Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Calling Cyccommute

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Calling Cyccommute

Old 06-25-20, 02:21 PM
  #1  
flanso 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Tampa
Posts: 271

Bikes: Gunnar Sport 105/UDi2, previous: Lambert, Giant FCR3, Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105, Specialized Roubaix SL4 Comp UDi2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Calling Cyccommute

Stuart, I saw a thread on BITOG, an automotive forum, where a poster is extolling the virtue of cleaning aluminum in a crock pot, at low temperature overnight, with the parts submerged in aluminum compatible automotive antifreeze. The parts "come out looking like new," he says. There is even a current thread on here about using a crock pot for cleaning but without mention of the antifreeze. I would appreciate your opinions on this antifreeze thing. I make the assumption that the guy does not return the crock pot to pot roast duty.
flanso is offline  
Old 06-25-20, 03:10 PM
  #2  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 22,925

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3476 Post(s)
Liked 946 Times in 587 Posts
Originally Posted by flanso View Post
Stuart, I saw a thread on BITOG, an automotive forum, where a poster is extolling the virtue of cleaning aluminum in a crock pot, at low temperature overnight, with the parts submerged in aluminum compatible automotive antifreeze. The parts "come out looking like new," he says. There is even a current thread on here about using a crock pot for cleaning but without mention of the antifreeze. I would appreciate your opinions on this antifreeze thing. I make the assumption that the guy does not return the crock pot to pot roast duty.
I canít see how it would make a difference. If the point is to remove grease, there are better ways to do that. Ethylene glycol (antifreeze) doesnít do anything to aluminum so it shouldnít clean it or brighten it or anything. The heat might help but the engine is far hotter than a crock pot. Propylene glycol (RV antifreeze but it works in cars) is slightly less compatible with aluminum but only slightly.

Side note: We should use propylene glycol in our cars. Ethylene glycol is metabolized to oxalic acid which precipitates the kidneys and causes renal failure. Propylene glycol metabolizes to pyruvic acid which is made during the Krebís cycle anyway. We basically can eat the stuff and live off it. (Not that I would recommend that)
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Likes For cyccommute:
Old 06-25-20, 06:51 PM
  #3  
dsbrantjr
Senior Member
 
dsbrantjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 7,553

Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1153 Post(s)
Liked 540 Times in 391 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Side note: We should use propylene glycol in our cars. Ethylene glycol is metabolized to oxalic acid which precipitates the kidneys and causes renal failure. Propylene glycol metabolizes to pyruvic acid which is made during the Krebís cycle anyway. We basically can eat the stuff and live off it. (Not that I would recommend that)
Ethylene glycol has a sweet taste to which dogs and cats are strongly attracted, and it is very toxic to them. So store it safely and keep contaminated drain pans and the like away from animals' access. I believe it has also been used to deliberately poison people.
dsbrantjr is offline  
Likes For dsbrantjr:
Old 06-25-20, 08:25 PM
  #4  
Gresp15C
Senior Member
 
Gresp15C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,137
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 804 Post(s)
Liked 227 Times in 167 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I canít see how it would make a difference. If the point is to remove grease, there are better ways to do that. Ethylene glycol (antifreeze) doesnít do anything to aluminum so it shouldnít clean it or brighten it or anything. The heat might help but the engine is far hotter than a crock pot. Propylene glycol (RV antifreeze but it works in cars) is slightly less compatible with aluminum but only slightly.

Side note: We should use propylene glycol in our cars. Ethylene glycol is metabolized to oxalic acid which precipitates the kidneys and causes renal failure. Propylene glycol metabolizes to pyruvic acid which is made during the Krebís cycle anyway. We basically can eat the stuff and live off it. (Not that I would recommend that)
Indeed, PG used to be in some kinds of salad dressing.
Gresp15C is offline  
Old 06-26-20, 08:48 AM
  #5  
HillRider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 32,253

Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1438 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 260 Times in 209 Posts
Antifreeze is more than just ethylene glycol. It contains corrosion and deposit inhibitors and perhaps those did clean and brighten the aluminum as the poster was claiming.

BTW, the current thread here asking about a "crockpot" turns out to be a typo. The OP was really asking about an ultrasonic cleaner.
HillRider is offline  
Old 06-26-20, 09:29 AM
  #6  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 22,925

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3476 Post(s)
Liked 946 Times in 587 Posts
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Antifreeze is more than just ethylene glycol. It contains corrosion and deposit inhibitors and perhaps those did clean and brighten the aluminum as the poster was claiming.
Corrosion inhibitors would prevent the removal of metal. I really doubt that any of the inhibitors would have an effect on the oxide layer on aluminum as well. Aluminum readily oxidizes when the oxide layer is removed for any reason. If the oxide layer were removed to expose the metal, the metal would oxidize rapidly (itís nearly instantaneous). The new oxide layer would be removed exposing metal which would oxidized, ad infinitum. Eventually the part would dissolve.

