How to Remove Rust From a Bike Chain

How to Remove Rust From a Bike Chain
A problem often encountered by those who may have bought an older, used bicycle, or who are taking a bike out after years of storage, is a rusty chain. Rust needs to be removed, since it seriously impedes the efficiency of the chain and degrades the quality of the ride. However, normal rust removers are too abrasive and also degrade the bike chain. Something gentler is needed to get the rust off your bike chain without scratching it up, so that it is left in good working order.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Toothbrush
  • WD-40
  • Link removal tool
  • Lime juice
  • Plastic scouring pad
  • Bowl (optional)
  • Chain lubricant
Step 1
Remove small patches of rust by spraying the affected area with WD-40 and scrubbing it with a toothbrush. For big patches of rust, skip to Step 2.
Step 2
Set the bike up against a wall, on its kickstand or on a bicycle stand. Remove the chain by setting a chain link removal tool so that the tool's pin is aligned against a pin in one of the bike chain's links. Crank the tool until the pin pops out, unfastening one link in the chain. Pull the chain off the bike's cog and front wheel.
Step 3
Pour enough lime juice onto a plastic scouring pad to dampen it. Scrub the rusty areas with the lime juice and wipe them clean.
Step 4
Remove stubborn or hard to reach patches of rust by soaking the chain in a bowl of lime juice for 1 to 2 hours; then scrub it again. If this does not remove the rust, you will need to get a new chain.
Step 5
Thread the chain back onto the bicycle. Hold the pair of separated links together, thread the pin in, clamp the removal tool back on and use the crank to push the pin back in.
Step 6
Lubricate the chain by putting one drop of chain lubricant onto each link.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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