How to Clean a Bike Chain
What You Need
- Simple Green Bike Cleaner & Degreaser
- Hose or bucket of water
- Sponge or cloth
- Scrub brush or toothbrush
- Compressed air or hair dryer (optional)
The bicycle chain is the key component in transferring the energy of your pedaling to the wheels of your bike. A poorly maintained bike chain will make it harder for you to pedal, which will ultimately make your ride more strenuous. Caked-on dirt and road grime will grind away at the metal links and cause the most chain wear.
A clean chain will help protect it from rust, and go a long way toward making pedaling and shifting more efficient. Cleaning a road bike monthly is advised, while a mountain bike will require more frequent upkeep. The more often you use your bike, the more often it will need to be cleaned. Though it may seem tedious to give your bike chain regular TLC, cleaning and lubing the chain should always be a part of the bike cleaning process.
Simple Green Bike Cleaner & Degreaser breaks down dirt, grease and grime while being non-corrosive to delicate parts and paint. The foaming formula sticks to vertical and hard-to-reach areas and can be used on metal, rubber, plastic, painted surfaces and delicate components, meaning you can use one product to clean your entire bike.
- Rinse the chain. Use a hose or bucket of water and a sponge or cloth to rinse the chain and flush out grit.
- Clean the chain. Use a cloth sprayed with Simple Green Bike Cleaner & Degreaser loosely wrapped around the chain, and run the pedal so the chain moves through the cloth. Repeat application, moving to a clean area of the cloth as necessary. For dirtier chains, you’ll need to use a scrub brush or toothbrush to work out the grime. Don’t forget to remove any buildup between the gears. Do not soak the chain.
- Rinse. Thoroughly rinse the chain with clean water.
- Dry. Hand dry the chain with a clean rag, or dry it with compressed air or a hair dryer. Leaving it to air dry increases the risk of rust.
- Immediately after drying, lube the chain. Slowly pedal the bike, dripping the lubricant onto the links as they move. Don’t lubricate your chain immediately before riding – give yourself at least a couple of hours to allow the lube to fully penetrate, and then wipe away any excess.