Bicycle chains are an integral part of your bike as they connect your wheels with the pedals on the bike that with pedal power is converted into movement. The bike chain helps in controlling the bike’s movements and they also help with balancing.
Over time with regular use, bike chains will start to get dirty and debris. It is recommended that bicycle chains should be clean regularly like every 2 weeks and if using a particular dirty trail with bad weather, then the chain should be cleaned after use.
Debris and dirt on the chain and poorly maintained bike chain can reduce the bike’s overall performance making the ride less efficient and more taxing to pedal to generate the forward movement.
In this post, we will show you how to clean a bike chain with household products.
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Tools And Materials Required
There are a couple of tools and materials needed for cleaning a bike chain with household products. Those are as follows.
- Bike repair stand.
- Set of Allen keys.
- Chain tool.
- Chain lubricant.
- Household degreaser like Green All-Purpose Cleaner, Shelite, Brasso Multi-Purpose Metal Polish.
- Gas mask.
- Kerosene or turpentine.
Step-By-Step Procedures To Clean A Bike Chain
Household products can be effective to clean a mountain bike chain. For degreasers, it’s nice to choose all-natural ones that are free of any harmful chemical substances. Let’s go through the procedure.
- The initial step is to secure your bike, to visually inspect and remove the chain. Place your bike into a bike stand. The bike stand is useful as it securely holds up your bike and prevents damage to the bike are surrounding area if the bike falls down.
- Now visually inspect the chain. You are looking for excessive dirt and debris that it will have been picked up during a ride. You are also looking for any damage to the chain links.
- After completing the visual inspection, that should tell you if the chain needs a clean. You will need to take off the chain. Find the master link. The master link is a quick-release link that makes it easier to connect and disconnect the chain without the need for a chain tool. And if your chain does not have a master link, you will need a chain tool.
- If the degreaser is a spray bottle, then spray the chain directly. If it comes in a normal bottle then put the degreaser into a container. Put the chain into the container and make sure the degreaser covers all of the chains.
- Let the chain soak for at least 30 minutes, could need to be longer.
- Next, it is time to clean the chain, once the degreaser has done its job. You will also need to wear a gas mask in case you’ll have to work with kerosene or turpentine. You will need to so repeat it until the chain is completely clean.
- Let the chain dry for about an hour or so. The kerosene or turpentine will evaporate and the chain will be clean and dry.
- Now you need to put the chain back on. So, do so.
- One the chain is properly on, you need to lubricant the chain. Now, hold the lubricant bottle above the top middle pin of the chain, while you turn the pedal to rotate the chain.
- Test the chain by doing complete revolutions on the pedals. If everything is smooth you have done the job properly.
- Don’t forget to wash your hands afterward since your hands can get dirty.
This may seem like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. By doing this not only does improves the performance of the bike but also increases your only personal knowledge of your bike and bikes in general.
Can You Use WD-40 On A Bike Chain?
Yes, but WD-40 does not lubricate, it is a degreaser. As a result, it will remove any lubricant from the bike chain. If you’re cleaning your chain, you can use WD-40 as a degreaser but not as a form of re-lubrication.
Finally, now that you have learned a simple way to clean bike chains with household products. Remember your bike chain is an important part of your bike. The chain needs to be maintained and inspected regularly. This ensures maximum performance and efficiency when you are out biking.
And that’s it for now! I’d love it if this post on how to clean a bike chain with household products was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.