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It's been asked a million times but what's a good degreaser, main for chain.

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It's been asked a million times but what's a good degreaser, main for chain.

Old 08-13-15, 07:18 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by cydewaze View Post
I remove the chain and put it in a sealed container. Then I add a 50/50 combo of something like Simple Green and boiling water. The heat dissolves the grease.

Shake the container vigorously, rinse, wipe dry, then apply your preferred lubricant.
+1. This works extremely well. Gatorade bottles work very well for this purpose. I follow up the degreasing with a shake in isopropyl alcohol. It will attach itself to any water in the chain links and speed up drying.
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Old 08-13-15, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by series1811 View Post
+1. This works extremely well. Gatorade bottles work very well for this purpose. I follow up the degreasing with a shake in isopropyl alcohol. It will attach itself to any water in the chain links and speed up drying.
Yep, I've done the alcohol before too. I've also tried the shake with some lube, but it doesn't seem to work any better than lubing with the chain on the bike, though it makes it a heck of a lot messier to handle.
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Old 08-13-15, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Dangerous how? Do you clean your chain while smoking? You could wear gloves if you were worried about absorbing through skin. Or just spray on a little R&R Gold and skip the cleaning altogether.
I clearly referred to flammability. Gloves when working with any of these solvents is assumed, at least by me. So that's not it. Gasoline contains very low molecular weight hydrocarbons that are extremely flammable. Something as innocuous as the spark from plugging in an appliance nearby or from an analog cell phone can easily ignite it.

While on the toxicity subject however, it is also true that gasoline contains significant quantities of volatile carcinogens like benzene. Gloves aren't a whole lot of help against inhaled toxins.

Perhaps you are one of those people who knows better than all the experts and doesn't want to be told what to do. If so, all I can say is good luck.
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Old 08-13-15, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by series1811 View Post
+1. This works extremely well. Gatorade bottles work very well for this purpose. I follow up the degreasing with a shake in isopropyl alcohol. It will attach itself to any water in the chain links and speed up drying.
Shaking near-boiling water in a sealed container (plastic, glass?) is a recipe for disaster. Do what you want, but don't recommend crap like this to other folks who may not understand the risks.
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Old 08-13-15, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by series1811 View Post
+1. This works extremely well. Gatorade bottles work very well for this purpose. I follow up the degreasing with a shake in isopropyl alcohol. It will attach itself to any water in the chain links and speed up drying.
Actually they don't. PET plastic softens well below the boiling point of water (glass transition temperature of 80 deg C or thereabouts), and the pressure from agitated water near the boiling point is significant. Are you actually trying to be a statistic?
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Old 08-13-15, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by sced View Post
Silly alarmist. Just don't do it indoors and be away from any ignition sources. I've done hundreds of times with complete success.
Well there you go! Proof by anecdote. Ed, there are so much safer and equally effective hydrocarbon solvents available like OMS that using continuing to use gasoline after being informed of the risks can only be attributed to a death wish. There is absolutely no justification for taking the risks regarding both flammability and toxicity that using gasoline entails . As I said, do what you want yourself, but please don't recommend stuff like this to others who don't know any better.
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Old 08-13-15, 09:15 AM
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Does anyone know why the chemical industry can never seem to get to 0 lost time incidents, 0 injuries, even 0 deaths? I will give you a hint. The answer is in several of the above posts.
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Old 08-13-15, 09:23 AM
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Weekly cleaning involves Park Citrus degreaser applied with a rag and a tooth brush. It's then wiped clean, sprayed with Simple Green (50/50 water), wiped clean and new lube applied.

Mid season and at the end I remove the chain, run it through a parts washer with Safety Klean and use a small spiral brush to get between the links. I then wash off with 50/50 Simple green, thoroughly dry and hang for a day. Next day I reinstall the chain and lube.

I also remove and clean the cassette the same way.
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Old 08-13-15, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
I clearly referred to flammability. Gloves when working with any of these solvents is assumed, at least by me. So that's not it. Gasoline contains very low molecular weight hydrocarbons that are extremely flammable. Something as innocuous as the spark from plugging in an appliance nearby or from an analog cell phone can easily ignite it.

