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Mineral spirits safe on metals?

Old 07-25-19, 08:51 PM
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ToiletSiphon
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Mineral spirits safe on metals?

Currently trying to completely degrease a chain before waxing but I'm not done and leaving for a few days. I'm pretty sure that letting my un-oiled/unwaxed dry chain on the counter is a recipe for rust, so I was thinking of letting it sit in the mineral spirits. Is this safe?

I know that doing the same with simple green could destroy the chain, but how safe are mineral spirits on metals?

And on the same note: how clean does the chain actually has to be for the paraffin to actually do a good job? I've already been through three 12-hours baths of MS and the chain still leaves some black residues on a white rag. Is the matte coating of my ultegra chain supposed to come off?
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Old 07-25-19, 09:16 PM
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You can leave it in there as long as you'd like. It's probably as clean as it's going to get, though.

Don't worry about getting the chain 100% clean. The wax works better when the chain is completely stripped, but if the chain has been wet-lubed in the past, it's nigh but impossible to get it 100% clean without something like a heated ultrasonic cleaner.

If you stick with waxing, your next chain will be much easier-- it takes less than 20 minutes in a bottle of solvent to complete dissolve the factory protectant/lube off of a brand new chain.
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Old 07-25-19, 09:31 PM
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MSPEEDWAX has an entire section on cleaning your chain plus a good video.

Soaking will help in cleaning it completely.
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Old 07-26-19, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
You can leave it in there as long as you'd like. It's probably as clean as it's going to get, though.

Don't worry about getting the chain 100% clean. The wax works better when the chain is completely stripped, but if the chain has been wet-lubed in the past, it's nigh but impossible to get it 100% clean without something like a heated ultrasonic cleaner.

If you stick with waxing, your next chain will be much easier-- it takes less than 20 minutes in a bottle of solvent to complete dissolve the factory protectant/lube off of a brand new chain.
Well actually IT IS a brand new chain. It just keeps leaving dark streak on a towel even after a few soaks. I used this stuff:
https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/m...-0491017p.html
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Old 07-26-19, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ToiletSiphon View Post
Well actually IT IS a brand new chain. It just keeps leaving dark streak on a towel even after a few soaks. I used this stuff:
https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/m...-0491017p.html
Yeah.. I didn't think it was possible to buy a chain that hasn't been pre-lubed at the factory?
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Old 07-26-19, 05:56 AM
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A cheap and easy method is to put the chain in a small pan/tray/bucket with a little gasoline, and scrub on it with an old toothbrush. Obviously (before any finger-wagging schoolmarm types predictably chime in), you need to exercise a little normal caution when using a flammable liquid, but that shouldn't be difficult for anyone old enough to have a drivers license. I actually do this to my chains while still on the bike, using a large paintbrush. I have a system, and it's pretty painless and effective.....way less of a headache than my old chain-scrubber machine and citrus degreaser.
Also, I agree that leaving a cleaned chain sitting out, is a recipe for rust. I stripped a new one years ago, let it hang on the back porch overnight, and was amazed at the thin coating of rust it quickly picked up.
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Old 07-26-19, 06:48 AM
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I honestly take every new chain out of the packaging, drop it into an old Gatorade bottle with about 12oz of white gas in it (we can't get mineral spirits in SoCal anymore,) shake the bottle a few times, and let it sit for maybe 10 minutes. Shake it again, another 10, then it goes out of the bottle and directly into the crock pot. No scrubbing, no multiple steps. I've never had any kind of colored residue come off of any new chain-- some colorless, almost granulated stuff will settle at the bottom of the white gas, I presume what's left of the factory protectant.
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Old 07-26-19, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
A cheap and easy method is to put the chain in a small pan/tray/bucket with a little gasoline, and scrub on it with an old toothbrush. Obviously (before any finger-wagging schoolmarm types predictably chime in), you need to exercise a little normal caution when using a flammable liquid, but that shouldn't be difficult for anyone old enough to have a drivers license. I actually do this to my chains while still on the bike, using a large paintbrush. I have a system, and it's pretty painless and effective.....way less of a headache than my old chain-scrubber machine and citrus degreaser.
Also, I agree that leaving a cleaned chain sitting out, is a recipe for rust. I stripped a new one years ago, let it hang on the back porch overnight, and was amazed at the thin coating of rust it quickly picked up.
I'm curious what you do with the gasoline after cleaning the chain.

