How to Remove Rust from Bike Chain using Household Products

By : Mr Mamil
Updated :

Have a rusty chain?

You might want to try removing the rust with some household products before buying specialty rust removers such as WD-40, Rust 911, or Evapo-Rust. This article explains the steps to remove rust from the bike chain using soft drinks and white vinegar.

The same steps can also apply to all other bike parts that can get rusty such as cassette, bolts, rotors, and wheels.

Things needed

  1. Soft drinks or white vinegar (both will work equally well)
  2. Aluminum foil
  3. Old toothbrush
  4. Rag

How to remove rust using household products

Follow these step-by-step instructions below to remove the rust effectively.

  1. Remove the chain from the bike if possible. You don’t want the cleaners to get in touch with the bike frame, especially if it’s a carbon one.
  2. Clean the chain thoroughly, but don’t lube it.
  3. Pour a generous amount (~200mL) of soft drinks into a plastic container.
  4. Soak the chain for 5 minutes.
  5. Tear off a piece of aluminum foil and fold it down to around 3” x 3” with the shiny side facing outwards.
  6. Remove the chain from the plastic container.
  7. Rub the aluminum foil over the rust until it starts to come off.
  8. Continue rubbing until the rust completely comes off.
  9. Rinse off with water and wipe dry.
  10. Install the chain.
  11. Lube the chain.

If you can’t remove the chain to soak it, you can dip the aluminum foil into the soft drink and rub it repeatedly on the rusty areas.

Can I soak the bike parts into the soft drink?

If you can remove them from the bike, soaking will be more effective, especially for stubborn rusts. Make sure not to soak it too long as the high acid content can tarnish, damage, or even dissolve the parts.