How To Remove Rust From a Bike Chain: Step By Step Guideline

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Throughout my entire life, I have seen many rusty motorcycle chains. Biking is never far from its difficulties. You’re used to greasing and oiling your bike chain on a regular basis as an avid biker. It is a routine bike maintenance daily task that you must follow in order to keep your bike going smoothly. But how to remove rust from a bike chain? This may appear unusual, especially if you take meticulous care of your bike. It can be equally frustrating, especially because no matter how much rust you remove from the chain, the chemicals never seem to fade away. So, how do you properly remove rust from a bike chain? So, we’ve compiled a list of tried-and-true methods for keeping your bike chain clean and rust-free. All you have to do is checked your bike chain, degrease it with an excellent degreaser, scrub it with steel wool and a scouring pad, and then lubricate it. Have a look at our answer to “how to clean a rusty bike chain?”

It’s very easy to get the bike chain rusted. Rust on your bike chain is natural, particularly if your bike is older. You will often face the accumulation of chemicals in your bike chain, which will eventually rust. If you ride your bike on wet days and difficult terrains with saltwater, anticipate rust to build on the face of your bike chain. If you observe that any kind of chemical progressively appears in the chain, you should act quickly before the situation worsens. But removing rust from bicycle chain is actually easier than it seems. Rust or iron oxide, for example, may build on your bike if it is routinely exposed to moisture and oxygen. When metal is exposed to water and oxygen, the oxidation process occurs, transforming moisture into rust. You may not notice it at first, but if you neglect to repair your bike chain on a regular basis, you will be amazed at how much rust has accumulated over time.

how to clean a rusty bike chain

If you want to know how to get rust off a bike chain, have a look below:

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Remove Rust from a Bike Chain

Step-1: To begin, carefully check your bike chain to see where the rust is accumulating if you want to start with how to remove rust from a bicycle chain. Rust does not consume your whole bike chain but just a section of it. As a result, you must pinpoint the location of the rust. It is advised that you flip your bike upside down 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, it is essential that your bike is lying against a solid surface. You may now inspect the whole chain for signs of corrosion and grime. You must properly check the chain to decide which parts need meticulous cleaning and rust scrubbing. It’s a very effective way to you can remove rust from bicycle chain.

Step-2: Most of the times, when my friends ask me how to get rust off chains, I’d answer the following way. The chain’s overall condition must next be assessed. It will assist you in determining how much labor and cleaning is required to eliminate the rust from the chain. You can tell if your chain needs to be replaced based on the amount of rust that has accumulated, or whether it only needs to be cleaned and lubricated. You have to examine the chain closely to see how much color has changed. It will provide you with a clearer picture of the overall state of the chain. If you notice warping, flaws, color discrepancies, or metal corrosion, replacing the chain is the best solution. If, on the other hand, just surface rust & crustiness exist, then a thorough cleaning and oiling are necessary to restore the chain’s luster. Hopefully, it will help you with how to fix rusty bike chain.

Step-3: To effectively clean the chain, you must first remove it from the bike. To simply remove the chain from the bike, you must first identify the master link. The master link is distinguished from the other chain links by its appearance. Disconnect the master link from the remainder of the chain after you’ve identified it. Then remove the whole chain from your bike—arguably one of the best ways how to clean rust off bike chain.

Pro Tip: Always make sure the chain is totally disconnected from the bike. It will provide you with a clear picture of the degree of the rust buildup. Furthermore, you will be able to clean the bike from any angle.

Step-4: Wanna know the next step of how to unrust a bike chain? After fully removing the chain from your bike, you now have a better view of the bike chain. At this stage, you can view the rust up close and decide which areas to clean first. To remove dirt and unwanted particles from the chain, jiggle it first. Then, firstly, wipe the rust with a piece of cloth. You should have removed the rust off the surface of your chain by now.

Step-5: After the first cleaning, use a scouring pad and degreaser to remove the second coating of rust that has formed on the chain. You may remove the rust off the chain by dampening a clean rag/scouring pad with a degreaser and rubbing it down with force. You may now see tenacious rust that was not eliminated after the first cleaning. As a result, you must alter your strategy. This time, start with a toothbrush with firm bristles. When eliminating stubborn rust, use aggressive scrubbing or polishing. It is a very effective way of how to de rust a bike chain.

