Green Oil's Agent Apple is a good degreaser that's made from environmentally friendly ingredients. Don't let that trick you into a false sense of security: this is a full-strength concoction and you should treat it with respect. It's fairly expensive, so you'll need to be sold on its eco credentials to choose it over cheaper options.
Agent Apple is an alcohol-based degreaser, made from plant-based alcohols, fermented apple extracts and orange peel extracts. It's fully biodegradable, although it's potent enough to come with a hazard label. You shouldn't pour it directly into your nearest freshwater lake, but if you spill some on your lawn it's not going to get very far.
You might not care about that, only whether it's good at degreasing stuff. It is pretty good at degreasing stuff. Simon from Green Oil has produced a video showing how it should be used: basically, pour it into an old ice cream tub and scrub away. Wear gloves for this: it's not really stuff you want on your skin.
I chucked the transmission of my Kinesis Tripster ATR (chain, jockey wheels and cassette) in the tub and left it overnight to soak. When it came to scrubbing time it was pretty easy to get everything spick and span. The solution is pretty volatile, so it'll evaporate if you leave it out of the bottle for too long, and of course you lose some through wiping everything down and spattering it on your best jeans that you forgot to take off.
You also get some sludge at the bottom you'll need to tip away, but when I poured the remaining juice back in the bottle I had just under two-thirds of it left. Green Oil says that the degreaser is strong enough to be used three times. Certainly it's still potent on the second go at a manky chain. In the end you're probably more likely to run out of a usable amount through wastage.
If you were a bit more careful and only poured half the bottle into your scrubbing container to begin with (which would be plenty) you'd still be able to do a whole transmission, and so you'd probably get your chain and cogs looking box-fresh six or so times from the 300ml bottle; about £2 a go. That's significantly more expensive than using something like Swarfega Oil and Grease Remover, which is about £8 for 5 litres, and will also buff up your bits nicely, albeit with a little more elbow grease. So the eco credentials will need to be important to you. If they are, there's no faulting the performance.
Strong but environmentally friendly degreaser that'll get your drivetrain shiny again
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Green Oil Agent Apple Extreme Immersion 300ml
Size tested: 300ml
Tell us what the product is for
Green Oil says:
Agent Apple was created because people asked us for an alcohol based super powerful degreaser - to get any metal part shiny like new.
Re-created for 2018 to be re-usable, Agent Apple Extreme Immersion Degreaser is perhaps the most powerful bike degreaser available.
And it's biodegradable.
We wanted to make a citrus degreaser without the petrochemicals and dirty smell, from sustainable ingredients.
Plant based alcohol made from EU grown sugar, fermented apple extracts and orange peel extract make Agent Apple Extreme Immersion degreaser the stongest on the market.
Why degrease your chain and cassette?
Layer upon layer of chain lube can build up into a mess. Pollution in the air can pollute your chain, and mud and road dirt can also make it dirty. A clean chain with oil can be over 99% efficient.
The 'grinding paste' you see on some chains can be completely destroyed by immersing it in Agent Apple, along with light use of a toothbrush.
Agent Apple Extreme Degreaser may discolour non-metallic items, and damage carbon fibre. It smells like vodka and orange but don't drink it - we've included an eco-friendly molecule called denatonium benzoate to make it taste bitter.
Great if you live with pets, children, or that mate Dave who drinks too much.
To our knowledge, Agent Apple is so strong it's the World's first re-useable bike degreaser. It can be used over 3 times.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Green Oil:
- Made in Britain
- Utilizes citrus extract and plant based alcohol
- Super strong
- Petrochemical free
- Re-usable pour back 3 times
Depends on how highly you value its eco credentials, but it is expensive.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well: it cleans the things.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good performance, smells nice.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your overall score
Good performance, not great value, but you may be prepared to pay the extra for the environmentally friendly composition. Many degreasers are pretty hardcore unpleasant.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.