In this blog post, I will show you how to clean rust off bike chain. It is not a difficult process and can be done with minimal tools in a short amount of time. With all the different types of bikes out there today it’s important that we take care of our rides by performing regular maintenance on them to ensure they last as long as possible. One way to do this is by getting rid of any excess dirt or grime from your chains, So they don’t start corroding and causing problems for you down the road. In order to get started, make sure you have some degreaser handy along with some rags or paper towels.
Some tips to clean rust off bike chain
Let’s start with the methods of cleaning the bike’s chain.
1- Clean the chain with a degreaser
Why use degreasers?
A degreaser removes the excess dirt, grime, and corrosion that may have built up on your chain. This helps your chain run smoothly without needing to replace it so often. It also serves as an aid for lubricating your chain, since you can better apply the lube to affected areas of the chain.
What you need:
- A container where your chain can fit, but not so small how it will fit exactly and not so big how the degreasing agent won’t be able to cover all of your chains
- The rag or paper towels to dry the chain off with afterward (optional)
- A brush that fits the chain
- A degreasing agent
Step one: Soak your chain in degreaser.
This step is important so that you don’t have to scrub as hard, and therefore not wear down the metal of your chain, or possibly scratch it. You should submerge your entire chain into the container with the degreaser.
Step two: Get the degreaser onto your chain.
If you use a rag or paper towel, make sure it is not too small how it will only fit one section of the chain or how you won’t be able to hold onto it. Also, make sure that there are no holes in your rag. You can hold your rag by the ends and dunk it into the degreaser. Then scrub each section of chain for a few seconds with the rag, being sure to get between each link.
If you don’t use a rag or paper towel, just dunk your chain directly into the container with a degreaser and brush it with your brush. Make sure to get between each link.
Step three: Remove the degreaser from your chain.
Remove your chain from whatever container you have been soaking it in, and rinse it with water if possible. If you cannot remove all of the degreasers, don’t worry about it just yet. You will need to dry off your chain.
Step four: Dry the chain off with a towel or rag.
If you didn’t use a rag before, you will want to use one now, as there may still be a degreaser on your chain that needs removing. You can simply run it along your chain and wipe any excess fluid away. Don’t scrub hard, as you don’t want to wear down metal where there is paint.
Step five: Lubricate your chain.
Once your chain is dry, it is time to lube it. You can do this by picking up a lube that matches how much chainsaw lubricant you usually use. Shake the bottle and apply it how you usually would. The excess fluid will drip off, but make sure to avoid getting it onto your brake pads or rims.
Now that your chain is lubed, it should run very smoothly. You are now ready for another ride on your bike.
2- Clean rust off bike chain that remains on the chain with steel wool
If you have to clean your bike chain, steel wool is one of the best things to use. Just how using it will remove rust from metal surfaces, it will also pull off any dirt or grime that has attached itself.
A rusty bicycle chain can damage other components on the bike because rust creates friction and wears down bearings and bushings. If you can’t get rid of the rust with steel wool, it’s time to break out your spare parts for a replacement.
Keep in mind that it will take some elbow grease to remove the rust from the chain. Also, remember how metal sharpens metal, so be very careful while cleaning not to score up your hands or nails on the metal.
3. Polish the chain by rubbing it with toothpaste or baking soda
Have you ever noticed the strange coloration of your gear cassette or chainrings?
You can remove this unsightly rust by using a simple and natural household ingredient; baking soda. Just apply it to the rusty surface with toothpaste and let it act for an hour. Wipe off the mixture and use an old-fashioned metal brush to remove the rust from your bike.
If you prefer a simple toothpaste, add some baking soda to give it abrasive properties and remove the rust more easily. Just spread it all over the rusty surface and let it act for at least half an hour (ten minutes if using a paste with added baking soda). Then use a metal brush to remove the rust. Make sure you remove all of it, as any leftover remnants will cause corrosion and damage your bike again.
If you can’t remove all of the rust, try this homemade mixture; mix two teaspoonfuls of baking soda with one tablespoonful of hydrogen peroxide. Apply it to the rusty surface and use the toothbrush to remove the rust. Leave it to act for an hour and clean off the paste with water.
When you remove all of the rust spots you can continue by protecting your bike chain from further damage. To do this, smear some grease on a soft cloth and rub a thin layer on your gear cassette or chainrings. You can remove excess grease by using a dry cloth.