10 Best Bike Chain Cleaners: Keep Your Chain Sparkling Clean

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Cleaning and lubricating a bike’s chain regularly ensures smooth shifting, extends the life of a drivetrain, and increases power efficiency. However, not everyone has the time or energy to clean a bike chain regularly. This is why in this article, we have put together the best bike chain cleaners on the market, which should help you speed up and improve your chain cleaning process. We also included a frequently asked question section down below, but please let us know in the comments if you have further questions!


IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: bike chain cleaner is a quick and easy solution to regularly clean your bike’s chain, but it is not the most thorough cleaning method. For the best results, it is recommended to remove a chain from a bike and soak it in cleaning fluids (degreaser or white spirit) or use an ultrasonic cleaner.

Quick Overview of Our 3 Best Bike Chain Cleaners

Best Bike Chain Cleaner Tool
Park Tool CM-5.3 - Cyclone Chain Scrubber
Best Bike Chain Cleaning Kit
Muc Off 8 in 1 Bicycle Cleaning Kit
Best Bike Chain Ultrasonic Cleaner
VEVOR 6L Professional Ultrasonic Cleaner

Popular ways to clean a bike chain:

1. Wipe the chain with a rug or clean with a brush

Wipe down dirt and grime with a rag, old t-short, or socks and re-lube the chain. This is the easiest and cheapest cleaning method but the least effective one.

2. Use a degreaser with brushes, sponge, and water to clean the chain

Apply a degreaser on the chain, wait up a few minutes, and then use brushes, sponges, and hot water to wash the chain. You can also use a cloth to dry the chain before re-applying a lubricant.

3. Use a bike chain cleaning tool with a degreaser

Chain cleaning tools have become quite popular over the last few years. They are super easy to use, do not need much space, and leave relatively less mess behind. Once the chain is clipped inside the tool, you need to rotate the crank (pedal backward) for about a minute. This rotation runs the chain through sponges, brushes, and a degreaser inside the casing. If the chain is filthy, you might need to replace the degreaser and repeat the process. Next, you will need to wash down the degreaser with water and apply the lubricant once the chain is dry.

4. Use an ultrasonic chain cleaner

An ultrasonic cleaner is another popular way to clean a bike’s chain. This tool removes dirt and old lubricant by creating vibrations and agitations in the water. As a result, the particles stuck to the metal fall off. You can also place the chain inside a zip bag, pour some degreaser, close it, and put it inside the ultrasonic cleaner. This way, all the dirt that comes off the chain will stay inside the bag and will not pollute the ultrasonic cleaner.


Also, do not leave the chain inside the cleaner for long as it will leave black stains. Start with 8-10 minutes and extend this time if needed.

5. Soak a chain in petrol or degreaser

Soaking a chain in petrol is another popular way to clean a bike’s chain. You need to remove the chin, place it inside a thick plastic container or a glass jar, add petrol or white spirit, and leave it overnight. If the chain is filthy, you might need to repeat the process. We don’t recommend this method as it can be dangerous, and in many cases, it is not the most environmentally friendly.

6. OPTIONAL: using a pressure washer and/or air compressor.

A pressure washer and/or an air compressor are optional tools that speed up any bike chain cleaning process. For example, a good pressure washer can be used the wash down degreaser and the rest of the bike, while the air compressor can speed up chain drying time. For example, by using an air compressor, you can quickly dry the chain and apply new lubricant.


Our Pick of 10 Best Bike Chain Cleaners:

1. Park Tool CM-5.3 - Cyclone Chain Scrubber


The Park Tool CM-5.3 is the most popular and highest quality chain cleaning tool on the market. It is effortless to use and pretty much mess-free compared to cheaper alternatives.


The durable plastic body and brushes are designed to last for a long time. Also, this chain cleaner can be used on all bikes because of the handle, which can be attached to any side.


On the downside, this chain cleaner is a bit more expensive than alternatives, but you get higher quality and a tool that will outlast and outperform the competition.

2. Pedro's Pig II Chain Cleaning Machine


The Pedro’s Pig II Chain Cleaning Machine is another excellent and affordable tool for cyclists looking to keep their bike chains clean.


Pedro’s chain cleaner design allows you to easily clip it on a jockey wheel, eliminating the need for a handle. This is quite useful as you are more likely to handle the chain cleaning process alone.


The brushes inside the tool are very durable and can take a lot of abuse, and last for a long time.


Pedro’s chain cleaner does a good job at removing all dirt and grime from the chain without leaving much mess behind. This is an excellent tool if you live in an apartment and want to cause as little mess as possible.


One of the downsides is that the plastic used to produce the casing is not very durable, so be extra careful not to drop the tool. Also, by design, this tool is only compatible with multiple-gear bikes.

