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I just bought a Park Tools chain cleaner the other day (the one that clamshells around the chain). It comes with fluid, but not much. I'd rather not buy their fluid from a bike shop since I'm sure its marked up heavily. Does anyone have a reccomendation for a fluid to use in it? I was thinking maybe kerosene (diesel) since its a light oil and still reletively cheap. Or maybe even gas since it will evaporate from the chain, then I can lube afterwards.
 

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Re-friggin'-Lax!!!
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I don't know how petrolium based fluids will affect the plastic of the clear, but I used Simple Green with good results (Vermont mud and small children came right off).
 

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I rather be cycling...
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this is from : Sheldon Brown site

Cleaning Chains

There are several ways that people try to clean their chains, none of them very satisfactory. Two of these ways may actually work.

The traditional way to clean a bicycle chain is to remove it from the bike, then soak and scrub it in solvent. This is a problem with newer chains, however. Improved sprocket design, such as Shimano's "Hyperglide" system have made it possible to shift under full power, which is very stressful to chains. (Older derailer systems with plain sprockets required the rider to ease up on the pedals while shifting.)

To withstand these high stresses, modern chains have rivets that are tighter fitting into the chain plates. The new rivets are difficult to remove and reinstall without damaging either the rivet or the side plate.
If you wish to make a habit of cleaning your chain off-the-bike, the best approach is to buy an aftermarket master link, such as the Craig Super Link or SRAM PowerLink . These permit removal and re-installation of the chain without tools. The PowerLink is standard equipment supplied with SRAM chains, but it also works on other chains of the same width.

I used to use a parts cleaning tank and a toothbrush to clean chains, but Zaven Ghazarian, an excellent mechanic I used to work with came up with a better system: drop the chain into a plastic Coke bottle with a couple of ounces of un-diluted citrus degreaser, cap it, and shake thoroughly. Fish the chain out with a spoke, rinse in water, and you are all set! (I am told that Pepsi bottles also work, and are easier to remove the chain from, because they have a wider mouth...but I'm a Coke guy, not a Pepsi guy.)

The other major way to clean chains is with an on-the-bike cleaning machine. These are boxes which clip over the lower run of chain. They contain brushes and rollers that flex the chain and run it through a bath of solvent.

The off-the-bike approach has the advantage that it usually uses more solvent than will fit into an on-the-bike cleaning machine. Thus, it can dilute away more of the scuzz from the chain.

The on-the-bike system has the advantage that the cleaning machine flexes the links and spins the rollers. This scrubbing action may do a better job of cleaning the innards.
 

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Au'Right!
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If you heat simple green up in a microwave it also causes it to work wicked good. But I personally like to use Pedro's Orange Peelz.....I like the smell and it works good.
 

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Au'Right!
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I hope Sheldon knows how sorely missed he is. But then again as I really think about it....he did know.
 

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My method is use some diuted simple green until it is filthy, repeat until the chain doesn't get any cleaner. Then, depending on the time of year, I either hose the chain off or use water in the cleaner. I then hit it with WD-40 to displace the water, let that dry and then lube it before my next ride.

With that said I clean my chain about 2x a year.;)
 

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It's soil, not dirt!
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I have used mineral spirits with good results, it's cheap and still works good when it looks dirty (a little goes a long way). Howenver, it's not as environmentally friendy as Simple Green.
 

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You can go to Performancebike.com( if not right name, google it) and buy a bottle of chain degreaser for about 7$ i think( I volunteer at a shop so i got mine for 2$) and it might actually be 2. anyway, poor some of that in your cleaning tool mixed with water and scrub away. the degreaser is really concentrated so you can fill a spray bottle up with water and a bit of degreaser and clean anything on the bike with it. the stuff works great. And so far, i haven't had any rust.
 
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