How To Clean A Bike Chain | The Ultimate Guide

This is a detailed guide on how to clean a bike chain. It covers everything from the basics of what you’ll need to know about bike chains, the best way to scrub them, and how often you should clean your chain. I hope this guide helps you in keeping your bike running smoothly!


How To Clean A Bike Chain

Whether you ride your bike to work or just for leisure, it is important to keep the bike chain clean. This will help preserve the bike’s lifespan and prevent undue wear and tear on the chain. The following steps show you how to clean a bike chain:

1) To clean a bike chain you will need one-half cup of rubbing alcohol and a cloth rag. Using an old toothbrush is also handy for scrubbing the chain.

2) Remove all of the bike chain accessories, such as your bike chain guard or chainrings, so that you have full access to your bike chain.

3) Take half a cup of rubbing alcohol and dip your cloth rag into all of the rubbing alcohol, or pour the cleaning fluid onto the cloth rag.

4) Wring out the rag so that it is not dripping and also so that you have enough cleaning fluid to soak into your rag.

5) Take your rag, and cover the bike chain with it. Rub the rag over your chain in a circular motion. The rubbing alcohol will help to remove all of the grime and dirt that is built up on your bike chain.

6) Continue to scrub, until you have removed all of the grime from your bike chain. You will know that you have removed all of the grime when you can no longer see it on your rag.

7) Wipe off the excess rubbing alcohol from your bike, before you start to use it.

There should be no gap between the chain and the jockey wheels when they’re in place. If there is, it could lead to misalignment of the gears which may damage your bike.

What Components Make Up A Bike Chain

A bike’s chain is the most essential mechanical component. Without it, the bike would not function.

A chain runs between two sprockets and it moves when a pedal is turned and rotates the rear wheel to propel the bike forward. If you have dirt on your chain, it can be scraped off with a rag or old toothbrush under running water.

A bike chain is made up of many different components. The two most important are the rear sprockets and the front derailleur. Other parts include the power transfer unit (PTU), the top guide, the bottom guide, and the shift-sprocket assembly.

The bike chain will wear down over time, especially if it is not properly maintained. A well-maintained bike chain can last for many years but will eventually need to be replaced.

How To Maintain Your Bike Chain

If your bike chain is not properly maintained, it will wear down quickly and cause you to have to replace the chain more frequently.

A bicycle chain is an important component of a bike. It powers the rear wheel and connects the crank with the pedals. It can be difficult to maintain, but easy to do if you know some tricks.

To remove dirt and grime, use a dry cloth or brush to clean off the chain. If you need more power, try using a degreaser or lubricant like WD-40 to remove stubborn stains. This will also help keep your bike running smoothly and efficiently.

Don’t ever use gasoline or any type of solvent on your chain because it will result in permanent damage to the metal links of the chain itself. To maintain your bicycle chain you will need to do the following:

1)Clean and oil the chain every time you ride.

2)Brush out the dirt that builds up in between the links of the chain.

3)Look for dirt, rust, or other corrosion on your chain and clean it using steel wool or an abrasive pad. If this doesn’t work try using a mild solvent like alcohol or white vinegar to remove the corrosion.

4)Store your bike indoors if possible and keep it covered when not in use to prevent rust from forming on the chain and other metal parts of your bike due to moisture and air contamination.

Dirty Bike Chain

What Are The Best Products For Cleaning A Bike Chain?

There are three main approaches to cleaning a bike chain: Rag, Chain Scrubber, and Brush. A Chain Scrubber is a long rigid rectangular brush usually made from steel or nylon bristles that are pulled along the length of the chain. Finally, a Brush / Rag is just that—a standard round brush with cut-back bristles so the rider doesn’t get scratched up.

Many products on the market can be used to clean a bike chain. Some are great for cleaning water-soluble dirt and grime, while others are designed to remove oil-based lubricants and dirt.

The type you should use depends on the level of grime present. If it’s just a bit dirty, then a good soap or degreaser will work, but if there is caked-on mud or grease, you’ll need a stronger solvent.

The two most popular products for cleaning a bike chain are degreaser and lube. If you don’t know which one to use, it is best to consult with the manufacturer of your bike’s components. This can be found in your owner’s manual or on the company’s website.

You’ll want to use the cleaner first to remove all of the dirt and grime from your chain before applying lube to make sure everything is working properly. You should also apply degreaser after every ride if your chain is wet from rain or sweat as it will clean it better than water alone.

Best Bike Cleaning Brands

A good quality bike cleaning product is essential for ensuring the bike chain is properly cleaned. These days, there is a wide range of brands on the market that offer a wide variety of cleaning products, such as degreasers, solvents, and degreasing agents. An example of a few of these brands are ProLink, Lezyne, and Muc-Off

These brands are well-known brands that offer bike cleaning products suitable for different types of bikes.


The Pro link product line has the necessary components needed to clean and lubricate a bike that is used in wet weather, such as light rain or snow. It has a degreasing agent that is suitable for removing greasy, oily dirt and grime from the bike.

This product can also be used to clean the drive train, including the chain and gears. This product is a non-acidic degreaser that is biodegradable and environmentally friendly. It is also safe to use on chrome, aluminum, carbon fiber and paint.


On the other hand, the Lezyne product line has the necessary components to clean and lubricate a bike that is ridden in dry weather, such as dust or rocky terrain.
Lezyne has a road spray that is suitable for the drive train, including the chain and gears. It also removes road grime, dirt, and grease. The product is ph balanced to prevent corrosion.

The spray is also biodegradable and environmentally friendly. It is non-toxic and safe to use on aluminum, carbon fiber, chrome and paint. The spray helps to clean and protect the drivetrain and prolongs the life of the bike.


Muc-off is a product line that is dedicated to cleaning and lubricating bikes. The company uses a lot of biodegradable and eco-friendly ingredients, which are also pet and kid-friendly.

They claim the chain cleaner lasts twice as long as the competition, leaving the drivetrain clean and lubricated for up to two weeks. The spray is quick-drying, so it is easy to wipe off and re-apply the lubricant if needed. Muc -off is available at many cycling shops and online retailers.

What are the top 3 mistakes people make when cleaning their chains and how can you avoid them?

-Using the wrong solvent, like WD-40 or kerosene, you will not get all of the nasty grime and gunk off your chain.
-Not breaking the chain down to clean it properly, you can’t get all of the crud off.
-Putting your dirty chain back on your bike, for every tooth that is on a dirty part of the chain, there’s another tooth that will be damaged by grime.


After reading this article, you should have a better understanding of how to clean your bike chain. Keep in mind that the best time to clean your bike chain is about once a month. For those of you who ride frequently, then you should do it once a week.