How to Clean a Bicycle Chain with Household Products? 9 Simple Steps

by | Sep 2, 2023 | Tips & Guide

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Without a chain, a bicycle is incomplete. Since a bicycle’s well-maintained and oiled chain facilitates smooth wheel movement without producing extra noise. A bike’s chain has to be free of rust in order to function correctly. To extend the life of a bicycle chain, it has to be properly oiled and lubricated on a regular basis.

This blog post’s main goal is to provide instructions on how to clean a bicycle chain with household products that are common home items. Relax, all you need to do is use a few common household products to clean your rusty bike chain.

In order to find a simple way on How to clean a bike chain with household products, please read this post comprehensively.

List of Home Goods That Can Be Used to Clean a Bike Chain

To clean your bicycle chain, you won’t need to purchase any external products. Simply grab a few household items, such dish soap, brushes, old t-shirts or rags, and homemade degreaser, among other things. They clean rather well, unexpectedly.

What is the purpose of these home items? One by one, let’s talk about them:

1. Bar Soap

Illustration of Liquid Soap Bottle.

You must choose dish soap as your first item. Why is dish soap necessary? Since doing so will enable you to clean your cycle chain of grime. In order to thoroughly clean the bike chain, it is imperative that the dirt and oil be removed.

You don’t need to purchase cleaning or degreaser; dish soap works just as well. Dish soap is readily available at home. Liquid detergents work well and are an option as well.

2. Scrubbers & Brush

Brush for Cleaning Bike.

Secondly, soap and detergents are unable to remove the filth that is inside the chain, thus you will need to use an old toothbrush to clean it. A toothbrush is required if you choose to do it by hand.

Although there are other brushes available, a toothbrush is the ideal due to its compact size and ability to remove dirt off chains. Furthermore, it may be found in any home.

3. Used Rags or Clothes

Blue Cleaning Kevlar Cloth.

The bicycle chain may then be cleaned properly and efficiently using a piece of cloth. To soak the concoction you’ll be making to clean the cycle chain, you can use any clean, old cloth. It works quite well if you have a dish sponge.

4. Using a Few Lemons and Baking Soda

A bowl of Baking Soda.

It is quite difficult to remove oil without a degreaser, thus you need one to remove the grease from the bicycle chain. I won’t advise you to purchase anything outside of this post because it is all about using common home items to clean a bicycle chain.

To create a DIY degreaser, you’ll need some common household ingredients like soap, water, baking soda, and lemon juice (for obvious reasons).

To make this, whisk together a sufficient quantity of hot water, baking soda, soap, and lemon juice. Now is the time to put your homemade degreaser to use. It lacks the branded ones’ strength. You can use it, nevertheless, to help clean your bike chain of grease.

When you have assembled the household goods listed above, you are prepared to utilize them to clean your rusty bicycle chain.

Step-by-step instructions on How to Clean a Bicycle Chain With Household Products

Regular cleaning of your mountain bike is usually advised since bicycle dirt can occasionally affect bike performance. If your mountain bike is filthy, see how quickly you can clean your MTB in 15 minutes.

Once you have gathered the household items listed above, you should ride your bike to a quiet area so that you may complete this activity efficiently. Thus, subscribe to the instructions below on how to clean a bike chain using household products that are commonly available.

1. If you have a stand, place your bike on it.

A red colgano road bike standing on a trainer.

In order to clean your bike chain correctly and efficiently, the first step is to mount your bike on a bike stand. With the help of a bicycle stand, you can also adjust your bike to the ideal position and angle for you.

If you don’t have a bike stand, don’t worry about it. You merely need to flip your bike over such that the handlebars remain on the ground and the saddle comes into contact with the ground. Additionally, it will make it easier for you to complete your assignment.

Once you have your bike perfectly balanced on a stand or the ground. Discovering a bicycle chain’s master link is the second step after that. Bike chains may be joined and disengaged without the need of chain tools thanks to the Master Link attachment for roller chains.

A bike chain’s master link makes it simple to take the chain off. When they are taken out, the chain can be cleaned.

To learn more about the Master Link in a bike chain, watch this video:

3. Make the cleaner with everyday items.

Illustration of Liquid Soap Bottle.

Making a DIY degrease in a pan with enough hot water, soap, and baking soda is the third step. The bike chain’s grease may be effectively cleaned with this combination.

4. Allow the cloth to absorb the cleaner.

Once the homemade degreaser combination is prepared, soak the cloth in it. Wipe the grease and grime off the bike chain using the moistened cloth or sponge.

Continue doing this until the chain begins to shine.

5. If the chains are removable, wear them out or advance your bike chains to clean them.

Using your hands to turn the pedals, you may advance or spin the bike chain. In this method, cleaning the entire bike chain is quite convenient. The only way your bike chain may advance is if it is NOT taken off.

