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Using meths to clean a chain

BwganBwgan Posts: 389
edited December 2012 in MTB workshop & tech
I've had to strip the back end of my Felt Compulsion as all the bearings have gone. Whilst its in bits I thought it would be a good time to blast all the [email protected] off it, rear mech cogs etc.

How long should you. Soak the chain for, does that strip off all the gunk or do still need to agitate it? What should I rinse it with?

Cheers

Posts

  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 6,896
    I use white spirit and follow the "Sheldon shake" method. Meths probably works just as well.

    If it's really gunked up you might still need to give it a good clean with a rag afterwards but it will be much easier to get it clean.
  • jonomc4jonomc4 Posts: 891
    use diesel
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    I use white spirit and follow the "Sheldon shake" method. Meths probably works just as well.

    No idea what the "sheldon shake" is, but I suspect it's similar to my technique -

    I remove the chain and lay it flat, back-and forth, in a single layer on the base of a shallow tupperware container. Then I fill with enough white spirit to cover, put the lid on and shake horizontally, so as not to tangle the chain. I then remove the chain and pour the used white spirit into a tall jar, allow it to settle. Any dirt and water ends up at the bottom of the jar, and the cleaner, uppermost layers can be carefully poured off to use again. Depending on the level of contamination, I sometimes repeat the process a couple of times before regreasing and refitting.

    If you've got the bike in pieces anyway, no reason not to use the same technique on cassette and crankset too.
  • BwganBwgan Posts: 389
    I must have put some good stuff on it this summer! It's been soaking in meths all afternoon, it then went into a bottle with the meths and then had the hell shaken out. It then got boiled in water with some fairy liquid, and its still got some gunk on it!!!! Crankset is ok and I don't have a cassette tool yet :0(
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    Meths wont dissolve chain lube. Get some paraffin or white spirit or diesel and give it a soak overnight.
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • I use white spirit - chuck the chain into it when cleaning the rest of the bike and often leave it there until a day before riding again. I rinse off in hot water and leave to dry - still looks like new.
  • BwganBwgan Posts: 389
    Now hearing this annoys me and makes me think my LBS knows f all. I just brought it up while getting a bottom bracket tool, I said white spirit and he said meths was much better, t1t!!!!!
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    Meths will lift small grease stains but it is a surfactant not a solvent. Keep it to clean fingerprints off your brake discs and go to a hardware store and buy a bottle of parafin, every time you use it let all the crud settle out and pour it back into bottle you can keep the same bottle going for ages.

    Dont believe everything some spotty knob on minimum wage in a bike shop tells you they generally know everything about sod all.
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • BwganBwgan Posts: 389
    Dont believe everything some spotty knob on minimum wage in a bike shop tells you they generally know everything about sod all.

    Lol, it was the owner!!!!
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    Bwgan wrote:
    Dont believe everything some spotty knob on minimum wage in a bike shop tells you they generally know everything about sod all.

    Lol, it was the owner!!!!

    A baldy spotty knob on less than the minimum wage then :lol:
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • stubs wrote:
    Meths will lift small grease stains but it is a surfactant not a solvent. Keep it to clean fingerprints off your brake discs and go to a hardware store and buy a bottle of parafin, every time you use it let all the crud settle out and pour it back into bottle you can keep the same bottle going for ages.

    Dont believe everything some spotty knob on minimum wage in a bike shop tells you they generally know everything about sod all.

    I question that meths is not a solvent, it's ethanol with stuff in to stop people drinking it. Ethanol is a pretty good solvent.

    I would not use it on rotors, it will leave a residue. I would stick with something like IPA.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Petrol works fantastic on chains.
  • BwganBwgan Posts: 389
    Someone said diesel
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    Meths is not a solvent for mineral oil or grease. I believe the techno bullshit term is a Fatty alchohol long chain non ionic surfactant. Whatever that means I looked it up on wiki. The bottom line is Meths is rubbish for cleaning chains. Paraffin, Diesel, Kerosene, Petrol, heating oil, Jizer, Sodium Bicarb and warm water, Gunk, an old tooth brush and Fairy Liquid, Dish washer tablets, anything but Meths will do.

    ps I could be wrong about the long chain thingy I am very very drunk :mrgreen:
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • BwganBwgan Posts: 389
    Hey, sounds good to me!!!!!
  • BwganBwgan Posts: 389
    Got some white spirit on the go today, certainly shifted some gunk!
  • supersonic wrote:
    Petrol works fantastic on chains.

    this is what I was always told
  • stubs wrote:
    Meths is not a solvent for mineral oil or grease. I believe the techno bullshit term is a Fatty alchohol long chain non ionic surfactant. Whatever that means I looked it up on wiki. The bottom line is Meths is rubbish for cleaning chains. Paraffin, Diesel, Kerosene, Petrol, heating oil, Jizer, Sodium Bicarb and warm water, Gunk, an old tooth brush and Fairy Liquid, Dish washer tablets, anything but Meths will do.

    ps I could be wrong about the long chain thingy I am very very drunk :mrgreen:

    what about vodka, will that work?
  • UliUli Posts: 190
    what about vodka, will that work?
    yes, use a bottle and you will not see any dirt on the chain.
    But it is expensive solution and it doesn't clean the chain.
  • Parafin; too tempting to drink meths
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