How to Remove Rust From Bike In Easy Steps

Looking for ways to get rid of that rust? Join me as I share simple steps to clean the rust.

Rust is a bicycle enemy! It silently eats away at the parts. Especially in places where you cannot reach. You may notice bubbling paint, and blistering, squeaky noises. This means you have got rust! Now there is no need to panic! We can work together to get that rust off of your bike.

Rust Removal Agents You Can Use

I have worked with the following rust removal agents. 

  • Vinegar
  • Coke/Pepsi
  • Baking Soda
  • Lime Juice
  • WD40
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Phosphoric Acid

Let’s start with the cleaning, shall we?

1. Removing Rust From The Bike Chain

Cleaning Bike Chain

Bike chains are very vulnerable when it comes to rust growth. That’s why you also need to be careful while cleaning them!

What Will You Need:

  • Rags (Dried)
  • Chain Lube
  • Lemon Juice
  • Spare Toothbrush 
  • Scouring Pad
  • Link Removal Tool
  • Deep Bowl

Step 1: Examine Your Chain

Examination of the bike chain. You need to examine the bike chain length thoroughly for any signs of dust and rust, this is the main foundation of the cleanse and you need to take care of it with extreme prejudice. For a better view, what you can do is lift the rear end of the bike and just pedal so that the chain rotates, do that multiple times and you will be able to see the rust-affected area.

Step 2: Clean The Dirst 

Now clean the dirt that is concealing the rust. Use a toothbrush and rub it properly. There will be some difficult areas when you would be cleaning which is why it is recommended to have different-sized brushes. Once you have wiped away all the dirt, you will be able to see the rust more clearly.

Step Three: Clean The Rust 

Now you will need your deep bowl, the steel scouring pad, and some lemon juice/lime juice. You need to clean the rust on the surface of the chain with the steel scouring pad dipped in lemon juice. For a better cleanse, just take off the chain of the bike by laying it upside down (with the link removal tool) and soak it in lemon juice for a while. By a while, I mean 1-2 hours, no more than that.

Step Four: Let The Chain Dry 

Now take the chain out from the bowl of lemon juice and dry it. You need to fully dry the chain before you reattach it on your bike.

Step Five: Apply The Lube

Now, apply the lube to the chain. To spread nicely, stroke the pedal. Make sure that every part of the chain is covered with the lube, from the center rollers to the side plates. The lube that you will use will ultimately create a seal on the chain that will protect it from rust.

2. Removing Rust From The Bike Frame

Bike Frame

After the bike’s chain, the most vulnerable area is the frame. The bike’s frame is stronger than the chain area but if you are not careful enough then that too can be extremely damaged!

What You Will Need:

  • Rags (Dried)
  • Steel or Plastic Scrub
  • Bowl
  • Vinegar/Baking Soda
  • Brush/Sponge
  • Lemon Juice

Step One: Create A Mixture Of Water And Vinegar 

Create a mixture of water and vinegar/baking soda, they need to be of equal ratio. If you want to maximize the effect of the mixture then you need to add a hint of lemon juice. You need to stir the portion until it becomes thick.

Step Two: Apply The Paste On The Bike’s Frame

Apply this paste with a sponge or brush to the whole length of the bike’s frame. Cover each area nicely and properly. You need to then make sure that the paste sits on the frame for 15 minutes. Do not try to remove the rust before it has settled on the frame. For best results, leave the paste there on the frame for a while.

Step Three: Remove The Paste With A Scrub

Remove the baking soda paste with a steel or plastic scrub. If you have done everything properly then you will see the rust coming off from the bike. Apply the paste to areas that are not covered and keep on repeating that till there are absolutely no signs of rust.

Step Four: Clean It With A Dry Rag

You need to give the bike some time and then start cleaning it with a dry rag. Make sure that there is no baking soda left and that there is no sign of rust, do this multiple times for the best result. After the cleanse just store your bike in a cool and dry place. This will furthermore protect the bike from rust.

Note: If there is aggressive rust on the bike’s frame then you need to use the WD40 for maximum effects!

3. Removing Rust From The Handlebars


You will be surprised how cleverly rust is hidden in the handlebars of bikes. You also need to be very careful while cleaning them!

What You Will Need:

  • Rags (Dried)
  • Table Salt
  • Cup
  • Tablespoon
  • Toothbrush
  • Lemon Juice

Step One: Make A Mixture Of Table Salt And Lemon

Make a mixture of table salt and lemon juice. Use about 6 tablespoons of salt and 2 spoons of lemon juice. Mix this until it becomes a thick paste. Be careful not to overdo it though!

Step Two: Remove The Handlebars And Apply The Paste

Remove the covers of the handlebar first and apply the thick paste on the metallic parts of the handlebar, the paste needs to sit on the handlebars for a maximum of 15 minutes. Please make sure that the paste is thick enough so it doesn’t fall off the handlebars.

Step Three: Clean The Rust With A Toothbrush

You will need either a toothbrush or a clean cloth. Now you need to clean the rust from the handlebars with the toothbrush until you see the rust coming off, keep on doing that until the rust is eliminated. You can clean via different angles, that is no problem. However, if the toothbrush isn’t doing the trick for you then use a clean cloth for a thorough cleanse.

