WD-40 bike cleaner

Can I Use WD40 On A Bike Chain?

Can I use WD-40 on bike chain? Yes, you can. WD-40 offers a wide range of products aimed at degreasing, cleaning, and lubricating the bike chain. The below piece will give you an insight into what WD-40 is, when to use it, and address other related issues concerning the product. Read on and get informed.

What Is WD-40?

WD-40 came into existence in 1953. Rocket Chemical Company designed the formula. They were experimenting with various solvents and degreasers to help prevent rust. It took them 40 trials to compose the solution that is currently known as WD-40. 


WD stands for water displacement, while the 40 refers to the number of trials the scientists undertook to create it.

WD-40 bike cleaner

When to Apply WD-40 on Your Bike Chain

The primary role of WD-40 is cleaning, but you can also use it as a lubricant. The process of cleaning is straightforward. Let’s cover how the various WD-40 products help you maintain your bike chain by reviewing the unique roles.

5 Steps of Maintaining Your Bike Chain Using WD-40

Step 1. Degreasing the Chain

To effectively clean your bike chain, you first need to degrease it such that it is grease and junk-free. The most obvious way of cleaning it is using a bucket of soapy water, elbow grease, and a scrubbing brush to scrub off all the grime. However, the probability of damaging your chain while using this technique is high.

Use the WD-40 chain cleaner and degreaser. The product incorporates all the ingredients needed to cater to effective degreasing. The process tends to be easy and quick. Follow the following steps:

  • Remove dirt and dry mud by rinsing the bike chain
  • Apply the WD-40 degreaser to the chain and give it enough time to work.

Note: you can use the WD-40 degreaser to clean and degrease other moving parts.

WD-40 cleaner degreaser degreasing the chain

Step 2. Scrubbing off the Grime and Dirt

After allowing the WD-40 degreaser to work, grab a brush and scrub the grime, dirt, and grease from the chain. The degreaser ensures that the process is easy and does not consume much time. It facilitates the loosening of grime in such a way it comes off easily.

The WD-40 degreaser ensures no further damage to your bike chain by reducing the need for enhanced scrubbing.

WD-40 cleaner degreaser scub of grime and dirt

Step 3. Washing

After you have scrubbed your chain clean, wash it with a sponge and clean water. The procedure is necessary because there may still be some residue remaining on the chain. The water removes any remaining dirt.

Washing the chain is also crucial because you get to remove the degreaser before applying a lubricant. After cleaning the chain, let it dry, preferably under the sun. It ensures you get the chain in the ideal condition for proper lubrication.

WD-40 cleaner degreaser wash

Step 4. Lubricating

After cleaning your bike’s chain, it is a no-brainer that you need to lubricate it before indulging in your routine ride. There is a wide range of products you can use to achieve proper lubrication. They include bike oil, lubricants, and grease.

Some bike manufacturers recommend specific lubricants for their bikes. However, get the guarantee of finding an effective lubricant from the WD-40 lubricant series. Choose from WD-40 wet lube, Wd-40 all conditions lube, or WD-40 dry lube.

The WD-40 chain lube prevents squeaks and prolongs the lifespan of your chain. It incorporates corrosion inhibitors for maximum chain protection.

WD-40 bike all conditions lube

Step 5. Removing Rust

Yes, you can use WD-40 to remove rust from the bike chain. Spray it directly on the area that has rust and wait for the solution to soak in. Afterward, scrub the rust using a wire brush or sandpaper and then use a clean rug to eliminate the remaining residue.

WD-40 dust remover soak

Remember to add a lubricant to prevent the recurrence of rust. Watch this video to get a clear understanding of how WD-40 products work.

Some Issues Regarding the Use of WD-40 as a Lubricant

There is controversy surrounding the use of WD-40 as a lubricant as some cyclists believe it is only effective for cleaning and keeping the bike chain and other moving parts rust-free. This is a fallacy. According to the manufacture – WD-40, “it is a distinct, special blend of lubricants.”

Secondly, WD-40 is an effective lubricant if you are riding under dry conditions as it lasts longer – 8-12 hours. However, if you tend to ride under wet conditions, the WD-40 lubricant comes off quickly because it is less oily and thus light. Make sure you pack an extra can to apply during a wet ride.

Can You Apply WD-40 Alongside Other Lubricant Brands?

We do not recommend that you use WD-40 lubricant along with other brands since it removes any other type of lubricant on the bike’s chain once applied. You have to choose either of the two. For you to use a different lube, remove any WD-40 product from the chain.

Now, let’s have a recap of the different WD-40 products and the role they play in maintaining your bike’s chain:

  • WD-40 wet lube – helps waterproof the chain
  • WD-40 dry lube – helps prevent dirt from sticking on the chain
  • WD-40 chain lube – ideal for high performance rides regardless of the riding conditions – both dry and wet conditions


So, can I use WD-40 on bike chain? From the above information, it is pretty clear that it is proper chain maintenance to use WD-40. Use it for:

  • Degreasing
  • Lubrication
  • Removing and preventing rust

The taste and preferences of various cyclists differ, but an unpopular opinion should not deter you from trying this exquisite product. You deserve a flawless chain that delivers optimally even under the harshest conditions.

To learn more about road cycling, here are 5 important road cycling techniques for beginner cyclists.

Wondering why you have neck pain after riding? Learn about six cycling postures that cause neck pain and how to fix it.

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