The Best Bicycle Chain Cleaner Reviews

The chain and drivetrain of your bike are the parts most exposed to moisture, dirt, dust, debris, grit, grime and several other nasty things that can significantly shorter their lifespan and performance. If you don’t clean and lubricate your bike chain on a regular basis, you will be facing problems such as increased wear, chain links becoming inflexible and problems with the shifting performance. Of course, all of this can be avoided with proper and regular maintenance.

Top 5 Best Bicycle Chain Cleaner Comparisons

Brand

Details

Our Rating

HUELE Bike or Motorcycle Chain Washer, Cleaning Brush 2 Pcs (Color,Blue and Red)

HUELE Bike Chain Washer 

  • Dimensions: 10.6 x 4.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Weight: 4.5 ounces
  • Multi Use: Yes
Cycle With Style Motorcycle & Bike Chain Cleaning Tool - Multi-Purpose for All Bikes - Works Great with Degreasers - Great Brush Action

Cycle With Style Motorcycle & Bike Chain Cleaning Tool

  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Weight: 1.4 ounces
  • Multi Use: Yes
Park Tool CM-5.2 Cyclone Chain Cleaner

Park Tool Cyclone Chain Scrubber

  • Dimensions: 9 x 1.8 x 9 inches
  • Weight: 8.6 ounces
  • Multi Use: Yes
Bike Chain Cleaning Tool by Ozzy Outdoors-Our Newly Designed Cleaner uses Rotating Brushes to Make Bicycle Chain Maintenance Easy-Bonus Gift with Purchase

Bike Chain Cleaning Tool by Ozzy Outdoors 

  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Multi Use: Yes
Oumers 6pcs Bike Bicycle Clean Brush Kit/Cleaning Tools for Bike Chain/Crank/Tire/Sprocket Cycling Corner Stain Dirt Clean, Fit All Bike

Oumers Bike Cleaning Kit 

  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Weight: 10.2 ounces
  • Multi Use: Yes

When to Clean & Lubricate the Chain


Short answer is: on a regular basis. You will have to thoroughly inspects each bike chain link to make sure there isn’t any dust build-up or visible rust and corrosion. Whenever you ride an unlubricated and dirty bike, the chain will start squeaking, which is the first sign that you need to clean it. If you want to clean your chain while it’s still mounted on the bike, you will need to use a firm brush to eliminate the excess dirt (if you don’t have one, an old toothbrush should do the trick).

Boy Thinking, Cartoon Image

However, once every 3 months, you should completely remove the chain from the bike and perform an even deeper cleaning. There are special chain removal tools that should aid you in the process and usually come in any good bike tool kit. After having brushed the chain from one end to another, submerge it into chain solvent to make sure that you remove the excess grime that can’t be removed with the help of the brush. Leave the chain in solvent enough time for it to soak all the dirt. Remove it from the solution and use a clean rag to wipe it dry. The solvent needs to be completely evaporated before you add lubricant to your bike parts.

Cleaning the Bike’s Chain


Normally, cleaning a bike chain is a two-step process. First you have to actually scrub the chain clean and then you need to apply a fresh coat of lube. As you can imagine, these two steps are divided into smaller ones, that may vary depending on how you intend to clean the chain and what type of lubricant you’re going to apply. The first thing you will need when cleaning your chain is a lot of space to do so.

Cleaning motorcycle chain with dedicated chain brush

While you normally don’t have to remove the chain from the bike, you should flip it upside-down so that you can get easy access to the drivetrain. On a general note, you will need some old newspapers, a bunch of rags, a cleaning brush or a chain scrubbing tool and the actual cleaning product (could be anything from solvent, isopropyl alcohol or anything similar). For lubricating the chain, you will need to know which type of lubricant to purchase.

The newspapers are there to make sure that you won’t leave a mess on the surface you’ll be placing your bike on. Spread the newspapers on the floor and place your bike on them, by flipping it upside down. If you can, lean your bike on a sturdy object. Do whatever it takes to make sure the bike stays in place so that both of your hands are free to work on cleaning the chain. Next, apply the solvent you’ve chosen to the chain. You can slowly turn the pedals to move the chain while keeping the solvent in the same position with your other hand, applying it on the chain.

