Re: chain cleaning
I take the chain off of the bike and wipe as much of the dirt and grease off as I can with a rag.Then I get a small desposable tuperware and soak the chain in simple green (concentrated version that comes in the gallon jug. Then I spray it with brake cleaner. Brake cleaner cans are great because they are high pressure and spray really hard and the cleaner degreases and evaporates quickly. The chain comes out like new.
If you use the right size tuperware then you don't use a whole lot of simple green.