Removing Rust From A Bicycle Guide

If you’ve had a bicycle in the past, you understand how disheartening it is to watch your once stylish bike start to look rusted and worn out. A small amount of rusting can unexpectedly appear, causing some anxiety.

Bikes can become rusty due to a variety of causes, such as moisture build-up during storage or even perspiration while in use.

Thankfully, most bicycle corrosion is just on the outer surface, and eliminating rust from a bicycle is not as complicated as some may imagine. You ought to try to stay on top of bike maintenance and make sure to take a few minutes regularly to make sure the frame and any parts don’t have any rust.

You may choose to spend a hefty sum on your contemporary road bike, so it’s important to care for it to preserve its appearance and overall worth if you choose to sell it afterwards. What is the best way to take rust off of your bicycle?

You can uncover and employ a variety of everyday household items to help you get rid of the rust. Let’s get into them.

WD-40 for Bike Chains

WD-40 is a very versatile product, and it works great to remove rust on bicycles. We always keep it available as an option, especially if the necklace needs some special care and attention.

There are two different opinions concerning the use of WD-40 on bicycle chains. Some swear by it, and others don’t like it.

It is important to bear in mind that WD-40 is mainly used as a cleaner, rather than as a lubricant. This is an excellent product to employ if you have to remove any rust from metal components specifically when it is simply on the outside.

It is important to be aware that if you utilise the product, possibly on a chain, you will still desire to treat the chain with a traditional chain lubricant or oil afterwards.

1. Baking Soda

Baking soda is highly successful in eliminating rust quickly and easily. If you use this technique regularly, eventually your bike will be back to how it was when it was first purchased. Here’s how you should use baking soda for minor and severe rust on your bike:

Mixing Baking Soda and Water

  • Grab and mix an equal amount of both baking soda and water in a bowl. There is no set amount you should use, eyeballing it should be fine. If your bike is heavily covered in rust, add a little more baking soda than water.
  • Keep on mixing the two components together until it becomes a thick paste.
  • Keep additional baking soda and water nearby in case you need more paste than you thought. You can also add a small amount of lemon juice to the baking soda paste to increase the strength of the mixture (for very bad rusting).

Apply Paste

Put the baking soda paste on the parts of your bicycle that have become rusty. Spread the paste with a spatula, brush, or sponge, and firmly press it over the problem spots.

Allow the paste to remain on for a quarter of an hour to be most effective. It is necessary to leave the paste on for 10-15 minutes to allow it to become fixed and thereby take away the rust.

Remove the Baking Soda

Ensure that the baking soda used is of sufficient thickness to blanket the rusted patches. It’s important to apply the mixture without any drips getting onto your bicycle or the floor. If any drips occur, it is an indication that the mixture isn’t thick enough; in such an instance, create a thicker mixture.

Wipe away the baking soda from the bike using a sponge or a scrubbing pad. A plastic scrubber or toothbrush could be employed as well.

As you begin cleaning, you will observe that the rust will start to disappear, uncovering what once was your exquisite bike. If the desired result is not achieved, you will have to begin the process again with a greater amount of baking soda or lemon juice.

2. Vinegar or Coca Cola

Vinegar does wonders on metal. This shot shows the contrast between the rusted surface on, the left, and the surface with a vinegar cleaning on, the right.

An alternate way to rid a bicycle of rust is through the employment of either vinegar or Coca-Cola. Vinegar and coca cola possess enough acidic strength to effectively damage and break apart rust. Here are some ways you can use vinegar or coca-cola to remove rust from your bike:

Spraying your Bike

Put on a pair of rubber gloves and get a container with a spray nozzle and fill it with either vinegar or coca cola. No specific amount is necessary – simply use your discretion to decide how much, dependent upon the size of your bicycle and the amount of rust present.

Spray the vinegar or Coca-Cola onto the corroded spots, then take a toothbrush or similar instrument that’s enclosed in tinfoil and scour the rust away.

A spray bottle is ideal because of its convenience for continually replenishing the solution when needed. If the rust isn’t coming off when you’re cleaning, make sure to use more of the cleaning solution and give it a harder scrub.

Adding Baking Soda

If the rust does not come off after some vigorous scrubbing, try spraying a small amount of baking soda from a spray bottle. This mixture of vinecoca-colacola will be amplified, forming a more potent solution which will be able to eliminate the rust from your bicycle.

Be sure not to use too much baking soda or the mixture might be too intense and cause harm to your bicycle. Apply the solution to the sections that are covered in rust one more time and scrub it off.

Soak Bike Parts

An easier way to remove rust is to submerge any rusty bicycle components in vinegar and a Coca-Cola mixture. This approach will necessitate significantly more resources than just spritzing and cleaning.

Soak the bike parts for 10 minutes and then rinse them off with water. If the solution is not taken off your bike immediately, it can deteriorate the metal, leading to the complete destruction of the bicycle. So remember, wash thoroughly!

3. Chemical Rust Remover 

A third way of eradicating rust from your bicycle is to apply a potent rust eliminator chemical. These home-based approaches discussed earlier should be enough for a lot of people.

Nevertheless, if you desire your bike garage to be well-stocked with supplies made explicitly for that purpose, or are facing serious difficulties getting rid of the corrosion, then this option should be taken into consideration.

Do not combine this approach with any other methods if you choose to use it. Here’s how you should use a chemical rust remover that you can purchase at most department or hardware stores for your bike:

Safety First

When handling any sort of chemical, it is important to keep in mind that it can be very hazardous. Always put on gloves and goggles before dealing with industrial chemical rust-eliminating solutions.

It is important to read all the instructions before using the product. In case it makes contact with the skin or eyes, wash it off right away and seek professional help. Work in a space with plenty of ventilation and move the remover around in the open.


