I have always cleaned winches with kerosene, but I hate the smell and I’m guessing that breathing the vapours for hours is not good for us.
So last winter I tried this water-based degreaser from WD-40, even though I don’t like or use their spray lubricant.
The stuff really works. After a good soak the old grease came right off. No smell, and probably better for the environment, although we did take the used stuff to a hazardous waste drop-off.
Is it the best water-based degreaser? Who knows…or cares. It was available at the local hardware store and solved (ouch) my problem.