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Weldtite’s dirt wash citrus degreaser is intended primarily for chains but it is quite useful for clearing gunge and grime from other components including derailleurs. While it certainly leaves behind the sweet smell of oranges, it lacks the cleaning prowess of brands derived from more concentrated, natural ingredients. Latex examination gloves are a sensible precaution too, given splashes felt harsh on the skin, and the formula wasn’t particularly kind to a nylon bush left soaking for a couple of days.
Applied neat via brush or chain bath, for best results work the solution deep into the chain or components before flushing through with clean water, repeating as necessary. On less complex lubes such as motor oil, it seems fairly effective, leaving both inner and side plates sparkling after a few minutes.
However, more sophisticated brews-especially marine and Teflon greases required a longer soak before agitating with a stiff brush and flushing through with clean tap water. From there, it’s just a case of drying thoroughly using a clean rag before re-lubricating.
For commercial applications or those with a big fleet, the litre size represents good value and some experimentation suggests in a pinch, pouring some of it neat into a marked trigger spray bottle, diluted with water makes a fairly effective bike wash when applied liberally so long as you minimise contact with seals and similarly delicate parts.
Fairly effective and versatile chain cleaner but nothing special
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Make and model: Weldtite Dirtwash degreaser
Size tested: 1L
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Weldite's Dirtwash is primarily a chain cleaner designed for use with chain baths, although can be applied to other components with a brush or dilute as a bikewash.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
One litre sixe (as tested) ingredients include Citron oils, 5-15% Non Ionic surfacents. Avoid contact with skin and eyes.
Quite versatile but lacks the prowess of some made from (almost) completely natural ingredients.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Dirtwash is very effective on less complex gunge and grime but requires repeated applications and/or standing time to take effect. It can also be brushed on to other components and works fairly well as a generic bike wash so long as well diluted and with minimal contact with seals/elastomers etc.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good size for workshop duties,leaves a nice smell behind.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Splashes could feel unpleasant/irritating against the skin.
Did you enjoy using the product? Pleasantly indifferent
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? In certain contexts, Yes
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)