The chain of your bike is filthy and you want to give it a good cleaning. Now what to do?

Things You Will Need

This is what you need to give your bicycle a good thorough cleaning:

  • Bucket(s)
  • Washing-up liquid
  • Hot water
  • Old toothbrush
  • Brush
  • Rags
  • Degreaser
  • Chain oil
  • Step 1

    Clean the chain
    Take your bike outside (or a well-ventilated area) and fill your bucket with hot water, add the washing-up liquid and let it foam up. Take one of your brushes and start scrubbing the chain. After a while a clean, shining chain will emerge.

    Step 2

    Apply a degreaser
    After cleaning the chain, apply a degreaser to your chain and let it soak into the links. The degreaser will remove any residues you didn't see. You can also remove any dirt that was not removed during the first step with your old toothbrush.Rotate the cranks a few times to make sure that the degreaser goes into all the links. Wash the chain off with fresh, clean water.

    Step 3

    Wipe the chain with a rag
    Grab a rag and wipe the chain, this step makes sure that any dirt left on your chain is now completely removed.

    There are also various chain cleaning devices that can clean a chain. Those devices contain reservoirs you can pedal your chain through and most of them work as efficiently as the steps mentioned above.

    Step 4

    Apply lube to the chain
    Before applying the lube to the chain, please make sure that your chain is completely clean. Apply the lube to the chain and spin the cranks to force the lube to go into the links. Make sure to remove any excess lube with one of your rags.

    I don't recommend using motor oil to lubricate the chain. It is too heavy and will not fully penetrate. Rather use mineral based chain oils, since they don't wash away when they get wet and do a good job fighting corrosion. Happy Biking!

    Cleaning and lubing your bike chain regularly will translate into longer chain life and a better biking experience.

    Happy Biking!

    Tips & Warnings