Cleaning tip

All other topics
Forum rules
Please do not start new topics here, but here: New Panhead and Flathead topics
Post Reply
Posts: 391
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 5:05 pm
Been thanked: 3 times

Cleaning tip


Post by King » Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:54 am

Hi All

I'm sure this has been done before but it worked so good for me I have to post it. About three years ago I installed a chrome plated cigar muffler on my 51 FL. Over time it became splattered with oil which of course baked on to the point that metal polish wouldn't budge it. So last night I took the muffler off and sprayed it with oven cleaner (that nasty stuff loaded with lye and who knows what else) and let it sit for about a half hour then got to work with steel wool. The result was amazing, the crud disappeared completely even the inlet clamp came out shinny. Now the whole set-up looks just like it did coming out of the box.
I suspect this will work on other areas of baked on oil like cylinder heads but it would be best to test a small area first to be sure the oven cleaner will not cause damage. Definately keep it away from paint and leather. Also the stuff is truly harmful so wear the nitrile gloves at all times when using it and a face shield if there is any chance of splatter. Be sure to work in a well ventilated area as the fumes are noxious. A bit of bother, but the results were worth it.


Posts: 2684
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 5:14 pm
Bikes: '31 VL, '34 VD, '45 WLA, '47 WL, '49 FL, '51 WL, '58 ST (Hummer), '71 GE (Servi)
Location: Lonoke, Arkansas
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 32 times

Re: Cleaning tip


Post by FlatHeadSix » Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:22 pm

Oven cleaner and any other caustic soda (lye) based product is great for hard chrome or steel but DO NOT get it near anything aluminum. The reaction is quick and permanent kind of similar to dropping an Alka Seltzer tablet in a glass of water; after the fizzing stops the tablet is GONE!


Posts: 274
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:21 pm
Location: Southwestern, Pa.
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Cleaning tip


Post by Sidecar » Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:33 pm

Thanx for the tip King.
The last time I cleaned my squish pipe with chrome polish I thought my hand was gonna fall off. I just had my pipes and muffler ceramic coated silver. I like them a lot. Saved me from cleaning them this time !!! :-)

Posts: 6912
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois
Has thanked: 100 times
Been thanked: 268 times

Re: Cleaning tip


Post by Cotten » Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:59 pm

I find its a lot harder to clean the inside.


Post Reply

Return to “General/Miscellaneous topics”