How To Clean a Bicycle Chain

Clean and Maintain Your Bicycle Chain on the Cheap

As they say, there is more than one way to skin a cat. The same adage applies to cleaning and maintaining your bicycle's chain. You could either buy those expensive cleaning kits or you could use some easy-to-find and cheap materials, which deliver almost the same result at a quarter of the price. First, get all the necessary tools for the job of cleaning and maintaining your bicycle chain:

  • An old baby bottle brush
  • A bucket
  • Liquid soap
  • Toothpick
  • Olive oil
  • Gloves (optional)
  • A clean rag

Now, be sure to get into some comfortable gear that you won't mind getting a little greasy. Follow these steps below to clean your bicycle chain:


  1. Mix water and the liquid soap. Mix water and a dab of liquid soap together well.....but don't make the mix too bubbly.
  2. Try to get the chain wet with the water and soap solution. Wait for a few minutes for the soap to break down the grime accumulated on your chain.
  3. Start scrubbing the chain using the old baby bottle brush. The bristles are long enough to reach across the chain links so this type of brush is better than a toothbrush.
  4. Wash with water. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you get the bicycle chain nice and clean.
  5. Dab the chain with the rag. Let the chain air dry.
  6. After the chain has dried, get the olive oil and toothpick, and use the toothpick to drop oil on each chain link. Try not to miss any of the links.
  7. After lubing all of the links, use the rag to wipe excess oil off the chains.

Now admire your nice and clean chain. Happy cycling!


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