Saturday, December 17, 2005

Preliminary testing of EXTREME Simple Green

During the one month in July when we get cable, my kids love to watch Most Extreme on Animal Planet. Today I got some EXTREME Simple Green to test out.

I had posted a few weeks ago about some Letters at Velo News about prolonged soaking in regular Simple Green potentially causing chain breakage.

Simple Green contacted me in regards to that BLOG entry and asked if I'd like a sample to test out. Why of course, I often live my life according to the sage worlds of an old roommate: If it's free, I'll take two.

I'm, just a hack garage mechanic, but believe that I am a good product tester given how I can do anything wrong and break the unbreakable. Kudos to Simple Green for realizing the potential marketing benefit of the BLOG. And also thanks for making me feel like someone important.

It comes in a simple spray bottle:

Just like it's consumer brother the regular simple green you know and love:

But this stuff isn't green, it's clear. But it does have a hint of a pleasant smell and isn't as potent as other inustrial cleaners I've seen.

The instructions suggest dillution

and they also included another instruction sheet that suggested some dillution strategies for different uses. Up to 1:127 of washing windows.

Of particular note is that this product is non-corrosive and safe on finishes, plastic and rubber. This makes it good for cleaning forks with any rubber seals and gaskets.

For my testing, I am going to soak a chain for several weeks:
The willing subject, hoarked from my wife's mountain bike:

*Note the Velonews tech letters discussed that a lot of the problem chains were SRAM chains. And someone thought that it might be due to cheaper metals in SRAM chains over Shimano. But I agree with Lennard that it is because SRAM chains are about 1 million times easier to take off and clean than Shimano chains. Hence a larger percentage of SRAM chains with potential for issues.

The super secret testing chamber:

I once left a chain soaking in regular simple green for several weeks. It was rusty when I took it out. Some have suggested that it is the water content in Simple Green that is causing the rust. Which in turn is leading to the metal fatigue and failure. Simple Green has noted that regular SG is NOT recommended for any storage of metal parts. Meaning if you are going to soak a chain in it, don't forget about it for several weeks.

At first I poured some of the Extreme into the container and then put the same amount of water into the container to get the 1:1 dilution according to the instructions. But then I remembered about the water content issue, and dumped it out, blew it with the air compressor and then poured back in just the Extreme SG.

In the past I've left this container to my wife's dismay on top of the washing mashine or the dryer to create a cheap ultrasonic cleaner. I once bought a used bottom bracket on ebay and the threads were just in supreme mint condition. I asked the guy how in the world he had gotten it so clean, as I've never been able to get threads that clean even with an toothpick/tshirt. He said he used an ultrasonic cleaner. I asked a jewler friend about ultrasonic cleaners and before I even finished what I was saying he said, "No I'm not going to clean your pedals."

I also tried it out cleaning some parts. Here is a Bottom bracket that I took off the other week, with old anti-sieze on the threads:

Didn't dillute it, just sprayed it right out of the bottle, onto the threads. Let it soak for a little bit and then hit it with an old Golf toothbrush
and then wiped with a tshirt, getting my fingernail into the threads.

Regular Simple green works too on stuff like this but required more elbow grease than with the Extreme stuff. No doubt I should dillute it for regular cleaning chores like this.

I didn't wear gloves when I used it and my hands were no more dry or disintegrating than when working with other cleaners. I should probably get more wise and use some gloves with this stuff, brake cleaner, brake fluid, etc...!!

I'll post back after Christmas with how the chain looks. I might even let it sit on top of the washer for a few cycles.


At 5:44 PM, Blogger mags said...

For what it's worth - I use Simple Green and love it. It works wonders for any type of "generic" cleaning.


At 3:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great stuff! I'm a Simple Green user as well. Good stuff. I don't usually leave chains in it but have left cassettes in for a bit too long and wondered why they rusted.

Noticed you're a Subie fan. What're you driving? I'm lovin' my '05 Legacy GT wagon.

Linked here from your siggie on MTBR. Great reading. Love those pro interviews. Thanks for taking the time to write.


At 7:35 AM, Blogger ashwinearl said...

I drive a 1998 Subaru Legacy Wagon. The little 2.2 one. When I took it over I put some upgrades into it: see here:

It's a fun for scooting around town. I dream about getting a WRX engine swap into it which is a lot less than a new car but still a big luxury.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Estev√£o (Stephen) said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:38 AM, Anonymous said...

There's no doubt, the guy is completely right.


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