Step-6: The chain will still have rust on it. To remove it and shatter the particles that cause the rust:

  • Immerse the chain in a degreaser or heavy dirt.
  • Allow the chain to soak for approximately 20 minutes in the degreaser.
  • Following that, rinse the chain with hot water. The water will effectively remove the degreaser from the chain, and thus, you’ll get another step closer to the answer of how to clean bike chain rust.

Pro Tip: While soaking, jiggle the chain to shake off any extraneous particles. When doing this step, make sure you use protective gloves.

Step-7: If you want to know how to get rust off a bike, I’d say scrub the chain carefully with steel wool and lime juice, paying particular attention to the rusty areas. In this stage, you must wear gloves to protect your hands from potentially dangerous chemicals. To make this procedure more successful, moisten the steel wool with lime juice and brush it vigorously against the rusty areas. After that, you may wipe off the remaining rust and grime with a dry cloth or paper towel. Repeat this method until the rust has faded away.

Step-8: At this stage, your bike chain is returning to its normal shape. However, there may be severe and obstinate rust remaining on the chain. You should be able to break this up with a WD-40 spray. Apply the material immediately to the corroded area and let it rest for a few minutes before cleaning it away. The chain may now be wiped down again, and additional force can be used to the rusty bike chain. Finally, use a dry towel to wipe down the whole chain.

how to remove rust from chain

Step-9: Now that the rust has been properly cleaned from the bike chain, you may reattach it to the bike. Before doing so, it is essential to lubricate the whole chain with the appropriate lubricant. After you’ve cleaned your chain, the most crucial thing you can do is lube it. If you do not adequately oil it, it will rust again, and you will have to redo the cleaning operation or replace it entirely. Although lime juice is an effective bike chain rust remover, if you don’t care for the chain after cleaning it, you may anticipate difficulties down the line. The only method to avoid rust for an extended period of time is to keep the chain well-greased. There are several lubricants on the market, so select wisely. Turning your bike upside down is the greatest method to grease it. Pour the lube directly over the chain while turning the tires to ensure that it reaches all portions of the chain. Too much lubrication isn’t good, so wipe the chain gently with a clean cloth to remove any extra oil. This is one of the ways of how to remove rust from chain.

Step-10: To rejoin the bike chain, tighten the master link again. Determine both ends of the chain, slide the master link, and reconnect the link. When you hear a click, you know that both ends of the chain are now connected. Check to see that the chain is fully linked to the bike. If it works smoothly, the chain will be back in its original place. Thus this is how to clean rusted chain.

How Often Should I Lube My Bike Chain?

  • It is determined by how often you ride your bike and where you ride it. If you ride your bike more than twice a week, you should clean and lubricate the chain at least once a month. Check the drivetrain as you go through the procedure. 
  • Clean it of extra grease and debris, and apply lubrication as required. 
  • If you ride your bike in mud, dirt, rain, or snow, you should oil it to avoid corrosion. All of these might hasten the rusting process, so clean your bike promptly after use if you want to prevent rust completely. If you find the chain isn’t moving smoothly or making cracking sounds while riding, it’s time for a clean and lube.

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Rust is an inevitable part of the bike experience, no matter how cautious you are. That is why you will find several articles on how to remove rust from bike chain at home. There are various treatments on the market that promise to remove rust from a bike chain, but nothing beats degreasing and cleaning it with lime juice. You shouldn’t expect the work to last if you don’t lubricate the chain after cleaning. Choose your lubricant with care, and make sure it’s designed for bike chains. If the chain is highly rusty, don’t bother cleaning it. It will not operate, and the rust may spread to other sections of the bike, such as the gearbox and frame.

For this reason, we have provided a step-by-step guide on how to get rid of rust on bike chain here. Removing rust from your bike chain may be quite aggravating, particularly if it continues reappearing and interfering with your smooth bike ride. However, if you know how to clean rusty chain you should not have too much rust buildup. Hopefully, this tutorial will give you useful advice for cleaning and maintaining your bike. We make certain that the processes are comprehensive, simple to follow, and successful in answering the question “how to remove rust from a bike chain?”.

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