Cleaning and waxing chain without making a mess?

Discussion in 'Maintenance' started by Unity, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Unity

    Unity New Member

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    I'm planning on taking a dry plastic water bottle to the petrol station, and getting a liter of diesel for cleaning my bike chain.

    I'm sure my problem is very common these days. My landlord would probably not appreciate me making a mess on her brick paving.

    [​IMG]

    Sure I could use newspaper, but if I pour some diesel onto a rag, the chances of spilling are high, and then the chances of it soaking through a few layers of newspaper are fairly high too.

    Then when I spray the chain there will likely be more drips etc.

    ---

    It seems rather inefficient to make a mess and then throw away a giant ball of newspaper every 3 weeks. The environmentalist in me would rather recycle that paper.

    If I wasn't renting I would probably get some rigid plastic and put that under the chain, then wipe the drips afterwards with some toilet paper.
     
  2. nigelrb

    nigelrb New Member

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    I'm sure many of us use our driveways, whether rented or owned. WD40 on a blue kitchen wipe does the trick easily. Done carefully you'll hardly make a mess.
    Newspaper underneath for added protection. Not really going to be a giant ball, and to stretch the point, far less environmentally damaging than the fuel emissions from our bikes!!
     
  3. Unity

    Unity New Member

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    @nigelrb nice one, but why are you using WD40, it supposedly eats the O-rings in the chain?

    Do you reuse the blue kitchen wipe or throw it away after each chain clean?
    If you reuse it, what do you use to clean the kitchen wipe afterwards?
    I'm inclined to get rags or cut old unwanted clothes into little rags and throw a little piece away each time.
     
  4. nigelrb

    nigelrb New Member

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    Hi Unity. Perhaps this will interest you, and others:
    I should have said 'disposable' kitchen wipes. Cheers!
     
  5. bonjo

    bonjo Active Member

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    I have used light central heating oil to clean the chain for over 10 years. I think it is also known as red diesel; very cheap if you can get it. Worth considering paraphin, white spirit as an alternative to regular diesel.
    Either way, I use a lot to soak & rinse so that as much as the grit and sticky stuff is off the chain.
    If you head toward a DIY /gardening center, you will find suitable plant pot trays to use under the chain. I use then as drip tray under the full length of the chain past the front sprocket. You will catch most of the cleaner in them and wiping the chain with newspaper or similar gets rid of the rest ready for wasing, then lubing
     
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  6. Unity

    Unity New Member

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    I didn't have a lot of time to play around with my chain yesterday and lubricating it was well overdue.
    So I just sprayed it without cleaning it. But I'll clean it next time.

    Interestingly when I sprayed the chain, I used a dangerous non-recommended method, which did not produce even 1 drip. But that's an arbitrary observation, I would use newspaper every time. However after I was done I folded up the clean newspaper and put it back in my maintenance box for the next time.

    I bought these on eBay now.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Open-Long-Chain-Cleaner/302310660249
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Closed-Chain-Cleaner/262740011973
    They are actually meant for a bicycle chain, but if they don't fit (they probably won't) I'll see how feasible it is for me to cut them and glue them back together wider with some hot glue. Otherwise I'll keep them for my neglected mountainbike.
    I figure putting a bit of diesel in them would clean the chain really well. I also bought this
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Motorcycle-Chain-Brush/232543507771
    which I'll likely hack onto one of the above cleaning tools either with glue or some kind of simple hinge.

    I'll let you know how it goes.
     
    #6 Unity, Dec 8, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  7. nigelrb

    nigelrb New Member

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    Excellent tip. I'm stealing that one! Off to the hardware store . . .
     
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  8. BoroRich

    BoroRich Elite Member

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    WD40 dries the O-rings out, supposedly, but it's only a problem if you JUST use WD40.

    I use a WD40-soaked rag (not totally soaked.....you know what I mean) to clean the chain. It eats through all the muck like nothing else. Once I've got all the crud off I use a clean rag to remove as much of the WD40 as possible and then apply a chain lube / wax. That way you're adding back the lube and stopping the o-rings from drying.
     
  9. KPH

    KPH Active Member

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    Sportsbike track gear (USA) have a good video of How to clean chains [& buy what we sell...]. One thing that looks really good on the video was the spiral brush that wrapped around the chain.

    Its around the 3minute mark here
     
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