3. Muc Off X-3 Chain Cleaner with 75ml Bio Drivetrain Cleaner Bottle


Muc Off is a well-known brand in the bike cleaning space. So it is not surprising that many cyclists worldwide love their bike chain cleaning tool X-3.


What separates this chain cleaning tool from the competition is that it has a very clever design. The degreaser is poured into the container from the top and drips down on the chain only when you press a button. So the dirty degreaser stays on the bottom of the tool and does not get splashed back on the chain. This way, you don’t repeatedly run the same old degreaser over the chain.


As a bonus, you get a small bottle of a degreaser, but make sure not to throw it away once empty as you will need it to pour the degreaser down into the tool’s container, which is one of the downsides.


Another downside is the plastic used to produce this bike chain cleaning tool. It is not the most durable one, so make sure not to drop the device.

4. Finish Line Shop Quality Bicycle Chain Cleaner


The Finish Line Bicycle Chain Cleaner is another popular and affordable tool for cyclists looking for a good quality chain cleaner.


The overall design and plastic material are excellent and stand up to time and abuse.


This chain cleaning tool is very efficient in cleaning dirt and grime while not leaving much mess behind. This mess-free result is achieved because of the tool’s particular angle and design, which reduces the spillage of the degreaser.


On the downside, this very same angle makes the tool a bit hard to use and clip to a chain.

5. Park Tool CG-2.4 Bicycle Chain and Drivetrain Cleaning Kit


The Park Tool CG-2.4 Bicycle Chain Drivetrain Cleaning Kit is one of the most popular chain cleaning options on the market because of its quality and durability.


The chain scrubber is very robust, easy to use, and should last for a long time with good care. It is designed to work with any bike due to its ergonomic handle (can be installed on any side). 


This cleaning kit also includes a brush that you can use for cleaning cassettes, chainrings, and pulleys, so you don’t have to buy additional brushes.


You also get a biodegradable degreaser, which is always good for the environment; however, it will run out quite quickly.


Overall, this 3-piece cleaning kit should be enough regular chain cleaning.

6. Finish Line Chain Cleaning Brush


Finish Line Grunge brush can be an excellent buy if you want a budget-friend quick and simple to use bike chain cleaning solution.


This chain cleaning brush is made of sturdy and durable bristles that can take a lot of abuse, which is precisely what you want from a chain cleaning tool.


The best part about this brush is that it can clean the whole bike’s drivetrain and not just the chain. So if you are looking for a one-size-fits-all type of solution, then Finish Line Grunge brush is an excellent choice.


The only downside is that this brush can’t perform deep cleaning, and you might need more tools for a particularly dirty chain and drivetrain.


Also, make sure to clean this brush after every use, as you don’t want to re-apply the dirt and grime back on your bike’s drivetrain during your next cleaning.

7. Muc Off 8 in 1 Bicycle Cleaning Kit


Muc Off Bicycle Cleaning Kit makes a fantastic present for anybody who likes to keep their bike clean. This kit comes with 8 different components and has essentially everything you’ll need for deep bike cleaning.


The brushes, bristles, and plastic are of very high quality and should last for a long time with proper care. 


On the downside, the whole set is not the cheapest, but you can treat it as an investment since the more affordable alternatives will need to be replaced much sooner.

8. SINGARE 7pcs Bicycle Cleaning Tools Set


SINGARE Bike Cleaning Tools Set is a great budget-friendly choice for cyclists looking for a set of cleaning brushes and tools.


This set comes with seven different pieces allowing you to clean the whole bike or only certain parts.


It is perfect for those not looking to overspend but need a functional cleaning kit to be used from time to time. However, keep in mind that the quality of this product is not the best.

9. VEVOR 6L Professional Ultrasonic Cleaner


VEVOR is an excellent choice for those looking for a durable and large ultrasonic cleaner. This machine is made from stainless steel, making it tough and long-lasting.


In addition, the timer settings are great. You can set the cleaning time anywhere between 1 to 30 minutes and leave the cleaner to do its job without any supervision.


The pre-heater heats the water quickly, but you can also use an electric kettle to pre-heat the water yourself and speed up the process. This cleaner’s large capacity also allows you to clean an entire drivetrain at once or add any additional items you want to clean.


However, this is not the cheapest cleaner and requires more storage and operating space.

10. iSonic P4820-WSB Ultrasonic Cleaner


iSonic P4820-WSB Ultrasonic Cleaner is an excellent choice for those looking to step up their chain cleaning game.


This is a great quality cleaner that should last for years with good care. The 2.5L capacity is enough to clean a bike chain and other relatively small items. In addition, timer settings are available so you can leave the cleaner to do its job while you are busy with something else.


The pre-heater could be better, but this ultrasonic cleaner does the job overall. You can also pre-heat the water yourself with an electric cattle.

