How To Clean Bike Chain Without Degreaser?

It is important for all cyclists to regularly maintain and lubricate their bike chains along with regularly cleaning their bike chains. A bike degreaser helps to break down the grease and debris that may not be easy to scrub off. Lucky there are alternatives to a degreaser. So how to clean a bike chain without a degreaser?

You don’t necessarily need a degreaser in simple terms all you need to do is first wipe the chain clean, lube it, run it through to a few revolutions of the pedals and then test that everything is ok. 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.

In this post, we will go through how to clean bike chains without a degreaser. Let’s get started!

Read more on common questions asked

What Removes Grease From A Bike Chain?

A chain cleaner, chain degreaser, or if even there are not available you can use dish soap or detergents that can help you scrub the dirt right off.

How To Clean Bike Chain Without Degreaser?

If it is a case that you do not have a chain degreaser, it is not the end of the world. The degreaser’s main job is that makes it easier to remove dirt from the chain. These are the main steps to cleaning a bike chain without a degreaser. Let’s go through the steps.

  • The first step is to secure your bike, to visually inspect and clean 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 and the 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, you should be able to tell if the chain needs a cleaning.
  • Without a degreaser, you need to scrub the chain and then wipe the chain clean. Remember it is going to be harder to scrub the chain clean without a degreaser.
  • Then lube it, and run it through to a few revolutions of the pedals.
  • Test the chain by completing the 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 improves the performance of the bike but also increases your only personal knowledge of your bike and bikes in general.

Do I Have To Clean My Mountain Bike After Every Ride?

It is advised that you should do a quick clean and re-lube after every hard ride. If you were biking in the rain or mud you would need to do a proper chain cleaning.

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.

Is It OK To Hose Down A Bicycle?

Yes, you can hose down a bike but you need to properly dry off your bike before storing it, as this could cause rust and decrease the lifespan of the components on the bike.

Is It OK To Pressure Wash A Bicycle?

No, the problem with using a pressure washer is that it blows the lubricant off your chain along with ruining the cables on the bike. Also, it can blow water into sealed components such as headsets, forks, and bottom brackets.

Wrapping Up

Finally, you do not need to use a degreaser but in simple terms, all you need to do is first wipe the chain clean, lube it, run it through to a few revolutions of the pedals and then test that everything is ok. 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.

And that’s it for now! I’d love it if this post on how to clean a bike chain without a degreaser was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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how to clean a bike chain without a degreaser