How to Clean a Bike Chain with Household Products

A bike chain is the main component that helps in turning the wheels of the bicycle. A chain in poor condition can adversely affect the quality of your ride and the lifetime of your bike. The key to a hassle-free and smooth ride is a well-kept bicycle chain. And the secret behind a well-kept bike chain lies in your everyday household products! So, how to clean a bike chain with household products?

From road bike chain cleaning to how to clean and lube a bike chain, we’ve gathered our list of products and all the steps you need to take to keep your bike chain well maintained.

So, if you’re curious about the best way to clean your bike chain, keep on reading to find the best fix to all your chain problems with just standard equipment!

Cleaning Your Bike Chain with Household Products

Bike chains often end up in greasy and grimy conditions so you must be wondering how to clean them?

Well, most household cleaning products have the perfect cleaning agents that combat oil, grease, dust, and mud effectively.

By employing the right methods and techniques with these products, you can quickly learn how to clean an MTB chain.

So, here are our top tips on how to clean a bike chain with household products!

1. Put Your Bicycle on a Stand

The first step is to place the beginner BMX bike on a stand so that it remains still during the whole process.

A bike stand will make this process of visual inspection incredibly easy for you. It will keep your bike still while preventing it from falling and getting damaged.

In case you don’t have a bike stand, the best fix would be to lay the bike upside down such that the bike is on its handlebars and seat.

The aim is to get a close view of the bike chain so you can vigilantly inspect the condition of it before figuring out how to clean a bicycle chain.

2. Inspect the Bike Chain 

Now that you have set the bike in a comfortable position, it’s time to inspect and examine the condition thoroughly.

Check if there’s any excessive dirt or grime stuck on the chain. This is normal due to environmental factors. Ideally, you should clean your bike chain thoroughly every 2 to 3 weeks to keep it in a good condition.

By regularly inspecting and cleaning your chains, you can prevent damage and extend the chain’s lifetime. The regular examination will also help you find early signs of wear.

3. Look for the Master Link

After evaluating the bicycle chain, you can get a thorough understanding of the kind of work that needs to be done on the bike chain and whether or not you need to replace it entirely.

For cleaning the chain, the best way to do so is by finding the master link in the chain. The master link makes it easy to remove the chain and refit it after cleaning. This makes the cleaning process seamless.

While most bicycle chains come fitted with a master link, in the case that your bike chain doesn’t have it, you can easily invest in one. You can easily install the connection at home or get it done by your local mechanic.

4. Degrease Your Bike Chain

Before taking apart the bicycle chain and its components, you should take a picture to remember where exactly the pieces were so you can put them back quickly.

While every degreaser has different directions, it’s best to spray the solution onto the chain thoroughly and let it sit for a while for it to take action.

Then you can repeat the process in case your chain is too dirty and finally wipe it down with the help of a soft cloth.

5. Put the Chain Back On

Before you continue to place the chain back on the wheel, make sure it’s moisture free and place it back on with the help of the picture you took beforehand.

Physical demonstrations are more helpful in this case, so watching an online tutorial might help!

6. Lubricate the Chain

To keep your bike chain running smoothly, it’s best to invest in a good lubricant so you can move the chain quickly and enjoy a hassle-free bike riding experience.

Household Products for Cleaning Your Bike Chain

As the title suggests, you can easily clean your bike chain with the help of household cleaning products. However, this doesn’t mean that you use any and every cleaning solution you can find on your bike.

There’s a select array of products with ingredients that can help remove the grease from the bike chain in no time.

Firstly, you can use degreasers that are readily available at any utility store. The “Orange Citrus Degreaser” is a great option. It’s formulated with no ammonia and phosphates and is 100% biodegradable.

This degreaser cleans off all grease and grime while leaving its lubricating remnants to lube up the essential parts of your bike and leaving them clean and fresh.

Kerosene is the age-old trick to clean up any bike part, especially bike chains. While the product effectively degreases the bike chain, it has certain demerits to it. The pungent odor with the messy process is what brings it down. Additionally, kerosene can wash out oil from the links which means more lubrication duty.

Other than these few products you will need soft cloth or rags, a few bottles, a pair of safety gloves, a clothes hanger made from wire, and one of the products as mentioned earlier. We suggest you invest in a good quality lubricant to make sure your bicycle chain stays in optimum condition.


With all these steps done, we hope you now know how to clean a bike chain with household products and can utilize this in your daily life. Enjoy!

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with my pet bunny when not out cycling through the best routes, reviewing the latest gear, and sharing tips on everything biking.

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