- White spirit as a chain cleaner
I use white spirit, bought 3 ltrs of it at Morrisons for £2
30 seconds in the containner and your chain is sparkly clean, it cuts through everything leaving it perfectly clean.
I give mine a wash down afterwards then let it air dry and relube. I seem to be able to get LONG life out of my chains doing this.
But don’t get it anywhere near bearings/seals etc.Posted 8 years ago
Someone on here recommended that I use white spirit as a disc brake cleaner as it evaporates cleanly leaving little or no residue. This set me thinking about chains. Most chain lubes these days boast some sort of special chemistry that allows it to adhere to metal surfaces, so would chain cleaners like GT85 or petrol (which some folk use) that leave a residue or secondary lubricant impair chain lubes? Would white spirit be useful to clean down to the metal,or remove that claggy wax new chains come in (I’m thinking dropping the chain in a pot of it, like some do with petrol) or a faff and a waste of time? I tend to buy my chains cheap and replace at the first sign of wear anyway, so I’m not too precious about perfect cleanliness, but better lube performance ought to be a plus.Posted 8 years agomiketuallySubscriber
I just bought some Green oil chain cleaner. You put it on the chain like you would put on oil, ride the bike around for a couple of minutes, wipe the thick off with a cloth, then rinse with water. No need to take the chain off the bike at all and you’re not putting nasties down the drain.
You can also dilute it to use as a general bike cleaner.
Haven’t tried it yet, but the oil works brilliantly so I’m expecting good things.Posted 8 years agoDickBartonMember
White spirit leaves a residue so can’t be used on disc brakes…works fine on chains and chainrings/cassettes – but also does a wicked degrease on bearings so make sure it doesn’t go everywhere…
Meths is a better disc brake cleaner…evaporates and leaves no residue…and the smell reminds me of racing cars as a kid!Posted 8 years ago
Cheers, it sounds like it might be worth a try then.
I’m confused though about the residue, I’m sure I’ve seen posts recommending white spirit as a disc brake cleaner and suggesting that meths. shouldn’t be used as that leaves a residue. Maybe I should just get some proper disc brake cleaner.Posted 8 years agoDickBartonMember
Just don’t go to your local chemist and ask for some liquid parafin – they take you in a back room and ask some strange questions…
When you get the bottle, you then notice that it is strongly recommended to ease constipation…
Get parafin from a proper place and make use of it for cleaning your chain…Posted 8 years agoHeather BashMember
>Maybe I should just get some proper disc brake cleaner. <
Trust the advice above – dont put WS anywhere near you discs. Just go to your local chemist and order some Isopropyl alcohol.
WS for the chain, on the other hand, cant be beaten ime – far better than Diesel, Petrol or Paraffin. Get a wide necked plastic bottle with a screwtop lid, add a good mugful of WS then lob the chain in and shake vigorously for 5 mins. Fish the chain out with an old spoke / piece of wire, hang up to dry then lube. You can recycle the WS using an old kitchen sieve – makes a gallon go a long way…Posted 8 years agoOnzadogSubscriber
I normally use Deb Jizer for chain cleaning but after a similar thread on here, I thought I’d give paraffin. It really didn’t seem to do much at all. Plus I didn’t feel happy getting in near seals and other delicate parts. I stick with Jizer for the drive and IPA (not the beer) for the discs.Posted 8 years ago
Most motorbike chains have a pair of internal rubber 0 or X-rings per link, parafin does’nt do them any harm.
In most cases it is far more efective if you can whip the chain off and let it soak for a minute or two. The wide mouth bottle as mentioned is perfect.
Scrubbing in on with a toothbrush on the bike is a big no no as far as I’m concerned. Plus the surrounding area and legs get covered in hundreds of little black flecks 🙂Posted 8 years agotroutSubscriber
I Cant see the point of cleaning chains I stopped years ago and it does not seem to last any less
buy the lube , apply it to the chain , go ride , then wash lube off .seems daft.
just re lube and go come home park bike and do something interesting .Posted 8 years ago
repeat as desired.ScienceofficerMember
I’ve tried diesel, white spirit, meths, citrus degreaser, and finishline ecotech2 for chain degreasing.
Neat Ecotech 2 was substantially more effective than any of the others and can be recycled by filtering out the crud easily enough, although I use coffee filter paper rather than a kitchen sieve to capture more of the smaller particles.
Meths or sandpaper for my discs, depending on what the problem is.Posted 8 years agoPeterPoddyMember
….But then it does depend if your uing one of these really sticky lubes. I don’t, just light oil, because it doesn’t matter WHAT you lube a chain with when it’s covered in dirt, it matters more that it’s easy to get it clean again afterwards.Posted 8 years ago
A light, non-sticky lube cleaned off and reapplied after every ride is best
“Fill a tub (with lid) with white spirits. Take off chain, (I love power links) into tub, quick shoogy. Wipe with cloth, put back on bike. Lube of choice on. May take 5 minutes if you make a cup of tea half way through. “
This is exactly what I do… Only I have 3 tubs depending on how manky the chain is, so that it lasts longer (and I use paraffin instead of white spirits, but it does hte same job)Posted 8 years agojonbMember
I rarely degrease. Us lube sparingly in summer so it doesn’t get covered in crap and in winter just use water as most of whats on the chain is mud and not oil.
If i do degrease, I have one of theose things with the brishes that clips on. I use washing up liquid and hot water followed by a rinse wipe down and relube.Posted 8 years agopetrieboyMember
white spirit – a cautionary tale
cleaned my chain and cassette with white spirit today. chain into an old jamjar for a quick shoogle. came out lovely. cassette went into a used foil container fished from the recycling (and here’s where it gets interesting) i used an old nail brush to scrub the cassette. it came up lovely too. i put the nail brush to the side and continued re-building the bike. went back to the nail brush 30 minutes later and it had completely broken down!! when i touched it it crumbled in my hands!!
so in summary, white spirit – brilliant for cleaning chains and metal components, but keep it well clear of any components made from the same stuff as old nail brushes!!Posted 8 years ago
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