How to Remove Rust From Bike – Bike Maintenance Tips

Every bike owner goes through this, once your bike has given you a good couple of years, there will be signs of wear and tear. This usually comes in the form of rust and in this guide we will sharing tips on how to clean the rust off your bike and maintain it!
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Being a bike owner is not easy, the trouble starts from choosing the perfect bike, then buying it, and then finally maintaining it. We get it, bikes are valued possessions but over time they will show signs of wear and tear, this is something that no one can ignore.

No matter how perfect the condition of the bike is, or how much you take care of it, the bike’s health is going to deteriorate over time. Your bike will show signs of rust and that is when you need to be on high alert, rust normally shows degradation in a bike. If you are using the bike too much, or if it is exposed to too much sunlight or water, then there is going to be rust growth. No need to panic though, we have got this covered!

Any person would panic when they see rust on their beloved bike, but this is something that you need to be prepared for. Think of it as a stepping point, this makes sure that you can professionally maintain and take care of your bike when the going gets tough!

Note: All of the tips and tricks are going to be shared in steps procedures, for the best results you have to follow them numerically, from top till bottom. We ensure that these steps will make your bike look and feel brand new and you will be protected from rust in the future!

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 absolutely destroy a bike!

Rust Removal Agents You Can Use

There are many rust removal agents that you can use to clean your bike, following are a few good examples that will come in handy:

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

Many of these items are going to be used in combination with each other, how to actually use them and what to combine will come shortly!

Bikes are made from several metallic components and they are extremely vulnerable to rust unless you take care of them. Long exposure to air and water will let the rust consume your bike very quickly and that is why we will be sharing some amazing tips and procedures to keep your bike absolutely rust-free. 

Let’s start with the cleaning, shall we?

Cleaning The Bike Chain

Cleaning Bike Chain

Let’s start with the most common area to find rust on your bike, 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 For The Cleaning Operation:

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

Make sure that you have these items before you start cleaning the bike chains! 

Steps To Follow For A Perfect Cleanse!

The first step is always an 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 up 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.

The second step is concerned with cleaning the dirt off that is concealing the rust. You will be having your toothbrushes with you, with the cleanse and rub properly. There will be some difficult areas when you would be cleaning that 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.

For step three, you will be needing 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 we mean 1-2 hours, no more than that.

In step four, all you need to do is 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.

For step five, you need to apply the lube on the chain, and in order, for it to be 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.

Cleaning 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 For The Cleansing Operation:

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

In step one, you need to 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.

In step two, you need to apply this paste with a sponge or brush to the whole length of the bike’s frame, make sure that each area is covered nicely and properly. You need to then make sure that the paste actually 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.

For step three, you will need to 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.

For step four, 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. The results will impress you once you use them!

Cleaning 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 For The Cleansing Operation:

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

In step one, you would have to make a mixture of table salt and lemon juice. Use about 6 tablespoons of salt and 2 spoons of lemon juice, you need to mix this until it becomes a thick paste. Be careful not to overdo it though!

In step two, you need to 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.

In step three you will be needing 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. Although if the toothbrush isn’t doing the trick for you then use a clean cloth for a thorough cleanse.

For step four, all you need to do is to make sure that your handlebars are fully clean. Wash them with clean water after an examination and then dry them with rags.

Cleaning The Bike Spokes

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

What You Will Need For The Cleansing Operation:

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

Bike Spokes

In step one, 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!

In step two, 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.

In step three, you would need a dry rag, use that to remove all the rust stains and steel wool from the bike spokes. After that, apply wax on the spokes.

Cleaning The Bike Rims

What You Will Need For The Cleansing Operation:

  • Rags (Dried)
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Degreaser

In step one, 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.

In step two you would have to dip the aluminum foil in a bowl full of degreaser. Now that the aluminum foil is nice and wet, you need to clean the bike rims with it, make sure that you don’t leave out any spots. Keep on doing this until there is no sign of rust on rims.

In step three, dry the bike rims and then apply wax thoroughly so that rust does not develop again.

Helpful Tips To Keep Your Bike Clean And Rust-Free

Rust is something not to be taken lightly, once it gets out of hand it can completely destroy a bike! What exactly is rust tho? Rust is a combination of corrosive materials and oxygen when it comes into contact with metal, the chemical breakdown is therefore known as rust. Although there is nothing to be worried about, with these helpful tips your bike will always remain clean and rust-free.

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, unless you take care of it, it can become very dangerous! The most crucial tip is to keep your bike dry always, rust won’t form on a dry bike.

Whenever you go out, whenever there is raining outside, whether you spent the whole day riding on puddles, once you come back home, make sure that your bike is nice and dry before storing it. If a bike becomes wet then there is an increased chance that it can catch rust. You might think that after being in the rain, your bike would be clean and there would be no need to clean it more but that is wrong. Drying your bike is worth it, it will greatly help against the rust!

Oil and Lubrication Is A Must

If you have bikes then it is very necessary to stock up on bike lubricants, you won’t be able to survive without them. 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 degreaser are separate things.

 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 really 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 not careful enough then it will destroy your bike before you can even blink!

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 so 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.


Bikes are valued possessions, we have to take the utmost care of them. Rust is something that is not to be taken lightly, once out of control it can completely 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. 

We hope that with these tips you can enjoy your bikes to the fullest! Happy Biking!

Also Read: 15 Best Bikes For Heavy Riders (Updated 2023)

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