Whatever Wednesday is when we explore all the different ways that What-EVER! spray can be used around the house. It is an amazingly versatile little workhorse and because it is so safe and friendly, the uses are endless. If you'd like to share the unique ways you use What-EVER in your life, post a link in the comments or email me kate at cleanhappens dot com and tell me about it.
Today we have an amazing story sent in by a Better Life fan (and my neighbor), Dave Lloyd. Dave is an avid cyclist and bicycling advocate who couldn't wait to try Better Life vs. The Gunk of Winter that coated his bikes. I'll let him take it from here...prepared to be amazed:
Around our house, bikes get used for a whole bunch of transportational needs: back and forth from school, to and from work, shopping, fetching take out, and, of course, all around fun. Since we bike year round, and pretty much follow a hop on and ride philosophy that means that some things, like cleaning, get pushed off until there's a weekend that's reasonably warm out. Since this winter was a particularly nasty one, the bike I normally use for commuting and errands had built up an impressive layer of the La Brea tarpit like substance that happens when you mix the stickiest petroleum based chain lube with whatever is on the road in winter. Needless to say, it was ugly and possibly sentient.
But, first, the easy bike.
This is my "fun" bike. Note the urbanized "high school Camaro" colorway:
It wasn't too dirty, mostly just dust covered from sitting around in my basement while we decided to engage in our brilliant idea of having four kids and remodeling three floors of our house. But that, my friends, is a story for another time.
These are my partners in the fight against grime:
Two bristle brushes, a whizzy chain cleaner, some What-EVER, and Dish It Out. So, dish soap for a bike? Yup. One of the ways soaps work is to make big long chains of hydrocarbons, like the kind you find in greasy bacon or automatic transmission fluid, solvable in water. Dish It Out worked so darned great on the greasiest dishes our family could generate, so I figured it would do pretty well at getting off all the grime from my bike and especially on the drivetrain. Not to spoil the surprise, but I definitely wasn't disappointed.
First up, cleaning off the frame. For this, I used the big, soft brush, a bucket of warm water with some Dish It Out and a spritz or two of What-EVER here and there.
The combo worked great and got off the accumulated road and brake dust schmutz with minimal effort on my part (which is good, because I'd rather spend more time riding my bike than cleaning it).
Next up were the wheels. They were a bit of a challenge since I'm pretty sure the previous owner of this wheelset believed in cleaning with WD-40:
Minimal scrubbing, maximum shiny!
Last up was the chain and crank. These weren't in bad condition, but they definitely need a wash. Some Dish It Out and water in the whizzy chain cleaner, plus some What-EVER! and a brush on the crank, and I had maximum high reflectivity goodness:
Next up was my Surly Big Dummy which serves as my family/cargo van, pickup truck for small things and all around all about town bike. This is the bike I ride nearly every day (I have problems remembering the last time I got in a car to go to work). Note the "urban assault vehicle" colorway so I can compete with the other parents taking their kids to school in SUVs. Unfortunately, I hadn't had a chance to wash it for about five months.
Hard to see the dirt when I'm standing back far enough to get the whole bike in the frame:
But it's really ugly close up:
Especially the drivetrain which I coated in the stickiest chain lube I could find after I had two chains end up as rusticles due to road salt:
Crap, I was riding that? No wonder I felt so slow!
Again, though, some Dish It Out and What-EVER coupled with a not excessive amount of elbow grease, and things were back pretty again:
Stuff off for washing:
Yes, I did have some helpers:
Brake and road goo gone, shiny back:
Do what the kickstand says: relax. The dirt and grease are gone.
Even the stuff I coated my chain with to keep off that famous St. Louis street brine was no match for some What-EVER and Dish It Out. (I did replace the chain and rear cassette because, after a winter of riding, they were shot.)
Ready for another six months of abuse and neglect while I burn off those donuts that magically appear at work:
I have to be honest. I thought that I'd spend about 15 minutes scrubbing a spot, get nowhere, then go down to the dark recesses of my basement to fetch the paint thinner and rags to get the grease off. Because, well, honestly, that's what my experience with other cleaning products has been in the past. I was incredibly impressed with not only how well the Better Life products cleaned up what was the worst mess I've ever had on a bike, but also how nice they were to my hands while I was doing it. I even broke out some What-EVER! and a nail brush to get the grease off of me when I was done. It worked great and did not destroy my hands. I wouldn't try that with any other spray cleaner, that's for sure.
Of course, one of the best benefits about using the Better Life products for cleaning is that I can get plenty of help and not worry that I'm exposing my kids to something that could trigger an allergy attack, a nasty rash, or worse:
Thanks, Better Life! Bike on!
Are you kidding me?! Did you see that?! Weren't you amazed?! I know I was recruited to challenge the effectiveness of the Better Life products, and you would think I would stop being amazed by now, but when I saw these pictures...I was...well, amazed.
So now it must be said, That YES a completely safe cleaning product (safe for the earth, safe for people, safe for pets) actually does work. You don't need SLS, ethoxylates, petrochemcial solvents, VOCs, or synthetic fragrances to be effective. Heck! What-EVER is more effective than the so-called "green" cleaners that do contain those toxins. I love this!
My dh was actually a bit concerned that anything that cleaned bike grease that well must be very harsh. That even “natural” ingredients can be bad for you.
You can tell him that Kevin drinks/eats everything he creates. ;)