Citric Acid as degreaser

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
shampoo
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by shampoo

Hi

I love a super clean chain. I mean a chain and a cassette require sunglasses to look at. I sometimes use Naptha to get it in that shape but only when my bio-degreaser can't do the job anymore. It's not good for the environment.. and it requires that I take special precautions as I generally clean my bike in the backyard..

I also own an espresso machine that requires it be descaled ever so often. The cheapest and most efficient way to do this is get some citric acid at the local natural food store..

Which got me to thinking, has anyone tried using citric acid as a degreaser ?

Thanks

J

by Weenie


boots2000
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Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:28 pm

by boots2000

Be careful- many solvents like that can ruin the finish of anodized parts- use it to clean chain and cassette and you may ruin the finish of your derailleurs. Also possible that it could dull finish on your frame.

toosahn
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:02 pm

by toosahn

Also be careful with the degreaser around plastic parts.

tinker
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2006 3:35 am
Location: Tucson, AZ

by tinker

It wouldn't work as a degreaser. It is good in your espresso machine to descale as it is an acid and remember high school chemistry of acid + base = salt + water? In your coffee machine you are removing hard water scale (sodium carbonate build up). In chemistry, like dissolves like, so you need a greasy hydrophobic solvent to dissolve grease. I clean my chain and cassette in mineral spirits which is an 8-12C hydrocarbon.

SL58
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:02 pm

by SL58

Use vinegar for espresso machine, use citrus for tequila and use
solvent for chain cleaning and not other way around.

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prendrefeu
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by prendrefeu

Hey shampoo, how are things?

I use a citrus-based degreaser and it works very well in my ultra-sonic cleaner. As stated earlier, as long as the parts are not anodized it will work just fine. Anodized parts will lose their colour. The citrus-based cleaner is the closest I've managed to get in my search for a eco-friendly and effective cleaner. Attempts at vinegar, citric acid and other "DIY" type recipes have not been effective at all, and frankly a waste of time. Sometimes I think people who come up with those lists are not cleaning items or grease of any serious nature.

I use this.
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thisisatest
Shop Owner
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by thisisatest

ive never found anything stronger than http://www.citrasolv.com/

mclaren
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Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:02 pm

by mclaren

3M used to make an aerosol citric acid cleaner. If they still make it, you can buy it from your local NAPA store.

I have several cans that I have used for years to clean chains, hubs, and the crud buildup between the bottom bracket and the crank.

fdegrove
Tubbie Guru
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Location: Belgium

by fdegrove

Hi,

I have been using citric acid based cleaners for about seven years now to clean sprockets and chains mainly. I works great and contrary to some other degreasers it also effectively removes all the built up crud.

You should however rince the cleaned parts with water afterwards as the acid can attack the metal parts (or so I hear).

I've never experienced any discolourations of anything plastic (though caution should be taken with some materials, I suppose) or clearcoats whatsoever.

The stuff I use is made for Motorex. I usually buy a five liter can but there's also a spray available in two different sizes IIRC.

Ciao, ;)
Last edited by fdegrove on Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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shotgun
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Location: Philippines

by shotgun

Also watch out for rubber parts. I've stayed clear most of the time however some orange degreaser dripped down to some soft rubber and it dissolved the top portion off.

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Fourthbook
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Location: Columbus, Ohio

by Fourthbook

Prendrefeu: thanks for the tip! Do you use Zep at full strength or do you dilute it?

I've been using FinishLine Citrus degreaser for years, which works great, but it's very $$$. However, in checking on your Zep suggestion, I can get a gallon of it at a nearby Lowes or HomeDepot for <$12, which is about what a pint of most bike-brand citric degreasers like FinishLine cost...
Wilier Cento1 SR
13.10 lbs (5.95 kgs) w/Enve 3.4-Tune 70/170 & Conti Competitions tubulars
12.53 lbs (5.68 kgs) w/FarSports 24-Extralite & Vittoria CX EVO II tubulars

shampoo
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Location: Montréal, Canada
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by shampoo

Thanks for all the replies..

For those of you using a orange based degreaser, how clean does your chain/cassette get ? Does it look as clean as when you first installed it ? I've used one or two orange based degreasers and in my experience, they don't come close to getting the chain/cassette as clean as with Naptha or similar..

J

bones
Posts: 414
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:38 am

by bones

thisisatest wrote:ive never found anything stronger than http://www.citrasolv.com/




How long have you been riding bikes? Just curious because you state that you haven't found anything stronger.

FYI, gasoline, yes fuel for cars, as in petrol. This stuff is waaaaaaaay stronger than your Average Joe's citrus degreaser. I wouldn't kill off the environment with it though. Just stick to your soap and water, especially for all you Joes out there.

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Fourthbook
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:11 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio

by Fourthbook

shampoo wrote:Thanks for all the replies..

For those of you using a orange based degreaser, how clean does your chain/cassette get ? Does it look as clean as when you first installed it ? I've used one or two orange based degreasers and in my experience, they don't come close to getting the chain/cassette as clean as...


The citric-based degreasers I've used, like Finishline, get the job done to my satisfaction: I put the chain in an old frying pan and soak w/ about 4 ozs of degreaser and then use a toothbrush to scrub the chain; rise in tap water and dry thoroughly before re-lubing, after which the chain looks new to me...
Wilier Cento1 SR
13.10 lbs (5.95 kgs) w/Enve 3.4-Tune 70/170 & Conti Competitions tubulars
12.53 lbs (5.68 kgs) w/FarSports 24-Extralite & Vittoria CX EVO II tubulars

by Weenie


bones
Posts: 414
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:38 am

by bones

Fourthbook wrote:
shampoo wrote:Thanks for all the replies..

For those of you using a orange based degreaser, how clean does your chain/cassette get ? Does it look as clean as when you first installed it ? I've used one or two orange based degreasers and in my experience, they don't come close to getting the chain/cassette as clean as...


The citric-based degreasers I've used, like Finishline, get the job done to my satisfaction: I put the chain in an old frying pan and soak w/ about 4 ozs of degreaser and then use a toothbrush to scrub the chain; rise in tap water and dry thoroughly before re-lubing, after which the chain looks new to me...




A frying pan? Toothbrush? That is really disgusting. You know all these nasty chemicals in chain oil can make you really sick?

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