It’s strongly recommended that you take the chain off of the bike so that you may use the toothbrush to clean dirt from areas that the cloth is unable to reach.

Locate the master link, then remove the pin by pulling it out. The chain will come off the bike when you pull the pin.

Allow the homemade degreaser (mixture) to thoroughly clean your bike chain for 20 minutes. Subsequently, begin cleaning the chain with my toothbrush.

Read More: How to Remove Your Chains For Cleaning without Breaking?

6. Use clean water to rinse the entire bike chain.

A person cleaning his green MTB using water spray.

It is possible to remove the grease from your bike chain by rinsing it with clean water after descaling it.

7. Use a dry cloth to pat dry the bike chain.

Drying the bike chain is the next step. A dry towel could be used to absorb moisture from chains by covering them and squeezing them. Another option for drying off the chain is to use a hairdryer.

8. If the chain was taken off, reinstall it on the drivetrain.

You can reinstall them on the drivetrain after you have cleaned your bike chain after taking it off and allowed it to completely dry. Carefully reinstall them using the master link.

9. Take Out the Chain Lubricant

A person spraying his bike chain with a lubricant.

Once Your bike chain has been cleaned with common household products, and it has been reinstalled in the drivetrain. Using a branded lubricant, lube the bike chain is the next step. Chain lubrication keeps it from rusting and enables smooth operation.

Applying lubrication should be done in a slow, continuous stream. Meanwhile, use the pedals to spin the bike chain. Once it has completed a full turn, you may now begin exploring around the city.

Read More: How to Remove Rust from Bike Chain at Home?

A Pro’s Guide to Chain Lubrication: 5 Essential Pointers

  • When maintaining your bicycle chain, use gloves at all times to protect your hands from the dangerous chemicals in the lubricant. In order to eliminate unpleasant odors right away, check that you are lubricating the bike chain in an open space.
  • Once you’ve cleaned your bike chains, never let them alone. The most crucial stage is lubrication, which comes just after bike chain cleaning. Never overlook this crucial step.
  • A bike chain has to be lubricated. By routinely cleaning and lubricating your chain, you may increase its lifespan.
  • It’s not always necessary to complete every step in order to clean the bike chain. Only a towel and degreaser will do the trick when it comes to cleaning off oil. Finally, apply to the chain some lubrication.
  • Furthermore, if your bike chain is too unclean, you may need to exert extra effort when cleaning it. Exercise patience and caution when doing this.

For further information on how to lubricate and clean a bicycle chain, see this video:

How Can a Bike’s Drivetrain Be Cleaned at Home?

A bicycle 21 Speed Cassette.

Don’t forget to always keep the bike chain and drivetrain clean. A geared bicycle’s drivetrain components may have some dirt on them; you should clean them as well. Simply dip a piece of cloth into the liquid, then massage it over the drivetrain. Cycling is made more comfortable with a clean drivetrain.

What is a bicycle’s drivetrain, if you don’t know?

To remove any remaining moisture or water, wipe them down with a dry towel. A hairdryer is another option. They can also be lubricated once the drivetrain has dried. Avoid rust in your drivetrain by regularly cleaning and lubricating it.

When necessary, a professional cyclist will lubricate the bike’s components and clean the chain to keep it in operating condition. In order to keep your bicycle in good condition, you need to adhere to the same procedure.

FAQs: How to Clean a Bike Chain with Household Products

1. Why would I want to clean my bike’s chain?

A well-maintained and greased bike chain produces no noise and offers a very smooth ride. It also lengthens a bicycle chain’s lifespan. Bicycle rides will be simple and pleasurable if your chain is cleaned. A well-lubricated and cleaned chain allows you to ride a bicycle over extended distances.

2. Is it possible to clean a bike chain with vinegar?

Indeed, vinegar works just as well as lemon juice for cleaning a bike chain. Vinegar and lemons have the same characteristic. Use caution while using vinegar, though, since it might damage some elements of your bicycle if not prepared.

3. Which common home item may be used to remove rust off a bicycle chain?

The potent combination of vinegar and baking soda may effectively eliminate rust from a bicycle chain. Everybody’s house is likely to have these two items.

4. Can I use shampoo to clean my bike?

Yes, you can clean your bike chain with shampoo as well. Applying it to the brakes, though, will cause them to malfunction for a few days.

Conclusion on Steps for Cleaning a Bike Chain at Home

I hope this complete explanation of How to Clean a Bicycle Chain with Household Products has been helpful. This straightforward task no longer requires you to see a technician. By doing it yourself, you may save a lot of money on cleaning your bicycle chain.

You may support us if you liked this instruction by telling your cycling friends about this fantastic content. I will undoubtedly value your opinions!

Tell me what you think in the space provided for comments below as well. Never forget that riding a clean bicycle makes you feel wonderful.




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