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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 08-12-15, 11:22 AM
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martslc
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It's been asked a million times but what's a good degreaser, main for chain.

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

Thanks,
Marty
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Old 08-12-15, 11:35 AM
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Simple Green Extreme Motorsports
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Old 08-12-15, 11:41 AM
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Old 08-12-15, 11:51 AM
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Gas is the best, but smelly. Mineral spirits is probably the best overall. I just lean my bike against a post and work the chain with a chippy brush and a jelly jar of cleaner, moving the chain around with the crank. You can put an old towel underneath to catch dripping crud. Wipe the chain when done cleaning and relube with 3-in-1.

Last edited by sced; 08-12-15 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 08-12-15, 12:00 PM
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The right degreaser is chosen according to what's used to lubricate the chain. Petroleum oils are best dissolved with petroleum solvents such as mineral spirits (the real, not the so-called green stuff), kerosene, diesel fuel, or the like. However if using something that doesn't dry completely you need to do a final rinse with something that does.

Other chain lubes, such as waxes or White Lightening, may not be broken down effectively with common solvents and might need something like MEK, which is nasty stuff to be used outdoors only (IMO).

So-called dry lubes that use a light solvent to deposit teflon or whatever, can usually be washed off effectively with water and detergent, but again, proper rinsing and drying are critical before applying fresh lube.

So, there's no one answer, except to say that the right one is the one that works for your specific application.
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Old 08-12-15, 01:00 PM
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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.
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Old 08-12-15, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
This stuff works, and it works fast. I will say this though, if you're one of those people that has to clean the bike inside be very careful. The high pressure blast from this can will make a mess when it knocks gunk off the drivetrain.
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Old 08-12-15, 01:12 PM
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Xylene. Don't get it on anything plastic or paint.
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Old 08-12-15, 01:27 PM
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I use simple green bike degreaser. for "lube" i use rock n roll gold. the simple green bike greaser is multipurpose and works well to clean my whole bike. wet whole bike, spray on (its a foam), wait 10 mins, scrub cassette and rings, rinse, dry, apply chain lube, wipe off excess.
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Old 08-12-15, 01:29 PM
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I usually use engine degreaser in an spray can from Walmart, but last time I cleaned my chain I was out of it so I just let the chain soak in the kitchen sink with a strong solution of Dawn detergent and warm water. After it sat for awhile I took a stiff brush to it. It worked. Not as easily as a can of degreaser though.
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Old 08-12-15, 01:47 PM
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I use Simple Green. It's inexpensive from Costco, they claim it's not all that harmful to the environment, and it works well.
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Old 08-12-15, 01:54 PM
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Old 08-12-15, 02:04 PM
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I put mine in heavy duty citrus degreaser, comes out looking as clean as day 1. You can buy at any home depot and is dirty cheap.
After I take it off, I wash with water and dry it with a rag, leave in the sun for 30 mins while I clean the bike.
From there, I've a small bucket with Pro link lube where I submerge the chain for a few hours so the oil goes inside the links, take it off passing through a rag to remove the excess and is all ready for the morning ride.
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Old 08-12-15, 03:13 PM
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I was pretty pleased with Remoil in the aerosol can. Yes, I know it's made for guns...but my stuff was DIRTY and when I was done, it shined like new.
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Old 08-12-15, 03:20 PM
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Great! It seems there are many products that will work.
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Old 08-12-15, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by seymour1910 View Post
This stuff works, and it works fast. I will say this though, if you're one of those people that has to clean the bike inside be very careful. The high pressure blast from this can will make a mess when it knocks gunk off the drivetrain.
Yeah, definitely outside. The high pressure blast is what makes it boss! So easy to use, and yep, quick.
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Old 08-12-15, 04:25 PM
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kerosene. failing that wd40, both cut the grease but don't have any water component. wipe off and follow with a lube.
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Old 08-12-15, 06:27 PM
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I use Super Clean, formally known as CasterOil Super Clean. It's much more alkaline then Simple green so it works much better. I remove my chain, put it in a plastic jug with a mouth large enough that I can get the kinked chain out of once finished. I shake it for a while, then I add almost boiling water and shake some more. Then I repeat with Dawn dish soap or Simple Green to neutralize the PH and a little extra cleaning. Then I rinse well with water. I have an air compressor so I blow out all the water in the chain, then I dry the chain with a hair dryer. I also floss the cassette with a rag and clean the crank set and dérailleurs. I replace the chain on the bike and lube each link with a drop of Pro Link.
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Old 08-12-15, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by sced View Post
Gas is the best, but smelly. Mineral spirits is probably the best overall. I just lean my bike against a post and work the chain with a chippy brush and a jelly jar of cleaner, moving the chain around with the crank. You can put an old towel underneath to catch dripping crud. Wipe the chain when done cleaning and relube with 3-in-1.
Gasoline is extremely dangerous. It should never be used for cleaning a chain. Mineral spirits is still flammable but much, much safer. It is the best all around choice. There is nothing that gasoline would remove easily that mineral spirits would not also.
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Old 08-12-15, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by zvez View Post
kerosene. failing that wd40, both cut the grease but don't have any water component. wipe off and follow with a lube.
+1
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Old 08-13-15, 04:25 AM
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I am pretty surprised...well not really. Best degreaser for a chain? Buy a gallon of no odor mineral spirits at Home Depot.
Easy way? Bike in floor stand...plastic sheet or news paper under the bike...copious mineral spirits on paper towel...pedal backwards while grasping the chain. Will clean it nicely. Let dry for a minute and reapply White Lightening Clean ride...my lube of choice.

