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What do you use to clean crud from reels and rod guides?

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Tonight i’m doing my preseason clean of some of the rods and reels...you know, the thin scaly stuff that likes to build up on my spinning reels and rod guides. Throw in the airborne dust and other particles that settle onto them from sanding and grinding projects in the garage.

 

i used to use WD40, then switched to glass cleaner a few years back after a tip somewhere (maybe here). This year I had a lot of white powdering mold spores on my gear because last summer and fall was so humid/wet. Thought of switching to a diluted water/vinegar or water/bleach to help clean up the light mold but  in the end stuck with glass cleaner which still seemed to work fine.

 

Curious what others use...?

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Largely just water. But general purpose spray cleaners / glass cleaners (without ammonia!) work just fine. The newer spray cleaners that are "free of everything", and "naturally based" are actually pretty good. Strong harsh cleaners are not necessary, or necessarily good. WD40 has it's purposes - mostly to try to remove corrosion. Outside of that, not a go to cleaner. Also don't see a need for bleach either. It's corrosive to metal.  Keep it simple.

 

Karl

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I think if I recall correctly, Lamiglas recommended lightly brushing guides with toothpaste. I did it once and they were clean, lol. 

 

Dishwashing joy soap to clean cork and rods  but I heard magic erasers do well. 

 

For reel exteriors, some rubbing alcohol so I can kill the germs too, especially on the knobs.  Q tips for those hard to reach area. 

 

Since I have mostly Shimano reels, I follow their basic instructions. I want to do a complete breaking down and overhaul but I always chicken out because I know I’ll be embarrassingly forced to send it to DVT in a zip lock. 

 

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I use Simple Green to clean my rods and reels.

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Garden hose and toothbrush for guides and EVA.  Denatured alcohol or magic eraser for cork. KVD seems to do a good job on my reels at the same time I spray my line.  Also use it on rod guides.

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Totally awesome and a tooth brush.

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First thing I do when cleaning my rods is to take a Q-tip and run it around the inside of every rod guide.  If it pulls off any fibers, then the guide is bad and that rod get's set aside for repair.  Since I fish the Potomac a lot, I get a good buildup of "sludge" from the weedy water.  I use Simple Green and then follow it up with a spray wax like Lucas Slick Mist or Bass Boat Saver to put a little protection back on the guides.  

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B'laster Multi-Purpose Lubricant is a high-performance formula designed to lubricate moving parts in and around the house such as window tracks, hinges, chains, glides and gears. Formulated with Teflon™ Fluoropolymer to help reduce friction and wear, enhance performance and protect surfaces. It outperforms leading competitors, and prevents rust and further corrosion on car parts, fishing reels and tackle, all tools, firearms, sports equipment, marine applications and more. 

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Rods:

Blanks, foam handles, reels seats, and guides: Warm soapy water (Dawn dish soap). Rinse and wipe off when done.

Cork handles: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

 

 

Reels:

Exterior: I blow them off with a small can of compressed air, then blast them with CRC QD electronics part cleaner or non-chlorinated brake cleaner. I'll get into nooks and crannies with a q-tip. Re-lube anything that the cleaners de-greased.

 

Interior: Pretty much the same. Except I'll soak bearings in a mineral spirits based de-greasing solution, let air dry and re-lube.

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5 hours ago, ww2farmer said:

Rods:

Blanks, foam handles, reels seats, and guides: Warm soapy water (Dawn dish soap). Rinse and wipe off when done.

Cork handles: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

 

 

Reels:

Exterior: I blow them off with a small can of compressed air, then blast them with CRC QD electronics part cleaner or non-chlorinated brake cleaner. I'll get into nooks and crannies with a q-tip. Re-lube anything that the cleaners de-greased.

 

Interior: Pretty much the same. Except I'll soak bearings in a mineral spirits based de-greasing solution, let air dry and re-lube.

I too like the magic eraser for cork handles. Cleans them well without being abrasive.

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10 minutes ago, Mobasser said:

I too like the magic eraser for cork handles. Cleans them well without being abrasive.

It may clean them well and is fine for cork but it is an abrasive.  I cringe whn people say they use them on their seats or topcap.  It's a mild abrasive but an abrasive nonetheless.  Be careful.   

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I sometimes rinse, dry, then spray the guides with liquid wrench. Let it sit a day or two and rinse it off with a good spray from the hose gun.

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Best cleaner since the 60's was and still is a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water. Better than CLR for removing grime and crud build up. Works better on windows than any commercial cleaner on the market. Cheap & effective.

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What do you guys use to clean out the smaller guides at the top of the rods, or microguides? I feel like the Q-tip isn't getting far enough in for those. Pull off some cotton?

 

Edit: thinking of using something like this: 

 

https://smile.amazon.com/2-75,Long-Cleanroom-Electronics-Printhead-Automotive/dp/B07JKTN63V/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1547226484&sr=8-18&keywords=small+foam+swab

 

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I just use an old dish spounge and some warm soapy water to clean my rods, the sponge seems to get into the guides well enough.  I do like the looks of those fancy qtips for reels, I use a weak alcohol solution for that and normal qtips dont get into cracks and crevices well enough. 

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I use freshwater to clean my rods and it has worked well for me for the past +2 decades.

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