Chain cleaning

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AlanD
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Location: South Oxfordshire

Chain cleaning

Postby AlanD » 17 Nov 2009, 12:58pm

At a recent visit to a Cycle Promotions sale, I decided to try one of these chain cleaning gadgets... Small plastic bath with three brushed rollers.
Anyway, last weekend it got it's first tryout. After a cursory look at the instructions, I decided to save the supplied degreasant for when I have no alternative and I cracked open the new tin of Gunk that was waiting on the shelf. It was a good thing that I had spread a binbag on the ground first, otherwise my driveway would have had a good spraying. Well the bath of Gunk certainly seemed to do its job as it rapidly turned black. I carried on in several gears, to spread the effect around, then applied a brush to the chainwheels, the sprockets and the changer mech to help work the goodness in. Wondering how I was to clean it all off I had an inspiration. Rinse out the tool and refill it from this bottle of pink biodegradable bike cleaner that I have, think its called 'p1ss off' or something similar. That too went black as my drive chain got steadily cleaner. After the whole bike got a good wash with hot water and car wash, I applied a dribble over the chain from the other new purchase, a bottle of chain lube, think it's called 'White Lightening'. All this was considerably less fuss than taking the chain off and scrubbing it with an old toothbrush in a margarine tub. But this left me with a dilemma, can I pour Gunk down the drain? Short of ringing up Thames Water, does anyone know?
Alan

Lithril
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Joined: 5 Nov 2009, 12:51pm
Location: Hampshire

Re: Chain cleaning

Postby Lithril » 17 Nov 2009, 1:17pm

Looking at the tin its dangerous to aquatic life and has long term adverse affects to the aquatic environment, I'd probably say you need to bottle and take it your local waste disposal depot.

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robgul
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby robgul » 17 Nov 2009, 4:54pm

Lithril wrote:Looking at the tin its dangerous to aquatic life and has long term adverse affects to the aquatic environment, I'd probably say you need to bottle and take it your local waste disposal depot.


You have to be joking ... you can't be talking about more than about a cupful - chuck it down the drain - or if you're really paranoid dilute it in a bucket of water and then chuck that down the drain.

Rob
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grw
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Location: Melbourne

Re: Chain cleaning

Postby grw » 17 Nov 2009, 5:11pm

robgul wrote:
Lithril wrote:Looking at the tin its dangerous to aquatic life and has long term adverse affects to the aquatic environment, I'd probably say you need to bottle and take it your local waste disposal depot.


You have to be joking ... you can't be talking about more than about a cupful - chuck it down the drain - or if you're really paranoid dilute it in a bucket of water and then chuck that down the drain.

Rob


Why? If everyone chucks their oil down the drain, it'll all mount up. If you're cleaning your chain just once a month, by the end of a year you'll have a litre if you're using a cupful at a time. Would you chuck a litre down the drain?
You don't have to make a special trip to the depot just to take your gunk. Wait until you've a load of stuff, and take it with you.

ChrisButch
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby ChrisButch » 17 Nov 2009, 5:54pm

I find it useful to keep two of the chain cleaning gadgets you describe: one for cleaning, but one for applying lubricant. Particularly with the very thin synthetic lubricants of the White Lightning type, putting a little in the reservoir, and then running the chain through the gadget, avoids most of the wastage you usually get applying the lubricant directly. And given the price, I reckon I've more than recouped the cost of the second gadget in this way.

thekelticfringe
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Joined: 31 Oct 2009, 7:32am

Re: Chain cleaning

Postby thekelticfringe » 17 Nov 2009, 6:16pm

regarding degreaser - can I make a suggestion? Use paraffin or white spirit.

You can use it over and over again if you do as follows:

Find a large glass jar and put about 3 inches of water in the bottom. Use the paraffin in the chain cleaning tool as usual and then pour it from the bottom reservoir of the chain tool into the jar. Maybe run a second batch of fresh paraffin just to ensure things are really nice, and pour that stuff into the glass jar too.

Put a lid on the jar and leave it alone. Over 48 hours or so the paraffin separates from the water and all the suspended solids, grit, tiny metal shards etc will fall through it and settle in the water. Next time you want to clean the chain, carefully pour the paraffin into the chain cleaner tool, leaving behind the water and all the garbage.

After a while (maybe 8-10 chain cleanings) if you need to get shot of the paraffin, pour it off and burn it - use it to light the bonfire or something.

This is a pretty non-polluting way of cleaning the oily bits.
Pedal faster, I hear banjos!

bensonboo
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Joined: 29 Jun 2009, 7:28pm

Re: Chain cleaning

Postby bensonboo » 17 Nov 2009, 7:08pm

grw wrote:
robgul wrote:
Lithril wrote:Looking at the tin its dangerous to aquatic life and has long term adverse affects to the aquatic environment, I'd probably say you need to bottle and take it your local waste disposal depot.


