Cleaning disk rotors, with what's to hand

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  • Cleaning disk rotors, with what's to hand
  • wilko1999
    Member

    White spirit is an effective de-greaser. I’d use soap and water to get the main grime off, followed by a wipe down with the white spirit

    Milkie
    Member

    What about those alcohol wipes, they work pretty well for rotors. 😉

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Doesn’t white spirit leave an oily film behind?

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    white spirit first, then soap and how water to get the residue off.

    yorkshire89
    Member

    Acetone if you have any lying around.

    Premier Icon cr500dom
    Subscriber

    BAby Wipes, or take them off and chuck them through the dishwasher

    White spirit will leave an oily residue behind

    White spirit is an effective de-greaser. I’d use soap and water to get the main grime off, followed by a wipe down with the white spirit

    It’s frickin oil! Take it nowhere near your brakes! It’s not a degreaser, it’s a solvent!

    Washing up liquid and hot water in a clean sink (i.e. you don’t want the remenants of last nights fry up coating them in oil), and rinse in fresh water, anything else will leave a residue.

    rob jackson
    Member

    washing up liquid

    rusty90
    Member

    Thanks guys. Washing up liquid and hot water it is then.

    wilko1999
    Member

    Fair enough, I use Iso-propyl alcohol myself to clean my rotors as it happens. But white spirit is used as a degreaser in machine shops, just didn’t realise it left a thin film behind

    jonba
    Member

    White spirits is a degreaser (and a solvent*), a very good one at that. However it is not a very defined mixture so there may be heavier weight molecules left behind – the amount would be negligible.

    Warm water and washing up liquid would be my choice. Maybe a green scourer as well.

    *Infact it is a solvent for many greases!

    rusty90
    Member

    Brakes sound as if I’m being chased by a flock of irate seagulls and pads are pretty worn. Got new pads ready to go in but need to clean the rotors first as they feel distinctly greasy to the touch.
    I’d use meths to clean them if I had any, but I haven’t (and I need the bike tonight). What I do have is :
    Diesel
    White spirit
    Can of heavy duty de-greaser
    Can of barrel and choke cleaner
    Huge variety of domestic cleansing products

    Any of the above or just good old soap/washing-up liquid and water?

    hmmmm im having this my self at the minute – about a week ago i suddenly out of no where started getting a squealing front brake, its been silent using the same pads (superstar sintered since ive owned them well over a year ago), all of a sudden its got a squeal on braking, not a major one and it will fade as you brake more, but then comes straight back next braking session

    i even put a new set of again superstar sintered in and its doing the same with the new pads! not sure why its suddenly started to do it given the silence on the same pads over 1.5 years

    looking at my hope saw tooth rotor (which is about 3 years old?) its got a kind of rust type coating in places that i cant get off with meths, is the rotor buggered? pretty sure its now my rotor that causing the issue as my back brake using the same pads/rotor is still deadly silent throughout!

    ive used some muc off brake disc cleaner on the pads and rotor and although it goes at the start of the ride its comes back squealing after a few sessions of braking

    shall i give the rotor a rub down with sand paper type stuff? soak it in rubbing alcohol? then to finish some muc off brake disc cleaner?

    or shall i sod the sintered off and get some organic to stop the noise?

    Premier Icon mcnultycop
    Subscriber

    IPA as mentioned above (not booze) is superb.

    ive got some IPA (rubbing alcohol so ill give that a try)

    is that not what brake disc cleaner is though?

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    Give the diesel a try and let us know how you’ve gotten on.

    Most hospitals let you use phones now

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    Washing up liquid in warm water works ofr my dishes and I’m sure some of them ore more greasy than rotors get.

    mickolas
    Member

    OW. can you check the disc thickness? Perhaps it is just worn?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Dish scourer is good… I used to buy expensive 3m scotchbrite pads for metal buffing til I discovered you can get what seems to be the exact same grade pad from tesco, 3 for a quid, for cleaning pans.

    my hope floating rotor is about 3 years old and had a good life, dont mind replacing it if its worn and thats the cause, theres defintely some wear marks on the rotor braking surface and some strange rust type/scored wear to it to in places

    will try with organic pads first as i dont mind running them in summer, if that also fails ill buy a new rotor as ive always had silent brakes with hope floating rotors

    seems weird its only just started happening, and my rear one is still fine and silent (using same pads)

    rusty90
    Member

    Give the diesel a try and let us know how you’ve gotten on.
    Most hospitals let you use phones now

    😀
    Wheel’s on fire
    Rolling down the road
    Best notify my next of kin
    This wheel shall explode!
    (Apologies to Julie Driscoll)

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Fairy liquid, stop touching them

    Kryton, try organic pads, sometimes metal pads get squealy in the dust and dry

    Choke/carb cleaner is a solvent.
    I’ve used it on discs before to degrease them to good effect.
    Also excellent for cleaning out gunk filled headsets.

    jonnyb1972
    Member

    I use a can of brake and clutch cleaner from the car spares shop sprayed onto a rag or kitchen roll, seems to work well. I think its mainly IPA, though not sure.

    Premier Icon glenh
    Subscriber

    Why would anyone need to clean their rotors?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    White spirit is itself somewhat oily, so whilst it shifts grease it doens’t clean to the required cleanliness for brakes.

    Brake cleaner has never worked for me. Supposedly it contains something for anti-rusting, maybe it’s ok for cars but it seems awful on my bikes – even the Muc Off bike specific one.

    Clutch cleaner works brilliantly, but it doens’t last long.

    Acetone aka nail polish remover is effective but damages some plastics, I’d be wary

    Meths is good ime

    Rubbing alcohol seems not to be widely available here, surgical spirit is though and that’s just methanol and ethanol I think, works well on brakes.

    Electronic contact cleaner also works very well indeed, I think it’s the same as clutch cleaner though – smells like it.

    Soap and water works rather well too, if you agitate it. Also water on its own is quite good, for lightly dirty rotors. On the trails I find a puddle with some fine mud in it and rub it all over the rotors with finger and thumb until it gets squeaky. Works a treat.

    DO NOT use a sweetened drink from your camelbak though – the sugar or whatever is in there goes sticky and the brakes will squeal like bastards for ages.

    Why would anyone need to clean their rotors?

    I don’t know, but my brakes often benefit from it. I have no idea how they are being contaminated – maybe I have a micro leak in the hose or seal and traces of brake fluid are getting on there.

    bigdrew
    Member

    Take the rotors off and put them on a hob. You can do the same with the pads depending on type.

    Get them pretty hot to burn the oil/grease off. I did the pads till they stopped smoking.

    There is one pad compound you have to be careful doing it with. You should find it with a quick Google though!

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    Meths or carb cleaner are the best ‘usually in the garage or drinks cabinet’ options. Although I guess carb cleaner is pretty rare in most households these days.

    Tried the MucOff stuff in a fit of professionalism, it was fine but no better than my 99p meths and some cotton wool for the few times a year I clean the rotors.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Although I guess carb cleaner is pretty rare in most households these days.

    I was gonna say!

    Personally, I’ve found Muc-off brake cleaner to be worse than meths, and worse than pretty much anything else. Last can I tried I binned it rather than use it on my brakes. Very scary to apply the levers and have nothing happen.

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