As I pointed out above, a crock pot doesnít reach the temperatures seen in an engine. Aluminum parts in an engine would undergo the above much more rapidly and the removal of metal would be accelerated even further.

Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
BTW, the current thread here asking about a "crockpot" turns out to be a typo. The OP was really asking about an ultrasonic cleaner.
You have more information than the rest of us seem to have. The action of anything in the antifreeze would be even slower in an ultrasonic cleaner since it runs at an even lower temperature. If the parts are in a ultrasonic cleaner, it may be that the antifreeze does nothing and the ultrasonic cleaner is doing the cleaning. People like coming up with elaborate cleaning schemes all the time. Correlation doesnít necessarily imply causation.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 06-26-20, 10:26 AM
  #7  
HillRider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 32,253

Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1438 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 260 Times in 209 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Corrosion inhibitors would prevent the removal of metal. I really doubt that any of the inhibitors would have an effect on the oxide layer on aluminum as well. Aluminum readily oxidizes when the oxide layer is removed for any reason. If the oxide layer were removed to expose the metal, the metal would oxidize rapidly (itís nearly instantaneous). The new oxide layer would be removed exposing metal which would oxidized, ad infinitum. Eventually the part would dissolve.
Yes, thank you. I know the chemistry of aluminum oxide layer formation. I was just wondering if the additives in antifreeze could have explained the cleaning effect (if it really happened) the OP mentioned.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
You have more information than the rest of us seem to have..
The only information I have was from reading the thread where the OP clearly says he was asking about an ultrasonic cleaner and the crockpot mention was in error. That thread had nothing to do with antifreeze at all.
HillRider is offline  
Old 06-26-20, 11:19 AM
  #8  
Mista Sparkle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Aurora, IL
Posts: 70

Bikes: 2007 Fuji Roubaix, 2018 Trek Marlin 5, Huffy Baron (Retired), Schwinn Twinn (On Deck)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 13 Posts
Aluminum is rather reactive, so you do have to be careful what you try to clean it with. Some things easily dissolve is, others build an oxide layer rather rapidly.

I would avoid putting aluminum in an ultrasonic cleaner as the cavitation will start pitting the surface rather rapidly. Depending on the shape of the object and the desired finish there are several options for cleaning aluminum. If the part is anodized, you want to be careful about not using an aggressive cleaning technique as the anodization reduces the likelihood of corrosion on the parts. White scotch-brite and an appropriate solvent for dirt and debris. For bad spots, only mild abrasives should be used.

If the aluminum is not anodized (don't forget a lot of aluminum parts are clear anodized) and just bare, I have found mothers mag and aluminum polish to be amazing. Not that it has any relevance here, but I have polished aluminum with the mothers aluminum polish to the limits of somebody's fancy emissivity tester, somewhere ~0.02 for a cryogenic application. Shiny polished aluminum will likely require maintenance but if pitting is not allowed to occur, it is not too bad.
Mista Sparkle is offline  
Old 06-26-20, 12:56 PM
  #9  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 22,925

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3476 Post(s)
Liked 946 Times in 587 Posts
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Yes, thank you. I know the chemistry of aluminum oxide layer formation. I was just wondering if the additives in antifreeze could have explained the cleaning effect (if it really happened) the OP mentioned.
Other people may not know the chemistry of aluminum oxide.

The additives that I see in the automotive antifreeze are sodium salts of fatty acids. Those should have little to no effect on the aluminum nor the oxide layer.

Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
The only information I have was from reading the thread where the OP clearly says he was asking about an ultrasonic cleaner and the crockpot mention was in error. That thread had nothing to do with antifreeze at all.
Which ďOPĒ? flanso is the OP here and he hasnít said anything other than his original post.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 06-26-20, 12:59 PM
  #10  
TobFromme
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 40
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Which ďOPĒ? flanso is the OP here and he hasnít said anything other than his original post.
I think this is thread being referred to:

https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-m...-crockpot.html

I'm still confused about the statements though, as the OP there didn't mention ultrasonic at all. :confused:
TobFromme is offline  
Old 06-26-20, 04:08 PM
  #11  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 22,925