You have to be joking ... you can't be talking about more than about a cupful - chuck it down the drain - or if you're really paranoid dilute it in a bucket of water and then chuck that down the drain.

Rob


Why? If everyone chucks their oil down the drain, it'll all mount up. If you're cleaning your chain just once a month, by the end of a year you'll have a litre if you're using a cupful at a time. Would you chuck a litre down the drain?
You don't have to make a special trip to the depot just to take your gunk. Wait until you've a load of stuff, and take it with you.


Isn't Gunk sold as an engine degreaser with instructions to rinse off said engine with running water? If you're hosing off your engine bay then it will go down the drain anyway.

LittleGreyCat
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby LittleGreyCat » 1 Oct 2013, 4:51pm

Very old thread, but I have the same issue.

Paraffin, gunk, citrus degreaser, whatever - the old oil and grease has to go somewhere after it is cleaned off.

So is there a safe disposal facility?

I know you can get rid of old engine oil down the tip, but what about waste gunk or paraffin?

Cheers

LGC

Brucey
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby Brucey » 1 Oct 2013, 4:57pm

I think it (solvents, not gunk or citrus) can go in with the waste oil at the local recycling centre, but 'thekelticfringe' has got the right idea about re-using it many times over and then repurposing it IMHO.

I'm not convinced that gunk or citrus are really that environmentally friendly, because everything that gets rinsed off (with a hose, say) ends up in the ground or down the drain.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Chain cleaning

Postby reohn2 » 1 Oct 2013, 10:28pm

Brucey wrote:I think it (solvents, not gunk or citrus) can go in with the waste oil at the local recycling centre, but 'thekelticfringe' has got the right idea about re-using it many times over and then repurposing it IMHO.

I'm not convinced that gunk or citrus are really that environmentally friendly, because everything that gets rinsed off (with a hose, say) ends up in the ground or down the drain.

cheers

Agreed.
I've been using the same 2.5l white spirit for about seven years and I still have some left after I've cleaned the chain with it I pour it into a jam jar,through a bit of old tee shirt as a filter over the top of the jam jar,then let it settle,and reuse.
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Valbrona
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby Valbrona » 2 Oct 2013, 3:45am

You know, if you want to make cleaning a chain easy it is all about what type of lubricant you put on it in the first place. If you use the modern generation of dry lubes, ie, wax suspended in water, like Muc-Off Dry Lube, it comes off very easily using one of those mechanical chain scrubbers and a bit of environmentally friendly citrus degreaser. In fact, the stuff comes off in the rain.

But I am not saying these modern generation dry lubes are any good for lubrication. For good lubrication you invariably need a lube that stays wet.
I should coco.

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mr mchenry
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby mr mchenry » 2 Oct 2013, 8:29am

My Mrs. Puts Domestos down the toilet most days...The rats don't like it much. I don't think a bit of parafin/Gunk from cleaning a bike chain is going to make a whole lot of difference, given the other crap we put into the drainage system and oil/diesel runoff from the roads.

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Mick F
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby Mick F » 2 Oct 2013, 8:33am

+1
Mick F. Cornwall

freeflow
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby freeflow » 2 Oct 2013, 9:00am

I don't think a bit of parafin/Gunk from cleaning a bike chain is going to make a whole lot of difference, given the other crap we put into the drainage system and oil/diesel runoff from the roads.


A true 'Tragedy of the Commons' scenario.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

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CREPELLO
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Re: Chain cleaning

Postby CREPELLO » 2 Oct 2013, 9:05am

mr mchenry wrote:My Mrs. Puts Domestos down the toilet most days...The rats don't like it much. I don't think a bit of parafin/Gunk from cleaning a bike chain is going to make a whole lot of difference, given the other crap we put into the drainage system and oil/diesel runoff from the roads.
And the little river down stream of my town's sewage treatment works smells....of domestos :evil: .

It's about trying to be environmentally responsible for our actions and choices. Being a modern human isn't particularly eco-friendly, but if every one of us thinks that our own behaviour won't have any cumalative effect, then it sure as hell will. This is the situation we are in at the moment. I recall a Keep Britain Tidy campaign from about the 1980's where the slogan ran along the lines of "my bit of litter won't make any difference", repeated many times - you get the picture.

Even when China is emmitting many times more pollution than the UK (mostly for our consumer toys) the default response of many is a shrug of the shoulders.

It's not a case of being 100% ethically/ecologically pure (or not. It shouldn't be either/or....unless you're the Uk's environment secretary), but aiming for that ideal conciously, as a work in progress.