If you have been riding bikes for quite a long time, you know how important it is to keep the chain and the overall drivetrain lubricated. Even if you are new to riding bikes and are just a beginner, it’s important to include chain cleaning as an important part of the regular maintenance and care steps you plan on following.
Best Bike Chain Cleaners and Degreasers
Similar to buying different parts for your bike, you don’t go short on options when it comes to exploring different types of bike chain cleaners and degreasers. Whether you are experienced in buying bike cleaners or are completely new to it, this list can help you steer clear from the hassle of going through endless options.
Before you start exploring the products, have a look at some of the factors below to learn more about bike cleaners. Doing this will in turn help you make an informed decision.
Professional-grade bike chain cleaners that have an intensive cleaning action are definitely great. However, they can be overkill for you if you are a recreational cyclist or ride your bike as part of your daily commute. If you want a normal-use bike chain cleaner without spending too much, Finish Line 1-step bike chain cleaner is a great option for you.
With a relatively low price, this product offers an extensive cleaning action. This product is great especially for daily bike commuters as it helps shorten the chain cleaning time with its fast-action formula. Apart from eliminating dirt and contaminants, this cleaner also effectively removes the old lube.
What is great to know is that this cleaner also performs double duty as a lubricant. When you use it for cleaning, it also stays intact on the bike chain and functions as a lubricant. This way, you do not have to buy a separate lubricant to maintain smoothness in your bike’s drivetrain every time you clean it.
- Cleans dirt and removes contaminants in a short time.
- Compatible with almost all types of applicators.
- Functions as a lubricator and stays on the bike chain.
- Pack size may be small for some bike riders.
- The consistency is relatively thin when compared to other bike chain cleaning products.
Buying a bike chain degreaser to keep your bike’s drivetrain spick and span doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. If you have a limited budget yet want to choose a bike chain degreaser that has an effective action, White Lightning Clean Streak is the right choice for you.
With just a couple of sprays, this product helps you get rid of stubborn grease, dirt, and road grime. The most interesting part is this product is suitable for recreational as well as professional bike riders. It is perfect for quick bike chain cleaning as it has a fast drying formulation. The best part is, you don’t have to remove the degreaser after applying it.
Most people associate foam-based degreasers as non-precise in terms of application. But this is not true for White Lightning Clean Streak as its foam does not get dispersed. This, in turn, makes it easy for you to apply the product in a precise way in the chain.
- This degreaser product has a heavy-duty action.
- Its quick-dry formula makes it suitable for quick bike chain cleaning.
- This product offers professional-grade cleaning at a relatively affordable price.
- This product does not work as a lubricant.
If you want the cleaning effectiveness of a bike chain cleaner as well as a degreaser, one of the best options for you is Simple Green Bike Cleaner and Degreaser. This product combines the function of both to offer a highly-effective cleaning action. This basically means that you can easily clean all types of dirt and grime from your bike’s chain without facing any hassle.
Simple Green Bike Cleaner and Degreaser is designed for effectively removing trail soils, dirt, grime, grease, caked-on mud, and tar. The best part about this product is it doesn’t have a harmful effect on painted surfaces which makes it one of the safest chain cleaning products available.
This product is suitable for use in all types of bike drivetrain systems. Whether you have a commuting bike or an off-road or mountain bike, this product will help you get the cleaning results that you want.
- This product works both as a bike chain cleaner and a degreaser.
- It is a highly safe product as it has a non-corrosive formula.
- Apart from having an intensive cleaning action, this product is eco-friendly as it is biodegradable.
- The size and price of the product may not be favorable for some.
- This product does not work as a chain lubricant.
Another budget-friendly yet highly-effective bike chain degreaser in this list is the WD-40 Specialist Bike Degreaser. This product has a deep penetrating action and works effectively in removing all the dirt, grease, and grime from the bike’s drivetrain. It is suitable for all types of bikes as it does not damage finishes such as paint and varnish.
WD-40 Specialist Bike Degreaser is easy to use as it sprays foam in a directed way. It also comes with an aligner pipe that you can connect to the spray nozzle and clean hard-to-reach areas of the bike’s chain.
Similar to other cleaners and degreasers from the brand, this product works great in staying intact to the chain. This essentially means that you don’t have to clean the chain every now and then. This product is suitable for professional as well as recreational bikers.
- This product has a fast-actual formula for removing grease and grime.
