WD40 - Good as a degreaser?

Mushroomgodmat

Über Member
Location
Norwich
I'm about to replace my old bottom bracket - a friend of mine recommended using WD40 to clean the old grease out of the frame before installing the new BB.

Does anyone know anything about this, I had read that WD40 is a not recommended for bike us. And Iv traditionally thought of it as a lubricant not a cleaner?
 

musa

Über Member
Location
Surrey
opposite way ......use as a cleaner then grease with oil or grease then put bb back

wd40 isnt a lubricated as such
Water Dispellent
 
it's comparitively expensive to use as a degreaser - but it will work ok. WD40 is just a light oil in a carrier solvent - so is fine to use on a bike anyway - not sure why anyone would say it isn't.

opposite way ......use as a cleaner then grease with oil or grease then put bb back

wd40 isnt a lubricated as such
Water Dispellent
It is a lubricant. Read the label.
 

Canrider

Guru
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WD-40

I think of WD40 more as a solvent than a lubricant, although it contains both. For your purposes, once you've got the old BB out, just wipe and wash the grease out with hot soapy water before installing the new BB (remember to regrease any threads first!)
 

Canrider

Guru
it's comparitively expensive to use as a degreaser - but it will work ok. WD40 is just a light oil in a carrier solvent - so is fine to use on a bike anyway - not sure why anyone would say it isn't.
Presumably because it's not as well-suited as a dedicated oil, for example you wouldn't want to lube a chain with WD40.
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
WD40 is "not recommended" by some folks for bike use, precisely because it dissolves grease.
I've often used it for cleaning out BB shells, but you need to mop it up with a rag before putting new grease on the threads.

Just make sure you don't spray it anywhere near a fitted BB, wheel hubs or your headset. All of which contain bearings which are (hopefully) greased.
 

Maz

Legendary Member
hmmm. I'm confused....

When I clean the chain, I use WD40 to get rid of all the dirt. When it's nicely cleaned up, I then put silicon-based lube (Finish Line) on it.

If WD40 is a lube, do I even need to use Finish Line?
 

Davidc

Guru
Location
Somerset UK
Use the search function on WD40 if you want to see plenty on why not to use it on a bike.

For what you intend using it for it'll work fine but there are degreasers (from lbs, car accessory shops etc.) which are easier to use and cheap.

WD 40 is one of the best cleaning fluids for frames and rims I know of. It'll get all the tarry crud off without scratching. I use it on the bikes and car. I also use it to clean the braking surfaces of the rims. The degreasing properties are what I'm after there.

For lubrication I use a lubricant, usually with Finish Line written on the bottle. For BB and headset bearings a good grease formulated for bikes.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
Sorry, it's true. I'm in charge of a fleet of 22 bikes, plus my own 7.

Big spate of fork seals blowing on the Specialized bikes on the fleet. Head scratching for several months. The guy in the shop who had our maintenance contract at the time couldn't suss it. During a chance conversation with onevof the spanner monkeys in our own vehicle workshop, it wad asked how the bikes were being cleaned. Turned out a lot were, with the best intentions, liberally spraying the chrome fork stanchions with the Watery Destroyer to protect them from the elements.

It had been a big problem with the fork seals on the Forces Suzuki DRZ400 motorbikes and took a lot of puzzling to twig it.

On his recommendation we binned all the WD and replaced it with Rock Oil Maintebance spray. The problem ceased instantly.

Since then I've soaked a slice of rubber pond liner in WD and over the course of only a few days you can see the rubber quickly start to lose its elasticity and crack, as if it were ageing at a hugèly accelerated rate.
 
WD40 themselves claim that it's good enough to use as a chain lubricant - it isn't (like coffee whitener, though it ticks some of the boxes, isn't really milk) - and for that bare faced lie I refuse to use it. And anyway, for all the tasks that WD40 can be used there's always something much better suited. Except maybe removing sticker glue. Maybe.

To say nothing of the danger posed to greased components, sticker glue and brake discs if it does go astray. Which it does because it's an aersole. And I try to avoid the use of aersoles of any kind - I mean, if you wouldn't drink something sure as hell you wouldn't want to inhale it either. Innit.
 
Sorry, it's true. I'm in charge of a fleet of 22 bikes, plus my own 7.

Big spate of fork seals blowing on the Specialized bikes on the fleet. Head scratching for several months. The guy in the shop who had our maintenance contract at the time couldn't suss it. During a chance conversation with onevof the spanner monkeys in our own vehicle workshop, it wad asked how the bikes were being cleaned. Turned out a lot were, with the best intentions, liberally spraying the chrome fork stanchions with the Watery Destroyer to protect them from the elements.

It had been a big problem with the fork seals on the Forces Suzuki DRZ400 motorbikes and took a lot of puzzling to twig it.

On his recommendation we binned all the WD and replaced it with Rock Oil Maintebance spray. The problem ceased instantly.

Since then I've soaked a slice of rubber pond liner in WD and over the course of only a few days you can see the rubber quickly start to lose its elasticity and crack, as if it were ageing at a hugèly accelerated rate.
drago - I've been riding motocross bikes for longer than I've been riding pushbikes - I have never had an issue with WD on fork seals or any other rubber components, and I have never heard of anyone else having any either. I can only assume that isn't the source of your issue. WD themselves say that it is perfectly safe on rubber components.
 
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