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genuinely practical information about using bikes for transportation.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Non-toxic Cleaning and Lubrication

Here are some great tips for cleaning you bike using non-toxic around-the-house products. Props to The Old Bike Blog and Riding Pretty, because I've found yet another thing I seem unable to let pass... I am generally in favor of non-toxic cleaning and lubrication, for all sorts of things, including bikes. That said, old habits die hard, and I've not made the switch. I'm about to list all the non-toxic, green, biodegradeable, etc. bicycle cleaning and lubricating products I can find. If you use or have used any of these, please comment on your experience. If you know of others, please let me know. Here we go.

  • Lanolin is rumored to work well well in place of grease on nuts and bolts. I've myself have used bees wax for this application. It appears to work. The whole "olive oil on the chain" thing makes me a little queasy, so let's skip it for now. I'd be pleased to find out that my reaction is needlessly discriminatory, but I'm just not up to trying it myself right now.
  • Under the catagory of "independent label" products, I've found El Duke Degreaser, Ernesto Lube, and I'll bet there are others out there.
  • Under "Big-name-brands," lots of folks make green claims, but it's hard to sort the good from the green-washing. I'll start with Pedros, since we all know them, and continue this post later...
Saying, "Green cleaning," makes me want to sing, "Jean, Jeannie..." and that would be bad for all of us.

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