While I aspire to an ultrasonic cleaner, until then I have great success using Kerosene (Home Depot). I purchase talc lined rubber golves (easier to get on and off) in bulk (Harbor Freight, Griots) to protect myself and then just 'have at it' using lots of elbow gresase, paper towels, cotton swabs and various brushes. I put the kerosene in either a small plastic container (from the deli counter potatoe salad, etc.) or for larger parts like chainrings, I use a small aluminum tin with matching plastic cover purchased at the grocery store. I alwys finish up metal parts with Simichrome polish as it leaves a protective film making cleaning easier the next time.
For plastic, I also use kerosine but never to soak a part, just tquickly cut through the grease followed but soapy water.
I find that time is the most expensive resource involveed. Counter to Barbara's disposition, I am genetically disposed to everything I own being kept imaculately clean going back to the story my Mom tells of me as a 3 year old bringing my dirty muddy Tonka toy trucks into the house and washing them when I was done with them for the day. We all have our issues :),
Eric "use it, clean it, polish it, use it again" Elman Somers, CT USA
> I don't know about a magic cleaning fairy Barbara, but I use an ultrasonic
\r?\n> cleaner here in my shop. I have to say, one on the more amazing items that
\r?\n> I have purchased over the years.
\r?\n> Omar Khiel
\r?\n> Oasis Custom Cycles
\r?\n> Glendale, AZ
\r?\n> From: "Reperages Velo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
\r?\n> Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 3:56 AM
\r?\n> To: <email@example.com>
\r?\n> Subject: [CR] Secrets for cleaning dirty bike parts
\r?\n> > Hi,
\r?\n> > It is probably a waste of time to ask this, because my inability to clean
\r?\n> > parts
\r?\n> > properly is probably genetic, however, I was noticing on other people's
\r?\n> > listing
\r?\n> > they had nice clean parts.
\r?\n> > I do have a distinct memory of regular comments on how dirty my bike was
\r?\n> > when I
\r?\n> > raced. Perhaps this is a trait of mine which I am not able to get around.
\r?\n> > How do people get their parts so clean? Do they throw them in solvent
\r?\n> > baths
\r?\n> > like we used to before we understood the health risks (not to mention
\r?\n> > damage to
\r?\n> > any plastic parts). My dirty tooth brush sprayed with wd40 and dirty
\r?\n> > cleaning
\r?\n> > cloths don't seem to do the same. Is there a magic cleaning fairy, or do
\r?\n> > people
\r?\n> > spend hundreds of hours on this task?
\r?\n> > Please enlighten me, I am a little dim. I am the one who didn't
\r?\n> > understand
\r?\n> > until I was over 30 that the reason other women's make up stayed on all
\r?\n> > day and
\r?\n> > mine didn't is because they reapplied through out the day, and I couldn't
\r?\n> > be
\r?\n> > bothered.
\r?\n> > Barbara Barrett
\r?\n> > Reperages is a non-profit organization. 80 % of the 3,500 bicycles
\r?\n> > collected
\r?\n> > each year are sent to Burkina Faso or Mali and provides 40 work places for
\r?\n> > disabled people in Africa as well as much needed transportation. Reperages
\r?\n> > also
\r?\n> > provides 13 work positions for disabled and disadvantaged people in
\r?\n> > France. Each
\r?\n> > purchase you make supports a special project, and may be tax deductable.