfragrance,Ē ďperfume,Ē or ďparfumĒ often mean phthalates are present."

Although that is way off topic, it is also untrue. Fragrances are not phthalates.
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Old 10-05-21, 09:06 PM
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Damned scientists .... what do They know? Hrmph .... get off my uneducated lawn.
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Old 10-05-21, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I really hate this ďPFASĒ thing that is going on now. While PTFE or polytetraflouroethylene is a polyfluoroalkyl substance, itís not on the same level as other chemicals that are causing issues. PTFE used in chain lubricants is a powder that has no reactivity towards anything. Yes, it will last essentially forever because nothing breaks it down. But, because it doesnít react with anything, itís not a hazard. There are other PFAS like PFOA (perflouroctanoic acid) and the salts of PFOA that are called PFOS. But those are used as surfactants and arenít polymerized. Polymerization or linking molecular chains generally reduces reactivity and toxicity. Doubly so where PTFE is concerned.

Donít heat it over about 325įC (617įF), however. It will start to decompose at that temperature but that is a difficult temperature to reach in a home environment.




Although that is way off topic, it is also untrue. Fragrances are not phthalates.



As you say, it will last essentially forever. compare to plastic in the oceans- also not very reactive, yet now 6x the mass of plankton in the north pacific.


Re: fragrances,

https://icahn.mssm.edu/files/ISMMS/A...Phthalates.pdf

"Soaps, lotions, makeups, cleaning supplies, air fresheners, and other and household products that contain fragrance are likely to contain phthalates."
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Old 10-05-21, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
As you say, it will last essentially forever. compare to plastic in the oceans- also not very reactive, yet now 6x the mass of plankton in the north pacific.
Teflon wonít end up floating in the ocean. Itís 2.2g/mL while water is 1.0g/mL. Not all ďplasticsĒ are lighter than water. The real problem here is that if you exist in this age, you have as much responsibility for the problem as anyone else. The tires on your bike? Forever. The oil you use on your chain? It exists in the environment for more than your lifetime. Carbon bike? It requires intense amounts of energy and it uses some pretty toxic chemicals to make. Aluminum? Lots of energy to refine from bauxite. Titanium? Ditto. Steel? Again, massive amounts of energy and lots of carbon produced from coal to make it.

Donít go getting up on a high horse unless you are willing to fall off.


Re: fragrances,

https://icahn.mssm.edu/files/ISMMS/A...Phthalates.pdf

"Soaps, lotions, makeups, cleaning supplies, air fresheners, and other and household products that contain fragrance are likely to contain phthalates."
They may contain phthalates but the fragrances arenít phthalates. Not that this is germane to this discussion.
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Old 10-06-21, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Teflon won’t end up floating in the ocean. It’s 2.2g/mL while water is 1.0g/mL. Not all “plastics” are lighter than water. The real problem here is that if you exist in this age, you have as much responsibility for the problem as anyone else. The tires on your bike? Forever. The oil you use on your chain? It exists in the environment for more than your lifetime. Carbon bike? It requires intense amounts of energy and it uses some pretty toxic chemicals to make. Aluminum? Lots of energy to refine from bauxite. Titanium? Ditto. Steel? Again, massive amounts of energy and lots of carbon produced from coal to make it.

Don’t go getting up on a high horse unless you are willing to fall off.




They may contain phthalates but the fragrances aren’t phthalates. Not that this is germane to this discussion.


That was an analogy. Plastic is building up in the ocean, PTFE is building up in our blood. We have individually and collectively stopped using some things such as DDT, pentachlorophenol, and asbestos (reduced anyway), after a process of discussion.

It is true that even copious use for the bike is a drop in the bucket of overall amounts being produced.
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Old 10-06-21, 11:27 AM
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I tried Organic Wax and PTFE and I like it. With a quick link, to clean just remove the chain and drench with boiling water, drop the chain in the previous wax melt (135-degrees F), then dry and rinse again with boiling water.

10-minutes top, no black oily rags to drop into landfills.

My thinking is that PTFE cookware is likely to be more of a culprit (how many billion households the world over wax chains vs. Teflon cookware thrown away over the last 50-years).

Anyway, most, if not all, of the top lubricity liquid chain lubes contain PTFE and are simply washed away 10-20 times per year.

