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  1. #1
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    Simple Green as De-Greaser?

    I'm stuck in an area where I can't seem to get my hands on any citrus de-greaser.

    Could someone tell me if Simple Green would work for chains/cogs, or does that fall in the "bad idea" category?

    Are there any other good de-greaser options out there?


    Thanks!
    Wags

  2. #2
    aka Zoo
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    I find the Simple Green isn't good enough for chains and cogs, but okay for wiping off greese from the frame. I've tried using an automotive engine cleaner and brake cleaner and those worked awesome but I also found that they work a little too well and ended up taking off a few decals in the process...oops.

    I now find that it's best just to put a little lube on the chain and run it through a rag a few times. As for the cogs, best thing to do is to uninstall it and dry wipe it with a rag, it's not as convenient but it does a heck of a job and is a great way to inspect it for broken teeth and cracks.
    2005 Orbea Lobular 100 - 2005 Hot Tubes Carbon - 2006 Specialized Stumpjumper Disc - 2007 Kona Major Jake

  3. #3
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    I agree, simple green won't do for drivetrains. I use kerosene for my drivetrain cleaning, buying at the pump makes it economical. Mineral spirits is also good, but it is now around $6 for a gallon at the hardware store. If you prefer a water based cleaner, then Dawn dishwashing detergent is good.

  4. #4
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    I agree, simple green won't do for drivetrains. I use kerosene for my drivetrain cleaning, buying at the pump makes it economical. Mineral spirits is also good, but it is now around $6 for a gallon at the hardware store. If you prefer a water based cleaner, then Dawn dishwashing detergent is good.
    So I guess the ad campaign "Dawn takes grease out of the way" wasn't too far off the mark.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    Keep 'em coming...

  5. #5
    Arrogant roadie.....
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    since SG is very acidic, it will work for cogs and external cleaning, but should never be used on any bearing surfaces, including chains.
    We are the 801
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Stohler
    since SG is very acidic, it will work for cogs and external cleaning, but should never be used on any bearing surfaces, including chains.
    I use SG VERY sparingly around a bike. It can etch metals, inc. polished surfaces like rims, etc. IF I use SG it gets rinsed quickly and thoroughly.
    Brake cleaner works well for cassettes, but use only in well-ventilated areas (NOT in the basement!!!). WD-40 also works as a cleaner (NOT as a lube/grease).

  7. #7
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    since SG is very acidic
    Actually, the problem isn't that it's acidic, but that it's basic. pH ≈ 9.

  8. #8
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    BTW- SG makes different products. I was referring to the classic green "all-purpose" cleaner. They also make a "precision equipment degreaser" which is supposed to be safe for "high-end surfaces". No experience with that one.

    http://www.simplegreen.com/products_..._precision.php

  9. #9
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    That Simple Green Precision Equipment Degreaser is even more basic, at 10.9.

    Good old petroleum products are probably the safest for your drivetrain, if not for you.

  10. #10
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    Use it to degrease chain and chain wheels. It works great. To clean the cassette, just spray on SG and rinse off with a hose. The cassette will look shiny and new. Use a rag and SG on the front chain rings. Put the chain in an old plastic bottle, pour in an ounce or two of SG shake it and let sit overnight. Dump the SG out of the jug and refill with water to rinse the chain. You will be surprised how thoroughly it cleans a chain. Lube the chain without delay to prevent rust.

    As stated above, it does not work well to clean the frame. Goo-B-Gone takes off grease stains on the chainstay. Dish washing liquid will clean everything else.
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  11. #11
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    Automotive brake cleaner works wonders for cleaning the chain.
    I'm pretty sure (based on smell & how it works) that that's all that White Lightning Clean Streak degreaser is.

  12. #12
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    I like SG. I've used it for years on my bike's running gear (including the chain) without a single problem. Lately i've been using home brew for chains and cogs. It works great. Simple green works wonders when doing laundry. If you get grease/oil on a jersey, pants, jacket, T shirt, just spray SG on it full strength and throw it in the washer.
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

  13. #13
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    I've used Simple Green, Dawn, and WD 40 on my cogs/chains. They all seems to work about the same.

    Chains and cogs need a cleaner more than degreaser--the black stuff on there is dirt you picked up along the road, not "grease" per se.

