The Best Way to Remove Rust from a Bike Chain and Other Items

Rust is a pervasive and persistent problem that afflicts a wide range of metal items, from household appliances to industrial machinery, and even vehicles. The importance of rust removal cannot be overstated when it comes to ensuring the longevity and performance of metal items. Regular maintenance, including rust removal and prevention, is critical to extending the useful life of these items.

Understanding Rust

What is rust?

The term “rust” actually refers to iron oxidation — in simple terms, it’s the combination of iron and oxygen in the presence of water or air moisture. Any metal that contains iron can rust. Rust can destroy metal objects and render them useless, requiring expensive and time-consuming replacement

How does rust form on metal surfaces?

So what causes rust on metal? Rust is a type of corrosion that occurs on metal surfaces when iron reacts with oxygen and water. The chemical reaction that causes rust is called oxidation. The oxidation process eats away at the metal and creates visible rust on the metal’s surface. Rust is a problem in many different environments, onshore and offshore, wet, dry during the day, but with air moisture at night.

Tools and Materials

Mechanical Removal

Steel Wool or Sandpaper 

Use fine-grade steel wool or sandpaper to scrub away surface rust. For more stubborn rust, you can start with a coarser grade and then move to finer grades as you make progress.

Wire Brush: A wire brush can be used for more heavy-duty rust removal. It’s effective on larger, less delicate metal surfaces.

Chemical Rust Removers

Rust removal products, such as Neutrarust rust remover liquid or gel, chemically removes rust and converts surface into a stable compound that can be oiled or greased over. 

Do-It-Yourself Options

Alternatively, you can make a DIY mixture at home. For example, soak the rusted item in white vinegar for several hours or overnight, then scrub with a brush or scouring pad.

Or you can make a paste with lemon juice and salt, apply it to the rusted area, let it sit for a few hours, and then scrub with a brush.

These are all home DIY methods that can sometimes work with a lot of patience, lots of elbow grease and multiple applications

Rust Removal Techniques – How to Get Rid of Rust

Bike Chains

  1.  Remove the chain from the bike and submerse in Neutrarust Rust Removal liquid. 

Immersion contact time should be 1 –3 hours depending on severity of corrosion.

  1. Rinse with clean water, dry and lubricate the chain

Bike Chain Rust Prevention and Maintenance

Preventing rust and maintaining your bike chain is essential for the longevity and smooth operation of your bicycle. Rust can cause your chain to wear out quickly and make shifting gears less precise. Here are some tips for bike chain rust prevention and maintenance:

  1. Keep it clean

Regularly clean your chain with a degreaser and a chain cleaning tool. This removes dirt, grime, and old lubricant that can contribute to rust.

  1. Lubricate your chain

Apply a good-quality bicycle chain lubricant to your clean and dry chain. The type of lubricant you choose depends on your riding conditions:

Wet lubricants are better for rainy or wet conditions.

Dry lubricants are suitable for dry and dusty conditions.

  1. Don’t over-lubricate

Excess lubricant can attract more dirt and debris, leading to faster wear and potential rust. Wipe off any excess lubricant with a clean rag after applying it.

  1. Use the right lubrication technique

Apply a drop of lubricant to each roller of the chain. Then, backpedal to help the lubricant penetrate the chain. Avoid applying lubricant on the outside of the chain, as it can attract more dirt.

  1. Protect from the elements

Store your bike indoors or under a cover when not in use to shield it from rain and extreme weather conditions.

  1. Dry your chain after wet rides

If your chain gets wet, dry it off as soon as possible to prevent rust. Apply a fresh coat of lubricant after drying.

  1. If using a rust remover, use one that neutralises rust and leaves a phosphate coating, ready for lubricating

Remember that consistent maintenance is key to preserving your bike chain and the overall performance of your bicycle. Regular cleaning and lubrication, along with protecting your chain from the elements, will go a long way in preventing rust and extending the life of your bike’s drivetrain.

Other Common Items

Rusting garden furniture, fencing, gates, kitchenware, DIY tools etc require the same attention, either rust removal or rust converting. Then painting if required. Following the instructions to achieve your desired effect.
Got questions? The team at Neutrarust are more than happy to help. Maybe our FAQs page can give you the answer you need. Otherwise, get in touch with us today! You can also shop our full range online.