There’s something that I just love about a good old fashioned restoration.
Taking something old and discovering what is new and beautiful underneath is incredibly satisfying.
This weekend I was working on an old 1970s Raleigh, It was my bike for years but six inches later it is officially too small for me. So I decided to clean her up and try to find her a new home.
Today I want to teach you how to restore a bike using inexpensive and green methods!
When I started the bike, it looked like this.
A bit of elbow grease, some tin foil and no harsh chemicals later we had this bike,
When I started how to investigate how to restore the bike I found page after page of people suggesting toxic chemicals. From paint thinners, to commercial rust removers I was incredibly uncomfortable with the idea of using such strong products. So I began to search out some more natural ways of removing heavy rust from chrome and unpainted metal.
I eventually decided to us plain old white vinegar.
The vinegar removes rust because it contains acetic acid which reacts with rust to create a water soluble reside which can just be washed off.
I applied this vinegar first with a very fine grade of steel wool, then a ball of tinfoil and finally with a toothbrush to finish it up. This process goes much quicker than you might expect.
After I finished removing the rust, I used an all natural class cleaner to remove the residue and finished off with a chrome polish. Finally, I applied a healthy amount of amourall to the tires and seat, degreased the chain and admired my handiwork!
I’ve placed a gallery at the bottom of the post, for some more before/after shots. Have you ever restored anything? Also, what is your position on natural cleaners? I have to say after this experiment I am an absolute convert.