can i get a final answer whether simple green and baby wipes are safe?
Its amazing how much conflicting info there is on the internet. After hours searching, still no definitive answers how to best maintain the cleanliness of my ride.
I, like many, want to keep my way too expensive carbon bike clean.
I have seen simple green highly recommended and highly ridiculed.
Has anybody truly figured out if it is safe, not to soak components in, but to spray and wipe components assuming some overspray on the carbon frame???
And how about baby wipe chemicals? Safe for frame? Components?
Simple Green requires it to be rinsed off with water. For a thorough cleaning with scrubbing, I don't see an issue with using Simple Green. I've washed cars with the stuff before, but it strips all protective wax off the paint finish. So waxing had to be reapplied immediately.
To keep my bike clean, I use automotive quick detailer every few rides. And I don't let it build up. People are lazy and I hate working on dirty bikes.
Just a little bit of effort after rides is much easier than a full scrub down.
You can't fix stupid.
Originally Posted by JoeDaddio
Baby wipes are just fine, but an expensive way to clean your bike. Carbon frames are actually carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Anything that (solvents, for example) harms plastic is bad. I don't see any reason simple green would hurt your bike.
You could always use dish washing or laundry detergent too.
My carbon footprint has cleats
How gunked up are we talking?
After each ride, I wipe mine down with a damp cloth. Save for the stray gum that some inconsiderate degenerate has spit out, clean up is pretty easy. Getting gum off the frame isn't that bad but the tires.
It's a plastic bike. Wash it in anything you want except for solvents. Get over it already.
Soap is a solvent, alcohol is solvent. Water is a solvent. Mineral spirits is a solvent. None hurt paint.
Simplegreen is somewhat caustic, and you're really not supposed to get it on your skin. I really don't know if that means it would dull your paint over time or not, but I really don't see the advantage of using it when there are other products. I would definitely keep it away from brake hoods.
If you are doing a wash, use simple dish soap. The "takes grease out of your way" thing is true, but it is mild enough for skin contact.
For quick wipes, most bike shops use Windex and paper towel. Alcohol and ammonia are mild but effective solvents and are streak free.
Discount baby wipes are pretty darn cheap, but dry out if you're not using them quickly.
So I say: Don't use Simplegreen. It's nastier than you need.
baby wipes are great for post-ride freshening up...
Originally Posted by mikagsd
Hooked On Quack
I've been using simple green, diluted 3-1 with water, to wipe down/clean my various bike frames, including CF, for over 10 years. Not a one of them has suffered any harm. I also use "Finish Line Protectant" every so often, to keep the sheen where I want it. You're not soaking your frame in anything. You are wiping it down to get the crud off. I also clean chains with SG, allowing them to soak for a couple of hours before rinsing, drying and lubing; never had any issues there either.
The thing about the cold is that you can never tell how cold it is from looking out a kitchen window. You have to dress up, get out training and when you come back, you then know how cold it is.
-- Sean Kelly
This stuff is perfect. It's cheap, is available at walmart or target, cleans and polishes in one application, and is perfectly safe on metal and cf.
I'm not a chemist, nor did I stay at a holiday inn last night.
Basically I keep my bike purdy darn clean. The drivetrain is not gunked. I use prolink though and the chain and cassette are always black. Not gunked, just black. Generally when cleaning with old Tshirts and such grease will accidentally get smeared on the crank arms, a bit on the frame, etc. I was told "simple green" works wonders on removing grease on the drivetrain. Tried it. It did. However I have also read a bunch about broken chains, corroded aluminum, bad if it gets on the frames gelcoat, etc. Just trying to get the real skinny.
Maybe a better question would be... how the hell do u keep the drivetrain truly clean between rides without removing chains cassettes, etc? Wiping and prolink-ing between every ride doesn't keep it gleaming. Gunk-free, yes, but still black, greasy, messy.
(and yes I wipe off the chain AFTER I lube as well so theres no extra).
Both are safe. Those who say it's not haven't tried it. Zepp Orange cleaner on the other hand specifically states "Do not use on automotive finishes" which are what's used for bike finishes. Wiping a dirty bike down with baby wipes won't hurt anything. I'd be more worried about rubbing abrasive dirt around and dulling the finish over time. That's why I like to flood the bike with plenty of soapy water or Simple Green solution.
I've used this method for many years on my steel, aluminum and carbon bikes: I use Simple Green Heavy Duty Cleaner in a chain cleaner to clean my geartrain. I have a piece of plastic cardboard I cut out and tuck it in between the rear cogs and rear wheel to keep from getting full strength solution into the rear wheel via the spokes. Then I put about 1/4 cup of Simple Green in a gallon of warm water and wash the bike down with it. It's great for cutting the leftover chain cleaning residue that gets on the chain stays, wheel and spokes and it softens worm carcasses, Amish country road apple residue and everything else that gets on it. I then rinse it all off with clean water from the garden hose. I use compressed air to blow off the chain by holding the air gun in one spot and backpedaling. I blow out the rear cogs, chain rings and brakes, keeping the compressed air away from bearings so as not to force water in. A quick wipedown with a soft rag and the bike looks new. The finish is as glossy and bright as when it was new. When I get ambitious, I take off the wheels and give the frame a good wax job with regular automotive polish about once a year.
