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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Folks,
I'm doing a much needed overhaul on my fixie. I normally use Simple Green in various stages of dilution for cleaning/degreasing.

Today I'm not screwin' around and really really want my bike clean. I've used gasoline in the past deep cleans and it works REALLY well, but I always feel sort of ghetto/trailer park doing it.

Does anyone suggest any alternatives? This is ONLY for the drivetrain/chain so I'm not worried about finish on the frame, etc.

~J
 

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info...

Water soluble products like simple green are often highly caustic and not the best choice. Mineral spirits (oil base paint thinner) is one of the best choices. Diesel fuel makes sense too, and it's cheaper but I've not tried it.

Gasoline is a bad choice. It's much more flammable, smells bad and leaves an odor on your hands.
 

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A gasoline thought

nochain said:
I've used gasoline in the past deep cleans and it works REALLY well, but I always feel sort of ghetto/trailer park doing it.
Just so you know, gasoline can contain around 3% benzene, a proven carcinogen. Not much risk when you're pumping gas, but you're going to get a lot heavier dose when you're using as a solvent. Not really a good idea. Odorless mineral spirits (OMS), available at any paint or hardware store, is a really good alternative. Diesel fuel works OK, but it stinks.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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Odorless mineral spirits. They're not REALLY odorless, but it's much better than the regular. While mineral spirits and gasoline are both flammable, gasoline is explosive. Do Not use the gas. Please.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
interesting point about the benzine... I should have thought of that. Looks like it will be mineral spirits going forward.

I'm surprised that people don't like Simple Green. I thought it was the best - water soluble, good for Earth, and did the job. What happened?

J
 

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Safety issue

I'll chime in as well on the safety issues with gasoline. It is very volatile and the vapors are flammable to the point of being explosive. Using gasoline as a cleaning solvent is an extreme fire hazard, especially in an enclosed space like a garage.

+1 for both mineral spirits and diesel fuel. Both work great, but I find mineral spirits is just more convenient.

I recycle my mineral spirits by draining the used spirits into a second jug. Yes, mineral spirits are cheap but they are still a solvent that needs to be properly disposed of. Reusing them cuts down on the volume of hazardous waste. Just let them settle and they get remarkably clear and the debris settles to the bottom. Just be careful not to stir them up too much when pouring from the recycled jug.
 

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What I ue in my shop parts washer is a mix of Kerosene and a type of detergent that you can get at autozone or any automotive store. Mixes with kerosene (or Diesel), enough to make many gallons and pretty cheap. It adds a bit of cleaning action to the de-greasing action of the solvent (kerosene)
 

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TheHeadlessThompsonGunner
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Damn. How dirty do your bikes get? My bikes somehow never get that dirty. Whenever anything is really, really, permanently greasy, I use odourless mineral spirits. But mostly I just was my bike, when I wash it, with Murphy's Oil Soap, and have learned to ignore the various thin, minor films of grease here and there. Maybe my bike is kind of German or French or something, and I've learned to love its little bit of minor funk. I mean, I change my chains regularly and keep the drivetrain ticking flawlessly, and I don't splash lube all over the place, but...

Are you showing your bike? I guess if I were showing my bike I would think about cleaning it with something like gasoline.
 

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Yo no fui.
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I keep very clean bikes. I use glass cleaner (yes, glass cleaner) on the frame and other parts for aesthetics and to get dirt and grime off. I use a touch of mineral spirtis on the drivetrain for really embedded grease.
 
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