How to remove rust from bikes – Some tips for you

If you have not used your bike recently, think about cleaning it. Do you know how to remove rust from bikes? Our article will be useful to you

If you have owned a bike before, you will be sad to see your favorite bike turn into something old and rusty. Even a little rust can create some cause for concern for your bike. The cause of rust on the bike can be from the condensation of water during storage to your sweat during riding!

Do not worry, most bike rust is simply surface rust. Therefore, how to remove rust from bikes is not as complicated as some people think. There are ways to maintain your bike that you can do. Let’s get into them.  

How to remove rust from bikes 

Some methods to remove rust from a bike:

  • Using WD-40
  • Using baking soda
  • Using vinegar or Coca Cola
  • Using chemical rust remover 

Well, they are things you can find and use in a common household, right? Let’s see how they can help you remove the rust?

How to remove rust from bikes


There is no denying that WD-40 is a multi-purpose chemical. It can also work well on bikes that have accumulated some rust. In fact, WD-40 is more of a cleaner, and not so much of a lubricant. So it is useful for you to get some rust off of metal parts, especially surface rust treatment. After you use it, maybe on a chain for example, you should lube the chain afterward with more of a classic chain lube or oil.

Baking soda

One of the top methods to remove rust from your bike is to use baking soda. It is considered the best way to remove rust on bicycles because if done correctly, it is a mild cleaner and will not damage anything. It can make the rust quickly disappear, so your bike will return to its original condition if you use this method periodically. Here’s how you use baking soda for rust spots on your bike.

  • Dissolve Baking Soda and Water

Mix equal amounts of both baking soda and water in a small bowl. In case your bike is heavily rusted, you should add a little more baking soda than water. Mix them  together until you get a thick paste, do not forget to keep extra baking soda and water nearby as a backup. You can also add a little lemon juice to increase the strength of the mixture (for very heavy rust).

  • Apply the paste

Take the paste you just obtained and apply it to the rusted spots on your bike. Use a sponge to apply the paste and press directly onto the areas to be treated. Leave the paste on for 15 because it needs time to set in order to remove the rust.

  • Remove the paste

Make sure the baking soda is thick enough to cover the entire rusted area. You must refrain from letting it drip all over your bike or floor.

To remove baking soda from your bike, you can also use a toothbrush, sponge or scouring pad. As you begin scrubbing, you will notice that the rust will begin to flake off, which is a good sign. If you do not see a change, you will need to start over with more baking soda or lemon juice.

Once you have completed the steps above, dry the bike completely. Don’t forget to store the bike in a dry place to avoid rusting again.

Vinegar or Coca Cola

Another effective method to remove rust from your bike is to use vinegar or coca cola. With acetic properties strong enough to break down rust, vinegar and coca cola are as effective rust removers as baking soda. Here are some ways you can use them to freshen up your bike.

  • Spray your bike

Let’s start by preparing some plastic gloves and a spray bottle. Add some vinegar/coca cola inside that spray. The amount of vinegar/coca cola totally depends on how big your bike is and how rusty it is.

First, spray vinegar/coca cola on the rusty spots. Then use a toothbrush (or something similar) to scrub away the rust. Spray more solution and scrub harder if you do not see rust coming off.

Spray your bike

  • Add Baking Soda

After using the above method, if you notice that the rust is not flaking, add a small amount of baking soda to your spray bottle. This will help create a stronger solution that will remove rust from your bike. Be careful not to add too much baking soda as the solution can become too strong and corrode your bike. Spray the newly obtained solution on the rusty areas again and scrub.

  • Soak bicycle parts

An effective way to remove rust from your bike is to soak all the rusted parts in your vinegar/coca cola solution. With this method, you need a larger amount of solution than the spray method. Soak the parts for 10 minutes, then rinse your bike thoroughly with water. You should rinse thoroughly because if the solution stays on your bike for too long, it will corrode your bike.

Chemical rust remover 

Using chemicals is also a good answer. It is not difficult to buy rust remover chemicals. You can find them at most department stores or bicycle hardware stores. While the methods mentioned above should suffice for many, if you are having a real difficulty in removing rust, then you should consider this method. Remember that if you decide to use this method, you must not combine it with other solutions. Here’s how you can use a rust remover to remove rust from your bike.

