Ultrasonic Chain Cleaning

Viewing 39 posts - 1 through 39 (of 39 total)
  • Ultrasonic Chain Cleaning
  • Premier Icon sirromj
    Subscriber

    Anyone done it, does it work well on muddy greasy chains? Apparently can do it with ultrasonic jewelly cleaners which can be picked up for ~ £30.

    Premier Icon nickc
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    I’ve got to ask why…chain doesn’t need to be “that” clean…

    Premier Icon Davesport
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    Ultrasonic cleaners are no use for de-greasing. Good for carb bodies, fuel injectors, gas regulators etc. Clarty chains not so much. The other thing is, the 30 quid versions aren’t much use for much more than jewelry. Have you considered something like a Park tools chain scrubber?

    st
    Member

    No they don’t.

    I bought one recently (£40 from Amazon) and having tried plain water, specific ultrasonic solution and citrus bike degreaser and with all 3 it will not do a great deal on a cruddy chain and cassette I have.

    I get much better results using a Park chain cleaner with the chain fitted.

    I bought the cleaner to clean all sorts of parts that I’m preparing to sell so not too bothered that it won’t clean drivetrain parts fully but if that was the sole reason I’d be a little disappointed

    Premier Icon on and on
    Subscriber

    Cheap ultrasonic cleaners are crap. More expensive heated cleaners do a pretty good job.

    the part tool cleaner is no more than a gimmick, I threw mine away as it just didn’t really work.

    escrs
    Member

    Just remove the chain from the bike (kmc quick link) rub it all over with washing up liquid and a drop of water to lather up, scrub with a good brush until all the grime is loose and rinse off, hang up to dry then refit and oil

    Done this to all my mtb chains including Dura Ace, Ultegra & even my Campag Super Record on the road bike, gets the chain really clean, saves making any mess on the bike by removing it

    Oh and i do this once a month on a chain and that chain lasts for around 4500 miles

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    escrs
    Just remove the chain from the bike (kmc quick link) rub it all over with washing up liquid and a drop of water to lather up, scrub with a good brush until all the grime is loose and rinse off, hang up to dry then refit and oil

    So a standard chain cleaning routine, like the OP was obviously trying to avoid..? 😆

    trail_rat
    Member

    jewlery ones work well on injector nozzles and carbs…. or at least mines does… i use the specific cleaner and warm water though.

    Why you would want a chain that clean though is beyond me , your chain needs grease and lube in the rollers to function Stripping all that out is a bad idea.

    i even find my parts washer tank to be too much , chain looks great like it came from a new bike but it also takes a few goes to get lube back into the rollers and for the lube to last any kind of time

    i find wiping down with a clean oiled rag more effective at removing dirt.

    cassettes still go in the parts washer and come out great.

    P-Jay
    Member

    Truthfully, I’ve obsessed a bit about chains in the past – in my limited experience anything that’s easy and good, will always result in a clean looking chain that’s borked because it’s either dry between the links or worse full of degreaser / water.

    Best method is a good rub with a old towel / rag and if it’s completely bogging a quick spray of GT85 but frankly if you can’t bare it being horrible after a winter of wet lube, by a new one – it’ll be cheaper In the long run.

    escrs
    Member

    How is it obvious that he is trying to avoid that method????

    He dosent mention how he is currently cleaning his chain in the OP

    For all we know he could of been using a crap chain cleaning tool and has heard/read about sonic cleaners and decided to ask about them

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    How is it obvious that he is trying to avoid that method?

    It’s called “reading between the lines” 😀

    escrs
    Member

    Ok so i read between the lines that your a bit of an a**ehole

    Sorry OP i was only trying to help from my own experiences, i wont bother commenting again

    ransos
    Member

    The best thing for a dirty chain is a clean rag. There’s really no need to mess about with chain baths and sonic cleaners.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Ok so i read between the lines that your a bit of an a**ehole

    Wrong! I’m a complete one. See, you’re not as good at it as me. 😆

    Premier Icon sirromj
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    Ok thanks for all the responses. Will rule that one out then! 🙂

    Premier Icon oikeith
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    Does no one else coat there dirty chain with GT85 and then run it through a rag a few times and then apply a normal chain lube?

