What can I use to clean a new chain ?
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  1. #1

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    What can I use to clean a new chain ?

    Is there anything apart from citrus degreaser that I can use to clean the protective coating off a new chain ? Do I just leave it to soak for a while and if so how long ? Is there anything else I need to do.

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Chain degreaser

    Use WD40 it's a great degreaser but to thin to be used as a lube.

  3. #3
    Arrogant roadie.....
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    Mineral spirits works well, too. Just make sure you don't use mineral spirits if you're using wax-based lube.
    We are the 801
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  4. #4

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    Citrus is great

    I usually let it soak for about ten minutes then scrub it with a stiff brush (while still submerged in the degreaser) then rinse it off and install it.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tre-colore
    Use WD40 it's a great degreaser but to thin to be used as a lube.
    I think you have been misimformed. WD40 is not a degreaser it is a penatrating oil which means it leaves a coat of oil on the part. If you use WD40 you need to clean it off afterward otherwise it will pick up a lot of grit in your chain.
    Park tool makes a good product called chain brite for cleaning chains.
    If you can't learn to do something well...Learn to enjoy doing it poorly

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Don't degrease your chain. WD40, citris, whatever--keep that stuff away from your chain cause then you'll just have to get it out. Just run it through a clean rag, lube it, run it through the rag, lube it, run through the rag once more to get off the excess lube, and you're done. Go ride.

  7. #7

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    Smile In My Experience

    WD-40 has worked beautifully as a degreaser. However, as someone already alluded to, you must wipe off the excess in order to prevent rusting and excess buildup of grit. I usually clean my chain with WD-40, wipe it down thoroughly, and lubricate with Pro Link.
    Hope this helps.
    Ciao!

  8. #8
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    Mineral spirits...

    I cleaned my chain last night. Got a small can of mineral spirits, poured it in a small recipient and put the chain in there for a while, maybe 20 minutes. I had wax-type lube on it so I don't know why it was said not to use mineral spirits to clean wax lubed chains, it worked great on my chain.

    After treating the chain with mineral spirits I brushed it with a cassete cleaning brush (I guess any good brush will do fine) and washed it off with water. The mineral spirits did such a good job that i doubt the scrubbing was really necessary, the recipient was full of debris. Then I dried it with a hair dryer (finally I found a good use for that dryer that was given to me as a gift I don't know how long ago...).

    Lubed it with Pro link and voila! Clean and lubed drivetrain. I also brushed the cogset and the chainrings as well as the derailleur pulleys. Very nice and clean.

  9. #9
    hi, I'm Larry
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    Home brew

    Which is a mixture of mineral spirits and syntetic motor oil. I just put on a new chain and the home brew cut right through the protective grease. Wiped it off and reapplied the home brew a second time to make certain. Waited a bit and the wiped off the excess. Nice clean well lubed chain.

  10. #10
    flinty-eyed moderator
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    To take the thick wax coating off of a new chain, a cloth usually does not do it for me, and citrus degreaser is overkill. I use Clean Streak by White Lightning for that.

  11. #11
    Done
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    Mineral Spirits, or...

    Mineral spirits are the way to go. Stick the chain in a jar or plastic container with a lid (Cool Whip containers work well), cover the chain with mineral spirits, and swirl away. Or you can sit it on the clothes dryer while it is running, and let the vibrations clean it. (Just be sure that you are not near any open flame, or that the container vibrates off of the dryer and onto the floor).

    One of the best investments that I've made is an automotive parts washer. I picked it up on sale, and it works well. Basically, it's a metal tub with a lid, a screen to hold parts, and a metal flex-hose that is supplied by a motorized pump in the bottom. Put a gallon of mineral spirits in the bottom, turn on the pump, and clean away like a madman. I reuse the cleaner too -- I run it through a coffee filter to catch most of the crud. After three or four uses, I replace the mineral spirits.

    The place where people fall down using mineral spirits as a cleaner is that they don't let the cleaned part dry adequately. If you have compressed air available, blow some between the rollers and links to clean out excess cleaner and crud. If not, wipe it down with a rag and let dry in a warm area for a few hours.

    While I don't recommend this for others, I've also used automotive brake cleaner to spiff up chains and other greasy parts. It's highly volitile (i.e. -- explosive), carcinogenic, and will remove paint, but if you want really clean parts that dry quickly, it works well. USE OUTDOORS ONLY -- preferably with gloves and a mask.
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  12. #12
    SoCal--S Beach to the Dam
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    Just ride it off,it wont hurt a thing. WD-40= Big no no.

  13. #13
    flinty-eyed moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    Just ride it off,it wont hurt a thing. WD-40= Big no no.
    Depends on your riding conditions, if mixed with dirt or grime it turns into a sandpaper like paste. Also the chain is noisier and doesn't move as well as when its lubed with a decent product. It is not as much of an issue on the road vs. in the dirt though.

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I put a new chain in a glass jar of mineral spirits and put the jar on top of a rubber sheet on top of my washer. I had some laundry to do. The next day, I fished the chain out, rinsed it with hot water and then put it in my dishwasher. It's quite clean now and awaiting lube. At the bottom of the jar of mineral spirits is a layer of goo which I assume is the original packing grease from the chain.

