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Chain cleaning.

chunkyboychunkyboy Posts: 97
edited June 2010 in MTB general
Does anybody remove their chain and soak it in paraffin/kerosene etc ? To give it a seriously good clean. How long do you soak it for and how do you dry it ? Drip dry/cloth dry etc ?
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  • RaymondavalonRaymondavalon Posts: 5,346
    I honestly couldn't be @ssed with removing, soaking, drying, fitting and lubricating a chain.
    I only use "Purple Extreme" synthetic lube on the chain. The makers claim you can do up to 400 miles between applications and It's water resistant but bike cleaner does remove it.
    When cleaning I leave the chain on the bike, douse it in either Fenwicks/Sh¡t Shifter/MucOff depending on what I have at the time, then hose the bike [and chain] clean. I do clean the chain and sprockets [cogs/cassette/chainrings] with a chain cleaning brush too.
    When thew bike's dry, I reapply chain lube, simple..
    As it's a chain, it is a wear and tear part, I replace it every year, it's not overly expensive to replace.
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,537
    chunkyboy wrote:
    Does anybody remove their chain and soak it in paraffin/kerosene etc ? To give it a seriously good clean. How long do you soak it for and how do you dry it ? Drip dry/cloth dry etc ?

    My process -

    Whack in a glass jar, filled half full with white spirit.
    Shake vigirously for 5 minutes.
    Tip out the white spirit and refill jar half full with water, shake vigirously for a minute or so, then empty.
    Repeat the above step a few times until you can get rid of as much of the white spirit/dirt as possible.
    Remove, towel dry as much as possible then just leave it to dry.
    Reapply lube/wax/whatever.
  • chunkyboychunkyboy Posts: 97
    I've never used anything other than a park chain cleaning tool with degreaser in and just keep putting fresh degreaser in until the chain is clean enough for me and then i re-lube it. Don't do it after every ride, just when it gets pretty shi*ty. A chap i was talking to the other day told me about the paraffin/kero method and i just wondered if anyone actually does it or has done it.
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,537
    I used to use a chain cleaner device and degreaser, that method doesn't even compare to white spirit in a jar and its sooooo much cheaper.
  • blister pusblister pus Posts: 5,780
    i've tried it all ways and it's still a lot easier taking a chain off and using two jam jars and white spirit. and i use squirt in the dry so i dont have to bother anyway
  • blister pusblister pus Posts: 5,780
    Or, if you're middle class, tuppaware containers, as Northwind pointed out :lol:
  • chunkyboychunkyboy Posts: 97
    Briggo wrote:
    I used to use a chain cleaner device and degreaser, that method doesn't even compare to white spirit in a jar and its sooooo much cheaper.

    Makes sense really, white spirit is a damn sight cheaper than degreaser. Will have to give it a whirl. A bit surprised a chain will fit in a jam jar but it's worth a go.
  • cccccc Posts: 193
    Go to Wilkinson's and get one of their 1.5l own brand white spirit bottles. Think they're about 2 quid. They're a nice size to fit a chain in and there's plenty of space for it to move about so it cleans up well and quickly too. Then just use an old spoke to fish the chain out when you're done.

    You don't even need a lot of white spirit to clean the chain, just enough to partially/mostly cover it will be fine. Store whatever you're not using in another white spirit bottle or old coke bottle or something.
    Eyes on the prize.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    Paraffin from B&Q, £5 for 4 litres, it'll last you basically forever.

    For me it was a simple test... Clean chain on bike til it was as clean as I'd ever made it, then clean it again off the bike, and look at the amount of censored that was still in the chain.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • merliemerlie Posts: 276
    If you do go down the route of white spirit or turps in a jar just remember to reconnect the chain before shaking it all about !!!!
  • Joe_PineapplesJoe_Pineapples Posts: 1,718
    I take mine off, soak it in Gunk engine degreaser for a few hours, give it a rinse, dry it off, then dunk it in a bath of car gear oil. Let it hang overnight and you've got an "as new" chain.
    This probably sounds like a lot of hassle, but I am a bit censored about things like that and I've clearly got too much time on my hands.
  • chunkyboychunkyboy Posts: 97
    Northwind wrote:
    Paraffin from B&Q, £5 for 4 litres, it'll last you basically forever.

    For me it was a simple test... Clean chain on bike til it was as clean as I'd ever made it, then clean it again off the bike, and look at the amount of censored that was still in the chain.[/quot

    Is there much more censored coming off after cleaning it on the bike ??
  • Lazy_TimmyLazy_Timmy Posts: 16
    I use meths in a glass jar (this has the added advantage that nothing goes to waste as you can drink it afterwards - well okay let the bits settle and decant it back into the bottle). I usually wipe the chain on the bike before removing it. With the chain off, it's easy to get at your jockey wheels and chain rings. Don't buy an expensive branded brush kit, just go to you local hardware store and get a cheapo stiff bristled brush.
  • blister pusblister pus Posts: 5,780
    chunkyboy wrote:
    Is there much more censored coming off after cleaning it on the bike ??

    yes, you'd be surprised and there's surprisingly a lot more effort involved keeping the chain on than taking it off and dropping in a jar and shaking vigorously. you're basically putting the chain in a powerful mini washing machine and by vigorously shaking the white spirit / paraffin gets in every nook and cranny.
  • Chunkers1980Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    merlie wrote:
    If you do go down the route of white spirit or turps in a jar just remember to reconnect the chain before shaking it all about !!!!
    why?
  • blister pusblister pus Posts: 5,780
    makes no difference really as the powerlink will probably detach anyway when you're 'shaking all about'. make sure the jar is wide enough to get your fingers in and shallow enough to touch the bottom - makes life easier fishing the powerlink out at the end. ;)
  • chunkyboychunkyboy Posts: 97
    merlie wrote:
    If you do go down the route of white spirit or turps in a jar just remember to reconnect the chain before shaking it all about !!!!
    why?