How do you dispose?


-Tim-
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Old 07-26-19, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ToiletSiphon View Post
Currently trying to completely degrease a chain before waxing but I'm not done and leaving for a few days. I'm pretty sure that letting my un-oiled/unwaxed dry chain on the counter is a recipe for rust, so I was thinking of letting it sit in the mineral spirits. Is this safe?

I know that doing the same with simple green could destroy the chain, but how safe are mineral spirits on metals?
You could probably leave it in mineral spirits until the sun goes dark without any issues. Mineral spirits is nonpolar and highly stable.

Originally Posted by ToiletSiphon View Post
And on the same note: how clean does the chain actually has to be for the paraffin to actually do a good job? I've already been through three 12-hours baths of MS and the chain still leaves some black residues on a white rag. Is the matte coating of my ultegra chain supposed to come off?
Honestly, if the chain is new, you don't even have to clean it. The factory lubricant is a type of wax although softer than the hard wax that most people use. When wax is hot, it is a solvent and will dissolve off anything left on the chain. The factory lubricant would be come part of the wax mixture which might be a good thing. A softer wax would flow a bit more (but not much) than canning or candle wax.
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Old 07-26-19, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
A cheap and easy method is to put the chain in a small pan/tray/bucket with a little gasoline, and scrub on it with an old toothbrush. Obviously (before any finger-wagging schoolmarm types predictably chime in), you need to exercise a little normal caution when using a flammable liquid, but that shouldn't be difficult for anyone old enough to have a drivers license. I actually do this to my chains while still on the bike, using a large paintbrush. I have a system, and it's pretty painless and effective.....way less of a headache than my old chain-scrubber machine and citrus degreaser.
Also, I agree that leaving a cleaned chain sitting out, is a recipe for rust. I stripped a new one years ago, let it hang on the back porch overnight, and was amazed at the thin coating of rust it quickly picked up.
The reason that us "finger-wagging schoolmarm types ... chime in" is because using gasoline for cleaning requires more than just "a little normal caution". It requires a lot of abnormal caution. Mineral spirits requires just "a little normal caution" because it doesn't ignite nearly as easily nor is it as toxic. Everything you can do with gasoline can be done with mineral spirits and the risk of setting your house on fire is far lower.
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Old 07-26-19, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
. Everything you can do with gasoline can be done with mineral spirits and the risk of setting your house on fire is far lower.
But that is where the excitement lies!
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Old 07-26-19, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The reason that us "finger-wagging schoolmarm types ... chime in" is because using gasoline for cleaning requires more than just "a little normal caution". It requires a lot of abnormal caution. Mineral spirits requires just "a little normal caution" because it doesn't ignite nearly as easily nor is it as toxic. Everything you can do with gasoline can be done with mineral spirits and the risk of setting your house on fire is far lower.

...aaand right on ^ cue.

BTW, as tempting as it may be, I don't actually clean my chain in the house, or even in the garage. I'm way out in the driveway, in the breeze, well away from any fireworks displays, arc welders, cigarette smokers, live-fire ranges, hydrogen-filled zeppelins, etc. And we're just talking about a cup or two of gas, not an open oil drum full. And i typically put old oil and other similar liquids in a plastic juice container or similar, and periodically drop them off at my favorite Advanced Auto Parts store, where they dispose of used automotive liquids, for free, and (presumably) properly.

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Old 07-26-19, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
...aaand right on ^ cue.

