Perchloroethylene or 99% isopropyl alcohol as degreasers?
Isopropanol is excellent, and benign to plastics. It’s what you get in cassette tape head cleaners, monitor screen cleaners, etc, although those tend to be mixed 50/50 with distilled water.Posted 4 years ago
I use it full strength for all kinds of stuff, but I’ve got 5 liters of it out in the shed, and loads more at work. 😉vincienupSubscriber
While obviously volatile, I’ve heard garages use 50/50 petrol and diesel for really manky stuff where you’re going to put it in a parts washer. Obviously a washing up bowl and dish scrubber from B&M is just as good… 😉
Depends what you’re shifting really. Massive clarty filth is always going to be best immersed, but carb cleaner has it’s place as does brake cleaner. WD40 can be a useful cleaner too – which is great as it’s crap at anything else bar driving water out. I’d probably give small deposits of something tarry a quick blast of carb cleaner for preference then blue towel them. I generally save brake cleaner (cheap in green tins at tool station) for rotors if I’ve had them off or on first assembly. Not sure I’d want to spray a mounted rotor with it as I like my hub bearing grease where it is.
IPA gets you a clinically clean surface suitable for critical adhesive use or assembly of hydraulics after stripping. You can get good prices on litre bottles of the good 99% stuff on the Bay…
For regular use on chain sets there are very effective citrus degreasers that are a bit friendlier to use than heavy volatile stuff. Obviously with all degreasers keep them away from bearings you don’t plan to strip and regrease 🙂Posted 4 years ago
Unless you have an industrial workshop with proper control meaures I would stay well away from tetrachloroethylene, suspect carcinogen, can be absorbed through the skin harmful via inhalation…has been linked to serious long term ill health, death and ive been involved in the disaster recovery following an explosion when someone stored it incorrectly in their property. Thet survived but killed a liutle girl next door.Posted 4 years agokayak23Subscriber
Petrol is very good for de-greasing chains, just dunk chain in a jam jar of neat petrol and the chain comes out spotless….
Or just feed it into your cars filler cap attached to a length of string trailing out, and go for a drive down some traffic-calmed streets. Hey presto!Posted 4 years ago
A trick I learned here is that very hot water is about as good a degreaser as you need.
I boil the kettle, chain in cheapy ultrasonic cleaner (but you could use a jam jar), hot water on chain, turn ultrasonic clenaer on (or shake jam jar). Take chain out, wipe a couple of times, done. And, ‘cos the chain is hot from the water, it also dries itself.
Nothing else needs ‘degreasing’. Mud is water soluble, cassette/chainset/mech should only have mud on them if you don’t go insane with the amount of lube you put on your chain.
This only applies to MTB’s mind, the hideous brake/clutch/petrol/diesel/oild/salt/grit combination that gets on road bikes sometimes needs nothing short of napalm to shift 🙁Posted 4 years agothisisnotaspoonMember
What Tazzy said. Think very carefully about how important a clean bike is to you before storing bottles of highly volitile, flamable and toxic stuff arround the house. Im not sure its flamable though? But if you heat it it in air it does thermaly decompose to phosgene gas, and TBH id rather the fireball!
WTF are you degreasing with industrial dry cleaning fluid?
Hot water and washing up liquid will clean a drivetrain, muck off spray followed by water and car shampoo for the rest.Posted 4 years ago
A man shed is not a proper man shed unless you’re storing highly dangerous liquids in totally inappropriate means. Anyway, if something goes wrong you can always rely on the Turkish fire brigade to save the day:
[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_Dwl1DrNn8[/video]Posted 4 years agojonbaMember
I would advise against using perchloroethylene. Chemicals of that type are being banned left right and centre as more and more proof is being found that they are carcinogenic (and this is properly carcinogenic, not daily mail carcinogenic).
A grease is a long chain hydrocarbon that is typically hydophobic (repels/doesn’t like water). What you need as a degreaser is one of two things.
Something of very low viscosity that mixes well with grease but then dilutes it to the point where it can be easily removed. Petrol, diesel etc. fall into this category.
The other option is something that reacts or interacts with the grease. This works better with grease from an organic (of the biological not chemical type) source since it has some functionality with which to react. Examples of this include soaps, caustic (NaOH) and surfactants.
FWIW I use white spirit for really grimey things like chains as it is a slightly cleaner alternative to petrol. I don’t think IPA, Methanol are as good because both are both polar. Methanol is quite toxic so IPA is often a better bet.
In general using a soap regularly stops the build up and removes the need for solvents.Posted 4 years agoGarry_LagerSubscriber
jonba – Member
I would advise against using perchloroethylene. Chemicals of that type are being banned left right and centre as more and more proof is being found that they are carcinogenic (and this is properly carcinogenic, not daily mail carcinogenic).If something is used on a million ton scale each year, in all sorts of applications, and is only rated as a cancer suspect agent, then that cannot be ‘properly carcinogenic’ by any sensible definition. Properly carcinogenic means class 1A, unequivocally causes cancer in man.Posted 4 years ago
Petrol would be more hazardous (flammable, neurotoxic and contains a small amount of benzene – a proven carcinogen) and no one’s arsed about cleaning their chains in petrol.
Gary – fantastic misunderstanding of the determination of human health impacts based on epidemiolody and toxicology there chap. Have a look and read of the reach guidance (replacment for chip) and some of the watch documentation for the determination of workplace exposure limits amd then it makes a bit morw sense without resorting to daily mail cancer comments. As you well know..determination of occupation related cancer is difficult as communication between gp and regulatory bodies is pretty much non existant hence why many cancer deaths may well be as a result of occupational exposre but will never be recorded as such. Its knly when there is such a large and direct correlation that its noticable such as bladder cancer in rubber manufacturing workers or testicular cancer in engeers and machinists.Posted 4 years agoalitroMember
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I wouldn’t have thought about using petrol or diesel before, simply because of the thought of a residue being left behind; I’ll have to find out. Ipa seems like the guy for the jobs where I want a completely contaminate free surface (correct me if I’m wrong) such as braking surfaces, precision bearings and the odd Chris King hub. From what i’m gathering the chloroflourocarbons are completely out of the question.
The reason i’m interested in the industrial chemicals is because I’m looking to start a degree in mech engineering this year and wanted a little bit of a scope into things before I get thrown in clueless at the deep-end. Talking to people from different backgrounds, they all seem to have their personal preference on what they use and they stick by that. trichloroflouroethane was brought up by an aerospace engineer but now has been replaced by the use of ultrasonic cleaners and less ozone-depleting solvents.
Before you all start worrying, I’m not buying anything that’s extremely flammable and anything that’ll be bought will be isolated in the man shed, out of harms way! 😀
Thanks again for the advice.Posted 4 years agonickdaviesSubscriber
99% isopropyl alcohol … Where do I buy this stuff. Been looking for it and found some in Maplin for £15 a litre… Can I get it cheaper?
Ebay. I wish people would stop calling it IPA though… I keep having visions of people wasting a decent ale on their metalwork… 😉Posted 4 years ago
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