I fully agree with woodcraft, we all must do what we can to stop this headlong rush to exterminate all life on earth, we do not own the land and the oceans, we are merely the lousy stewards.
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Old 10-06-21, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Wattsup View Post
I just read that heating paraffin creates benzene. What do you all think? Here's where I read it. Search on benzene.

https://zerofrictioncycling.com.au/w...-FAQ-v1.3a.pdf
Hi Watts,
For the most part, parrafins are what we chemists refer to as alkanes. Alkanes do not contain benzene, and can not be converted to benzene.
Yes, some paraffin wax candles contain some what we call aromatics, and benzene could be released in to the air upon burning of the candle.

However, liquefying parrafin wax vis heat is not burning, so there is little to no risk.
Best regards

Last edited by flan48; 10-06-21 at 12:41 PM. Reason: Redundancy
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Old 10-06-21, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
That was an analogy. Plastic is building up in the ocean, PTFE is building up in our blood. We have individually and collectively stopped using some things such as DDT, pentachlorophenol, and asbestos (reduced anyway), after a process of discussion.

It is true that even copious use for the bike is a drop in the bucket of overall amounts being produced.
No. Polytetrafluroethylene is not building up in our blood. Some flurocarbons are building up in our blood but not polytetrafluroethylene. You could eat spoonfuls of the stuff and it would not do anything other than pass through your gut. Using it in wax isnít an environmental disaster. The wax is more reactive than PTFE and it is extremely unreactive.

Learn some chemistry before you go telling people about chemistry.
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Old 10-06-21, 04:40 PM
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I rode by the world headquarters of Yankee Candle during my recent tour. It was my third time doing that. Should I be concerned?
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Old 10-06-21, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by JAG1 View Post
I tried Organic Wax and PTFE and I like it. With a quick link, to clean just remove the chain and drench with boiling water, drop the chain in the previous wax melt (135-degrees F), then dry and rinse again with boiling water.
Why? What purpose does the boiling water serve before putting it in wax and what purpose does it serve after? If the water melts the wax before putting it in wax, the water is going to melt the wax after. Itís a pointless exercise.

Itís pointless to put it in boiling water beforehand anyway. Just put the chain into hot wax. The hot wax will melt the cold wax. No water needed at any point.


My thinking is that PTFE cookware is likely to be more of a culprit (how many billion households the world over wax chains vs. Teflon cookware thrown away over the last 50-years).
Again, polytetrafluroethylene is not the problem. Itís not a pollution problem. There are other flurocarbons that are a problem and we probably should restrict the use of those, particularly the ones that are surfactants which means that they are water soluble.

Anyway, most, if not all, of the top lubricity liquid chain lubes contain PTFE and are simply washed away 10-20 times per year.
As is any wax treatment. It is wrong, however, to say that any lubricant is washed off. The lubricant is floated off or flows off but it doesnít dissolve.

I fully agree with woodcraft, we all must do what we can to stop this headlong rush to exterminate all life on earth, we do not own the land and the oceans, we are merely the lousy stewards.
I donít disagree but letís not lump together things that donít need to be lumped together. Nor should we wig out over something that isnít a problem.
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Old 10-06-21, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by flan48 View Post
Hi Watts,
For the most part, parrafins are what we chemists refer to as alkanes. Alkanes do not contain benzene, and can not be converted to benzene.
Yes, some paraffin wax candles contain some what we call aromatics, and benzene could be released in to the air upon burning of the candle.

However, liquefying parrafin wax vis heat is not burning, so there is little to no risk.
Best regards
Damned facts, again. Get a clue---you are not wanted here.

Now I am going to lube my chain with babies' tears and healthy thoughts, to avoid chain cancer .... while I breathe in the benzene created by cars burning gasoline
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Old 10-06-21, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Damned facts, again. Get a clue---you are not wanted here.

Now I am going to lube my chain with babies' tears and healthy thoughts, to avoid chain cancer .... while I breathe in the benzene created by cars burning gasoline
Through an asbestos face mask? Cool
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Old 10-06-21, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
No. Polytetrafluroethylene is not building up in our blood. Some flurocarbons are building up in our blood but not polytetrafluroethylene. You could eat spoonfuls of the stuff and it would not do anything other than pass through your gut. Using it in wax isnít an environmental disaster. The wax is more reactive than PTFE and it is extremely unreactive.

Learn some chemistry before you go telling people about chemistry.


The organization whose website I linked above was started by a woman who I have met, and who has spent decades in this field, starting as a Berkeley grad student in the '60s.

