How to clean a bike chain

How to clean a bike chain

This guide will present two methods of cleaning your bicycle chain. Method one is cleaning the chain on the bike and method two is cleaning the chain off the bike. The on-bike method is quicker and should be used for normal cleanings during the riding season while the off-bike method, is a good choice for in between riding seasons or for preventative maintenance.

An example of this is to clean your chain on the bike once every two months, and then remove the chain for a through cleaning and lubrication every six months. This schedule would be determined by the miles you put on the bike weekly and the conditions you ride in.


Step 1

Prepare the bike and tools

Put on the gloves and eye protection. Place the bike on a bike stand over a drip pan with the rear wheel suspended off the ground. Fill the cleaner with kerosene or other cleaner.

Step 2

Mount the cleaner

Mount the cleaning tool on the chain and run the chain through the kerosene for a minute or two. Empty the cleaner into a container and clean out the cleaning device with fresh kerosene.

Step 3

Repeat step 2

Repeat step 2, two or three times until the kerosene comes out clean. Be sure to save all the dirty kerosene in a plastic jug or metal can for reuse or recycling.

Step 4

Cleaning off the bike

To clean the chain off the bike, unfasten the master link and remove the chain. Place the chain in a pan filled with kerosene and use the chain brush to throughly clean the chain. Dry the chain with a soft clean rag and reinstall on the bike.

Things Needed
• 1) A bicycle
• 2) A chain cleaning tool
• 3) Non water based cleaning solvent
• 4) Rags
• 5) Drip pan
• 6) Recycling Can
• 7) Latex gloves
• 8) Bike stand
• 9) Chain cleaning brush

Tips & Warnings
• 1) Use protective clothing such as latex gloves and eye protection.
• 2) Dispose of hazardous chemicals properly.
• 3) Use caution some cleaning solutions are flammable.


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