How To Wax A Bike Chain- A Complete Waxing Guide

With all that rough riding going on, it is important that you know how to take proper care of your bike chain. Your chain may be a small component of your bike, but it plays a crucial role in its performance. So join me on this journey as I teach you the proper method to wax your chain.
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To keep your bike running, it is important to keep the chain in good shape. I cannot stress this enough! Waxing your bicycle chain may seem like a small step but it has many benefits. It helps your bike Run Smoothly, Reduces Wear And Tear, And Keeps It From Getting Rusty Or Corroded. It’s an easy process that will only take a few minutes of your time and will help your bike function well for years to come. In this article, we’ll show you how to apply chain wax the right way to keep it running smoothly so don’t miss out on this essential knowledge for any biking enthusiast!

Tools Required For Chain Waxing

Chain Link Pliers

Having the right tools at your disposal is important to make chain waxing easy. You will need an array of items, such as lubricants, brushes, gloves, safety glasses, waxes, and degreasers.

1. Slow Cooker

You’ll need a slow cooker for melting the wax as you cannot melt the wax in a rice cooker, and it is very important to remember this. However, you don’t have to stress about buying anything fancy as you can use a small crock-pot too.

2. Swisher Tool

Swisher is a tool used to hold the chain in the slow cooker. Alternatively, you can use an open-ended steel hanger or cable ties.

Chain link pliers, like Park Tool’s, that can take off and put on quick links. These pliers are specially designed to assist in breaking the chain, which is necessary for cleaning.

How To Wax A Bike Chain

Let’s break down the steps that you need to follow.

Bicycle Chain

1. Begin By Removing Your Bike’s Chain

First, you will need to remove your bike’s chain by using the pliers that we mentioned earlier. It is a good idea to place all the chain links in a box to make sure that you don’t lose any one of them.

2. Now Clean The Chain 

Before you start waxing, you need to make sure that your chain is clean and does not have any external debris, dirt, or dust. Even if you are waxing your new chain, it is important to remember that it will have factory grease on it which you need to remove to wax your chain.

To clean your old chain, you can put it in boiled water. This will remove the old wax. Then clean and dry it with a cloth to make sure that there are no particles left on it and that it is completely dry before putting on the new wax.

3. Start Heating Up Your Cooker 

It will take some time for the wax, so one way to be efficient can be to switch on the cooker before you take off the chain. It will save some time as by the time you are done cleaning, the wax will also be ready for use.

4. Prepare The Chain Before Dipping The Chain Into Hot Wax 

Before dipping the chain into the hot wax, you should hang it using a metal hanger or a Swisher tool. The Swisher tool is a better option as it makes it easier to hang the chain so that you can easily put it in the slow cooker.

After the wax is melted and is ready to use, dip the chain completely into it and leave it in for at least an hour, or even overnight.

5. Remove The Chain From The Cooker 

After keeping your chain in the cooker for at least an hour, slowly take it and shake it so the wax drops drip down slowly. Keep in mind to shake it gently so that the chain links don’t fall apart. Then hang it somewhere to let it cool down. Do not touch it with your bare hands.

After the chain has cooled down, remove the freshly waxed chain from the swisher tool and straighten it out. Don’t worry if the chain is hard because that’s normal.

6. Now Re-Install It

The next step is to make sure that you install the chain in the right direction. After that, you have to break the wax bond on your chain. To do this,  lift the back wheel, and for 30 seconds at least, you need to manually advance the pedals to break in the wax. Another way to break the wax bond is by running it up and down on a pipe before you install the chain.

7. Take A Test Ride

Your bike is now as good as new and ready to ride. The chain might feel stiff at first, but it will loosen up over time. Don’t shift too many gears for the first few rides or at least until your chain loosens up

How I Wax My Chain- Icebike Edition

Close Up Chain Of The Mountain Bike

At Icebike, I believe that hot dip chain waxing is one of the most effective bike maintenance techniques. With this method, you can go up to 25,000 kilometers before needing to change the cassette. By then, it is pretty much the time to upgrade your whole bike so it’s not much of a hassle. You can use paraffin wax or any other type of wax that works for you.