  • Safety first

It can hardly be denied that chemicals are very dangerous. Therefore, whenever you work with chemicals, you must always be careful. Specifically, put on gloves and goggles before handling chemical rust removers. Do not forget to read all instructions carefully before using it.

In case it comes into contact with skin or eyes, rinse immediately and seek medical attention. You must use chemical rust removers in a well-ventilated area.

  • Application

Prepare a brush and use it to apply bleach to the rusted areas. You may then need to leave it on for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the remover. For some cleaning chemicals, they may even require you to leave them on overnight! Therefore, you must read the instructions carefully to avoid damaging your bike. You should look for a highly effective remover.

  • Removal & aftercare

After the waiting time has elapsed, wipe the rust remover off your bike with a cleaning cloth. To complete the process, rinse your bike thoroughly with warm water and then dry completely. Do not forget to store your bike in a dry place.

Removal & aftercare

  • Some important notes when you use chemicals

Do not mix chemical rust remover with baking soda, vinegar, citric acid or other cleaning agents. That can create some mixes that can be deadly.

Chemical rust removers should not be used in confined spaces. You should open windows or doors for ventilation. Get out of the room immediately if you feel dizzy or light-headed!

Throw away the rags you have used immediately after use.

See more:

How to prevent rust on bikes

People always say that prevention is better than cure, right? In case your bike gets rusty, try the above steps to restore it. If you are a little luckier, make an effort to keep your bike rust-free.

Store your bike indoors

I always recommend storing your bike in a dry area. For example, keep it in a shed or garage. With just a little bit of rain water, your bike will rust quickly.

Always dry your bike after riding in the rain

If you must ride in the rain, do not forget to grab an old rag and clean your entire bike afterwards. Just make sure your bike stays dry, you will not have to worry about anything. You should also focus on any parts such as chains, brakes, or other movable parts.

Keep your bike oiled

You should have bike oil so you can lubricate your bike regularly. You should get in the habit of regularly oiling the chain and all other components that move and are exposed to the elements. You should oil the component and then wipe it down with a rag, there will still be enough oil on it after wiping down!

Beware with your own sweat

Your sweat is sometimes the cause of rust on bicycle parts. If you are using an indoor exercise bike, this is a major cause of rust. I recommend placing a towel over the bike body area. It is very effective in keeping your salty sweat off the bike. You should also use a dry towel to wipe away sweat that sticks to the bike.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can baking powder replace baking soda?

Absolutely, you can use either. But I recommend baking soda because it is much more effective.

2. What is the name of the available rust remover?

One of the common chemicals you can use is WD-40. You can also find cheaper alternatives. Please consult experts as well as carefully read the instructions for use.

3. Will WD-40 remove rust stains directly?

Are not. It only works to loosen rusty parts. Therefore, do not remove any rust from your bike. Use sandpaper or something similar to scrub the rust off your car.

4. If I use WD-40, would I need to spray paint back on?

No, this method does not affect the bike’s paint. I recommend the vinegar method because it seems to be more effective.

5. What is an effective method to remove rust from a bike without damaging paint?

White vinegar will be very helpful. In fact, you can soak bicycle parts in vinegar for up to several hours without worry.

6. What is the cheapest rust removal method?

Use vinegar and baking soda. They are considered the cheapest methods of rust removal.

7. Can you list all the things needed for all the methods outlined above?

Baking soda, water, lemon (optional), toothbrush (or scrub pad, sander, sponge, etc), Tinfoil, white vinegar, spray bottle, rag, rust remover, protective gloves, goggles .

8. What should I do if cleaning chemicals touch my eyes or skin?

Wash thoroughly first, Then seek medical help or contact poison control for help.

9. When should chemicals be used?

You should use it in case none of the other methods work, that means baking soda and vinegar are not available. Then you should buy rust remover as  a last resort.

10. Can vinegar corrode my bike? How to prevent that?

Yes, it can continue to corrode your bike’s metal if you do not wash them thoroughly after use. To prevent this from happening, clean your bike with water.


All in all, above are some effective methods for you to remove rust on your bike. After reading this article, you probably already know how to remove rust from bikes. Hopefully your bike can return to its original shiny form after using these methods. so you can start your smooth rides soon. In the future, consider investing in a bike with a good cover that can protect your bike from moisture and dirt while it is in storage. Hope you can start your smooth ride soon with your favorite bike.

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