  15. #15
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    gasoline........

    Quote Originally Posted by alchemy
    Is there anything apart from citrus degreaser that I can use to clean the protective coating off a new chain ? Do I just leave it to soak for a while and if so how long ? Is there anything else I need to do.

    Thanks
    The ULTIMATE degreaser.
    but one spark and KA-BOOOOM!!! best to stay away

  16. #16
    Ironbutt
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    The best chain cleaner

    Actually, the best method to clean any bike chain is to use an ultrasonic parts cleaner. Pop the chain into the little tub, add the correct liquid detergent and turn on the switch! One minute later you have a perfectly, and I do mean perfectly cleaned chain. Failing the ultrasonic cleaner, I suggest denatured alcohol. It's readily available, relatively safe from a flamability/toxic fumes standpoint, and will clean the chain and not leave an oily residue on the links. It evaporates more quickly than mineral spirits, so there is little possibility of it remaining in the tiny spaces between the parts of the chain and dilluting the lubricant.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironbutt
    Actually, the best method to clean any bike chain is to use an ultrasonic parts cleaner.
    Where did you get your ultrasonic cleaner from? Sounds like a great tool.

  18. #18
    grasso e lento
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    Would this work

    How about a denture cleaner?? If it can clean stains why not grease



    *Dude*

  19. #19

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    Simple Green?

    What about good 'ole Simple Green from the local store? Can I take my chain off and run it through some Simple Green and then rinse and add lube? And/or can I spray SG onto the chain while running it through the gears for a quick clean?

  20. #20
    grasso e lento
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    Simple Green is a big NO NO

    From most of the chain companies you will find this : we would warn against letting a chain sit in solvent of any kind (kerosene, gasoline, SimpleGreen, bio-degreasers, etc.) for any length of time. And be sure to follow all dilution recommendations found on degreasing products.


    *Dude*

  21. #21
    JRF
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    Try searching for used Medical equipment

    I work on Medical equipment, Ultrasonic cleaners are a common item found in Doctor's offices and clinics. They are expensive new, but I have seen used ones for sale cheap (around 50 to 200 bucks) on used medical equipment websites. Basically the price is directly proportional to the age of the unit. Generally they are pretty simple device and not much goes wrong with them. Worst thing that happens is they spring leaks. Just look for one listed in good condition. If you find one that you like, send me the web address and I would be glad to check it out for you and advise.

  22. #22
    SoCal--S Beach to the Dam
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coolhand
    Depends on your riding conditions, if mixed with dirt or grime it turns into a sandpaper like paste. Also the chain is noisier and doesn't move as well as when its lubed with a decent product. It is not as much of an issue on the road vs. in the dirt though.
    I assume he meant road. When i got my new bike, i road for about 50 miles,used my park tool chain cleaner and that was it. Prolink and i was ready. Its such a small thing that everybody is making into WW3.

  23. #23
    Frog Whisperer
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    i use mineral spirits and a cleaning machine (on-bike) thn i use soap and water and then hit it with 100 psi air jet to blow it dry, let it sit for a while to finish drying then re-lube with either T-9 or Le Tour. I do this every 2 or 300 miles and my drive train looks great and shows little if any sign of wear.
    I happen to have 3 ultrasonics but frankly it is too much trouble to clean a "used" chain in them.It would work great for a new one though!

  24. #24

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    I use Simple Green let it sit for 10-15 minutes then scrub it, back into Simple green, rinse with water, dry, then lube it and install and good to go.
    Bikes:
    Cyclocross bike '06 Lemond Poprad
    Road racing bike '06 Trek 5.2

  25. #25
    Get me to In&Out
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    Quote Originally Posted by *Dude*
    From most of the chain companies you will find this : we would warn against letting a chain sit in solvent of any kind (kerosene, gasoline, SimpleGreen, bio-degreasers, etc.) for any length of time. And be sure to follow all dilution recommendations found on degreasing products.
    I think you would be in the minority here. Kerosene and simple green are two of the most commonly used chain cleaners. Here is a review of the park chain scrubber from cyclingnews.com. In it they list the kerosene on the washer as the standard to which all others should be compared. Notice that they state you must ensure the chain is properly rinsed when you are finished. That means clean it again in warm soapy water a second time before reinstalling it.

    Put your hands up if you think you can properly clean a chain without having to take it off. Now raise your hands up if you believe the only way is to take the chain right off, dunk it in kerosene, put it on top of a washing machine during its spin cycle, rinse with soap and water and then blow-dry.

    If you're around hardened bike shop mechanics, the answer would most certainly be the latter. Their argument - and a valid one - is that by spraying degreaser on the chain and scrubbing built-up gunk with a brush while turning the pedals, you are committing two serious no-nos. Offence #1: With the chain still on, degreaser will run into other parts of the bike, such as the rear hub, derailleurs, bottom bracket and pedal axles - all places where degreaser shouldn't really go. Offence #2: Scrubbing without proper soaking will rid the chain of superficial muck, but will only embed the non-visible grit deeper into the chain, contributing to faster chain wear.
    Here is the whole article: http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?...chain_scrubber
    Cyclists really need to learn a little Rule #5.

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