Time flies like an arrow
Fruit flies like a banana
I'm sorry your mind is so easily boggled. - Otoman
Your bike, regardless of what material it's made from, is covered with paint. That's right - that's what I said - PAINT. It's all painted just like a car. Even the parts that have that carbon weave showing through are covered with paint.
So the question now becomes; are baby wipes and/or Simple Green safe to us on painted surfaces?
In case you missed the other thhread, here's how I clean my carbon fiber and steel bikes: I keep my bikes very clean, but I never "wash" them. If the bike is exceptionally dirty I'll take a wet or soaked rag and wipe it down. After it's been wiped down I use my secret weapon...Pledge furniture polish. If it's just dirty and dusty from riding a week or so in dry conditions, I start with the Pledge.
When I clean my bikes I always start with the running gear. I do the chain 1st. I take a rag wet with WD40 or odorless mineral spirits, and wipe the chain down while rotating the cranks. When it's pretty clean I use "home brew" mixed 3 parts odorless min. spirits to 1 part oil. What kind of oil? Pretty much whatever I happen to have on hand. We're not lubing parts on the space shuttle y'know. Motor oil 5W-20 usually, because that's what my car takes. Using an old catsup squeeze bottle, I drizzle it on the chain, aiming for the middle where the rollers are. Then, while that's drying I'll do the cassette, chain rings and derailleurs. I clean them using the odorless mineral spirits (OMS).
Park's cog cleaning brush is good for doing the cassette. For the chain rings, I just use a rag with OMS and wipe them down while I'm turning the cranks. I do the same to the rear derailleur pulleys and any other parts of the derailleurs or brakes that are grungy. Park's brush is useful here too.
I then remove both wheels, set one wheel flat on my work bench. Using a Scotchbrite pad soaked with Simple Green I scrub the braking surfaces of the rim clean - both sides - both wheels. I then spray the rim, spokes, and hub with my secret weapon...Pledge furniture polish. Goes on & comes off easily. Spray on - wipe off with a clean rag. I do every spoke, the entire rim and hub. When finished, I hit the braking surface of the rim lightly with the Scotchbrite pad to clean any slippery stuff from the braking surfaces. I do both wheels like this, and then set them aside.
Next I go to work on the frame. Turning it upside down in the repair stand, I spray it with Pledge and wipe it down. Anything the Pledge won't take off gets the OMS treatment, and then gets sprayed with Pledge. I try to get every bit of dirt off that I can see. I put the rag between the brake arms; use Qtips to reach hard to get at places. I also do the bars, stem, etc., etc. I don't clean the bar tape, because I always use black. I never do anything to the seat, except to wipe it off if it needs it. I lightly spray all the pivot points on the derailleurs, pulleys, brake levers, brake arms with WD40. After that I take a piece of 60-100 grit sandpaper and lightly sand all 4 brake pads. When doing this I look carefully for grit, tiny stones, or small pieces of metal that may have become embedded in the pad. If I find any I remove them using an awl.
By now the chain is dry enough to wipe down. I put the wheels back on the bike, and while it's still on the repair stand, I turn the cranks slowly with one hand while the chain runs through a clean rag held by my other hand. I keep turning the cranks, and the rag until no more black residue comes off on the rag.
Notice that the only bike specific thing I use, besides the repair stand, was Park's gear brush. IMO, IME bike specific chemicals, waxes, cleaners, lubes, etc. are a complete rip off - a total waste of $$$.
DETAILING YOUR BIKE
EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES
1. Chain Lube (Home Brew = 1:3 motor oil and odorless mineral spirits.)
2. Clear Fingernail Polish
3. Cog/Chain Brush
4. Needle Nose Pliers
5. Odorless Mineral Spirits and/or Simple Green
6. Plastic Garbage Bag (use as drop cloth)
9. Rags (3 or 4)
10. Repair Stand
11. Scotch Brite Pad
12. WD 40
ORDER OF CLEANING
1. Drive Train
B. Crank, Chain Rings & front Derailleur
C. Cogs & Rear Derailleur
3. Lube All Moving Parts
A. Derailleur pulleys and pivots
B. Cables Guides
C. Brakes and Levers
D. Seat (squeaks)
E. Cleats and Pedals
4. Underside of Frame and Rear Triangle
5. Main Triangle
6. Forks, Head Tube, and Bars
Work in clean, well lighted, well ventilated area
If possible put bike on repair stand
1. Spray rag w/WD40 & wipe chain holding rag around chain & pedaling backward
2. Using “home brew” spray or drip lube/cleaner on chain. Try to get lube on the inside of chain on the roller links. Let this sit for 10 min.