Step Four: Wash The Handlebar With Clean Water

Now make sure that your handlebars are fully clean. Wash them with clean water after an examination and then dry them with rags.

Removing Rust From The Bike Spokes

Many people have the misconception that rust does not affect the bike spokes, but that is not true. There is almost no area of the bike that rust won’t affect!

What You Will Need:

  • Dry Cloth
  • Wax
  • Brass Wool/Steel
  • Elbow Grease

Bike Spokes

Step One: Apply Some Elbow Grease

You need to apply some elbow grease on a brass wool/steel pad and rub it on the bike spokes, While using the steel wool make sure to rub every angle of the spoke, do not leave any area!

Step Two: Keep Rubbing

Make sure that the rubbing continues, you will feel the rust coming off the spokes now. Continue this until there is no rust left, make sure to use the unused fresh parts of the pad when going after the rust. If the steel wool falls off, just use another one.

Step Three: Remove The Rust Stains

Now take a dry and remove all the rust stains and steel wool from the bike spokes. After that, apply wax on the spokes.

Removing The Rust From Bike Rims

What You Will Need:

  • Rags (Dried)
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Degreaser

Step One: Uninstall The Bike Parts

You need to uninstall some bike parts. Carefully remove the tires, inner tubing, and spokes. In the end, you should be only left with the rims.

Step Two: Dip The Aluminum Foil In Degreaser

Dip the aluminum foil in a bowl full of a degreaser. Now that the aluminum foil is nice and wet, clean the bike rims with it. Don’t leave out any spots. Keep on doing this until there is no sign of rust on the rims.

Step Three: Apply Wax 

Dry the bike rims and then apply wax thoroughly so that rust does not develop again.

Which Areas Of The Bike Can Be Affected By Rust?

Bike Parts

Rust is a very nasty business to take care of and once it affects your bike, there is almost no area where it will leave the bike alone. These are the common areas where you can find signs of rust growth:

  • Bike Chain
  • Bike Frame
  • Handlebars
  • Bike Spokes
  • Rims

As I said, rust does not go easy on bikes, and you need to be very careful once you find signs of it, unless you take care of it, rust can destroy a bike!

Helpful Tips To Keep Your Bike Clean And Rust-Free

Rust is a combination of corrosive materials and oxygen when it comes into contact with metal, the chemical breakdown is therefore known as rust.  With these helpful tips, your bike will always remain clean and rust-free.

1. Always Keep The Bike Dry!

Did you know that the scientific term for rust is “Iron Oxide” when iron and oxygen react in the presence of air and water that is when rust is formed. Keep your bike dry always, rust won’t form on a dry bike.

Whenever you go out, whenever it is raining outside, whether you spent the whole day riding in puddles, once you come back home, make sure that your bike is nice and dry before storing it. Drying your bike is worth it.

2. Oil and Lubrication Is A Must

Think of the lubricants as protective barriers against corrosion, rust, and your bike. You would be amazed how powerful a lubricated bike is against rust that is why you should apply the lubricant often.

Well, not just the bike but all of the bike parts should be properly lubricated. May it be the derailleur, chain, nuts, everything should be lubricated, everything metal that is. Do not get mixed up with a degreaser, a lubricant and a degreaser are separate things.

3. Bike Protection If You Are Storing Outside

If you leave your bike outside often then it could become damaged or “Rusted” easily, this is something that you need to be careful about. The environment plays a critical role when it comes to bike protection, if it rains or snows a lot then your bike can catch rust very quickly. 

If you are going to store your bike outside then it is highly recommended that you get a cover for it. Make sure that it is long and wide enough so that every part of the bike can be covered easily. You need to make sure of this so that no amount of rain, snow, or moisture comes even close to your bike. The cover of the bike will also protect against the fading of colors.

Read More Bike Maintenance Tips:


Is It Recommended To Wash Your Bike With Water?

Yes, it is definitely recommended, just make sure to dry your bike after a thorough cleanse.

How Effective Is WD40?

WD40 works amazingly well against all sorts of rust, it will help your bike remain clean and protected!

How Often Should You Clean Your Bike?

Depends on how much you use it, cleaning your bike twice or thrice a week is more than enough.


Rust can destroy a bike, that is why you need to be careful when it comes to bikes. As a bike owner, these tips are going to help you out a lot, you need to be stocked up on the necessary maintenance items and tools. 

I hope that with these tips you can easily remove the rust from your bicycles! Happy Biking!

Also Read: 15 Best Bikes For Heavy Riders 

Should you have any questions or require further clarification on the topic, please feel free to connect with our expert author Rhodes Perry by leaving a comment below. We value your engagement and are here to assist you.

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Rhodes Perry

Rhodes Perry

Rhodes is a writer, social justice advocate, and passionate cyclist. He primarily spends his time in the saddle commuting or riding multi-day, self-supported tours, and volunteers time wrenching at his local bike coop.


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