Frequently asked questions:
1. Are bike chain cleaners any good?

Bike chain cleaners are great for quick and easy bike chain cleaning and maintenance. The combination of brushes and a degreaser manages to remove most of the dirt and stip the chain of grime and old degreaser. For most people, a bike chain cleaner is a great solution that does the job. However, remember that it is not the most thorough way to clean a chain, but still effective (provided you are not using the cheapest and lowest quality tool).


For thorough and deep cleaning, you need to remove the chain from your bike and use either an ultrasonic cleaner or soak the chain for hours in petrol, white spirit, degreaser, or other solvents to strip it of dirt, grime, and old lubricant. This cleaning solution requires more time, effort, and dedicated space. This is why so many people opt-in for a bike chain cleaner.

2. What household items can I use to clean my bike chain?

The most popular household items for cleaning a bike chain are toothbrushes, old t-shorts, dish soap, old sponges, and old stiff brushes. However, it is recommended to buy a degreaser, which does a great job at removing old lubricant and dirt. Ideally, you want to clean the chain as thoroughly as possible because the cleaner the chain is, the more effective the newly applied lubricant will be.

3. How can I clean my bike chain at home?

The four most popular ways to clean a bike chain at home are 1) chain cleaning tools; 2) chain cleaning brushes; 3) ultrasonic cleaners; 4) soaking the chain in a specific solvent.


Each of these has its positives and negatives. The most popular choices are 1) using a chain cleaning tool; 2) brushes since they are more straightforward and require little learning and money. You can read more about each of these cleaning options at the beginning of the article to decide which option is best for you.

4. What is the fastest way to clean a bike chain?

The fastest way to clean a bike chain is using an ultrasonic cleaner. This machine uses high-frequency sound waves and non-toxic solutions such as water with a degreaser to get the job done in no time at all.


Pro tip: you place the chain into a zipped bag, pour some degrease inside, close the bag and place it inside the ultrasonic cleaner. This way, all the dirt will remain in a plastic bag, and you will not need to clean the container that often. It should save you a lot of time down the road.

5. Can I clean a bike chain with soap and water?

Yes, many people choose to use soap and water for bike cleaning as it is readily available and affordable. However, this cleaning method will not remove all the dirt, grease, and grime build-up on the chain. This is why it is best to also buy a degreaser and apply it to the chain and let it do its job for 10 minutes.


After that, you can use brushes to scrub off the dirt and then use soapy water to wash away the degreaser and remaining dirt.

6. Do you need to degrease bike chain?

Yes, degreasing the bike chain is essential to removing old lubricant and gunk. Applying a new lubricant layer over dirty or greasy chains will not work as effectively, and the chain will not last as long as it can. Therefore, it is paramount to clean your bike chain well before re-applying new lubricant. Also, make sure the chain is dry when you apply new lubricant.

7. How do I make my bike chain look new?

This depends on how dirty your chain is and how often it was cleaned before. If the chain is super old and was never cleaned, you will need to take it off for a deeper clean. You can use an ultrasonic cleaner or soak it in a degreaser or white spirits for hours. The latter option can be pretty dangerous, so we don’t recommend it.


If the chain was regularly cleaned, you could get away with a lighter cleaning routine (for example, using a chain cleaner or brushes and scrubbers).

8. Can I use any degreaser on my bike chain?

The safest option is always to use a bike-specific chain degreaser. It is because they will not damage any parts of your bike, for example, if accidentally sprayed over wheels or an expensive carbon frame. More heavy auto degreasers can be way too good at the job and will damage your bike’s paint or leave stains. If you are taking the chain off and want to perform a deep clean, you can use almost any degreaser on the market. However, use them at your own risk and check usage instructions before proceeding.

9. How often should you degrease your bike chain?

It depends on how often you ride, the type of terrain, the weather conditions, and the season of the year. If you are riding in dusty or muddy conditions, you should clean and degrease your chain after every ride. If the conditions are not as bad, once every few weeks is usually sufficient. Use your best judgments based on how dirty the chain looks.

Why should you trust us?

In order to feature and review any products on our website we do extensive research, read user feedback, carefully review forum threads, look at search trends, brand popularity, try to actually use and test as many products as possible ourselves, and evaluate other factors depending on the product category. By doing extensive research and incorporating it with our own experience we are able to shortlist only a handful of products out of thousands of options. 


We want to bring value to our readers and help them find answers to questions and buy the most appropriate cycling products. Brands and cycling professionals always try to innovate and improve to get the best possible outcome. Unfortunately, innovations and product improvements these days result only in marginal gains, but the price increase for these gains is not equally proportional. In economics, this behavior is defined as “diminishing returns”. Knowing this we focus on featuring the best value for the money products that are affordable, but at the same time have a lot to offer. We don’t want our visitors to overspend on something they will not benefit from.


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