3. Remove front wheel –
Clean rim braking surfaces with Simple Green & Scotch Brite pad then wipe clean
Spray wheel (spokes, hub & rim) with pledge & polish
Set wheel aside
4. Wipe off chain with rag while pedaling – top/bottom – inside/outside.
5. Using the same rag wipe off the teeth on all the chain rings
6. Lube all moving & hinged parts with WD40 (front/rear derailleur, brakes, pulley wheels, levers, cable guides. Wipe off excess lube.
7. Remove rear wheel & clean same as front wheel
8. Spray the cogs with Simple Green. Holding rag taut, slip between rear wheel cogs & clean.
Set wheel aside
9. Lightly sand brake pads with med. fine sandpaper. Wipe off with rag or finger.
10. Turn bike upside down on stand. Depending on how dirty the bike is, either spray with Pledge or use Simple Green to remove dirt, then spray with Pledge and polish. Don’t forget to shine and clean the front/rear derailleurs, crank arms and chain rings. You’ll hurt their feelings if your whole bike looks like a million bucks except for them. You don’t want them to seek revenge against you when you’re riding in South Chababaland, do you? Use Q tips, toothbrush, or toothpicks to dig out dirt in crevices and tight spots. Be thorough. Don’t leave any grunge behind. If you do it’ll attract more grunge. It should look like a brand new bike except for any scratches and chips.
11. Rotate bike until right side up and clean all top tubes by spraying & polishing with Pledge. Again: it pays to be very thorough. Use Q tips, toothpicks, do one section at a time to avoid missing spots. Be sure to clean under water bottle brackets, pumps, remove bags and clean behind them, and then clean the bags themselves using a damp rag and/or a brush.
12. Reinstall wheels.
13. Clean & polish handlebars and stem using Pledge.
14. Inspect nuts, bolts & fasteners for tightness and rust.
15. If you find rust, apply Naval Jelly or similar to the rust and leave it on for 10 min. Wipe it off paint immediately. After 10 min. wipe thoroughly and apply clear, matte fingernail polish to prevent rust.
16. One last hint...this goes MUCH FASTER & EASIER if you don’t go too long before cleanings. Think about not cleaning your house at all for 6 months. WoW! Now you’ve got a real big job. The more you clean it, the easier & faster it is.
This is important stuff
By cleaning your bike regularly it’s easy to find any safety issues like tires with threads showing through or a small piece of glass stuck in the tread. Loose spokes, nuts, bolts, frayed cables are other things that are actually hard to miss when doing a thorough cleaning and polishing. Finding things that need adjusting or repairing like those mentioned could end up “saving your bacon.”
OK! We’re done. Treat yourself to a soft drink, a good hand wash using WD40 and a nail brush, then regular soap, and get ready to ride. Of course...you know what’s going to happen don’t you? The next time you take the bike out on a ride ...
There’s nothing that rides like a nice, clean, great looking bike!
(and don’t forget that nice, lemony smell)
Don't believe everything you think.
Cleaning my bike:
Wait until season is over. Wipe obvious stuff off with Windex. Replace chain if necessary.
I use "lemon Pledge Wipes" on my carbon frame. When I rode a Harley this is what many people used to clean bugs of the plastic windshields without scratching and I did he same. My bike has only seen a few drops of rain. I use the wipes after a couple of rides and they do a great job.
I got a great idea too. If you never ride your bike, you don't have to spend all this time stressing and worrying about what's ok to keep it clean! You'll just have to dust it off every once in a while, and these days they have these fantastic dusters that pick up dust very well.
I'll keep riding mine though!
My carbon footprint has cleats
Hose it down with water and dry it off.
If it's dirtier than that, a bucket of dilluted dishsoap works fine. Wash it down, rinse it off and then dry.
Simple Green is 2-butoxyethanol. It is a degreaser which works best with warm/hot water. I used it extensively when I was building race motors (car engines). What I learned from that is it will sometimes degloss paint on engine blocks. I've used it to degrease the gunky chains from my beater bikes or Ti bikes, but I would not let it touch a $5,500 Pinarello or heaven forbid, the Michaelangelo paint job on a Colnago frame (and some of those run $5,500 too).
I've been using paper towels made wet with Simple Green to clean every surface on all my bikes, including my Scott carbon road frame, for many years. If you're really worried, go back over everything with a cloth dampened with water to get rid of any residue on the frame tubes.
You should not soak your chain in Simple Green for too long, though, I found that out the hard way when I broke 3 chains during a 24-hr mountain bike race. Swishing it around in SG solution, then rinsing with water is fine, but letting it soak for an afternoon really could weaken the aluminum.
Originally Posted by bsilver
Lemon Pledge +1, never used the wipes though.
I've been using Simple Green, full strength on my steel, aluminum and carbon bikes for years. I've never had a problem. I also use Windex as I find it works great for getting the residue off of my wheel rims. My '99 Klein Quantum Race was washed a couple zillion times using Simple Green and it's still out there somewhere being ridden.The only downside I can say is if you have wet black components (Ritchey). Simple Green kind of smears the finish. Windex works better there, or an automotive polish.
I've also used WD-40 to wipe down my frames, but it draws dust and dirt like a magnet.
Pledge works also.
Like that old cranky guy said, your bike is painted, right?