BTW, as tempting as it may be, I don't actually clean my chain in the house, or even in the garage. I'm way out in the driveway, in the breeze, well away from any fireworks displays, arc welders, cigarette smokers, live-fire ranges, hydrogen-filled zeppelins, etc. And we're just talking about a cup or two of gas, not an open oil drum full. And i typically put old oil and other similar liquids in a plastic juice container or similar, and periodically drop them off at my favorite Advanced Auto Parts store, where they dispose of used automotive liquids, for free, and (presumably) properly.

Does your auto parts store accept mixed fluids such as oil mixed with gasoline or antifreeze?

Asking because I've never seen one which does. In fact, the Advanced by me has a sign stating oil only and they make you sign your name.

Sincerely curious because I wrench my own vehicles and currently have OMS, drained motor oil, differential gear oil and brake fluid to be disposed. The OMS and brake fluid need to go to Cobb County landfill and it is a pain in the rear end to drive down there, wait with all the trucks, etc.

It would be a huge time saver if I could find a place which takes it all or takes it mixed.


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Old 07-26-19, 08:04 AM
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LOL, what's with the 3rd degree, you guys with the EPA, or something ? The place I use has a large tank in back, that they seemed to allow a variety of liquids in (I'm thinking there may have even been 2 different containers, but I'm not 100% on that, and don;t recall any specifics). Last time I was there (maybe a month or so ago), they didn't allow you to go in back anymore, or pour it into the tank yourself, they took your container from you at the counter.
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Old 07-26-19, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
LOL, what's with the 3rd degree, you guys with the EPA, or something ? The place I use has a large tank in back, that they seemed to allow a variety of liquids in (I'm thinking there may have even been 2 different containers, but I'm not 100% on that, and don;t recall any specifics). Last time I was there (maybe a month or so ago), they didn't allow you to go in back anymore, or pour it into the tank yourself, they took your container from you at the counter.
Sorry that two questions seems like interrogation. That wasn't my intent.

As stated, I wrench my own cars and disposing of fluids is a pain the rear. I was sincerely asking how you dispose of fluids in hope of saving some trips to the Cobb County landfill.

And yes, I do work for the EPA actually.


-Tim-
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Old 07-26-19, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
And yes, I do work for the EPA actually.
Actually no, just kidding.


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Old 07-26-19, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
...aaand right on ^ cue.

BTW, as tempting as it may be, I don't actually clean my chain in the house, or even in the garage. I'm way out in the driveway, in the breeze, well away from any fireworks displays, arc welders, cigarette smokers, live-fire ranges, hydrogen-filled zeppelins, etc. And we're just talking about a cup or two of gas, not an open oil drum full. And i typically put old oil and other similar liquids in a plastic juice container or similar, and periodically drop them off at my favorite Advanced Auto Parts store, where they dispose of used automotive liquids, for free, and (presumably) properly.
You are a hopeless case who will one day develop an intimate relationship with your local Fire Department.

