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  1. #1
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    What's the Best Cleaner/Degreaser?

    What are you guys using to degrease chains etc.? I used to use Finish Line Citrus Degreaser, which worked like magic! They have recently changed to a new formula which I found to be terrible. It turns the chain in to a greasy mess which will not rinse off with water. The new stuff is white like skim milk, opposed to the older transparent formula.

  2. #2
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    Turpentine from Home Depot, $4-$5/quart.

    Turpentine is a solvent derived from pine trees, it does have a strong pine smell (which is not as bad as say WD-40 smell).

    In fact, I also use a 50/50 mixture of turpentine and Winter Finishline lube (clear high viscosity lube). This is a very economical and relatively clean way to keep my chain clean and lubed. I lube/clean every weekend, takes me 2 minutes.

    *** Precaution: test a small part of your bike's paint to make sure that the turpentine does not affect the paint!! It should not though.

  3. #3
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    I to dont buy into the overpriced bike cleaning products you can use most household cleaning products. The cost is a fraction of what the bike specific products cost and you should allready have them at home.

  4. #4
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    Better yet, get Zep Heavy Duty Citrus Degreaser for about $11.50 a gallon from Home Depot. I use this stuff for general cleaning and greasy messes. It's great for cleaning chains.

  5. #5
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    Naptha (lighter fluid) can be purchased at most hardware and home improvement stores. It is quite flamable so it should be used carefully but it will dissolve oil and grease and leave no residue.
    Jim Purdy - Mansfield, TX

  6. #6
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    I use nothing water-based on the chain. I use OMS, lamp kerosene, stoddard solvent.... (note, these are the original things and not "environmentally friendly" alternatives). For wiping built up grease, tar, etc from the frame, chain rings, etc, a rag dampened with WD40 also works well.

    If you like citrus based products, De-Solv-it is a good one.

    ORANGE-SOL and De-Solv-it: Safe, Citrus-Based, and General Cleaning Products and Solutions

  7. #7
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    I'm somewhat lazy and I use a 20% v/v mixture of windex in the Morgan blue stuff, it's not super super cheap as some other general use products but will get any kind of grease on any surface. Then after letting the degreaser sit and soak in for a bit, I run it through a chain cleaner with dish soap and rinse with water, brand spanking new and clean chain. And then if you use a good lube you don't have to clean too too long.

  8. #8
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by looigi View Post
    I use nothing water-based on the chain. I use OMS, lamp kerosene, stoddard solvent.... (note, these are the original things and not "environmentally friendly" alternatives). For wiping built up grease, tar, etc from the frame, chain rings, etc, a rag dampened with WD40 also works well.

    If you like citrus based products, De-Solv-it is a good one.

    ORANGE-SOL and De-Solv-it: Safe, Citrus-Based, and General Cleaning Products and Solutions
    OMS works very well. Nothing water based is waterproof. Water is a sure fire way to kill a chain.

  9. #9
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    Odorless mineral spirits. Works better IMO than the citrus stuff. Poor some on a rag, run the chain through a few times, then let stand and let the OMS dissolve. Leaves no residue and leaves the chain nice and shiny.

  10. #10
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    Simple Green

  11. #11
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    Just go to the better hardware stores that stock in loads of automotive tools and greases. Ask them for those bulk packaging industrial degreasers in gallon packs. Costs probably US$10/- and less.

    For most applications, you only need 1 part diluted in 20 water, in heavy grease/ chain applications, 1 part in 10 water. With a once a fortnight or monthly cleaning, will last you most of 6-9 months.

  12. #12
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    Goo-Gone. I've also used Simple Green with great success.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by b3n3r View Post
    Goo-Gone. I've also used Simple Green with great success.
    I've used goo gone which is great for getting the surface grime off, but I don't know how good it is for getting into the rollers unless you literally poor it over or spray it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by eriku16 View Post
    Better yet, get Zep Heavy Duty Citrus Degreaser for about $11.50 a gallon from Home Depot. I use this stuff for general cleaning and greasy messes. It's great for cleaning chains.
    +1 for the Zep. For the chain I use it full strength in the Park Tools chain cleaner (often two times) and then rinse with water spray bottle to make sure the degreaser gets flushed out (important). Then I dry with paper towels, let it dry out for a bit, and give it a good chain lube (which I then thoroughly wipe off any excess after running through the cogs/rings a few times with the bike up on the work-stand).

    For other cleaning use on the bike (e.g. rims) I water it down 5:1 and then make sure I wipe it that with a damp rag.

    Contrary to another post, water based cleaning has been no problem and my chains have been working great for years in grimy commuting/road use.

  15. #15
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    Odorless mineral spirits. I buy a gallon can 7 it lasts me for about 3 years. When I use it to clean my chain or other parts & collect the used OMS & pour it back in a bottle. The crud will precipitate out to the bottom leaving clear OMS at the top. To re-use it just pour slowly.
    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.

  16. #16
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    Softsoap Hand Soap.

    Seriously. I tried it once because I'd run out of Pedros. It cuts through grime like crazy, is completely safe to use, doesn't leave your hands feeling like you've attacked them with razors. It suds up to carry the grit away. It does need a bit of rinsing with water afterwards to remove the oily feeling.

  17. #17
    Iohannes fac totum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Versatile View Post
    Odorless mineral spirits. I buy a gallon can 7 it lasts me for about 3 years. When I use it to clean my chain or other parts & collect the used OMS & pour it back in a bottle. The crud will precipitate out to the bottom leaving clear OMS at the top. To re-use it just pour slowly.
    Agreed.


    When I'm really cleaning a chain or cog or cassette I'll use mineral spirits. Works great.

  18. #18
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    Low odor mineral spirits. Cheap as water and gets stuff squeaky clean.

  19. #19
    tlg
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    Mineral spirits in a large pickle jar.
    Powerlink on my chain.

    Slip the chain off the bike and soak it in the jar of mineral spirits. Nothing is easier or gets the chain cleaner.

    Pretty darn environmentally friendly too. I've had the same jar of mineral spirits for years. It doesn't go bad.

  20. #20
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    +1 on Zep Citrus Degreaser. 4 Bones!

    The same stuff as finish line or other 'bike branded' citrus degreasers

    link: 32 oz. Heavy Duty Citrus Degreaser-ZUCIT32 at The Home Depot

  21. #21
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    Red Max Heavy Duty Citrus Degreaser at Lowes...


    Shop Red Max 5-Gallon Heavy Duty Citrus Degreaser at Lowes.com

  22. #22
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    I use that purple power degreaser, it works very well but smells the place up.
    Soak, scrub, and wala.

    The BEST at getting EVERYTHING off a piece of metal is Kerosene; and you can keep reusing it for ever. I stopped using kerosene after having children tho.

  23. #23
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    I've been using this stuff for years on my carbon bikes...no issues.


  24. #24
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    Another vote for OMS. Filter it using a funnel and coffee filter to get the grit out when you recycle it back into the container and a gallon will last forever! I use it in an ultrasonic cleaner and my chain sparkles when it's finished.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdaghisallo1 View Post
    Another vote for OMS. Filter it using a funnel and coffee filter to get the grit out when you recycle it back into the container and a gallon will last forever!
    I let it settle between uses and slowly pour the clean stuff off the top to reuse. I put the chain in an empty jar, pour the previously used OMS into it, swirl the little bit left in the old jar to stir up the settled residue, dump it into a tray to evaporate, and wipe the jar clean and ready to use the next go-around.

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