- This product is easy to apply as it comes with a spray nozzle and is compatible with almost all types of applicators.
- This product is suitable for a quick cleaning as it has a fast-drying formula.
- This product does not function as a proper chain lubricant.
Achieving professional-grade results when it comes to cleaning your bike’s chain doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to opt for a professional service. This is because a complete bike chain cleaning system that includes a degreaser, such as the Park Tool CG-2.4 chain cleaning system, helps you achieve chain cleaning perfection.
The degreaser included in this set works as a dirt magnet and removes all the contaminants from your bike’s chain. The chain scrubber tool included in this set helps you ensure complete cleaning of your bike’s chain and not miss out on any part of the chain.
What’s more interesting to know is that you can use this chain cleaning set to clean other parts of your bike, including chainrings and freewheel cogs. Also included in this set is a gear brush that helps you clean hard-to-reach areas of the freewheel cogs and chainrings.
- Degreaser has a high-intensity cleaning action.
- Gear brush and chain scrubber included in the set.
- The cleaning kits are compatible with e-bike systems as well.
- The degreaser does not keep the chain lubricated.
Dry-style degreasers work great in helping you achieve clean and dry chain cleaning results. One such dry-style degreaser with which you can make the most out of your bike chain cleaning routine is Speed Bike Degreaser by Finish Line.
This degreaser is a great pick for you if you want to use a separate chain lubricant post-cleaning as it has a dry cleaning action. As compared to several degreasers, this product eliminates the need to use brush and water rinsing.
When using this degreaser, you do not stand at the risk of damaging plastic and painted parts of your bike. The high–pressure spray nozzle of the can helps remove dirt and grime without the need for a separate cleaning brush.
- Degreaser’s fast-drying action helps shorten cleaning time.
- The can has a high-pressure aerosol action.
- Water rinsing and brushing not required.
- The degreaser does not work as a chain lubricant.
Another bike chain degreaser from Finish Line in this list is the Citrus Degreaser. This product is undoubtedly one of the most versatile degreasers in this list as it is suitable for extensive as well as basic drivetrain cleaning.
Citrus Degreaser dissolves the grime present in bike chains and therefore makes it easy for you to achieve optimal cleaning results. If you are somebody who prefers to regularly clean your bike, including the chain, in short intervals, you can dilute the degreaser with water as this product is strong enough to work with dilution.
This degreaser is also highly safe in terms of usage. It contains soy-based extracts and orange peel as the main ingredients and therefore does not cause any damage to rubber and plastic bike parts. The citrus extracts in the degreaser do not fail to remove grease, wax, and oil buildup in the chain.
- Removes all types of grease, oil, and wax from the bike again.
- The product has a non-harmful formulation and therefore is very safe to use near plastic and rubber parts.
- Works well when diluted with water for basic chain cleaning requirements.
- The product does not perform double duty as a chain lubricant.
Muc Off chain degreaser takes chain cleaning simplicity to a whole new level. With just a couple of sprays, this product helps you completely clean your bike’s chain and the entire drivetrain without having to face the hassle of using scrubbers and brushes.
Although marketed as a product for e-bikes, Muc Off chain degreaser is well-suited for regular bikes as well. You can also use it for mountain and off-road bikes. The non-harmful formula of the degreaser makes it safe for use near painted services, and rubber and plastic bike parts.
The deep reaching spray nozzle design of this product’s can makes sure that you do not miss out on cleaning hard-to-reach areas in the drivetrain. With just a wipe using a micro fibre cloth, you can easily get rid of grease, grime, oil, and wax.
- The product has a non-harmful formulation yet has a deep cleaning ability.
- The product’s quick drying action helps you shorten your cleaning time.
- A product is suitable for use in different types of bikes, including e-bikes, mountain bikes, regular bikes, and off-road bikes.
- This product isn’t designed as a chain lubricant.
If the thought of having a bike chain cleaner that also performs double duty as a shiner seems far-fetched to you, it’s not. Bike chain cleaners, such as the ProGold Chain Shine Bike Chain Cleaner, helps you achieve shiny cleaning results without putting in much effort.
This bike chain cleaner contains natural orange terpenes and therefore, comes as one of the safest drivetrain cleaning products. The non-harmful action of the product means that you can use it without worrying about causing damage to other bike parts.
Similar to some of the other chain cleaners and degreasers in this list, ProGold Chain Shine Bike Chain Cleaner can be used with different types of applicators. For simplicity and optimal cleaning results, use this product with a high-quality scrubbing brush and a microfibre cloth.
