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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wax my chain with Wend Products. I use an Ultrasonic Cleaner to clean them. Chains are put in small Ziploc freezer bags covered in cleaner. Water is heated to 50 deg. C. I've been using Simple Green Pro HD at 3:1 in the baggie with the chain.... the thing is, it doesn't seem to clean very well. If I use brake clean in a oil pan it works great, but not drain friendly or cost effective.

What are you guys using to clean your waxed chains??? Especially if you use Wend.
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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First off, I don't use wax lubes (or dry lubes as some call them). The myth that they repel dirt couldn't be further from the truth. They turn gummy and nasty. They also don't lube and protect anywhere near as well or for as long as oil based "wet" lubes.

Use some kind of solvent like mineral spirits to clean that [email protected] off. Then lube with an oil based lube. There are many good oil based "wet" lubes available, but they are all no better than a home brew of 50% synthetic motor oil and 50% mineral spirits which is what I use every 500 miles.

The key to keeping your chain clean is to wipe your chain down well after lubing and then wipe it down again after the first ride. There is no practical reason to remove your chain for cleaning. When you lube, the half mineral spirits in the lube acts as a cleaner and gets most of the gunk off. It doesn't need to sparkle. Oh, and I got over 6000 miles out of my last chain.
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for the helpful replies. I have used petroleum based "wet" lubes for nearly 40 years. They are not bad for what they are intended. We started riding gravel last year and I clean my chains with a neodymium magnet in the baggie to collect metal particles. I noticed a significant increase in those particles that coincided with our off road adventures. The dust in the gravel was literally lapping chain material away. In addition my drivetrain made some horrible squeaking and rattling sound after an hour or more in dusty conditions. Since switching to wax, there are less particles than when I was riding solely on the road with petroleum based lubes AND my drivetrain is not a noisy/oily mess all the time. I would not go back. I have looked at other "dry" products like Smoove and Squirt and those are a possibility.

FWIW, waxing a chain with Wend is not really any more difficult than applying regular chain lube. The video linked above is for cleaning a new chain that comes packed in the factory lubricant. The Wend cleaner is not truly a cleaner. I called them. It's designed for in-between chain maintenance. You rub the chain down with it, it removes some surface wax buildup and is supposed to also penetrate the rollers with a wax based lubricant that has some other additives. Rub some on your fingers and you will see. It's almost impossible to get back off. But it does help with one of the weaknesses of normal wax and that is surface corrosion when riding in the rain.

I will give mineral spirits a try, but it certainly is not my first choice as it presents disposal issues.
 

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In addition my drivetrain made some horrible squeaking and rattling sound after an hour or more in dusty conditions. Since switching to wax, there are less particles than when I was riding solely on the road with petroleum based lubes AND my drivetrain is not a noisy/oily mess all the time. I would not go back.
If your chain was squeaking and rattling in just one hour I believe you weren't using a very good oil based lube.

Given this is Road bike review, I assumed that was your use for wax. Not looking to turn this into a wax vs oil debate. Riding dusty gravel does present issues no matter the lube.
You may want to post on MTBR.com (mountain bike review). You'll get a lot more people riding in your conditions.


The video linked is for cleaning a new chain that comes packed in the factory lubricant.
Yes, but scroll down on the page. There's instructions: Steps To Clean A New Or Previously Waxed Chain
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Given this is Road bike review...
Noted.... To be fair, I DID post in the Gravel section, but I can see why it might not be obvious depending on your entry point to the thread.

Again, thanks for all the good feedback.

ETA: I clicked on your link. Do you own a 3d Printing shop???
 

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Matnlely Dregaend
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I have switched to wax because I have a lot of bikes and the wax lasts longer... if you don't use the bike. I use Xylene/Toluene in a jar followed by pure ethanol in the ultrasonic cleaner to clean, then I rewax. If the chain looks pretty clean I just rewax which I try to do every 300 miles. If I get caught in the rain I rewax immediately, which I did with oil based lubes too.

The biggest drawback to waxing chains is that if you wait too long, the chain will rapidly rust.
 

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Totally different animal. Motorcycle chains have shit tons more load on them.

My uncle tried this. Sprayed some waxy pasty motorcycle chain lube on his mtb chain. Totally seized it. You could barely bend the links by hand.
well sh8t thanks for the reply. I was at a local auto store and was thinking about using some cheap moto chain lube on my mtb chain since my mtb chain does need relubing after every ride (using low viscosity summer lube). But I guess you killed that idea quickly. Maybe I will try high viscosity motor oil.
 

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well sh8t thanks for the reply. I was at a local auto store and was thinking about using some cheap moto chain lube on my mtb chain since my mtb chain does need relubing after every ride (using low viscosity summer lube). But I guess you killed that idea quickly. Maybe I will try high viscosity motor oil.
Well I wouldn't totally rule it out. But be cautious. This was a wax lube. With an oil lube it'd probably work.

Also, some motorcycle chains are o-ring sealed. So the lubrication requirements are different.
 

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Russian Troll Farmer
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Not jumping into the wax vs. oil debate (personally, I can't stand wax), but don't SOAK the chain in Simple Green. It's far too caustic, and it will actually etch your bearing surfaces if left on.
 

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but don't SOAK the chain in Simple Green. It's far too caustic, and it will actually etch your bearing surfaces if left on.
No it's not. It's debunked internet folklore.

You've repeated this before.
Also, one piece of advice not yet mentioned: Simple Green is a good cleaner, but do NOT soak the chain for any time longer than a few minutes. It's caustic, and will etch surfaces if left on too long.
And it's simply not true

Perhaps if your chain is made from aluminum. The water/alkaline combination will expedite corrosion.

If your chain is made from aluminum, Simple Green Pro HD Heavy-Duty Cleaner is safe for you to use.

Both regular and HD Simple Green are fine to soak a steel chain for a couple hours. Been doing it for years.


This 'don't soak in simple green' garbage has been going around for years
 

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Not jumping into the wax vs. oil debate (personally, I can't stand wax), but don't SOAK the chain in Simple Green. It's far too caustic, and it will actually etch your bearing surfaces if left on.
Simple Green is not caustic. It is a household cleaner. If it were caustic, its pH would be high enough to burn you when it came in contact with your skin.

That being said, soaking your chain in Simple Green is great if you are bored and have nothing better to do with your time. In other words, it is totally unnecessary.
 

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I got a question regarding disposal. What the hell do you guys do with the dirty cleaner???? I mean, I'm hoping you guys just don't dump it down the public sewer, in your trashcan, in your neighbor's backyard, or water the plant with it!
Inquiring mind wants to know
 
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