Simple Green is actually a strong alkaline. See their notes on cleaning aluminum at: http://www.simplegreen.com/solutions_faqs.php?search_query=steel&search_query_backup=aluminum. That page also covers appropriate parts washers for use with SG.
As to WD-40, I always used it to drive 30W engine oil into bike chains. Once the WD-40 evaporated, the chain would be well and deeply lubed. There's a joy that the kids today never experience, with their pansy clean and dry lubricants. That's the joy of seeing and commenting on a big, black, greasy amateur mark on the right calf and white sock of some Fred. 30W oil and a few hundred miles of road grime... yeah, that's the ticket.
Kevin Montgomery San Diego, California Rather resenting the beautiful clear, warm weather, as I'm stuck in the office
From: M-gineering <email@example.com> Subject: Re: [CR] Cleanint dirty bike parts: What NOT to do To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Wednesday, January 12, 2011, 3:07 PM
On 1/12/2011 9:43 PM, David Snyder 2 wrote:
> I have to add to this, never leave anything made of STEEL soaking in Simple
> It absolutely will destroy the metal's strength, I'm talking about crumbling
> sprockets here, parts that lost easily more than half of their original
> And due to the thin side plates on chains, I would expect even more-rapid
> deterioration of strength there.
> No joke!
Higher strenght steels are more prone to this than low strenght stuff. Expensive chains can split for your very eyes. The effect is called hydrogen embrittlement, and anything acidic is bad!
Much safer to use a simple solvent like liquid parafin. Motorfuels are expected to be burnt, and thus idealy suited to get rid of nasties the refineries need to ged rid of. The additives are not exactly a plus either -- mvg