- Apart from ensuring proper cleaning, this product also maintains shine.
- This product is well-suited for different types of bikes, including regular bikes, mountain bikes, and off-road bikes.
- This chain cleaner is compatible with almost all types of applicators.
- This cleaner does not work as a chain lubricant.
If you are a touring bike rider, or are into off-road riding and sports biking, you need a chain degreaser that will help you achieve good cleaning results in a jiffy. One such degreaser that you can trust is Bike Medicine Golden Degreaser.
This product helps you make the most out of your investment as it works as a chain degreaser as well as a cleaner. It is safe to say that this product is one of the most intensive cleaners in this list as it has an industrial-level cleaning action. In other words, subpar cleaning results come nowhere close to being an issue for you.
Bike Medicine Golden Degreaser has a quick cleaning action and helps you eliminate all types of dirt and grime from your bike’s chain and the overall drivetrain. Similar to other chain cleaners and degreasers in this list, this product does not cause any damage to rubber, plastic, and painted bike parts.
- This product has an industrial-grade cleaning action.
- This product is suited for use in all types of bikes.
- Despite having an intensive cleaning action, this product is highly safe to use.
- This product is not designed to work as a proper chain lubricant.
Factors to consider when buying a bike chain cleaner/degreaser
Formulation of the cleaner/degreaser
One of the most important factors to consider when buying a bike chain cleaner or a degreaser is the formulation. Cleaners that have a fast-action formula are the best as they help you shorten the time it takes for you to clean the entire drivetrain of your bike.
Make sure that the bike chain cleaner/degreaser you choose doesn’t have a harsh formulation as such products increase the risk of wearing out the paint.
The type of bike riding you do
The bike chain cleaner/degreaser that’s right for you largely depends on the type of bike riding you do. If you ride your bike just as a part of your daily commutes, a chain cleaner that’s capable of removing light dirt can work well for you.
However, if you are into off-road cycling or mountain biking, it’s important for you to choose a chain cleaner/degreaser that can remove stubborn dirt and grime.
Drying time of the cleaner/degreaser
Bike chain cleaner/degreaser products are available with long as well as short drying times. If you don’t have any rush when cleaning the drivetrain of your bike, you can choose a cleaner with a long drying time as such types of cleaners work great in extensively cleaning and restoring the health of the chain.
On the other hand, if you are short on time and want to quickly clean the chain, you cannot go wrong with a cleaner that has a quick drying time.
Application style of the cleaner/degreaser
The application style of a bike chain cleaner/degreaser plays an important role in determining its effectiveness. If you want good cleaning results and that too in a quick way, you can choose a chain cleaner/degreaser that is in aerosol form and have a spray nozzle.
However, if you want the chain cleaning you do to have an extensive action and give great results, you can go for a liquid chain cleaner. Many chain degreasers are available in foam and semi-liquid forms.
Size of the cleaner/degreaser pack
As it is with every other type of product, choosing a large size pack is always the best option as it helps you make good savings. This is also true when buying a bike chain cleaner/degreaser. However, if you are continuously riding/touring in your bike, it’s important to have a small/compact-sized cleaner/degreaser in your maintenance toolkit.
1. Does regularly cleaning bike’s chain help avoid maintenance?
The odds are very high. By regularly cleaning your bike’s chain, you not just lower the likelihood of opting for professional maintenance services but also improve the longevity of the bike’s overall drivetrain system.
2. Is it necessary to use a chain lubricant after cleaning it?
Although it is not highly necessary, using a chain lubricant after cleaning the chain does work great in improving the longevity of the chain and the overall smoothness of the drivetrain.
3. What is the best cleaning tool to use with a chain cleaner and degreaser?
A cleaning brush that has thin and flexible bristles is one of the best cleaning tools that you can use with your chin cleaner or degreaser.
4. How long should one clean the chain when using a chain cleaner?
Most modern chain cleaners and degreasers have a quick cleaning action. If you plan to use such a product, using it with a cleaner tool for about 3 to 5 minutes will help you get the job done and achieve good cleaning results.
Not all bike chain cleaners and degreasers work in the same way. Therefore, it’s important to first learn about the cleaning action of the product you plan on buying. It’s also important to use the right cleaning tool and follow the right cleaning instructions recommended by the product manufacturer in order to achieve optimal chain cleaning results.