I'm addressing the people who aren't a lost cause but who might take your (ill considered) advice. There are better solvents out there that will do the job without the hazards.
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Old 07-26-19, 10:19 AM
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There is good reason to be lot more careful when using gasoline as a cleaning solvent. It goes from liquid to vapor at a much lower temperature so will form an explosive vapor mixture with air more readily. You can read the hazard warning for mineral spirits here: https://www.ciscochem.com/assets/reg...pirits-sds.pdf It lists the flash point (lowest temperature at which it begins to readily vaporize) as 105 degrees F. and boils at more than 300 degrees. Compare that to a flash point of -45 degrees F for gasoline and you can see why gasoline is a much greater hazard than mineral spirits.
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Old 07-26-19, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
There is good reason to be lot more careful when using gasoline as a cleaning solvent. It goes from liquid to vapor at a much lower temperature so will form an explosive vapor mixture with air more readily.
When I was a teen at camp the place used to have a fake Indian ceremony every Friday night where the model camper from each cabin would get an award. It involved some paint cans with (I think) kerosene in them that were placed in a row boat that also held the actors. Toilet paper rolls were placed in cans and set on fire for lighting. One Friday there was no kerosene so they used gasoline instead. Part of the ceremony involved shooting a flaming arrows. When one of the actors went to light the arrow from one of the pots there was a flash of fire in the bottom of the boat. He could be heard screaming and then seen jumping into the lake. The conclusion was that vapors from the gasoline had spread in the bottom of the boat and were ignited by the flaming arrow tip. The one actor suffered 2nd degree burns on parts of his legs. He got lucky.
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Old 07-26-19, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Sorry that two questions seems like interrogation. That wasn't my intent.
-
No worries, it's all good, I wasn't all wound up or anything. Just shootin' the breeze here.
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Old 07-26-19, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
You are a hopeless case who will one day develop an intimate relationship with your local Fire Department.
.
And you're widely considered here to be a pedantic, self-righteous ass-hat that is compelled to deliver a sanctimonious lecture at every possible opportunity.
But hey, no biggie, different strokes and all that, eh?
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Old 07-26-19, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I'm curious what you do with the gasoline after cleaning the chain.
How do you dispose?
While I don't regularly clean things with gas, and never bike chains, my normal disposal methods are, depending on quantity.

Dump it on a log in the firepit. Most of the volatiles will evaporate if I'm not burning it right away.
Dump it in my drain oil bucket. Gets diluted enough to not be a storage issue until I take it to the dump. The city dump takes drain oil, filters, and anti freeze but they must be separate.
Dump it in the 46 ford tractor that'll run on just about anything.

Honestly some of you must have had some pretty boring childhoods without experimenting/playing with highly volatile fluids/gases, fireworks, firearms, and general dangerous stuff.
Good fun rolling ballons of oxy/acetylene into a fire.
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Old 07-26-19, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ToiletSiphon View Post
Currently trying to completely degrease a chain before waxing but I'm not done and leaving for a few days. I'm pretty sure that letting my un-oiled/unwaxed dry chain on the counter is a recipe for rust, so I was thinking of letting it sit in the mineral spirits. Is this safe?

I know that doing the same with simple green could destroy the chain, but how safe are mineral spirits on metals?

And on the same note: how clean does the chain actually has to be for the paraffin to actually do a good job? I've already been through three 12-hours baths of MS and the chain still leaves some black residues on a white rag. Is the matte coating of my ultegra chain supposed to come off?

Why would Simple Green destroy the chain? I've used it and hosed the chain to get it off, then used White Lightning Clean after the chain dried.
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Old 07-26-19, 01:48 PM
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We have a winner!!!
Never heard of rolling ballons of oxy/acetylene into a fire but it have been something.

Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
While I don't regularly clean things with gas, and never bike chains, my normal disposal methods are, depending on quantity.

Dump it on a log in the firepit. Most of the volatiles will evaporate if I'm not burning it right away.
Dump it in my drain oil bucket. Gets diluted enough to not be a storage issue until I take it to the dump. The city dump takes drain oil, filters, and anti freeze but they must be separate.
Dump it in the 46 ford tractor that'll run on just about anything.

Honestly some of you must have had some pretty boring childhoods without experimenting/playing with highly volatile fluids/gases, fireworks, firearms, and general dangerous stuff.
Good fun rolling ballons of oxy/acetylene into a fire.
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Old 07-26-19, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
And you're widely considered here to be a pedantic, self-righteous ass-hat that is compelled to deliver a sanctimonious lecture at every possible opportunity.
But hey, no biggie, different strokes and all that, eh?
Sorry but you are incorrect. I am a highly educated pedantic ass-hat. But no one is forcing you to read a single word that I write. There is an "ignore" feature on the Forum that you are free to use. It won't hurt my feelings.
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Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
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