Okay, so I have officially run out of lighter fluid.

What should I use for a cleaner that would be in a regular household?

I don’t have the money right now to buy any cleaner.


Dawn, a toothbrush and some warm water?

Don’t use soap and water.
You can get a bottle of acetone for a couple of dollars. Make sure it’s pure and not regular nail polish remover being that has additives. It seems it’s usually in the same section as nail polish remover.

What is it doing that makes you think it needs cleaning?
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It got some junk in it. Not sure how.

Not doing the water method.

I actually used Carb Cleaner. Worked great, we had a lot, makes sense my dad fixes our cars, and he’s a machinist. :stuck_out_tongue:

He may have mineral spirits around. Which works well, I prefer acetone but used mineral spirits for quite a while.
Though if there’s grit in it, it may just be a matter of taking of the shields and blowing it with compressed air. Either way I’d probably pop the shields before cleaning if there’s something actually in the bearing.
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I meant to say Carb spray, works great.

Yep, I know how to pop off the shields.

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Yeah, I never knew.

And then my dad’s like,

yeah, that will work great!

He’s awesome, so glad he knows his stuff.

John of Terrapin X does this as one of his processes. As long as the bearing is thoroughly rinsed and completely dried, it should be fine. The problem is ensuring it’s completely dry.

Keep in mind he was asking about common household items. Nobody I know keeps mineral spirits or acetone around. I didn’t either until I got into this yoyo thing.

I’ve just finished cleaning a bunch of bearings. Mineral spirits, then acetone, then mineral spirits again, then acetone again. These bearings were in pretty bad shape. Now they are halfway decent!

Yep, I was asking about regular household products.

But, then My dad realized he had some carb spray.

Thanks for the suggestion though, you’re the best!

If you are just going to put oil back on it, it really doesn’t matter.

Hmm. Interesting.
I’d think the soap could leave deposits. But I’ve never tried it.
I think I will though on an old bearing.
Thanks for the info.
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There is a green cleaner/degreaser called Simple Green that comes in a crystal clear formula. Frank Difeo suggests using this stuff. It works really well on degreasing and cleaning out many types of bearings and chains. I’ve used it in the past for my rollerblade bearings and my bike chain. The only thing you have to do is make sure the bearing is dry after you’ve cleaned it. You can do this with compressed air or a blow dryer set on no heat. I notice that with a really dirty bearing this actually works, at times, better than acetone since it doesn’t dry as rapidly which can leave deposits behind.

Paint thinner should work.

In a bind paint thinner will do the job but you would probably have to follow up later with some acetone or another cleaner. Paint thinner is mixed with other compounds which can leave residue behind.

Normally, you’d be right. Most soaps do leave a residue and/or deposits. Ever take a shower then use soap and your hand kinda bumps down your arm or leg or other skin after lathering up and rinsing? That’s soap residue.

Dish soap and other food-grade and medical grade stuff is meant to rinse completely clean, provided you rinse it out/off properly and completely, which isn’t has hard as other soaps. Dawn is what I recommend because it’s also a great de-greaser. I also use it to clean trumpet valves as I find its the only stuff that doesn’t gunk up the valves and removes the valve oil completely.

I also have a bearing that’s kinda on the edge that I’m planning to try this with.

I’ve used dish soap on mountain bike parts when they were really dirty, bearings included and had no issue. I was actually surprised at how clean everything came after a short soak, wash and rinse. It did a good job and saved me from buying a whole bottle of cleaner that is meant for only one use.

Interesting. I think I’ll try it today on an old gritty bearing I have sitting around.
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I tried it. It worked happyface on the old gritty bearing. Washed, dried and then hit it with some v4m
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So I decided to fit a bearing on a rubber dremel tip and spin it in acetone for about 30 seconds, cleanest long spinning difference I’ve ever had after a cleaning. The acetone was grey after cleaning, and this was a bearing I had cleaned earlier in the day.

I highly recommend it.
Safety though. Eye protection, make sure the acetone is in a shatter-proof cup, turn dremel off before completely removing from container so acetone doesn’t spray all over.
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