How to Clean Your Bike Chain

How to Clean Your Bike Chain

Cleaning your bike chain is one of the best ways to make it efficient and show some love to your favorite companion. If your cycle is for the trek, how to clean and lube your bike chain is something that you add to your routine.

According to recent research, most professional riders love to clean their bike chain every 200 miles of riding. The cleaning schedule of your bike might vary depending on the type of drive and use.

Let us break down some of the best answers for the question of how to clean your chain on a road bike. We will also discuss some of the best tips and techniques to clean bike chains in this article.

#1. Significance of Cleaning Your Bike Chain

If you ever wondered how to clean your bike chain, then you must be well-aware of the fact that why it is essential. One of the best advantages of cleaning your bike chain is you will have to spend less energy on pedaling. Cleaning your chain reduces friction; hence it makes you smooth and swift.

Physical components like dirt, gravel, water, and rust can stick on your bike chain. Cleaning becomes a paramount aspect for all the readers who love their bikes.

Why Should Riders Clean Bike Chain

According to friction facts, a dirty chain can decrease efficiency up to 3-5 watts, leading to an explosive 1-2 percent power loss.

If you are a professional rider, then you understand the significance of time and energy. Or if you fall into the category of people who love occasional fantasy rides. It doesn’t matter which type belongs; it is essential to follow strict bike-chain cleaning schedules. 0

#2. Essential Tools Required for the Job

Choosing the Best Bike Chain Scrubber

Most bike riders love to use their old toothbrush with long bristles, which can perform deep cleaning. You can also find authentic bike chain scrubbers explicitly designed for the job.

One of the best advantages of having a bike chain scrubber is you don’t have to remove it regularly. Bike chain scrubbers can help you to finish the cleaning quickly and effectively. Bike scrubbers also have magnets at the bottom, which attract metallic dust from the chain.

Essential Tools Required for Cleaning Your Bike Chain

Soap vs. Degreaser Which Is the Best?

Now that you have your bike chain scrubber, you might be eager to get your hands into the cleaning. You will need some foamy liquid-like soap or degreaser to remove clogged dirt from the bike chain.

Most people use essential soap gel to clean their bike while others stress on degreaser.

What Is a Degreaser? Why Is It Efficient For Cleaning?

A degreaser helps in removing the unwanted grease from the drive train with foaming action. One of the main advantages of using the degreaser is that it is free from citrus; hence, it is perfect for all bike components.

Most professionals believe that a fast bike is a clean bike; hence a degreaser is a secret element that makes your bike fast. If you ride a motorcycle for joy but love to take its care, then you must provide a room for a degreaser in your bike’s tool kit.

#3. How to Clean Your Road Bike Chain?

Start With Cassettes

Apply a little degreaser or soap to the scrubber and then clean both the ends of the cassettes. You can also switch gears to get your scrubber deep into the chain links. Thoroughly clean to remove grease and dirt.

Cleaning Chain Rings

Once you have removed all the clogged-up dirt from cassettes, then it is the right time to clean the chainrings. You can better remove the chain before the rings before you wash them, as it will help you in deep cleaning. Follow the same procedure of using scrub and degreaser to remove dirt from rings.

Gently Rinse With Water

Now that you have applied enough soap or degreaser, it is time to add some water to the cleaning menu. It is strictly recommended to gently rinse water and not use water jets or hoses as it will hurt your bike hard. Always remember the point of not blasting and only rinsing.

Cleaning Your Bike Chain

Let Your Chain Dry Completely

Before you park your bike, it is paramount to dry your chain completely. You can use an air compressor to dry your chain quickly. There is no way that you can apply a fresh coat of lubricant over a wet chain. If you don’t want rust to take over the chain, then be patient until your chain is completely dried.

Applying the Lubrication

If humans must apply moisturizers after every bath, then bike chains need a lube after every cleaning session. A lubricant can help you pedal with ease as it will make your chain soft.

You will find chain lubrication at the top of every list when you search how to clean your bike chain. You can apply many oils, but you also have to ensure that it doesn’t stick onto the external chain links to attract dust. Lubrication is compulsory for all the riders who love to trek.

#4. How to Perform Solvent-Free Chain Cleaning?

Conventional cleaners consist of hydrocarbons as they are solvents made from petroleum-based constituents like heptane. We all know that hydrocarbons are neither environmentally friendly nor non-toxic. Yet, they are pretty efficient in removing grease from machinery equipment and bike chains. There are also various biodegradable green solvents available in the market. They don’t match the quality offered by hydrocarbon-based solvents, but they can still manage your cleaning session.

You need to find a non-toxic, biodegradable cleaner and provide precision cleaning. It is essential to perform drive-train maintenance with utmost care as it adds life to the cycle.


Cleaning your bike chain is not a daunting task if you love your cycle. You need the right set of tools and essential practice to clean your chain in the right direction. Make this weekend productive by giving your bike chain the cleaning it deserves. Also, drop your bike chain cleaning secrets below.

Written by Lee Hill

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