How to get the rust off of a bike chain

This blog post will answer the question, “how to get the rust off of a bike chain” and cover topics like steps of removing rust from bike chain and frequently asked questions.

How to get the rust off of a bike chain?

Rust can be removed from the bike chain by following the steps given below:

  • WD-40 Multi-Use Product should be sprayed directly onto the rusted area.
  • Set aside for ten minutes.
  • Scrape the undesirable rust using a wire brush.
  • Wipe away the remnants with a clean cloth.

How to Remove Rust from a Bike Chain? (Step by step guidance)

Biking is seldom without its difficulties. You’re accustomed to lubricating and greasing your bike chain on a regular basis as an active rider. It is a normal bike repair procedure that you must follow on a regular basis to maintain your bike in good working order.

But how about getting rid of the rust on your bike? This may seem weird, particularly if you meticulously maintain your bike. It may be equally aggravating, especially since the chemicals never seem to go away no matter how you clean the corrosion off the chain.

So, how can you correctly eliminate corrosion from a bike chain? So, we’ve compiled a list of tried and true methods for keeping your bike chain clean and rust-free. Simply examine your bike chain, clean it with a good degreaser, scrape it with steel wool and a scouring pad, then oil it.

Steps for removing rust from bike chain are described below:

  • Examine your bike’s chain.
  • Examine the chain’s condition.
  • Before cleaning, remove the chain.
  • Remove rust from the surface
  • Scrub the area with a scouring pad and degreaser.
  • Immerse the chain for a few minutes in strong dirt and degreaser.
  • Scrub the chain with steel wool and harsh brushes once again.
  • Use WD-40 to break up stubborn and tenacious rust.
  • Make sure the bike chain is lubricated.
  • Reattach the chain 

Now I will elaborate on the guidance given above.

Examine your bike’s chain.

Of course, you’ll need to properly check your bike chain to figure out where the corrosion is forming. Rust consumes a section of your bike chain rather than the whole chain. As a result, you must pinpoint the location of the corrosion.

It is advised that you flip your bike inverted or connect it to a bike stand or bike rack to obtain a better view of your bike chain. You can hook your bike on the wall if you don’t have a bike stand. While examining the bike chain, make sure your bike is lying on a solid surface.

You may now inspect the whole chain for any signs of corrosion or debris. You should carefully check the chain to decide which parts need meticulous cleaning and corrosion scrubbing.

Examine the chain’s condition

The next step is to assess the chain’s overall condition. It will assist you in determining how much cleaning and labor is required to remove the corrosion from the chain. You’ll know if you need to replace your chain or merely clean and lubricate it based on the amount of corrosion that has accumulated.

To see how much the color of the chain altered, you must examine it closely. It will provide you with a clearer picture of the state of the whole chain. Getting a new chain is the best solution if you see warping, flaws, color irregularities, or metal corrosion.

If there is simply surface corrosion and crustiness, however, property cleaning and lubricating are necessary to restore the chain’s appearance.

Before cleaning, remove the chain

You must remove the chain from the motorcycle in order to clean it correctly. To simply remove the chain from the bike, you must first identify the master link. The master link differs from the rest of the chain links in appearance.

Disconnect the master link from the remainder of the chain after you’ve found it. Then disassemble your bike and remove the whole chain.

(Tip: Make sure the chain is entirely disconnected from the bike before riding.) It will allow you to see the amount of rust damage. You’ll also be able to clean the motorcycle from every angle.)

Remove rust from the surface

You now have a clearer view of the bike chain once the chain has been completely eliminated from your bike. You may examine the corrosion up close at this stage and decide which region to clean first.

You might start by wriggling the chain to get rid of any dirt or debris. After that, wipe the rust with a piece of cloth. You should have removed the corrosion off the top of your chain by now.

Scrub the area with a scouring pad and degreaser

Steps of scrubbing bike chain:

  • After the first cleaning, a scrubbing pad and cleaner may be used to remove the second coating of rust that has formed on the chain. 
  • You may use a degreaser-soaked clean rag/scouring pad to wipe the corrosion off the chain with considerable effort.
  • You’ll see tenacious corrosion that was not eliminated after the first cleaning at this phase. 
  • As a result, you must alter your strategy. This time, use a toothbrush with firm bristles. 
  • When eliminating obstinate rust, use aggressive scouring or polishing.

Immerse the chain for a few minutes in strong dirt and degreaser

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Of course, some corrosion will remain on the chain. 
  • To eliminate it and break up the particles that cause the corrosion, immerse the chain in a cleaner or heavy filth. 
  • Allow approximately 20 minutes for the chain to soak in the cleaner.
  • After that, you may use hot water to rinse the chain. The cleaner will be effectively removed from the chain by the water.

(Pro tip: Wiggle the chain while soaking to shake off some of the unwanted particles.) When executing this step, make sure you’re wearing rubber gloves.)

Scrub the chain with steel wool and harsh brushes once again

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Scrub the chain carefully with steel wool and lime juice, paying particular attention to the rusty areas. 
  • To safeguard your hand from dangerous toxins, use gloves throughout this stage. 
  • To make this procedure more successful, dampen the steel wool with lime juice and clean the rusty portions vigorously.
  • After that, remove the remaining rust and grime with a dry cloth or paper towel. Repeat this procedure until the corrosion is no longer visible.

