OXFORD MINT BIKE DEGREASER

500ml Spray £5.99

Oxford’s Mint Degreaser is a powerful spray-on formula. When it says bike, it means bike – cycle and motorcycle. Those with green credentials may look askance, but there’s no doubting the impact Mint Bike Degreaser has on the massed ranks of grot.

 

Pros: fast acting and powerful.

 

Cons: needs to be used with a little more care than non-spray types.

Science bit

 

“Powerful Action” from a “Special Formula” promises a lot, and this has been around for a while, too: “Made in Britain Mint 1973.” Fundamentally, this is a spray-on degreaser, with solvents doing the hard work. An emulsifier encourages an easy rinse when done.

 

You’d not expect much info in terms of recipe, but it comes with several safety warnings. Petroleum based, its ingredients include “Kerosine” (aka Kerosene) and Naphtha. This accounts for some of the dire warnings posted on the can. Take note of these. Personally, I’ve only used it in the open air. I’ve not gone for gloves, but then I’ve been cleaning up a bike every few days. More frequent use and I’d be putting them on. Equally, best keep it away from pets, plants, water courses, and children. These precautions apply to a lot of petroleum-based products.

 

Take care around rubber seals and so on, avoiding contact as far as possible; some precious finishes might not like it. In fact, though I’ve not noticed any ill-effects on tough old stove enamel, it may be best to minimise contact with less robust paint jobs. I’ve not seen ill-effects, but this is potent stuff.

 

It is potentially, highly flammable.

Application and removal

 

Work in a well -ventilated space, the open air, or consider a face-mask. Best have a few rags handy, and be ready to catch the drips if the surface below matters. I’ve generally worked over concrete or stone flags which have been swabbed down after.

 

Shake well, and apply. The spray gives a good coverage, without being profligate A powerful formula like this does not waste time in getting down to the nitty-gritty, and is much quicker than gels or pump sprays I’ve used.

Shake well, and apply. The spray gives a good coverage, without being profligate A powerful formula like this does not waste time in getting down to the nitty-gritty, and is much quicker than gels or pump sprays I’ve used.

 

Oxford suggest waiting two or three minutes before working-in with a suitable brush. Once satisfied, you can either wipe off the residue, or – more practical for cassettes and derailleurs – sluice it off with cold water, followed by a quick wipe over. Having said that, there are places where removal by rag is best, for example, when servicing headsets and other bearings.

 

Performance

 

Be prepared for a dirty black liquid to begin to run off pretty soon after application. Grimy MTB cassette took a decent dose followed by a gentle working in to remove most of the offending muck. When rinsed, a targeted second application was required and a bit more elbow grease provided to send stubborn dirt packing. Cleaner touring cassette required a single going-over. In both cases I’d removed wheels so as to avoid spraying paint work. It may well be worth removing rubber covers from axles, but I have not noticed any negative impact on mine.

 

Grimed derailleurs were pretty much clean with a spray over and a few turns of the pedals or working back and forth of the cage.

For headsets and so on, a wipe round with paper towels should get rid of much of the grease. A quick spray on the races whilst the bearings stew in some Mint in a small bowl, got things pretty much clean. A second wipe round made ready for re-packing.

This is powerful medicine, reminding me of Limon Velo Degreaser from Crankalicious, although that isa  pump action spray.

 

Wash down surfaces to get rid of remnants, the gunge, and frankly, the odour. This is more necessary than with greener options, such as Green Oil’s Degreaser Jelly.

 

The last mentioned is very efficient and some might feel that it would be gentler to fancy finishes. I’ve not noticed anything to suggest that Oxford’s Mint has any nasty impact on paint or components, but take care with yours to minimise contact and wipe away spillage. In that sense, I've removed components when convenient and timely to do so.

 

Conclusion

 

This is a very strong degreaser. Oxford’s Mint hits grease with like a heavy-weight and pulls no punches. Equally, it takes a bit more care in application and use than some others. At this price, though, it is a great product when the going gets tough.

Verdict: 4/5: Strong, quick, and pretty economical for an aerosol.

 

Steve Dyster

 

http://www.oxfordproducts.com/bicycle

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 2018

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