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Riding bikes are great fun, the kids usually like riding through the water and into muddy areas, and there creates a problem. How do you clean bicycle parts easily and efficiently without any problems? I’m not talking about scrubbing down dirt from the frame after a good ride through a muddy puddle but cleaning bike pedals, bicycle chains, gears and anything metal that might be full of grease combined with other foreign elements.
There is a way which doesn’t use any corrosive and potentially nasty cleaning liquids that will eventually end up somewhere in the environment. On a simple level, you can use an ultrasonic cleaner to do the job. Ultrasonic cleaners are extremely environmentally friendly when it comes to cleaning dirty parts; people use them to clean all sorts of things such as ammunitions and spent cartridges, optical items, jewellery and even dentures. Mechanics use ultrasonic cleaners to clean carbs and motor bits but usually have a stage 1 soaking process and then finishing off the cleaning using just water or a water/ultrasonic cleaning fluid combination works well.
Have you ever considered an Ultrasonic cleaner?
You can buy ultrasonic cleaners online on websites like Amazon.com. They are amazingly cheap for what you get. Some units are under $25 and there are commercial grade units available such as the Kendall brand of units. Many people get the cheaper ones for around thirty bucks and they work quite well for household use and of course cleaning bicycle parts (including dads fishing reels).
As a side mention, some ultrasonic cleaners cannot be shipped outside of the US but don’t worry, you can use a freight forwarding company to send the package via a US address. All legit and I will write another article on that in the future.
Basically Ultrasonic Cleaners offer a non-corrosive way to clean dirty parts. The units have a basic design of the case, the tray which holds the water and the bicycle parts you are cleaning, sometimes a digital reader / LCD screen and heater as well as different frequencies the ultrasonic units emit. The sound waves are what’s key. The units work by blasting the areas you want clean with tiny bubbles, and this process is called cavitation which works off the grease and dirt. All you do is place the parts in, press some buttons and presto you let the ultrasonic cleaner go to do its job to clean the bicycle parts.
As mentioned above the units were unaffordable years ago but as production methods and unit costs have dropped as well as brand competition so has the costs of production of the ultrasonic cleaners which are being sold online. The prices for ultrasonic parts cleaners to clean bicycle parts are in some cases incredible for what you get and you can get ultrasonic cleaning units such as the Magnasonic (eg. MGUC500 Professional Ultrasonic Cleaner) for USD$29.99 which is a saving of 70% on the recommended retail price! Solvents for the cleaners are also reasonably cheap at around USD$6.00 to $10.00 on Amazon.com.
You need to know what you will be cleaning on a regular basis before buying, though. Don’t buy it just for cleaning bike parts because the unit is cheap. Think about the other purposes and read up on some reviews of units and what people are using the ultrasonic cleaners for. Do you want the water heated or not heated, what will be the size of the tank that will hold whatever you want to be cleaned, there are different frequencies at which the units operate? You can see a ton of videos online, and there are manufacturers that make and market towards different target markets, e.g., Hornady Lock N Load Sonic Cleaner II (110 Volt) target shooters. Also, be aware of the power voltages of the units. 110 volts in the US will not work if you are overseas in countries like Australia.
Easy Way To Clean Bike Chains And Parts – Video Demonstration Below:
With respect to the video below, the demonstrator is using a Kendal Ultrasonic cleaner. These offer commercial grade and durable housing – metal finish. These are one of the most popular sellers that I can see looking around for general cleaning of parts and bits as they appear well made compared with the cheaper models of ultrasonic cleaners on the market that have plastic casings and appear flimsy on touch and look. The Kendal unit comes in different “tank” sizes depending on the size of the bits and pieces you want to clean. The unit also has the digital readout. Everything is stainless steel housing including the tray that you place your bicycle bits on. The video also used some citrus degreaser to aid in the cleaning of the bicycle chain. In a lot of cases plain water suffices to clean dirty bits but you can use various agents to aide in the cleaning process.