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  • Isopropyl alcohol – disk brake cleaner?
  • DrJ
    Full Member

    At the beginning of the pandemic when hand sanitiser was scarce and the end of the world seemed imminent I bought a load of isopropyl alcohol to make homemade sanitiser. Now most of it is leftover and I’m wondering what I can use it for. I thought maybe as a disk brake cleaner? Good for the rotors, I’d imagine, but maybe less so for the pads? Any other uses?

    (I also have a big bottle of glycerin and one of aloe vera – probably less useful for disk cleaning)

    kimbers
    Full Member

    Yes it’s what I use

    Great for cleaning before adding decals etc too

    a11y
    Full Member

    Great for cleaning before adding decals etc too

    Also for prepping before fitting Invisiframe. Just don’t mix up your spray bottles like I did when lubing up the pieces to slide them into position, and accidently (try to) use IPA as the lubricant…

    And yeah, I clean my discs with IPA too.

    stevextc
    Free Member

    Brakes, suspension… de-icer…. (try it as a emergency deicer spray) – just don’t add glycerin tor aloe to the spray bottle

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    Multitude of uses and always have some in for many of the uses above. About the only thing I’ve not used it for is making hand sanitizer

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    Great for cleaning parts when servicing forks etc.

    hooli
    Full Member

    I always use it when servicing forks, also good for fitting non lock on grips or getting rid of sticker residue.

    jkomo
    Full Member

    Cleaning road rash

    FOG
    Full Member

    I always used to buy it from my local hardware shop for way less than disc brake cleaner but they haven’t been able to get it for ages because it’s all gone to make sanitizer.

    desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    Squirt it on the rotors and put a match to it. Cleanest rotors evah! 🙂

    BoardinBob
    Full Member

    Getting grease or oil marks out a carpet.

    I had my turbo trainer in the converted loft of a house we rented and it had thrown some black oil into the carpet.

    Tried all manner of carpet cleaners that all failed.

    Trusty YouTube threw up IPA as a solution. Spray on, dab off, oily marks completely gone.

    It’s absolute wonder stuff

    timmys
    Full Member

    Since I got promoted to the point of desk jockey, my main reason to ever venture into the labs at work is to pilfer some IPA.

    singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    As well as all the above cleaning jobs you can use it for, it’s also good for cleaning the inside of a tubeless tyre when using mushroom plugs/removing the greasy residues when first fitting so the sealant sticks to them better.
    Also use it to clean my hands when in the garage.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    Yep it’s just a really good all round cleaner. Can damage some paints though as it’s a <really> good cleaner.

    wordnumb
    Free Member

    Good for getting unwanted stickers off cd cases.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Anyone mention cleaning rims for re-taping tubeless?

    And just getting stubborn marks and crud off frames etc.

    drnosh
    Free Member

    @singlespeedstu

    You should not really be using IPA to clean your hands…..the IPA will ‘defat’ your skin leading you to possible skin problems / dermatitus.

    wordnumb
    Free Member

    Also, don’t drink it.

    desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    Also, don’t drink it.

    I heard it cured Covid 😛

    freeagent
    Free Member

    I heard it cured Covid 😛

    No – i think the Donald said you need to inject it to cure COVID…

    grim168
    Full Member

    The stuff we have at work doesn’t burn that well in an alcohol stove. Yellow flame and a sooty pan bottom

    defblade
    Free Member

    I buy 5 litre tubs and pour it into smaller bottles to use. Cleans/degreases pretty much everything around bikes, cars, etc – really handy stuff.

    If you’re old-fashioned, it’s also great for cleaning up the heads in tape players 😉

    johnjn2000
    Free Member

    .the IPA will ‘defat’ your skin

    Will the same apply if I rub it onto my moobs and beer belly? *runs off to garage for a quick weight loss session*

    footflaps
    Full Member

    If you’re old-fashioned, it’s also great for cleaning up the heads in tape players

    Record cleaner fluid if you’re proper old skool!

    LimboJimbo
    Full Member

    Also use it to clean my hands when in the garage.

    Doing that is a brilliant way to find out if you have any little cuts on your hands.😫

    BillMC
    Full Member

    Softens up the limewood you are about to carve.

    singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    You should not really be using IPA to clean your hands…..the IPA will ‘defat’ your skin leading you to possible skin problems / dermatitus.

    Been doing it for donkeys years and it hasn’t so far.

    Doing that is a brilliant way to find out if you have any little cuts on your hands.😫

    I quite like the sensation. 😁 Has the added side effects of cleaning them out.

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    Cleaning road rash

    Or an eye wash

    😆

    .

    No seriously dont put it on wounds or in your eyes.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Been doing it for donkeys years and it hasn’t so far.

    Plenty of chemicals can produce no reaction, then one day you develop really bad contact dermititis (i.e. an allergic reaction) to it. Brake fluids, oils, greases, glues, solvents, urethanes, epoxies, polyesters. I don’t think IPA will do that, but it absolutely can cause acute skin issues, and it’s a very good idea to always wear gloves so you don’t have to wash your hands with anything hardsher than soap in the first place.

    tagnut69
    Free Member

    Used to use it for cleaning the chalk off the sole of my climbing booots. The climbing mags back then recommended it rubbed in to hands to toughen the skin up too

    mick_r
    Full Member

    Must admit I’ve occasionally used it to clean hands. It is pretty benign compared to most solvents.

    Can scarily remember how liberally we used 205 litre barrels of Genklene (1.1.1. Trichloroethane) when I was an apprentice in the early 90s…. And I still avoid any more potent brake cleaners as some chlorinated solvents can produce nasties like phosgene.

    singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    When I was working I couldn’t stand wearing gloves.
    They caused more harm* than good for me. The oils and greases I used less so.

    *Sweaty wrinkly fingers.

    I’m not suggesting than anyone else should do this just that I’ve been fine with it.

    didnthurt
    Full Member

    I cleaned my rotors one time with whisky as I had a big ride the next day and didn’t have anything else. Worked fine, and smelt wonderful.

    I’ve also used deicer spray, also worked fine.

    didnthurt
    Full Member

    Almost forgot, also have used hand sanitizer.

    noeffsgiven
    Free Member

    It’s good for cleaning the pads too, just don’t soak them in it or the paint will come off the backing plate and it could also affect the resin

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