Re: How do clean grease off your bike?
Originally Posted by alfeng
Go to HOME DEPOT (or, equivalent) and buy some PAINT THINNER.
This is extremely bad "advice". Do not ever, EVER
use paint thinner on any painted surface (though the more intelligent here probably already worked that, the name being a bit of a give away ... PAINT thinner
). While a powder coat or 2K finish will indeed stand up to that form of abuse, most other finishes will not. Indeed I use it almost daily in the workshop to strip paint as it's much faster than sandblasting and cheaper than paint stripper. Furthermore, many plastics will be affected by paint thinner and it simply dissolves many foams! Even the nitrile gloves I wear when using it as a stripper get attacked by it (and trust me, when you're using that often you need to wear gloves, you should see how it strips the oils from your skin)!
To answer the OP's question, what I use depends on whether I intend washing the bike after or not. If it's something like a chain or small components then kerosene is a good choice, it's cheap and in our case I will just grab a bit out of the parts-washer into a container or chain cleaning machine. The big advantage with kerosene is that it's actually a slight lubricant, so any residue left will not cause any problems for the following lubricants you may use, eg a chain. If you don't like the smell you can buy odourless kerosene, though it's quite a lot more expensive, you don't however use much at a time.
On the other hand if the bike is going to be washed I'll use a proper wash off degreaser. I haven't seen too many bikes with so much grease built up that it needs to be "scraped off" but yeah I guess if you rescued one from a dumpster it's possible. The citrus based degreasers are very popular these days (and they smell nice), unfortunately I bought a bulk container of conventional degreaser years ago, and with the small amount used on bikes am stuck with it for a while. Anyway just work it over the greasy areas with a paint brush, it's quite effective as the bristles of the brush work it into the build up. Wash it off with water, no pressure washer. Follow with a good quality auto "wash 'n' wax" (which also removes the thin residue many degreasers leave behind), rinse again. Lube and you're good to go.