Chain Cleaner Degreaser

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Psamathe
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Chain Cleaner Degreaser

Post by Psamathe »

I follow the Mike F chain cleaning method (though probably not adequately often). Can of Shimano degreaser cost me £11. 1st time I re-used it putting it through a coffee filter; but that took forever to do (over a day for the final bit to pass through- I guess the much clogs the filter). So now I'm leaving it to stand to clear and it isn't. I use degreaser to clean, then soap/water to wash out degreaser.

And I'm thinking, £11 to clean a chain twice vs cost of a cheap chain ... the thorough cleaning does not make financial sense the way I'm doing it/the cleaner I'm using. Previous degreaser was a bit cheaper but it took an entire bottle to clean one (admittedly very dirty) chain !

So what do people use for cleaner ? I'm sure Shimano is not the cheapest. Are there cleaners you can realistically re-use. Cheaper and just as effective ? Do the alternatives still do <whatever cleaner> then soap/detergent and water to rinse through ?

Many thanks
Ian
Valbrona
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Re: Chain Cleaner Degreaser

Post by Valbrona »

The cleaner isn't the main determinant in getting a clean chain. It is the type of lube that you want the cleaner to remove.
I should coco.
Psamathe
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Re: Chain Cleaner Degreaser

Post by Psamathe »

Valbrona wrote:The cleaner isn't the main determinant in getting a clean chain. It is the type of lube that you want the cleaner to remove.

I use "White Lightning Wet Ride" (autumn/winter/wet time of year) and Finish Line Dry Lube (Spring/Summer/dry times of year). And the chain gets pretty cruddy with both.

Ian
reohn2
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Re: Chain Cleaner Degreaser

Post by reohn2 »

Degreaser for chains:-
White Spirit(about £6 for 4ltrs),cheap reusable by leaving it in a jam jar to settle then decant off the clean WS,it'll take a couple of weeks.
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Mick F
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Re: Chain Cleaner Degreaser

Post by Mick F »

Yeah, white spirit is good and cheap.
However, the chain is oily when clean, and if you want to use a dry wax lube, it's not good enough.

I use Gunk - the engine degreaser - £4.00ish from a discount store. Just like white spirit, it settles over a while and you can pour off the clean liquid. Gunk has two advantages over white spirit: the chain can be rinsed in clean water then washed spotlessly clean with hot soapy water and dried totally, plus the Gunk is water soluble so can go down the sink.
Mick F. Cornwall
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Vantage
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Re: Chain Cleaner Degreaser

Post by Vantage »

Astonish Engine degreaser here through one of them chain cleaner tool thingies.
I've not timed it, but the dirt soon settles to the bottom of the jar after use and is perfectly reusable again. £3-4 I think as it's been a while since I bought any.
The dirt gets put into the same tub where old frying pan oil goes then into the bin.
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
It's a rich man whos children run to him when his pockets are empty.
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breakwellmz
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Re: Chain Cleaner Degreaser

Post by breakwellmz »

Psamathe wrote:I follow the Mike F chain cleaning method (though probably not adequately often). Can of Shimano degreaser cost me £11. 1st time I re-used it putting it through a coffee filter; but that took forever to do (over a day for the final bit to pass through- I guess the much clogs the filter). So now I'm leaving it to stand to clear and it isn't. I use degreaser to clean, then soap/water to wash out degreaser.

And I'm thinking, £11 to clean a chain twice vs cost of a cheap chain ... the thorough cleaning does not make financial sense the way I'm doing it/the cleaner I'm using. Previous degreaser was a bit cheaper but it took an entire bottle to clean one (admittedly very dirty) chain !

So what do people use for cleaner ? I'm sure Shimano is not the cheapest. Are there cleaners you can realistically re-use. Cheaper and just as effective ? Do the alternatives still do <whatever cleaner> then soap/detergent and water to rinse through ?

Many thanks
Ian


£11? :shock:

I used the petrol drained out of my strimmer and put the dregs in a jam jar which is settling out as we speak.
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Mick F
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Re: Chain Cleaner Degreaser

Post by Mick F »

Yep, petrol is good, but be careful with it.
Diesel is ok too, but leaves an oily deposit.
I used paraffin for many years as we had a couple of heaters using it.

