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Mineral Spirits to clean chain?(14 posts)

Mineral Spirits to clean chain?Gall
Aug 19, 2002 4:25 PM
hello again,

does mineral spirits work good to clean chains? if not, what else should i use. I ve used simple green .. seems like it takes a while for it to dry.

thanks in advance for the help!
re: Mineral Spirits to clean chain?PaulCL
Aug 19, 2002 5:21 PM
I use mineral spirits when I want a really good cleaning, otherwise, Simple green does well. I'll let the chain soak for a few hours in turpentine, then brush it off with a bristley paint brush. If you use min. spirits, lube your chain REALLY well afterward.
re: Mineral Spirits to clean chain?Carbon fiber fanatik
Aug 19, 2002 5:56 PM
my personal fave? pinesol and a plastic bottle. drop in the chain, shake it like a martini and rinse... shake dry and lube as usual... works great..
industrial dish degreaser from Smart&findPeterRider
Aug 19, 2002 5:58 PM
works great - but not good for the skin, my hands itch if they stay too long in that stuff.

re: Mineral Spirits to clean chain?clintb
Aug 19, 2002 7:11 PM
Ok, I know it's not the absolute cheapest stuff, but I absolutely SWEAR by Finish Line Ecotech degreaser. Simple Green can't even compare with this. It is so mean that grease melts with just a little applied/used. Buy it in the 20oz for around 8.99. I'm still working on the same bottle a year later.

Put your chain in a container large enough to lay flat at the bottom. A container that's got a flat bottom works best.
Put in around 1oz Ecotech and 1oz water, cap it, swish it around and come back in 30min.
Take chain out, scrub off with soapy water and rinse well.
If you have an air compressor, dry with air nozzle.
No access to air compressor, then dry with rag and hang it up while you mess with other parts of your bike.

The best thing about this stuff is it's biodegradeable, but mean as hell. I used to work in a motorcycle shop and had regular access the the solvent tank used in the service department. Well, Ecotech is just as good as that solvent!
re: Mineral Spirits to clean chain?DrD
Aug 19, 2002 7:12 PM
Works really well - I keep it in a can, put in the chain and let it soak for a while (few hours) - shake it around now and then, then remove and let it dry - mineral spirits is nice because it doesn't leave much along the lines of residue on the chain. Every once and a while I let the can settle, pour off the clean solvent, then wipe the goo off of the bottom, then replace the solvent.

as with most things of this nature, try not to get it on your hands, and work in a well ventilated area.
Denatured Alchohol0_Kewl
Aug 19, 2002 7:59 PM
I wouldn't....Gregory Taylor
Aug 20, 2002 5:17 AM
Perfect stuff for cleaning hydraulic brake parts, but I wouldn't use denatured alchohol to clean a chain for several reasons --

1. It will attack paint. Imagine some poor schmoe loading this stuff up in his Park chain cleaner, slapping it on his bike, and having the paint come off where it drips on the frame.... If you take the chain off of the bike, that might be a different story. But it is still way overkill for cleaning a chain. (I have used automotive carburetor cleaner to defungulate extremely dirty parts. Works like a champ on cassettes. But I had the parts off of the bike, they were not painted, and I worked outside wearing gloves)

2. Fire hazard. Use this stuff inside at your own risk.
That's what I meant, soak the chain in denatured alcohol.0_Kewl
Aug 20, 2002 4:39 PM
re: Mineral Spirits to clean chain?pmf1
Aug 20, 2002 3:52 AM
If my chain is really bad, I use mineral spirits. Normally, I use Zepp citrus cleaner. You can get the stuff at Home Depot for $7/gallon. Works just as well as the bike shop stuff, but only costs 5% as much.
What about Kerosene?GTDave
Aug 20, 2002 5:39 AM
It's a dollar or so a gallon. It stinks, but it works really well.
Aug 20, 2002 6:10 AM
All of the methods mentioned leave a residue. Mineral spirits, etc don't totally evaporate. The organic degreasers also leave residues that must be removed. Naptha, sometimes called lighter fluid when purchased in small cans, will disolve other petrolium based substances and will not leave any residue and will not attack paint. It isn't the kind of thing you want to soak your hands in but rubber gloves work and don't disolve in it. I use it for many cleaning purposes around the house and garage in addition to cleaning the drivetrain on the bike. I buy it by the gallon at HomeDepot.

Use both...Quack
Aug 20, 2002 6:16 AM
Being that I use oil based chain lube, I typically mix a splash of mineral spirits in with some degreaser like SimpleGreen and load it in the chain cleaner. Stir it up and brush it on the cogs and rings and wait a couple minutes. After you hose it off, wash everything with just soap and water to make sure the mineral spirits are completely removed from the parts and paint.
Carb cleaner - it melts grease off, wipe down and re-lube (nm)comedy-tragedy
Aug 20, 2002 12:51 PM