More thorough? Remove the chain and place it in a pickle jar...3/4 filled with mineral spirits with chain and master link inside. Shake and it will become very clean. I will say this is 2 edged sword. I have been at this bike stuff for decades. Completely stripping the inside of the chain generally doesn't pay big dividends unless the you have ridden through a lot of dirt/water/salt etc. Once in while not a bad thing but I can ride a year without doing it...just exterior clean. For normal riding...I wipe the chain with a dry paper towel, relube and go. I get great chain life with above.
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Old 08-13-15, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Dean V View Post
+1
Sorry but kerosene and gasoline suck as a cleaner. Why? Because they smell to high heaven. Are they effective? Sure but the molecules of gas and kerosene go everywhere including into the hands. No odor mineral spirits is as effective and no odor.
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Old 08-13-15, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
I am pretty surprised...well not really. Best degreaser for a chain? Buy a gallon of no odor mineral spirits at Home Depot.
Easy way? Bike in floor stand...plastic sheet or news paper under the bike...copious mineral spirits on paper towel...pedal backwards while grasping the chain. Will clean it nicely. Let dry for a minute and reapply White Lightening Clean ride...my lube of choice.

More thorough? Remove the chain and place it in a pickle jar...3/4 filled with mineral spirits with chain and master link inside. Shake and it will become very clean. I will say this is 2 edged sword. I have been at this bike stuff for decades. Completely stripping the inside of the chain generally doesn't pay big dividends unless the you have ridden through a lot of dirt/water/salt etc. Once in while not a bad thing but I can ride a year without doing it...just exterior clean. For normal riding...I wipe the chain with a dry paper towel, relube and go. I get great chain life with above.
yup, OMS (very rarely unless you're most interested in keeping things shiny) is the way to go.
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Old 08-13-15, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Gasoline is extremely dangerous. It should never be used for cleaning a chain. Mineral spirits is still flammable but much, much safer. It is the best all around choice. There is nothing that gasoline would remove easily that mineral spirits would not also.
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.
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Old 08-13-15, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Gasoline is extremely dangerous. It should never be used for cleaning a chain. Mineral spirits is still flammable but much, much safer. It is the best all around choice. There is nothing that gasoline would remove easily that mineral spirits would not also.
Silly alarmist. Just don't do it indoors and be away from any ignition sources. I've done hundreds of times with complete success.
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