You leave a bike to sit for the end of the season and when you pick it up the next time – your worst enemy is rust! Everyone has some WD40 laying around, but will WD40 remove rust from bike chain?
The answer is a bit more complicated than a yes-no answer. However, you’re in the right place.
In this post, I’ll share my technique of using WD40 on a bike chain, but also some very efficient techniques of removing rust from the bike chain.
After all, not every rusty bike chain is a bad chain. Therefore, you should remove the rust, assess its condition, and then decide whether you have to replace the chain.
Will WD40 remove rust from bike chain? Keep on reading to find out!
Why Bike Chains Get Rusty?
A bike chain is the most important moving part of the bicycle (after the wheels) and if it is dirty, or even worse – gets rusty, it won’t be as efficient as it is in the clean condition.
The main reason why bike chains get rusty is that they’re exposed to moisture which causes chemical reactions known as oxidation.
So what is rust? Rust is just a new type of metal (iron oxide) which can destroy the previous type of metal if the rust isn’t removed.
However, you should also know that other aspects can also speed up the formation of rust on your bike chain. These things include road salt or even mud.
As a cyclist, it’s hard to avoid these things – especially if you ride throughout the whole season, right?
Well, the good news is that there’s still help and you shouldn’t just give up on riding your bike the next season. And if you’re lucky – you might even be able to successfully treat your bike chain by the end of this post – so keep on reading!
Do you Need to Replace a Rusty Bike Chain?
The good news is that you might not need to entirely replace your rusty bike chain. However, in some cases – it’s better to replace it.
If your chain is severely rusted and you didn’t ride your bike in a very long time – rust might have already damaged the chain.
But if you’ve spotted minor rusting, there’s still time to repair your chain by removing the rust. After that, you can reassess the condition of your chain and see if it’s good enough for one more season or not.
But how do you remove rust from a rusty bike chain? It might sound like a mission impossible – but don’t give up just yet!
Will WD40 Remove Rust from Bike Chain?
WD40 is that one product almost anyone has in their household or somewhere in the garage. Some cyclists are even using it to lubricate their chain (even though you shouldn’t do that).
While others are using it for its main purpose – to degrease the grease off of things (such as bike chain before washing).
However, believe it or not – WD40 can help you remove rust residue from your bike chain! So if you’ve tried removing rust using WS40 – you weren’t wrong.
Even though there are many specialized products that are designed to help cyclists remove rust residue from their bike chains – in minor situations, WD40 will do just fine!
And now if you have some WD40 laying around in your garage – keep on reading as that might be the only thing you need to get your chain in good condition!
My Best Technique to Remove Rust from Bike Chain
Before you even start taking any action – it’s important that you set up yourself well so it’s easier to get things done.
I highly recommend you setting up your bike upside down, and if you’re able to – remove the chain from your bike for better and easier access.
Then, it’s all about degreasing your chain. The great thing about WD40 in a spray is that you might be able to spray it all over your chain (even without removing the chain).
However, it’s not only enough to degrease your chain – but it’s also crucial that you wipe your chain down as you apply degreaser (or WD40).
You can repeat this a couple of times or even soak the chain in a degreaser. I find this option to be a bit better because you can allow your chain to remove the buildups.
Steel Wool + Lime Juice
Now when you did your best to degrease your bike chain and remove as much rust as you can – here’s one trick you could do.
Steel wool and lime juice is a perfect combination that helps to de-rust a bike chain. However, keep in mind that you should wear protective gloves because this can be rough on your hands.
Once you’ve done it a couple of times, get a clean paper towel or a clean cloth and wipe the chain clean.
Keep in mind that the rust you remove will most likely attach to your steel wool. In this case, wash the steel wool to remove rust, juice it up with juice again and go for another round!
When you finish scrubbing your bike chain – you should clean the chain from lime juice. Ideally, you want to do this with soapy warm water.
However, if there’s still some rust left – you will have to break the most stubborn rust with WD40 and a wire brush.
Even the most stubborn rust won’t be a problem. So if you were wondering will WD40 remove rust from the bike chain – you might be surprised as to how much it can help in the process.
If you’re trying to remove the rust from your bike chain in the most efficient way – you should definitely combine WD40 with a couple of other helpful accessories (such as lime juice, steel wool, or a wire brush).
You should also keep in mind that you don’t want to do any damage to your bike chain at all. And in some situations, it’s far easier to get a new bike chain since not all de-rusted chains are going to be as efficient as they were when they were new.
Did you ever try to ride a bike with a rusty bike chain? How was the bike ride?
Feel free to leave a comment down below, share your thoughts, share any tips, or leave a question if you need any help and I’ll do m best to help you out!