Cleaning with Kerosene

Discussion in 'General Bike Related Topics' started by MeltDownZ, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. MeltDownZ

    MeltDownZ Registered

    I've been doing the chain cleaning with Kerosene as recommended.  Works great in a pump-spray bottle.  I'd like to go ahead and clean the swing-arm, etc. with it.  

    Will Kerosene hurt:

    - the brake pads?
    - or bearings?
    - plastics?
    - tires?
    - anything else?

    And what do you clean the carbin fiber mufflerz with? What can you add for a shine/protection after they're clean?


    Reason for Edit: "None your bidnezz"|1093447573 -->
  2. bacharles

    bacharles Korrup~shun!! Donating Member

    On metal parts, the kerosene is O.K. I wouldn't recommend it on plastics though. Although I've never tried it, I just won't take a chance personally. I've found that kerosene along with a slightly over-sized toothbrush is the best for cleaning the chain. I've also used kerosene on a cloth to get rid of road grime, tar, and any lube that may sling from the chain. Cuts through that stuff like magic.

  3. chain

    chain Registered

    FWIW, WD-40 cleans as well as kerosene (the chain I mean) and won't harm plastic or paint. I use it for getting all the nasty stuff (bugs, chain fling, road tar, etc) off my bike.
  4. MeltDownZ

    MeltDownZ Registered

    I use WD-40 for general cleaning but I've read that it is too thin and can seap into the chain orings.  It also acts as a drying agent which could be bad for the chain casings.

    Reason for Edit: "None your bidnezz"|1093450766 -->
  5. MeltDownZ

    MeltDownZ Registered

    Really guys, I'm looking for specific info on if it will damage brake pads or bearings.
  6. bacharles

    bacharles Korrup~shun!! Donating Member

    Just remember that Kerosene is petroleum-based. That's one of the qualities that makes it the perfect product for chain cleaning. As far as break pads go... why would you want to put kerosene in there?[​IMG] Or is it that you're concerned about spilling it inside your brake calipers?

  7. MeltDownZ

    MeltDownZ Registered

    I'm concerned about spilling.
  8. bacharles

    bacharles Korrup~shun!! Donating Member

    Shouldn't cause a problem for you. It's not a lubricant with binding qualities. Trust me... I know... I work for an oil refinery and kerosene is one of our by-products. If you happen to spill any on your brakes, just a simple rinsing with hot water will wash it away.

  9. MeltDownZ

    MeltDownZ Registered

    But if it got onto the pads, would it eat away at them. How about the wheel bearings? I couldn't really wipe that stuff off if it got into some tight places.
  10. chain

    chain Registered

    Ah, the legend lives.

    WD-40 will not harm your drive chain. I know several guys who run WD as their only chain cleaner/lube and have upwards of 20K miles on powerful motorcycles like FZ1s and 954s for instance.

    I'm familiar with a guy who wrote WD regarding this issue (and actually got a response back - I'm sure the company gets ALOT of pestering e-mail inquiries).

    "WD-40 is a multi-purpose light lubricating oil. The WD-40 will definitely displace and remove the water or moisture from the chain. The 'WD' stands for water displacement. It will also act as a rust preventative on any of the metal surfaces. WD-40 will not 'dry out' the rubber o-rings. We have found no visible effects on surfaces of rubber, and o-rings. Certain types of rubber will swell under prolonged immersion [emphasis mine] in WD-40 (this refers to long soaking, and not just a spray)."
  11. chain

    chain Registered

    And if my last post isn't enough, it's time to bring out the hammer.

    This is stolen from the other board I frequent, the FZ1 Owners Assocation. It is a response to a friend of one of the board mods some years ago. He wrote Tsubaki asking about chain care. The guy is reportedly militant about the care of his bikes, and one of his machines is a mint RC30. Guess what he uses?

    You anti-WD guys can keep letting the facts get in the way of your argument though, it's a free country. And I don't want to talk you out of your $8 a can chain lube.


    Attached Files:

  12. bacharles

    bacharles Korrup~shun!! Donating Member

    Hey opdsgt, you must realize that a lot of people don't like to use the WD40 because it usually flings all over the bike. Yes, WD40 is probably O.K., but most people have other reasons for not using it.
  13. Revlis

    Revlis Re-Recycled, Busa-Less... Donating Member

    If I'm cleaning I just use WD40, I have done so for years. But only for street bikes. I clean with WD40, wipe up as much as I can, then hit it with the Chain lube. Do this while the cahin is warm, and you'll have a nice quiet chain that so far is lasting very well.

    So a you own WD40 Stock, or your grand Pappy was on the design team or something? A little hostile over the WD aren't we.

    OpdSgt? Military by chance? Or actual Omaha PD? I lived there for four years not too long ago. At USSTRATCOM...

    Have a Water Displaced one... (Best RSD Imitation I can muster)
  14. chain

    chain Registered

    Fair enough.

    If using WD to clean your chain before lubing, a little shot of compressed air while spinning the wheel to rotate the chain will solve that problem though.

  15. bacharles

    bacharles Korrup~shun!! Donating Member

    Damn MeltDown, it sounds as if you're planning to buy a 5-gal drum of kerosene and just pouring it all over the bike... [​IMG] If you just put kerosene on a rag and wipe the dirty areas, then you shouldn't have to worry about kerosene getting anywhere else but where you put it. As I said before... on my chain I just pour a little kerosene in a plastic cup (not foam because kerosene will eat it up) and use an over-sized toothbrush for cleaning. While bike is on rear stand, I just simply scrub an area, then rotate the wheel. Works like a charm. After cleaning, I use the Chain Lube because it adheres to the chain and doesn't fling all over the place.

  16. chain

    chain Registered


    No, it's all good bro, I'm not hostile.

    What I am is passionate about the industry ripping off unknowing customers with crap like "motorcycle oil" that is indistinguishable from its "automotive oil" counterparts (at least some auto oils, that is), $8 and $9 bottles of "special" chain lube when cheap stuff like WD or 90W gear oil work just as well and for mere pennies per application, etc.

    Don't get me wrong, some of the bike chems out there have a valuable place on my garage shelving, but many of them are overpriced snake oil too...
  17. MeltDownZ

    MeltDownZ Registered

    I like to put the cleaner fluids in spray bottles. It seems to get into all the little spaces better. And, I rinse of the dirt this way. Makes cleaning real easy. But, the rear brake hangs down low and is liable to get a good dose as well if a slip up. Plus, I wan't to clean the rotors (the gold colored part)

    BTW...while we're at it... Is there anything that should be used to clean the brake rotor contact surface?
  18. Revlis

    Revlis Re-Recycled, Busa-Less... Donating Member

  19. Revlis

    Revlis Re-Recycled, Busa-Less... Donating Member

    I gotcha, ther eis a real good point above though regarding the use of the "Sticky" Chain lubes... Makes a lot of sense. I mean, it's making the chain sticky, dirt and crud will and does stick.... Might increase chain wear... Hmm.

    Might have to instal a scott Oiler after all.
  20. DeWarrior

    DeWarrior Registered

    Honda spray cleaner/polish cleans all that stuff as good as WD-40 and works well on all the materials on your bike. Plus it shines up nicely with a little buffing. It cuts right thru the thickest chain lube splatters.

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