    My drive train does occasionally get treated to a rinse, degrease, scrub, rinse, dry, lube but only when really really minging. For the scrub part I’ve taped two toothbrushes together, works just aswell as my chain scrubbing thing but doesnt use as much degreaser!

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    @oikeith – yep, pretty much what I do.

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Subscriber

    I’ve got a heated ultrasonic bath but I haven’t used it to clean a chain yet. I suspect it would best be paired with a thorough relubing with chain wax in a deep fat fryer. There was an article on road.cc about IIRC.

    Edit: it was Cycling Weekly

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Subscriber

    THis might be worth a read too; https://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=13079341

    avdave2
    Member

    I use the 2 toothbrush method as well. A top tip here though is to use someone else’s toothbrushes.

    boblo
    Member

    Reading between the lines, you lot know nowt 😉

    Babies arse wipes is where it’s at. A couple wrapped round the chain in your chubby little fist, pedal backwards for a bit and repeat ’till clean ish. Lube and go. Obv. doesn’t deep clean but keeps the build up under control. Top tip; for best results, don’t use on babies arse afterwards.

    Premier Icon on and on
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    You need a fenwicks chain sponge

    P-Jay
    Member

    @oikeith
    <div class=”bbp-author-role”></div>
    <div>Yeah that’s my SOP, it doesn’t always get it spotless – but it keeps it working.</div>
    <div></div>
    <div>I’ll probably get a new chain in the next few weeks when Spring springs and *try* to stick to dry lube till Oct… but you know… it’s Britain.</div>
    <div></div>
    <div>Cassette will get a good scrub in my parts washer* with degreaser, it’s black at the moment.</div>
    <div></div>
    <div></div>
    <div>*old lunchbox.</div>

    Premier Icon Davesport
    Subscriber

    With reference to the comments on the Park Tool cleaner. I don’t know what you’re doing wrong but mine works a treat. I’ll qualify that by saying I use a wax lube which tends not to attract any grot or sand from the beach onto the chain. A quick run through the chain scrubber with some bike cleaner and dry the chain with compressed air. Chain looks like new after :o)

    nopunk
    Member

    I use a cheapish ultrasonic cleaner with neat Gunk degreaser and run it for 15 minutes or so. Results are similar to the shake in a jam jar method and the main advantage over simply wiping it down on the bike is removing the grit that accumulates in the links. Providing you relube properly afterwards I dont see a problem.

    Trick with the lower power cleaners is to only fill with enough liquid to cover the chain so that you do not lose too much of the energy.

    Premier Icon on and on
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    DIY sonic cleaner

    Diy

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    Just picked up an Amazon Ultrasonic cleaner. A 3 litre one for £70.

    Got it to do motorcycle and bike parts.

    The first thing I’ve tried it on is woodworking router cutters that have a gummy resin build-up.

    Absolutely mint they are! Really impressed. Ran it at 60c for 5 minute cycles with a smidge of citrus degreaser thrown in for good measure.

    I’ve not tried it on chains yet but I would probably not bother due to the inner roller lube.

    Looking forward to cleaning some other stuff now. Who’d have thought you could look forward to cleaning stuff?

    🙂

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    My chosen method now is to remove the chain, scrub it in soapy water, shake it about in a jar of spirits, rinse and repeat as necessary till all the grit is out, then hot wax…

    After the first clean up and wax you will only have to give it a quick wipe (with a clean rag) and re-wax.

    I have in the past doused chain in various oils and TBH it only ever provided a fresh coat of shite for dirt to adhere to and bollox the chain…

    As for using an ultrasonic bath? I’m well into the idea, but it has to be a proper  cheap one. Like a tenner or so… Any about at that price?