Take a brush and use the rust remover on any parts of your bike that have rusted. It could take between a half hour and an hour for the remover to work depending on the product. Certain moving companies might even necessitate that you leave the cleaning product in place for the entire night.

It is crucial to thoroughly read the directions so that you will not ruin your bike. If you’re wanting more powerful and immediate outcomes, search for a very powerful remover.

Removal and Aftercare

Once the allotted time has elapsed, don protective gloves and use a cloth to cautiously remove the chemical rust remover from your bike. Deal with the product carefully to avoid any contamination of other objects.

Thoroughly scrub your bike down with warm water, and then make sure to dry it completely. Be sure to always keep your bike in a place where it is free from moisture.

Removing Rust from Bike


Before you begin the rust removal procedure, you want to have the following tools of the trade:

  • Dry rags
  • Scouring pad
  • Link removal tool
  • Toothbrushes/ bristle brushes
  • Lime juice
  • Deep bowl
  • Lubricant

Inspect the full extent of the bike chain to identify any dirt or dirtiness. Position yourself beside the bike, raise the back end and rotate the foot pedal backwards a few times while inspecting for dirt, filth, and corrosion among the chain connections.

Take heed not to let flying liquid come into contact with your eyes while spinning wheels or chains.

Clean the surface with dry rags and then remove any concealed grime with a bristle brush or toothbrush. To properly access the spaces between the centre rollers and side plates of the chain, it is necessary to have an assortment of brushes in varying sizes. The rust will be more noticeable once the dirt has been wiped away.

Soak the steel scouring pad in lime juice and use it to scrub away any rust on the chain. To take out tenacious rust stains, invert the bike and utilize the chain-extraction implement to remove the chain. Allow the chain to sit in a bowl of lime juice for one to two hours.

Take the chain out of the container containing lime (or other specified alternative) and dry it using a cloth. Make sure you allow it to dry thoroughly before you put it back on the bike.

Step 5: Add one to two drops of quality lube chain and slowly spin the pedals to spread it evenly.

Direct your attention to the rollers in the middle as well as the plates on the sides of the chain and allow the lubricant to be absorbed before removing any extra. The lubricant serves to create a barrier between the bike chain and anything else it may come into contact with, thus protecting it from rust.

Removing Rust from Bike Frame

You will need the following materials:

  • Baking soda/vinegar
  • Brush/sponge
  • Bowl
  • Plastic/steel scrub pad
  • Dry rag

Begin by combining an equal amount of water and baking soda in a bowl. Stir the liquid until it becomes a thick, gooey paste. You can add some lemon juice to make the concoction more effective at taking rust off.

Take your brush or sponge and scoop up the paste. Spread the paste evenly across the entirety of the bicycle frame. Leave the paste combination on the frame for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Do not take off the pasty coating before it has solidified; it requires a certain amount of time to break down the rust.

Scrub the bike frame with either a plastic or steel scrub pad to remove the baking soda paste. You will see the disintegration of the rust and the metal frame coming off in pieces. Keep adding the paste as you scrub harder to make sure all the rust is taken off.

Allow the bicycle to sit for no less than 10 minutes before cleaning the baking soda off with a dry cloth.

Continue the process you are doing until you are certain the frame is completely dry, and if there are any spots of rust remaining, repeat the steps until they have all been eliminated. Keep your bike in an area that is cool and not humid to avoid rust returning.

Removing Rust from Handlebars

You will need the following ingredients to help you get rid of the rust from your bike’s handlebars:

  • Table salt
  • Cup
  • Tablespoon
  • Toothbrush
  • Dry rag
  • Lime juice

Combine 6 tablespoons of table salt and two spoonfuls of lemon juice in a cup, stirring the combination together with a spoon until it becomes a thick paste.

Spread the thick paste mixture across the metallic parts of the handlebars until everything is evenly covered, then give it about ten minutes to rest. Make sure the glue is thick enough that it won’t drip down the handlebars.

Utilize your toothbrush to get rid of the rust from the handlebars while moving the brush around in different ways. Continue brushing until the rust marks begin to lessen and disappear. If you don’t think that the toothbrush is effective, you can alternatively use a clean cloth.

After you have confirmed that all the rust is gone, you should rinse the handlebars off with fresh water and then use a somewhat dry cloth to pat your bicycle dry.

Removing Rust from Bike Spokes

To rid your bicycle spokes of rust, you will need the following things:

  • Steel/brass wool
  • Elbow grease
  • Wax
  • Dry cloth

Begin by taking a steel or brass wool pad and scrubbing each spoke of your bicycle wheels vigorously. Grab a small bit of steel wool and rub it along and around each spoke, giving special attention to the problematic areas.

Keep rubbing the spokes until the rust begins to dissipate. You might need to put more pressure on tougher rust stains. Make sure to switch to a newer section of the scrubber once you realize the steel wool is coming away.

Clean off the bike spokes with a dry rag, making sure to get any rust stains and steel wool pieces that may be clinging to them. Spread wax onto the bike spokes and wipe away any surplus.

Removing Rust from Bike Rims

Make sure you have the following materials:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Degreaser
  • Dry rag

Begin by removing the tyre, inner tube, and spokes from the bicycle wheels, leaving only the bike rims.

Take the aluminium foil and submerge it in a bowl of degreaser for a short period. Employ the wet aluminium foil to clean the borders of the bike wheels, being vigilant to not overlook any rust stains. Do this procedure over and over until all of the oxidation has been removed from the rims.

Clean the bike rims with a dry cloth before coating them with wax to avert corrosion.


When attempting to eliminate rust from your bicycle, many other cleaning solutions are available. The process of eliminating rust remains mostly the same, but you can use various solutions to do so.


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