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How to Clean Bike Chain | 7 Easy Steps You Can Follow

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A bike chain rotates the bike by transferring energy from pedals to the wheels. It is the dirtiest part of the bike since it often attracts unwanted dust, dirt, sand, mud, and debris, etc. If you do not know how to clean bike chain then you should learn it asap.

The dirt on the bike chain eats away its durability and performance.

You should avoid it if you want a flexible, swift, and well-accelerated bike performance.

Thus, you need to clean your bike chain periodically to extend its lifespan.

The cleaning bike chain regularly is a part of its proper maintenance as well.

For a nice, enjoyable, and efficient ride, you have to do it.

I remember when I was 5, my dad gifted me a baby pink-colored bicycle on the occasion of my birthday.

I was crazy about it and used to cycle it all day and night.

But soon and often it used to get dirty and I feel the decrease in my speed and performance.

After complaining for days, my busy mom finally used to clean it.

However, as a kid, those days were testing for me to wait for a cleaned bike.

Anyways, bike cleaning can be a tedious task for lazy people or time-consuming for busier people.

However, it is easier than they think. It just requires a few things and you are ready to start cleaning.

Besides, in this article, we will share with you some simple steps that will help in cleaning easily within a short time.

You may also read:

How to change bike pedals properly.

How to change a bike tire.

How to fix bike brakes.

Top 20 City and Road Bike Detail Reviews.

How to Clean Bike Chain: 7 Easy Steps You Can Follow

How to Clean Bike Chain

So grab the following things before cleaning:

  • Wiping towel or soft rag (lint-free).
  • Chain Lubricant.
  • Plastic container.
  • A sheet to lie on the floor to prevent a messy work environment.
  • Dish soap solution.
  • Coarse brush.

Here, I will tell you 2 ways to clean a bike chain. So, let’s move ahead.

Cleaning the Chain After Removing it from the Bike:

Now, removing the chain from the bicycle is a tricky job. If you don’t know how to do this, you can check out different easy tutorials on YouTube.

You can take the picture of the chain so you can precisely set it up later on.

Step 1: Before starting put your hand gloves on. This will protect your hands from dirt and chemicals. Then lay down a clean sheet on the floor to prevent stains and mess.

Step 2: Take a clean plastic container and pour sufficient bike degreaser to soak all the chains. Remove the chain and dust it with a coarse brush.

Then keep it inside the solution. Next, cover the lid and shake it thoroughly. Make sure the degreaser solution has got into the chain links properly.

Best if you can find a spray degreaser. So, you can directly spray it into the chain and leave it for a while to settle.

Step 3: For better cleaning, keep the chain inside the container for 20-25 minutes. In this way, all dirt and grits will come off.

If you find the solution has gotten too dirty, then change it into the container of a new solution.

Step 4: Once you find the degreaser work is done, clean the chain with dish soap solution water. Take a wiping towel and soak it in the soapy solution.

Next, start wiping the chain with this wet towel. Make sure to rotate the pedal so you can cover the entire chain length.

Note: Experts recommend to use kerosene or turpentine for better cleaning results.

Step 5: Use a well sanitized and dry cloth to wipe up the chain. Allow the chain to air dry for an hour.

When the moisture evaporates, your chain will come clean and dry. But don’t over-dry it for a long time otherwise rust or oxidation can happen.

BOBILIFE Bike & Motorcycle Chain Cleaning Brush - Bicycle Gear Chain Cleaner Maintenance Tools Kit, 5 Tools (Blue with Scrubber)

Step 6: Set the chain back into its place. Once you put it in the right position, it’s time for lubrication. Rotate the pedal and drop the lubricant to all the chain links properly.

This is the most important part. It will take time to do it slowly but cover the entire chain length properly. Plus, ensure it has spread to all the chain parts.

Step 7: Finally, revolve your pedal a few times to see whether the chain is rotating smoothly. If it is then you have done the task perfectly.

Seems like lots of things, right? But this is the most effective way to clean the bike chains. However, coming up with some easiest steps for you.

Cleaning the Chain Without Removing from the Bike:

Now, those who don’t have time or a newbie in cycling will prefer to clean the chain without removing it. I can understand that.

So, let’s explore other easier options for you. Firstly– nowadays there is an affordable chain cleaning device available in the market such as Park Tool CM 5.2 Cyclone Chain Cleaner.

You can easily use it for effective and fast cleaning without any hassle. This device features rigid brushes that can rotate and spread degreaser solution evenly into the chain.

Follow the manual instruction of the device for precise cleaning.

BOBILIFE Bike & Motorcycle Chain Cleaning Brush - Bicycle Gear Chain Cleaner Maintenance Tools Kit, 5 Tools (Blue with Scrubber)

Secondly– You can try out the traditional cleaning mechanism. Let me demonstrate below:

✔Secure your bike with a stand so you can get an unmovable and better view of the chain.

✔Take out a towel soaked in dish soap solution and rub it across the chain while revolving the pedal. So, you can clean the entire chain.

✔Spray degreaser over the chain or you can soak a towel in degreaser solution to wipe the chain. Anyways, wipe the total chain and let it settle for an hour.

✔Then swab the chain with a wet cloth and let it dry for a while. After drying use lubricants over the chain links and spread evenly.

✔Let the lubricant dry properly otherwise it can attract more dirt when you go out cycling.

So, this is it, my friend. I hope you find this easy and handy. Let us know, how it goes. We are eager to know. Thanks for reading.

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Daniel D. Harris

I am Daniel D. Harris, an enthusiastic biker who loves to ride bicycles. I keep on sharing my experience of cycling through this blog. I do keep writing to assist you in finding the city bikes, bike lights, bike pedals, and many more things related to bicycles. You may find my blog useful once you read some posts. Find me on twitter. Have a good day bikers!

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