The most challenging part of waxing for me is cleaning the chain thoroughly before starting the waxing process. This process is an important one and it took me about 2 hours. Step one was 15 minutes long during which I dipped my chain in the bath at 65 degrees Celsius. To make sure that the chain was thoroughly clean I dipped it in the ceramic cleaner too. I had to repeat this process twice, but that depends on your chain’s quality. I did this with a 30-minute interval so it serves as an ultrasonic wash. The third step was to dip the chain in methylated spirits or mineral spirits to remove any previous cleaners.

Once the chain was clean, I used a dryer to dry it thoroughly. You can use any cloth or a towel to make sure your chain is dry. It’s essential to apply a wax coating as soon as possible to prevent rust since a clean chain is more prone to rusting.

I used Silka’s Secret Chain blend wax, which comes in a packed palette format but once you heat it it liquefies. It took some time for the wax to reach the right temperature, so I hung it on a metal hanger until it was ready to be dipped in the wax. When I dipped the chain into the melted wax and agitated it, bubbles appeared on the surface. That is how you know you have correctly impregnated the chain. After removing the chain, I placed it in another bucket to collect any wax drops for recycling for re-dips.

Many riders use multiple chains, making it cost-effective to re-wax using recycled wax. For virgin chains, it’s best to use virgin wax. I prefer to brush my chain with PTFE and Molybdenum as an additional step.

What Wax Can You Use?

Here are a few options for you to check out other than the one that I used:





Types of Waxes for Bike Chains

Type Description
Molten Speed Wax Molten wax used for bike chain maintenance. It lubricates, protects, and extends the lifespan of the chain by reducing wear and friction. Also, it prevents grime and dust buildup.
Hot Wax A lubricant made from natural waxes like paraffin, carnauba, or beeswax. It’s melted and applied to the chain, reducing wear, friction, and keeping the chain clean, dry, and efficient.
Melted Wax A unique chain lubricant for bicycles made by melting a special wax mixture and coating the chain with liquid wax. Provides long-lasting lubrication and is waterproof, ideal for rainy weather.
Paraffin Wax Commonly used to lubricate bicycle chains, paraffin wax reduces friction and wear. Applied directly to the chain, it forms a thin protective layer, resulting in quieter and smoother rides.

Benefits of Chain Waxing 

Waxing the chain can help you save money in the long term and reduce the energy required to pedal by decreasing friction.

Clean Bike Chain

1. It Will Increase Your Bicycle’s Efficiency

Waxing your bike chain will make it run more smoothly and efficiently, allowing you to ride with less effort and also make your riding more speed and time efficient.

2. There Will Be Reduced Wear And Tear 

Another benefit of regularly waxing your bike chain is that it can lessen the amount of wear and tear on the chain. Which eventually results in saving money as the chain won’t need to be replaced as often.

3. Improved Lubrication Means Less Friction 

Waxing your bike chain will enhance the lubrication between the chain and the sprocket, which in turn will reduce friction which will keep your bike operating smoothly.

4. Easier Regular Cleaning

Bicycle chains that have been waxed are less likely to attract dirt and debris, making regular cleaning easy. Keep your bike looking great and tidy with this helpful technique!

Also Read:


Waxing a bike chain involves wiping it down with denatured alcohol, applying a wax-based drip lube, and then rubbing it into the chain links with another cloth. I suggest using wax as a lubricant for your bike chain.  If you use the appropriate kind of wax and apply it regularly, you will extend the life of your bike chain and improve its performance.

It is an easy investment as bicycle chains can be easily waxed using a few inexpensive items and a few minutes of your time. What I have learned from experience is that to maintain your bike operating smoothly, all it takes is a little time to check the chain.

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

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Luke Ameen

Luke Ameen

For many years, I've journeyed the world as an ardent cyclist, feeling the pulse of the road beneath two wheels. Even though competitive mountain trails might not be my battleground now, my zeal for cycling remains undiminished, pushing me to chase new escapades every chance I get.

My heart beats for everything related to cycling. Over the years, I've immersed myself in extensive research and hands-on tests of cycling equipment and enhancements, aiming to guide fellow cyclists in amplifying their riding experience. My mission is clear: deliver trustworthy insights and reliable guidance that readers can lean on. My vision is to kindle the same fervor for cycling in others, whether they're seasoned veterans or just embarking on this journey. Rest assured, I'm here to equip you with the freshest updates, advice, and perspectives to enrich every ride.


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