While on the toxicity subject however, it is also true that gasoline contains significant quantities of volatile carcinogens like benzene. Gloves aren't a whole lot of help against inhaled toxins.

Perhaps you are one of those people who knows better than all the experts and doesn't want to be told what to do. If so, all I can say is good luck.
It wasn't clear to me. I think calling it 'extremely dangerous' is a bit of hyperbole. Most people are pretty comfortable around gasoline and have a can of it for gas tools, lawn mower etc.

I have a woodwork shop full of what you would consider 'extremely dangerous' tools. I guess I'm just used to working in extreme danger...
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Old 08-13-15, 09:31 AM
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DuPont motorcycle degreaser for chains and sprockets works well for me.
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Old 08-13-15, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
It wasn't clear to me. I think calling it 'extremely dangerous' is a bit of hyperbole. Most people are pretty comfortable around gasoline and have a can of it for gas tools, lawn mower etc.

I have a woodwork shop full of what you would consider 'extremely dangerous' tools. I guess I'm just used to working in extreme danger...
That's the problem isn't it. When solvents with a flash point similar to gasoline are necessarily used by professionals in a chemical laboratory, the last thing that anyone would be is comfortable.

You would never get anyone who works with materials like gasoline for a living to agree with you regarding it not being extremely dangerous. But then if you know better...

Final comment: Do you have a guard on your table saw. Why? Think of the table saw without the guard as gasoline and the saw with the guard as mineral spirits. Do you see my point?
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Old 08-13-15, 09:52 AM
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I used to clean my dirt bike air filters with gasoline all the time.

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Old 08-13-15, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
That's the problem isn't it. When solvents with a flash point similar to gasoline are necessarily used by professionals in a chemical laboratory, the last thing that anyone would be is comfortable.

Do you have a guard on your table saw. Why? Think of the table saw without the guard as gasoline and the saw with the guard as mineral spirits. Do you see my point?
Using gas in a small indoor room might be like using a tablesaw without a guard. Using gas outdoors is not particularly dangerous.

I'll admit I have a guard for my tablesaw but it's on the shelf. I'm a bad boy.
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Old 08-13-15, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Using gas in a small indoor room might be like using a tablesaw without a guard. Using gas outdoors is not particularly dangerous.

I'll admit I have a guard for my tablesaw but it's on the shelf. I'm a bad boy.
I'm really glad you told us that. It puts your gasoline comments in perspective. Folks, consider the source.
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Old 08-13-15, 11:34 AM
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This thread has been illuminating for a newbie.

Sounds like the consensus is that Mineral Spirits is probably the best degreaser (considering effectiveness and safety). But a thorough cleaning with soaking the chain in it, probably only needs to be done once a year, but using a rag soaked in it to degrease, before relubing, will help keep the muck from getting attached to the chain.

GH
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Old 08-13-15, 03:49 PM
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Straight Lye works great. Use your hands to apply and wash down with water.
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Old 08-13-15, 04:26 PM
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Brake Clean.
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Old 08-13-15, 04:52 PM
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As a chemist I can vouch that toxic and flammable hydrocarbon based solvents are generally the most effective degreasers. Anything water-based (citrus or 'green') is useless. White gas (camp fuel) is an amazing degreaser, but highly flammable. Gasoline is less flammable, but still a good degreaser.