    I wondered why too ?
  • chunkyboychunkyboy Posts: 97
    makes no difference really as the powerlink will probably detach anyway when you're 'shaking all about'. make sure the jar is wide enough to get your fingers in and shallow enough to touch the bottom - makes life easier fishing the powerlink out at the end. ;)


    An earlier post by 'ccc' suggested using an old spoke to fish the chain out of the jar so could use the same thing to fish the powerlink out too. Or a piece of thin copper wire with a hook bent into the end of it. Can use any size jar then really.
  • blister pusblister pus Posts: 5,780
    you don't want the jar too big anyway or it'll end up breaking what with the constant smashing about (which is why Northwind uses tuppaware containers). Easiest thing to fish a powerlink out is a teaspoon but i've never got one to hand for some reason, hence fingers
  • Chunkers1980Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    Why put your powerlink in any way. A thorough wipe will do...
  • blister pusblister pus Posts: 5,780
    because a powerlink needs degreasing as they stick as you'll know if you've tried to get one off that's gunked up. so why not while the chain is going for a wash.
  • chunkyboychunkyboy Posts: 97
    Be just my luck on my first attempt the jar smashes to bits due to the shaking, i end up with the palms of my hands full of broken glass, covered in whatever is in the jar and a chain that is no cleaner :shock: :lol:


    @chunkers1980 - Makes sense to put the powerlink in with the chain to give the whole lot a good clean.
  • blister pusblister pus Posts: 5,780
    that happened to Northwind which is the other reason he uses tuppaware :lol: I certainly use thick-ish glass jars, i'm on a Frank Coopers thin cut marmalade jar and a coop strawberry conserve jar at he moment, seem to take a shake well enough. 8) :lol:
  • chunkyboychunkyboy Posts: 97
    I could just imagine the look on my girlfriends face when she sees my filthy chain in one of her tupperware boxes :evil: :evil:
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,537
    I did that as I was cleaning a chain couple of weeks ago, chipped a chunk of glass out but didnt realise and the next thing I know my hands are covered in dirty white spirit :lol:
  • Thread8Thread8 Posts: 479
    I use them plastic boxes you get your chinese takeaway in, rinsed free of rice, chilli etc first though :lol:

    Only problem is you have to hold the lid on very tight, made that mistake once and got covered in black greasy white spirit, which tastes horrible I must add :x
    Haro Thread 8
    Please help!

    "It's like parkour, on a bike"
  • antikytheraantikythera Posts: 326
    A cheap and trivial container is a plastic milk bottle?

    I save the plastic (milk) bottles, wash them out and drop the chain in, its easy enough to cut the bottle to get the chain out afterward.

    I use Purple extreme too and it does really work, especially in sh*tty London conditions. But it's no excuse for not cleaning the chain.

    So I take the chain off (KMC) soak it in Citrus cleaner (not that posh, read "rip off" finish line stuff) overnight. then rinse it in water. The only thing I do that I've not heard others do is to rinse the chain with WD40. The it's back on the bike where it gets lubed-up
  • chunkyboychunkyboy Posts: 97
    A cheap and trivial container is a plastic milk bottle?

    I save the plastic (milk) bottles, wash them out and drop the chain in, its easy enough to cut the bottle to get the chain out afterward.


    Now that's a bloody good idea ! :D


    The only thing I do that I've not heard others do is to rinse the chain with WD40


    Another good idea to help displace any water between the links that a drying cloth cannot reach.


    Glad i started this topic now, i'm picking up lots of tips :wink:
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    If you use paraffin or white spirit as your cleaner/degreaser there's no need to rinse it off with water so that keeps things a bit simpler and quicker (WD40 isn't much more complicated than white spirit in a can with a bit of mineral oil in)
    Uncompromising extremist
  • blister pusblister pus Posts: 5,780
    If you do a search all these tips will come up in triplicate.

    if you use something like squirt lube then you'll have to wash any white spirit type stuff off.

    but if you have two jam jars, use one for white spirit washing, one for rinsing. when you've finished washing the white spirit is black, stick it on a shelf out of the way till the next time you do chain cleaning. you'll find the liquid separates and leaves the censored glued to the bottom. carefully pour the clean separated white spirit into the rinsing jar and rinse the sh!t away out of the washing jar - and so it goes on.

    I towel dry using an old hand towel and stick on the radiator for 10 minutes. it's bone dry ready for whatever lube i'm using
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