They argue that the many highly flourinated chemicals as a group are too hazardous, and should not be used. While your distinction between the largely inert PTFE, and more hazardous PFAS makes sense,

one of their papers states:

"Fluoropolymers consist of molecular segments (monomers) that are linked together, with up to hundreds of thousands of linked monomers in high-molecular weight polymers. While they are commonly regarded as PFAS,(58) fluorochemical producers now argue that fluoropolymers should be separated from other PFAS for hazard assessment or regulatory purposes.(59) However, the production of fluoropolymers and perfluoropolyethers is responsible for extensive environmental PFAS contamination, including releases of both intentionally added PFAA processing aids and unintentional PFAS byproducts.(13,43,60−65) It is estimated that the vast majority (∼80%) of PFCA in the environment is from fluoropolymer manufacture and use."
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Old 10-06-21, 07:39 PM
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[QUOTE=cyccommute;22260075Nor should we wig out over something that isnít a problem.[/QUOTE]

Well, when my chain was waxed, at some point I wished to clean and re-wax it, as stated.

I simply rinsed it off with a hose to clean weekly.

So, to re-wax it, I rinse it with boiling water, and re-wax it. If you simply put a dirty chain in the clean wax/PTFE, well you can reason this out for yourself.

I am quite confident that there are many cyclists out there who wash their cogs, chains, and chain-wheels with products that remove the chain lubricant. NO?

Relax a little, try and enjoy your life.
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Old 10-06-21, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JAG1 View Post
Well, when my chain was waxed, at some point I wished to clean and re-wax it, as stated.

I simply rinsed it off with a hose to clean weekly.

So, to re-wax it, I rinse it with boiling water, and re-wax it. If you simply put a dirty chain in the clean wax/PTFE, well you can reason this out for yourself.
If you are using wax, there should be nothing in the wax or stuck to the wax that causes problems. Iíve used hot wax in the past and I use solution waxes now. There is no need for cleaning because the chain isnít dirty.

I am quite confident that there are many cyclists out there who wash their cogs, chains, and chain-wheels with products that remove the chain lubricant. NO?
Far too much because they use the wrong lubricant. My chain gets cleaned once prior to installation and never needs cleaning again. The cog and chainwheels stay clean because my lubricant is clean.

Relax a little, try and enjoy your life.
Exactly. Do less work. Do only the work necessary. Ride more. Enjoy your ride.
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Old 10-06-21, 09:01 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
The organization whose website I linked above was started by a woman who I have met, and who has spent decades in this field, starting as a Berkeley grad student in the '60s.

They argue that the many highly flourinated chemicals as a group are too hazardous, and should not be used. While your distinction between the largely inert PTFE, and more hazardous PFAS makes sense,

one of their papers states:

"Fluoropolymers consist of molecular segments (monomers) that are linked together, with up to hundreds of thousands of linked monomers in high-molecular weight polymers. While they are commonly regarded as PFAS,(58) fluorochemical producers now argue that fluoropolymers should be separated from other PFAS for hazard assessment or regulatory purposes.(59) However, the production of fluoropolymers and perfluoropolyethers is responsible for extensive environmental PFAS contamination, including releases of both intentionally added PFAA processing aids and unintentional PFAS byproducts.(13,43,60−65) It is estimated that the vast majority (∼80%) of PFCA in the environment is from fluoropolymer manufacture and use."
So a friend wants to know if you go outside and live your life or do you just live in a ISO 1 level clean room???
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Old 10-06-21, 10:15 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
So a friend wants to know if you go outside and live your life or do you just live in a ISO 1 level clean room???

Perhaps unlike your friend, I do think about things, and this arena in particular as due to occupational exposure to solvents I've become sensitized to some chemicals, particularly those in scented products.
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Old 10-07-21, 01:05 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by JAG1 View Post
Well, when my chain was waxed, at some point I wished to clean and re-wax it, as stated.

I simply rinsed it off with a hose to clean weekly.

So, to re-wax it, I rinse it with boiling water, and re-wax it. If you simply put a dirty chain in the clean wax/PTFE, well you can reason this out for yourself.
Yeah, except what you actually Said, was
Originally Posted by JAG1 View Post
I tried Organic Wax and PTFE and I like it. With a quick link, to clean just remove the chain and drench with boiling water, drop the chain in the previous wax melt (135-degrees F), then dry and rinse again with boiling water.
Cyccommute is pointing out that you claimed that you wash your chain in boiling water After you wax it .... which pretty obviously would melt off the wax. Sorry, maybe you misspoke?
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