Use WD-40 to break up stubborn and tenacious rust

Your motorcycle chain is returning to its natural shape at this stage. On the other hand, you could see some strong and obstinate rust on the chain. 

Steps of applying WD-40:

  • With WD-40 spray, you’ll be able to break it apart. Apply the chemical straight to the rusty portion and wait a few minutes before wiping it away.
  • Then clean the chain again, this time using greater effort to the rusty region. Finally, use a dry towel to wipe down the whole chain.

Make sure the bike chain is lubricated

Now that the corrosion has been cleaned from the bike chain, you may reattach it to the bike. Before doing so, be sure you grease the whole chain with the proper lubricant.

Reattach the chain 

Identify both chain ends, move the master link, and reconnect the link. When you hear a click, you may be sure that both sides of the chain have been connected.

Check to see that the chain is securely fastened to the bike. If all goes well, the chain will be in its original place.

Materials Needed
Steel wool
Lime Juice
Chain Lubricant
Rubber Gloves

How to remove rust from the bike chain at home?

Two methods of removing rust from bike chains at home are given below:

  • Using a Degreaser To Prevent Corrosion From A Bike Chain
  • Lime To Get Rid Of Rusty Bike Chain

Using a Degreaser To Prevent Corrosion From A Bike Chain

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Make absolutely sure the chain is clean and grease-free.
  • Wipe the chain with a moist cloth and degreaser. Alternatively, if you believe the chain is excessively rusted, you may remove it from the bike and immerse it in the degreaser for 20-30 minutes.
  • When you’re certain that the chain is cleaned properly, rinse it with warm water, dry it, and lube it.
  • You may now mount it on the bike.
Materials Needed
A bucket of water
Stacks of paper

Lime To Get Rid Of Rusty Bike Chain

Steps of eliminating rust by using lime:

  • Disconnect the bicycle’s chain. Ensure that any oil and grime are removed before you begin.
  • Steel wool should be dampened in citric acid or lemon juice and rubbed on the chain links.
  • After that, clean the tight areas with the steel brush. Make sure you’ve removed all of the corrosion.
  • Wipe the citric acid from the chains with damp paper towels or other moist cloth. This is a crucial step since leaving the citric acid on the chain links might cause them to deteriorate. Even clean tap water may be used to wash the chain.
  • Dry the chain after the rinsing. You may use a dry hand towel or even a hairdryer for this.
  • Make absolutely sure the chain is greased before reinstalling it. To get to all portions of the chains, use a mist lubricant or even a gel.
  • You’re now ready to go! You may now reinstall your bike chain, and it will be as good as new!
Materials Needed
Steel Brush
Steel Wool
Lime Juice

How Do You Keep Your Bike Chain From Rusting?

I hope you were able to remove the corrosion from the bicycle chain and that it now runs as smoothly as it did before! However, “precaution is better than cure,” as the saying goes. So, the easiest strategy to avoid rust on your bike chain is to avoid it altogether. It’s never too late to start, so get started today.

You can keep your bike chain from rusting by following the guidance given below:

  • Clean up on a regular basis
  • Keep it inside

Clean up on a regular basis

At least 2 times a week, wash and oil your bike’s chain. This will prevent any further corrosion accumulation. It will also assist you in maintaining the chain’s health. Lubrication will prevent corrosion from forming on the coating and eroding the metal.

Keep it inside.

Salts, humidity, and muck are the primary causes of rusting. These agents are ready to assault your motorcycle at any moment while you’re outdoors. As a result, you should store your bicycle in a garage or yard. As a result, we suggest that you keep your bike inside to avoid corrosion agents.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs), “how to get the rust off of a bike chain?”

Does vinegar remove rust from the bike chain?

Yes, vinegar removes rust from a bike chain.


  • Remove any detachable components, such as the bike chain, and immerse them in a container of vinegar. 
  • Allow fifteen minutes to soak. Make careful to fully wash off the vinegar and scrub off any leftover rust using your water hose. 
  • Any standing water might exacerbate the problem or enable rust to reappear.

Is rust on a bike chain bad?

Long you could get away with a rusted chain for a while, you risk permanent damage to more costly parts or the chain breaking in the middle of a ride. Take 5 minutes once a week to give your chain some much-needed maintenance and you’ll be able to prevent this issue totally.

How do you get the rust off a bike chain with Coke?

Small, rusted items may be immersed overnight in coke. The acid removes the rust, but it also stiffens the components. As a result, they must be lubricated thereafter. If the corrosion has already progressed, you should sand the problematic areas before allowing them to soak.

How do you remove rust from a metal chain?

White vinegar may be used to effectively remove corrosion. Rust interacts with vinegar and eventually disappears. Simply immerse the rusted metal item in white vinegar for a few hours before wiping the corrosion away.

What household items can I use to clean my bike chain?

With common home ingredients, you can produce a degreaser for your chain. The two most important ingredients are bicarbonate of soda and lime juice. You may prepare a DIY degreaser by combining them with hot water in the proper proportions. All of them might be quite useful in keeping your bike chain clean.

How do you get the rust off a bike chain without wd40?


  • Immerse the steel wool with lime juice, then clean the corroded areas of the chain. 
  • As you clean, the wool will get choked with corrosion; remove it, replace it with a fresh piece, soak it in lime juice, and continue working. 
  • After working on the chain for a few minutes, wipe it clean using a soft towel to check how much rust is remaining.


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