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    A tenner is pushing it. You pay more for more capacity but they ain’t too expensive.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=ultrasonic+cleaner

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    If you’re doing off-the-bike cleaning you don’t need anything more complicated than a tub of paraffin. I use some £3 soup tubs from morrisons, because I’m dead posh and they don’t leak or break. (I tried a big coffee jar, pro tip, shaking a steel chain vigorously in a big coffee jar ends up with paraffin everywhere)

    Literally just throw it in, give it a shoogle. I’m a wee bit obsessive so I have 2 tubs, once it’s dirtied one lot I throw it into the other for a cleaner clean. And that’s it, done. If you leave the tubs alone the mank settles tot he bottom and you can pour off the clean stuff and get rid of the dirt so it’s very low waste.

    Of course you then have to properly lube the chain because you’ve just cleaned all the lube out of all the wee niches and rollers and that.

    bigyinn
    Member

    Out of interest, what degreaser is recommended for use in a Park Tools chain cleaner?

    Premier Icon sirromj
    Subscriber

    Think I might pop down Morrisons to get the soup tubs. Do they come with the paraffin already in? Unfortunately I’m not manly enough to know where to buy paraffin. Will ask my Dad if no one here can advise.

    Let us know how the cheap ultrasonic cleaner works out on chains.

    MTB Rob
    Member

    Like Davesport I wounder what people are doing with the (Park/Jucie lubes etc) chain cleaners!

    They work! But I do think (like with most things) little and often is the key, clean every couple of rides, or after every ride if been a dirty ride. They designed To clean (and do it quickly) a avg dirty chain to a good clean standard  so when you re lube the chain you added it to the chain and not a dirt/grit filled chain adding to the muc and wearing the chain quicker.

    Yes I they do struggle with cleaning a very dirty gunky chain, as in someone that doesn’t really clean/lube/look after the bike.

    Also, yes, ever so often, removing the chain and giving it a deeper clean is always good.

    For those who do remove the chain often just bare in mind that most 11spd quick/power link manufacturers  recommend not to reuse them after removing them.

    But going back to Ultrasonic cleaners I looked into getting one for the shop, and from what I was reading “things” need to be in a clean-ish state (not covered in grease) for them to work well, as in clean/scrub them in the parts washer before hand.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    I use putoline so cleaning the chain just sounds like too much effort compared to just chucking it into the fryer once every month or six (like paraffin the gunk just falls to the bottom).

    Paraffin/white spirit/diesel, all the same just any hydrocarbon that doesn’t evaporate (petrol works too but could be bit KABOOM-ey).

    Premier Icon mintimperial
    Subscriber

    I don’t get it. Why bother cleaning chains at all? Once you’ve built up a healthy layer of that nice black clag the thing is pretty well protected. After a while it solidifies into a hard carapace and the chain will last for years under that. Yes, it can look a bit lumpy, but just poke the bigger bits off if they start snagging on your socks.

    (petrol works too but could be bit KABOOM-ey)

    Now I’m giggling at the idea of some dope putting petrol in a deep fat fryer whilst in search of that elusive shiny spangly chain experience, but ending up demolishing the garage instead…

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    <div class=”bbp-reply-content”>

    “Unfortunately I’m not manly enough to know where to buy paraffin”

    </div>
    B&Q sell a 5 litre tub that’ll last you forever, unless you’re an arsonist

    @mintimperial:

    haha. My chains look like crap as well.

    I clean the Shimano Jockey Wheels – but never the chain. After every proper mud fest I lube the chain with “non stick lubricant”. Important that the crap and dirt doesn’t build up on the chain. Non stick lubrictants are key for that. I use Brunox Top Kett Chainlube. Stuff from Switzerland.

    With this procedure: the dirt will fall off without any hassle. When doing a lot of mud biking: the chain last maybe around 400 miles? Cassette twice that? In summer time longer of course.

Viewing 39 posts - 1 through 39 (of 39 total)

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