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Bike Cleaning - Vinegar

Old 06-21-21, 10:44 AM
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parkbrav
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Bike Cleaning - Vinegar

Can Vinegar hurt a bicycle frame if a very low amount gets sprayed onto it?

My dad's house has vinyl siding. part of the siding needed routine cleaning with water and vinegar. I brought my water sprayer normally used for the bicycle. I mixed some white vinegar in with the water in the sprayer and sprayed the siding. the siding is now clean. I forgot that the container now has a very small amount of vinegar when I sprayed down my bike. Did I do baaadddd?
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Old 06-21-21, 05:24 PM
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where's a chemical engineer when you need one?
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Old 06-21-21, 05:39 PM
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I haven't been a chemical engineer in years, but I do have a degree in it. While spraying your bike with an acid isn't ideal, a small amount of diluted white vinegar is not going to have any significant negative effect on your bike. I'd rinse it off with some water if you're concerned, though.
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Old 06-24-21, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
where's a chemical engineer when you need one?
No. Where’s a chemist when you need one. Chemical engineers are just plumbers who know a (very) little about chemistry

My favorite nerd joke: A chemist and a chemical engineer walk into a bathroom. They do their business and the chemical engineer walks to the sink. The chemist starts walking out the door. The chemical engineer says “Hey, buddy! In chemical engineer school, they taught us to wash our hands after going to the bathroom!”

The chemist replies “Well, in chemistry school, they taught us not to pee on our hands.”
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Old 06-24-21, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by parkbrav View Post
Can Vinegar hurt a bicycle frame if a very low amount gets sprayed onto it?

My dad's house has vinyl siding. part of the siding needed routine cleaning with water and vinegar. I brought my water sprayer normally used for the bicycle. I mixed some white vinegar in with the water in the sprayer and sprayed the siding. the siding is now clean. I forgot that the container now has a very small amount of vinegar when I sprayed down my bike. Did I do baaadddd?
No, it shouldn’t ld be a problem. The question to ask, however, just what do your think vinegar…assuming household vinegar… is going to do to clean the siding. White vinegar is 5% acetic acid in water. It’s mostly water. Adding more water makes it more mostly water. No matter what the Intertubz says, vinegar is a very poor cleaner. My favorite dumb Intertubz chemistry is to add vinegar to baking soda. It makes sodium acetate and some carbon dioxide. It cleans nothing.

Get a commercial surfactant based cleaner. It won’t hurt your bike either but will do a better job of cleaning.

Finally, why in Winter Cycling?
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Old 07-04-21, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
No. Where’s a chemist when you need one. Chemical engineers are just plumbers who know a (very) little about chemistry

My favorite nerd joke: A chemist and a chemical engineer walk into a bathroom. They do their business and the chemical engineer walks to the sink. The chemist starts walking out the door. The chemical engineer says “Hey, buddy! In chemical engineer school, they taught us to wash our hands after going to the bathroom!”

The chemist replies “Well, in chemistry school, they taught us not to pee on our hands.”
My dad, a chemist, told me: "You can tell a chemist, because they wash their hands before they go to the bathroom."
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Old 07-10-21, 06:03 PM
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IMO. Don't know about you but I keep things pretty clean inside my pants. I wash the world off of my hands before I reach for anything in there.
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Old 07-16-21, 08:59 PM
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I've tried vinegar once for trying to remove rust but would not recommend it for anything on a bicycle. For rust I use a product called Evaporust. It is a very safe product and does not eat into good metal like an acid can. I filled up the tubes of a steel frame once and sealed it up to derust everything. Then I spray a bunch of Fluid Film to prevent rust from taking course in the future since I ride through a lot of salt in the winter. For general cleaning, dish detergent or Muc-Off bike wash are pretty good. For gummy sticky stuff like adhesive I will use Goo Gone but it might harm certain finishes but generally is pretty safe.

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Old 07-21-21, 09:07 PM
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The answer is no, a dilute vinegar solution will not hurt your bike frame. Remember you can drink the stuff right out of the bottle and not even get a stomach ache. It is an acid but a very weak one. It also evaporates easily so there will be nothing left once the smell is gone. And yes, I am a chemist. This holds true for the 3% variety you buy in the grocery store. Just don't try drinking the 30% concentrated acetic acid found in a lab.
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Old 07-27-21, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
The answer is no, a dilute vinegar solution will not hurt your bike frame. Remember you can drink the stuff right out of the bottle and not even get a stomach ache. It is an acid but a very weak one. It also evaporates easily so there will be nothing left once the smell is gone. And yes, I am a chemist. This holds true for the 3% variety you buy in the grocery store. Just don't try drinking the 30% concentrated acetic acid found in a lab.
I’ve never seen 30% acetic acid in a lab. We always have glacial (100%) and just dilute to the concentration needed. My point above, however, still holds. Vinegar won’t hurt the frame but it’s not going to do much good at cleaning either.
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