I reckon I've tried them all, and Gunk is my favourite.
Mick F. Cornwall
reohn2
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Re: Chain Cleaner Degreaser

Post by reohn2 »

Mick F wrote:Yeah, white spirit is good and cheap.
However, the chain is oily when clean, and if you want to use a dry wax lube, it's not good enough.

I use Gunk - the engine degreaser - £4.00ish from a discount store. Just like white spirit, it settles over a while and you can pour off the clean liquid. Gunk has two advantages over white spirit: the chain can be rinsed in clean water then washed spotlessly clean with hot soapy water and dried totally, plus the Gunk is water soluble so can go down the sink.


Any residual WS can be washed off with warm water with a little washing up liquid squirted in.TBH there's not much in it with WS and engine degreaser and more often than not I use a clip on chain scrubber which is as good as 'shake it in bottle/jam jar' method.
If the cassette,jockey wheels and chainrings are grudded up(about every third chain clean) I take the chain off and do the shake-in-a-jar.
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Brucey
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Re: Chain Cleaner Degreaser

Post by Brucey »

breakwellmz wrote: .....I used the petrol drained out of my strimmer ...


if you are using petrol you do need to be more careful than with other less volatile solvents. As well as being nastier stuff for you chemically speaking (the fumes are known to be carcinogenic), there is a major hazard with the vapour; whenever you are splashing it about there is plenty and it is of course extremely flammable. White spirit or paraffin is much less volatile and is considerably safer to work with.

One worry I have with those chain scrubber gizmos is that they often strip the lube out of the jockey pulleys. As time goes on I am more inclined to the view that an exposed chain is a pretty uncivilised arrangement, but that is just me I guess.

cheers
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reohn2
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Re: Chain Cleaner Degreaser

Post by reohn2 »

Brucey wrote:..One worry I have with those chain scrubber gizmos is that they often strip the lube out of the jockey pulleys.

Really?
I haven't found that to be the case though I do lube them regularly with a squirt of TF2 and a stripdown/regrease annually.
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breakwellmz
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Re: Chain Cleaner Degreaser

Post by breakwellmz »

I`ts vinyl apron and chemical gloves on when i`m cleaning up bits with petrol.Filling up a hot lawnmower or strimmer from a petrol can is potentially far more dangerous in my opinion.
Would a diesel engine be a safer option to power the hydrogen balloon i`m building at the moment do you think? :lol:
Brucey
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Re: Chain Cleaner Degreaser

Post by Brucey »

I have often thought that if the internal combustion engine were invented today, H&S would consider it too dangerous to use without considerable specialist training....

cheers
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g.meredith
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Re: Chain Cleaner Degreaser

Post by g.meredith »

I now follow the Rohloff advice on chain maintenance. http://www.rohloff.de/en/technology/chaindrive/chain_cleaning/index.html

"CHAIN CLEANING
Particles already in the link can hardly be removed by any cleaning method (not even with an ultrasonic bath). In order to prevent particles being transported into the link in the first place, the chain should be kept dry and clean on the outside by wiping it regularly with an oily cloth. Additionally, sprockets, pulleys and chainrings should be kept as clean as possible because these parts are in direct contact with the rollers of the chain.

Only a very dirty chain should be cleaned intensively. We do not recommend any of the currently available chain cleaning devices because the liquids used normally have a very negative effect in the chain links. The links will not be free from particles after the application but the cleaning liquid will mix with the lubricant which in most cases destroys its lubricating feature. Therefore, before using a cleaning liquid, test it by mixing it with the lubricant you use.

We recommend cleaning liquids which do not have 100% degreasing effect, such as diesel or paraffin. Products based on modern washing-up liquids are generally environmently more friendly. These work quite well and can be easily washed out of the link with water.
Please ensure the chain is lubricated correctly following such an intensive cleaning process!"
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NUKe
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Re: Chain Cleaner Degreaser

Post by NUKe »

I clean and lube mine with chainsaw oil. Heating the chain in a bath of hot oil.
NUKe
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