GREEN OIL AGENT APPLE DEGREASER

300ml £12.99

Green Oil Agent Apple Extreme Immersion Degreaser is a blend made from fruit and vegetable based bi-products that can be re-used up to three times. I’m pleased to report, it’s better than the first batch I tested.

The aluminium bottle is more than slick marketing. Naturally occurring and much kinder to the environment than petrochemical competition, Agent Apple needs to be used and stored with similar respect. That said, experiments with old components suggests this version, is kinder to paint and other finishes than its predecessor.

Pros: Rapid acting anti-lube that will lick components clean, re-useable formula.

Cons: Highly flammable and not particularly kind to skin.

Ingredients

Agent Apple essentially boils down to a mix of Limonene (a common industrial cleaner made from citrus fruits) and linalool (often used in cosmetics/toiletries). Industrial alcohol (made from sugar, grown in the European Union) and fermented apple extract has also been added to the mix.

Method of delivery

Ideally, components should be stripped and placed in a parts washer. Premium quality ice cream tubs, old yoghurt pots etc seem stoical substitutes.

Since we’re talking safety… use in a well-ventilated area, away from sources of ignition and wear gloves. Long sleeves and eye-protection aren’t a bad idea either.

Really grotty parts should be placed inside your elected receptacle and the agent apple drizzled atop.  However, chains can be cleaned in situ (ideally via chain bath) cassettes too, provided you baste the sweet smelling stripper carefully using suitable brush. Go carefully around seals and rinse any splashes from painted, anodized or composite surfaces promptly.   Leave marinating for 5 minutes. 

Now’s the time to round up a pot of fresh water and, if appropriate, give the bike(s) a sudsy bucket once-over/inspection. For best results, agitate the marinating parts, with a stiff brush, two minutes in.  Rinse elected parts through with fresh, tepid water and dry thoroughly.

Results

Three week's, three hundred miles, along grotty roads, and my Univega’s nickel plated cassette and rear mech was coated in a real witch’s brew. Wax-based chain lube, mud, silt, spent derv and grit. Less toxic looking than a neglected wet lube perhaps, but hardly alluring.

Shiny again with minimal effort. Agent Apple had also gobbled some surface tarnish behind the large sprocket. 

Using the baste technique on its titanium post removed a mix of Green Oil’s Eco-Grease and home brewed frame preserve with similar ease.

Polished aluminium and chrome plated steel headset parts soaking in an old ice-cream tub were similarly bare and gleaming. Admittedly, these were fed lithium-based greases last time round. Some, more sophisticated ceramics, like those used on these pedals, needed a bit more stiff bristled persuasion. 

That said, the salvaged solution was still useable and when decanted into a clip-on chain bath, chomped through Weldtite TF2 Extreme Wet Chain Lube first time and within five minutes. (It’s worth noting that I’d helped things along, by turning the cranks a few revolutions every 60 seconds, or so).

Decanted into a sealed container, so it couldn’t evaporate, it was still sufficiently virile to strip Nasty Lube Siberian Chain Lube   from another chain. For the most part, these sessions coincided with a sudsy bucket slosh-over, removing any stray splashes, before running the gauntlet of damaging pretty paintwork. As an experiment, I left this stem marinating overnight.

To my surprise, it emerged undamaged, save for some minor, uniform fading of the satin black finish.

An earlier blend, though extremely effective, was much less forgiving. Nonetheless, minimise contact wherever possible. 

Conclusion

This version is definitely kinder to finishes, yet, still, ruthlessly efficient. The reusable properties mean its also good value, especially compared with petrochemically based aerosol degreasers. (Including Juice Lubes Dirt Juice Hero ). Mind you, agent apple needs careful deployment and best saved for those jobs where components must be dinner-plate clean. 

I’ve opted for Green Oil's  Chain Degreaser Jelly  when cleaning crown races on carbon forks/framesets. Depending on the grease/gunk being stripped, it might require a repeat application. However, the risk of rubberised/composite component damage is minimal. I’d go this route when giving bikes a deep but not dinner plate clean, where mechs, cranks etc. are still attached. 

Verdict: 3.5/5 Greatly improved and extremely effective workshop degreaser.

Michael Stenning

www.green-oil.net 

PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 2018

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