    There has been a lot of internet discussion about how SG will cause your bike to disintegrate. The common thread to come out of those is that you should not store parts in SG for days, weeks, or months at a time. Seems like common sense to me.

    As often as we clean our drivetrains, I'm not sure that we really want to be using a lot of products with the word "hazard" plastered all over them, which is why I prefer SG for this kind of job.

  14. #14
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    I always use odorless mineral spirits as a degreaser. It's a petroleum distillate which will act as a solvent for grease.

  15. #15
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    I first tried using SG by spraying/wiping and it doesn't work that well. The grease on chains/cassete will just smear around. Then I put the chain in an old bottle with some SG and shake them. The effect is much better and the chain looks almost new.

    I do have first hand experience where SG will cause pitting on Al surface though, so I wouldn't use it in places where it's supposed to be smooth and shiny.

  16. #16
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    You can always use what the pro's use.

    Diesel.

    It's smelly and flammable and probably the most effective. Readily available and cheap.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewitz
    You can always use what the pro's use.

    Diesel.

    It's smelly and flammable and probably the most effective. Readily available and cheap.
    It's just kerosene.
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

  18. #18
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    If I mean kerosene I would have said so.


    http://www.bikesportmichigan.com/bikes/outofshop.shtml

    Cleaning the lubricant film off your drivetrain is best accomplished with some type of solvent. When I raced in Europe, our mechanics used diesel fuel to strip chain lube

    http://www.jimlangley.net/wrench/bikewash.htm

    Diesel fuel is what race mechanics use to clean greasy parts because it contains a bit of lubricant, which ensures the parts are never completely stripped of lube.

    http://velonews.com/article/7391

    Typically pro mechanics will have a small container[I have a used an old water bottle with the top cut off in the past] anddiesel brush. Two ounces of diesel may last you a week of cleaning12+ bikes a day

  19. #19
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    I've used SG for years, on various bikes and never had a problem. Spray it on liberally, let it soak for a minute, run the chain over an old toothbrush, hit the whole thing with a hose, run it over a paper towel or rag, and then lube it. Takes no time and everything shines.
    I think we tend to over estimate the fragility of chains.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by wagsea6b
    I'm stuck in an area where I can't seem to get my hands on any citrus de-greaser.

    Could someone tell me if Simple Green would work for chains/cogs, or does that fall in the "bad idea" category?

    Are there any other good de-greaser options out there?


    Thanks!
    Wags
    You have internet access enough to post here, you have access to e-commerce on a worldwide basis.
    A 2 second google search gave me this (amongst 100's of others)
    https://shop.sunrisecyclery.com/item/36004

  21. #21
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    Simple green is a great degreaser. I've sold it with parts cleaners in industrial maintenance areas. What you have to do is mix it with water. It won't work without it. It's part of the chemistry. Get the clear one if you can, it's stronger.

  22. #22
    txn
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    The SG Bike Foam works great on cassette & chain.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewitz
    If I mean kerosene I would have said so.


    http://www.bikesportmichigan.com/bikes/outofshop.shtml

    Cleaning the lubricant film off your drivetrain is best accomplished with some type of solvent. When I raced in Europe, our mechanics used diesel fuel to strip chain lube

    http://www.jimlangley.net/wrench/bikewash.htm

    Diesel fuel is what race mechanics use to clean greasy parts because it contains a bit of lubricant, which ensures the parts are never completely stripped of lube.

    http://velonews.com/article/7391

    Typically pro mechanics will have a small container[I have a used an old water bottle with the top cut off in the past] anddiesel brush. Two ounces of diesel may last you a week of cleaning12+ bikes a day
    K-1 Kerosene, #1 diesel, and jet fuel (JP4) are closely related to each other. #1 and JP4 have higher allowable sulfur than K-1 (kerosene is also called coal oil by old timers). Since #1 is a shorter hydrocarbon blend it has better solvent properties than #2.

    Source: http://www.toad.net/~jsmeenen/fuel.html
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

  24. #24
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    Oil Eater, sold at costco. Spray it on, hose it off. It will leave all metal surfaces shiny as if you spent 4 hours cleaning your bike.

  25. #25
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    Oil eater definitely looks like a better alternative than my solution (which is to use mineral spirits), a lot cleaner and less smelly.

    Have you had any corrosion problems? Right now I just use mineral spirits, wipe down the drive chain and I don't rinse (to eliminate any chance of rust)

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