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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I'll be repacking the grease in some BB cups and hubs very shortly--and planned to soak them in a degreaser (like simple green) and thoroughly rinse out with water and quick-dry before repacking with phil wood grease.

I was reviewing a video by GCN and they recommended spraying a degreaser, followed by flushing with WD-40 and allowing it to evaporate before repacking. I'm aware that WD40 is a solvent that will quickly evaporate and leave behind a tiny film of lubricant... is it safe to simply pack in grease over the evaporated WD40 (as GCN implied), or would it be optimal to then clean out the remnants with a little dish soap and water?

The video in question: https://youtu.be/AchbSMDjwyw?t=1m39s

TIA
 

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Use gas, remove both seals, pour in a small container. Use a toothbrush to help scrub the old grease out, best yet if it's a small container you can shake about to help really get it clean. Rinse with fresh gas, then if you're really anal, flush with alcohol, wait to dry, then re-pack with fresh grease.
 

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I like doing a final rinse of stuff like this with alcohol. An old jar or water bottle is great for stuff like degunking chains, bearings, etc. Pour in degreaser, seal the lid, shake!
 

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I do not use aqueous based degreasers to clean bearings. It's all bad, and Simple Green is definitely bad. They can cause corrosion you can't see that will accelerate bearing wear. Any left over will degrade whatever good grease you add. Use OMS, WD40, Stodard's solvent, brake cleaner, etc.. Personally I do not use gasoline due to its flammability, toxicity, carcinogenicity, odor, etc.. thought it does dissolve grease really well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the tips all! I guess I'll keep SimpleGreen away from my bearing work in the future (though I've used it in the past with success). So I guess I'll change up my process to degreasing with liberal amounts of WD40 (or gas), a scrub with a toothbrush, followed by a rinse and scrub with isopropyl (or denatured?) alcohol and allowing to dry?

Does that sound good then? I'm planning to stick to a single method for future work.

Edit: with a bit more research, looks like I should stick to 90+ isopropyl since the 70% solution has plenty of water in it. Also, maybe I'll use the WD40 instead of gas when soaking bb30-type cartridges, since one of the rubber seals may be left in place (and anything but ethanol-free unleaded would degrade rubber?).
 

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I always keep a can of clean streak around for similar sorts of de-gunking work that requires no residue. not sure if it's more or less the same stuff as brake cleaner or not.
 

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I've got a windex squirt bottle that I've filled with rubbing alcohol, works well for everything. Cleaning suspension components, flushing bearings & cleaning wounds.

Also, a good reminder to pop the seals off of new cartridge bearings as well & top off both sides with water proof grease for suspension and headset bearings (Zero RPM). Up here in the PNW I figure it'll help extend lifespan filling any voids that might be filled with water or humid air. For wheel bearings I'll top off the outer facing end with the same to keep intrusion to a minimum.
 

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Alcohol isn't bad, but it is hygroscopic and at best 10% water. You can by 91% stuff at the pharmacy, but as soon as you open it it starts absorbing water from the atmosphere. It is definitely not a corrosion preventative. You should dry quickly, using compressed air is good, and lube ASAP to prevent the possibility of corrosion.

Another rule is not to spin dry bearings. Some will allow bearings to spin at pretty high speed when blowing degreaser out of them. This is disrecommended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for additional suggestions.

I just finished a pair of BB cartridges. Tried CRC Brakleen for cleaning, followed by rinsing with 99% isopropyl alcohol (wearing gloves, that stuff hurts!)... I discovered that brakleen causes rubber seals to shrivel up and distort. A soak in water fixed them up. The brakleen was effective, but I really don't think I'll be using it for sealed cartridges again (especially when I can't pull out the rear rubber seal). I guess I'll be trying gas or wd40 next time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Alcohol isn't bad, but it is hygroscopic and at best 10% water. You can by 91% stuff at the pharmacy, but as soon as you open it it starts absorbing water from the atmosphere. It is definitely not a corrosion preventative. You should dry quickly, using compressed air is good, and lube ASAP to prevent the possibility of corrosion.

Another rule is not to spin dry bearings. Some will allow bearings to spin at pretty high speed when blowing degreaser out of them. This is disrecommended.
I picked up some 99% isopropyl to be safe. In any case I made sure to air dry quickly. I never thought twice about rinsing clean components in water and quickly drying, but I won't be doing that anymore.

I always keep a can of clean streak around for similar sorts of de-gunking work that requires no residue. not sure if it's more or less the same stuff as brake cleaner or not.
I used to be a big fan of clean streak--until a handful of years ago when they changed the formula from a clear residue-free spray to a white foamy substance... I know they still sell a spray version that's similar to the old stuff, but the type they stock at Meijer/Walmart is that foamy stuff that I refuse to use!
 

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I used to be a big fan of clean streak--until a handful of years ago when they changed the formula from a clear residue-free spray to a white foamy substance... I know they still sell a spray version that's similar to the old stuff, but the type they stock at Meijer/Walmart is that foamy stuff that I refuse to use!
Haven't encountered foamy clean streak. Only stuff I have ever bought was the clear, clean drying stuff. Either at shops or on amazon. Had a shop order me a box of 6 of the big cans awhile back.


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