How to Clean a Bike Chain With Household Products?

Riding a bike to unwind is a fantastic experience, especially if you have a beautiful view in front of you. However, if you do not maintain your bike and clean your bike chain properly, you will have issues.

There are a lot of products in the market that will help you get your bike chain to be smooth and clean. But today, we will be making your life even easier by giving a detailed guide on how to clean a bike chain with household products!

Let’s get started.

Household Products That Can Be Used to Clean a Bike Chain

Now you might wonder what household items can I use to clean my bike chain. But you will be pleasantly surprised to see how many of our common household products prove to be useful when cleaning a bike. These are some household products that will be great for you when you’re trying to figure out how to properly clean your bike chain:


Brushes are definitely one of the most important products you need to clean your bike chain. Tiny rocks and objects might get stuck in your bike chain if you ride your bike often. Degreasers will not be useful here, so the way you will clean the bike chain without degreaser is to take an old toothbrush and give the chain a good scrub to ensure the lumps and tiny rocks all get out.

Since toothbrushes are not thick, you can comfortably clean the master link and the entire chain with it. Try to use an old toothbrush with intact bristles to get the best results.

Dish Soap

If you were thinking about what can I use to degrease my bike chain, then dish soap works as a perfect bike chain degreaser alternative. On the other hand, if you were thinking that bar soap would be great for cleaning the bike chain as well, then you would be very wrong. The bits of the bar soap would get stuck to the chain, and soap bars are too big to fit into the space of the bike chain.

By using liquid detergent, and dish soap as your bicycle cleaning solution, you can get rid of the dirt and dust off within a matter of seconds. These products will also work tremendously if you are looking for a DIY peloton cleaner.  

DIY Bike Degreaser

Bike chain grease can be difficult to get rid of, which is why you need to have a good grasp of how to clean a chain. For the bicycle degreaser homemade, you will basically need two ingredients, baking soda and lemon juice.

Take some hot water and put in good amounts of both lemon juice and baking soda in equal proportions. Apply the homemade degreaser on the bike chain, scrub it gently, and leave it there for a while if your chain is non-removable, and dip it in the solution if it can be removed.

The grease should come off of the bike chain, but we must tell you that it may not work as well as the high-quality degreasers you will find in the market. Please remember to use your degreaser every now and then when you are cleaning your bike chain so that your chain lasts you for a while.

Old Pieces of Clothing

You might have seen this one coming because old pieces of cloth are even used in bike shops sometimes. These rags are of great use when it comes to using them for scrubbing in the dish soap. As alternatives, you may also want to take a look at dish sponges and even cotton swabs, but cotton swabs are just very inefficient.

DIY Bike Chain Lube

People often think that they can use any oily substance as a bike chain lubricant, but this is a very big misconception. Regular oils such as cooking oils, and coconut oils, and even petroleum jelly do not work well as lubricants. In fact, they can cause your bike chain to get worn out very quickly.

Household grease can be a decent alternative for bike chain lube, and it does not ruin the chemical composition of the bike chain either. However, we do think maybe it is better if you spend a bit of extra money to get actual bike chain lubricant.

How to Clean a Bike Chain with Household Products?

If you have the household products we have mentioned above, you are mostly good to go with our instructions. Before we begin, we must say that you should probably wear gloves to prevent your hands from getting too dirty and to avoid cuts. You may also want to wear goggles for extra safety measures.

Set Up Your Bike

Use your bike stand to secure your bike in place. This will make the cleaning process a whole lot easier, and if you can get someone to help you, that is even better.

If your chain is removable, then it is most likely secured by a master link which you will have to locate. After you have spotted it, you can easily remove the chain by pulling on it gently.

Degrease Your Chain

For the people who have removable bike chains, you will have to dip your chain in the degreaser, which should be in a bottle. Then, shake the sealed bottle very well, and let it sit for a bit to make sure the grease is removed.

Now for the people who have non-removable bike chains, you will have to apply the degreaser using a piece of cloth section by section. Use the pedals to move the chain, and apply the degreaser solution to the entire chain.

Rinsing and Drying

Soak a rag in a solution of liquid detergent or dish soap, and use it to clean the entire bike chain. After you have cleaned the chain with the detergent solution, rinse it well with some water. Then, take a dry-cleaning cloth and dry any liquid or water on the chain or any other parts of the bike.

Lubricate the Chain

After the bike chain has completely dried, you have to start applying your bike chain lubricant. You can use your household grease as the bike chain lube, or you may also opt for lube you can find in the market. Reattach the bike chain if yours is removable, and then you are all done!


What household product removes rust from a bike chain?

White vinegar can be effective in removing rust from bike chains. Soak your bike chain in a container of white vinegar for about 15 minutes, and then the rust should start to come off. Scrape off the rust, and rinse the chain properly.

Can you clean a bike chain with vinegar?

Vinegar can be used to get rid of the rust off of bike chains, and you can even use it in place of lemon juice for your homemade degreaser.

Can you clean a bike chain with soap and water?

Soap and water are definitely essential items you will need to clean your bike and remove all the dirt. However, you cannot clean your bike chain properly with JUST soap and water.

How do you make a homemade bike chain cleaner?

To make a homemade bike chain cleaning solution, you have to mix a lot of liquid detergents or dish soap with water.

Is the Ethos Bike Easy to Clean Using Household Products?

When it comes to cleaning the 20 inch ethos bike, household products can be effective. With a gentle detergent and warm water, you can easily remove dirt and grime from its frame. However, for specific parts like the chain or gears, using specialized bike cleaners may yield better results. Overall, the ethos bike is relatively easy to clean at home. For more detailed information, read our comprehensive 20 inch ethos bike review.


With our guide on how to clean a bike chain with household products, maintaining your bike should be no issue at all. Make sure to follow all our instructions and tips properly, and if you have any further queries about this matter, feel free to drop them down in the comments section below.

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