Varsol or mineral spirits is probably the best compromise considering toxicity, effectiveness and combustion hazard.
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Old 08-13-15, 07:49 PM
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so mineral spirits will work as well as the Park Tool stuff I've been spending $12+ at the LBS? That's depressing considering how many bottles of the Park Tool stuff I've purchased over the past 10 years.
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Old 08-13-15, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BarryJo View Post
so mineral spirits will work as well as the Park Tool stuff I've been spending $12+ at the LBS? That's depressing considering how many bottles of the Park Tool stuff I've purchased over the past 10 years.
Much better. Water soluble degreasers like the Park stuff are a poor compromise compared to hydrocarbon solvents. The only appeal of a water soluble degreaser is...well, uh, its water solubility, lack of flammability, and low toxicity. Odorless mineral spirits with the aid of an old toothbrush will rapidly and completely dissolve all the oil and grease on your chain, inside and out. If you have the time, hang the wet and clean chain in a warm place, like in the sun or a warm garage for a few hours for it to dry. The lube and you are done.
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Old 08-13-15, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
As a chemist...
Huh, you too? Small world.
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Old 08-13-15, 11:19 PM
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IME, whatever you use, the important thing is not to remove the lube from the inside of the sleeves. Just a little simple green or the like painted on the outside with a brush and quickly hosed off is all you need, if you even need that. What makes a chain last is lube. Removing the lube and/or driving grit into the sleeves is not good. And don't kid yourself that your relube will refill the sleeves. Maybe if you drop the chain into heated lube. Maybe. I've been doing this for a long time and my chains last longer if I'm chary with the cleaner and don't use strong stuff like mineral spirits. Soap and water applied with a sponge OTOH seems not to bother a chain.

This is how you do it:
http://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...ash-yours.html

It's worth it to get the set of brushes and the little chain holder gizmo:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000IZEH1K/
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Old 08-14-15, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
IME, whatever you use, the important thing is not to remove the lube from the inside of the sleeves. Just a little simple green or the like painted on the outside with a brush and quickly hosed off is all you need, if you even need that. What makes a chain last is lube. Removing the lube and/or driving grit into the sleeves is not good. And don't kid yourself that your relube will refill the sleeves. Maybe if you drop the chain into heated lube. Maybe. I've been doing this for a long time and my chains last longer if I'm chary with the cleaner and don't use strong stuff like mineral spirits. Soap and water applied with a sponge OTOH seems not to bother a chain.

This is how you do it:
http://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...ash-yours.html

It's worth it to get the set of brushes and the little chain holder gizmo:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000IZEH1K/
Agree about a topical versus more invasive approach to chain cleaning. Too deep a clean strips the internal lubrication of the chain...rollers and o rings which can contribute to faster wear. My experience over many years is to wipe the outside of the chain off with odorless mineral spirits and then reapply a Teflon based chain lube. But I don't even do this often. Instead I wipe the chain by rotating the crank with a towel or paper towel and simply reapply lube and go...or put some White Lightening on a towel which helps get the gunk off the chain and then relube. High frequency removable of a chain and immersion into a bath of cleaner, cleans the interior of the chain stripping lubrication which is harder to restore...which promotes greater wear...perhaps the opposite of what many think.
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Old 08-14-15, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by cydewaze View Post
I remove the chain and put it in a sealed container. Then I add a 50/50 combo of something like Simple Green and boiling water. The heat dissolves the grease.

Shake the container vigorously, rinse, wipe dry, then apply your preferred lubricant.
Originally Posted by series1811 View Post
+1. This works extremely well. Gatorade bottles work very well for this purpose. I follow up the degreasing with a shake in isopropyl alcohol. It will attach itself to any water in the chain links and speed up drying.
Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Shaking near-boiling water in a sealed container (plastic, glass?) is a recipe for disaster. Do what you want, but don't recommend crap like this to other folks who may not understand the risks.
I actually didn't recommend the boiling water part, I missed that part of cydewaze's post when I quoted him. You are correct. Boiling or near boiling water in a sealed container will pressurize and is dangerous. I use 50/50 room temperature water and simple green in a sealed gatorade container, then follow up with alcohol. Works like a champ.
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Old 08-14-15, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by series1811 View Post
I actually didn't recommend the boiling water part, I missed that part of cydewaze's post when I quoted him. You are correct. Boiling or near boiling water in a sealed container will pressurize and is dangerous. I use 50/50 room temperature water and simple green in a sealed gatorade container, then follow up with alcohol. Works like a champ.
Good to hear it.
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