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3476 Post(s)
Liked 946 Times in 587 Posts
Originally Posted by TobFromme View Post
I think this is thread being referred to:

https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-m...-crockpot.html

I'm still confused about the statements though, as the OP there didn't mention ultrasonic at all. :confused:
That's not flanso's thread nor has he posted there. His question comes from BITOG which he says is an automotive forum.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 06-26-20, 05:36 PM
  #12  
TobFromme
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 40
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
That's not flanso's thread nor has he posted there. His question comes from BITOG which he says is an automotive forum.
flanso mentioned another thread about cleaning with a crock pot and I think HillRider is referring to that thread. At least, thatís what I think is happening.
TobFromme is offline  
Old 06-29-20, 10:44 AM
  #13  
flanso 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Tampa
Posts: 271

Bikes: Gunnar Sport 105/UDi2, previous: Lambert, Giant FCR3, Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105, Specialized Roubaix SL4 Comp UDi2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Here is the actual post that I found on BITOG, www dot bobistheoilguy dot com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/5460940/1
It is the post on which I asked Cyccommute's to voice his expert opinion:
"Is this true or no?
Something we radio control airplane guys use to clean our glow engines, is an old Crock-Pot that has the ceramic removable tub. Fill it with antifreeze that is compatible with aluminum, disassemble the carb and put it in the crockpot on low overnight.
You can drop an entire glow engine into this solution, and it will come out looking brand new. The ethylene glycol dissolves the varnish deposits that the burnt methanol, nitromethane and castor oil fuel leaves on the engine, and doesn't harm the metal at all. Most glow engines are aluminum castings with either brass plain bearings or steel ball bearings, it doesn't hurt any of the metals."
flanso is offline  
Old 06-29-20, 10:51 AM
  #14  
TobFromme
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 40
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 7 Posts
I can't see how it would hurt it at all. Any testers?
TobFromme is offline  
Old 06-29-20, 11:36 AM
  #15  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 22,925

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3476 Post(s)
Liked 946 Times in 587 Posts
Originally Posted by flanso View Post
Here is the actual post that I found on BITOG, www dot bobistheoilguy dot com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/5460940/1
It is the post on which I asked Cyccommute's to voice his expert opinion:
"Is this true or no?
Something we radio control airplane guys use to clean our glow engines, is an old Crock-Pot that has the ceramic removable tub. Fill it with antifreeze that is compatible with aluminum, disassemble the carb and put it in the crockpot on low overnight.
You can drop an entire glow engine into this solution, and it will come out looking brand new. The ethylene glycol dissolves the varnish deposits that the burnt methanol, nitromethane and castor oil fuel leaves on the engine, and doesn't harm the metal at all. Most glow engines are aluminum castings with either brass plain bearings or steel ball bearings, it doesn't hurt any of the metals."
Different animal than what I thought originally. I was under the impression that the cleaning was on automotive parts and that metal from the part was removed.

In this situation, the engine is a 2 stroke where the oil is added to the fuel for lubrication. Because of it’s molecular structure, castor oil is more polar than other oils so It may be more soluble in a polar solution like antifreeze and water. Water alone is more polar but that addition of the antifreeze would decrease the polarity. Perhaps there is a sweet spot where the polarities match and the oil dissolves well. Heat would help.

Castor oil is also more easily derivatized then over vegetable based oils due to its structure. It may react with the nitro group in the nitromethane during combustion and make a polymer that is more water soluble than others. Again, there may be that sweet spot where heat, polarity and molecular structure come together.

I would have thought that given the toxicity of plant from which castor oil is obtained, it would have been phased out long ago but, apparently it has some unique and useful properties,

Bottom line: While the antifreeze won’t have any effect on the metal and it probably would be useless on lubricants used for bicycles and automobiles, in this case, it might just work to remove the fuel varnish for the rather inefficient 2 stroke glow engines.

One caveat: The above contains a lot of hand waving. I’m certain that antifreeze in a crock pot wouldn’t clean bicycle parts. Cleaning of glow engine parts is (almost) pure speculation. I haven’t tested it nor could I say that it is the best way to do the job. Carburetor cleaner is a mixture of methanol, toluene and acetone in equal amounts. It’s fairly polar which would be in line with the water/ethylene glycol.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.

Last edited by cyccommute; 06-29-20 at 11:44 AM.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 06-30-20, 02:34 PM
  #16  
flanso 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Tampa
Posts: 271

Bikes: Gunnar Sport 105/UDi2, previous: Lambert, Giant FCR3, Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105, Specialized Roubaix SL4 Comp UDi2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Stuart, Thank you, I always appreciate your posts.
Frank
flanso is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.