Newspaper Stack, Newspaper for Bicycle

After applying the formula, use a rag to wipe it clean. This will make sure that both the dirt and grease that have accumulated on the chain will come off. You will need to make sure that you have cleaned the entire length of the chain. While it’s ideal to completely remove your chain from the bike and soak it in solvent every once in a while, you will also have to use a brush or a scrubbing tool to thoroughly clean the chain. In the next following paragraphs, we’re going to show you some really good chain brushes and scrubbers that will facilitate this particular cleaning step. The role of these tools is to reach chain parts that can’t normally be reached with the help of a simple rad.

Bicycle Chain Cleaning

If you’re using a scrubbing tool, the process is a bit more automated and will require less force and detail focus on your behalf, if you’re using a regular bike chain brush, you will need to pay attention to all the nooks and crannies where dirt or grease may be hidden. And when you’ve finished with the chain, it would also be wise to clean the other parts of your drivetrain as well. There are kits with special brush designs for cleaning these parts. You will also need solvent and a brush/a clean rag to wipe these parts clean. Some experts recommend that once you’ve finished with the other drivetrain components, you give the chain one more rag wipe, in order to make sure there isn’t any tiny bit of grease left that may have been flung away while you were cleaning the other components.

When your chain is finally clean and free of all the dirt and other nasty deposits, it’s time to apply a fresh coat of lube, as per the given instructions. Depending on the type of lubricant that you use, you might have to wipe up any excess lube after leaving it to dry. It’s important to remember never to apply lubricant right before riding, because you will need to let the formula settle and penetrate the hidden spots of your bike chain. Applying lube right before hitting the road will result in splattering the liquid all over your bike and attracting a lot of dust and dirt in the process.

Top 5 Best Bicycle Chain Cleaner Reviews

HUELE Bike Chain Washer

  • Dimensions: 10.6 x 4.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Weight: 4.5 ounces
  • Multi Use: Yes
HUELE Bike or Motorcycle Chain Washer, Cleaning Brush 2 Pcs (Color,Blue and Red)

We’ll start off our series of bike cleaning tools with a simple, yet very useful set made by HUELE. Suitable for both bikes and motorcycles, this set comes with 2 brushes, one with a red handle and the other one with a blue one. There tools have a convenient U-shaped brush that should help facilitate bike chain cleaning. The length of each brush is 10 inches, which should be more than enough to allow smooth maneuvering.

The long bristle at the other end of the brush should be used for harder to reach places, such as brakes, sprocket or derailleurs.

Pros

  • 3-sides bristles facilitate chain cleaning.
  • Very affordable 2 piece set. 
  • Brush at the other end is good for reaching difficult spots.

Cons

  • Depending on bike chain thickness, some pressure may need to be applied for better cleaning.

Cycle With Style Motorcycle & Bike Chain Cleaning Tool

  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Weight: 1.4 ounces
  • Multi Use: Yes
Cycle With Style Motorcycle & Bike Chain Cleaning Tool - Multi-Purpose for All Bikes - Works Great with Degreasers - Great Brush Action

Available in black, blue and read, the Cycle With Style cleaning tool is a great companion for bike and motorcycle owners that like to keep their chains nice and clean. Since this is a multipurpose brush, it can be used for other components, such as gears. Thanks to the 3-sided bristle end, you should be able to easily clean all 4 chain sides, while the other end is suitable for cleaning other components. Truth of the matter is that a lot of these brushes are almost identical, and you can’t help but wonder if it isn’t the same product, just sold under a different brand name.

While this particular brush can work on a bike chain, remember that is was designed for a motorcycle one, which is generally thicker.

Pros

  • Very affordable.
  • Cover basic chain brushing needs.
  • Available in 3 different colors.

Cons

  • Bristles fall off too easily.
  • May not be compatible will all types of bike chains.

Park Tool Cyclone Chain Scrubber

  • Dimensions: 9 x 1.8 x 9 inches
  • Weight: 8.6 ounces
  • Multi Use: Yes
Park Tool CM-5.2 Cyclone Chain Cleaner

If you read expert advice from bikers and mechanics, a lot of them will mention the Park Tool Cyclone chain scrubber. While it costs a little more compared to the average chain cleaning brush, it is a lot fancier and makes chain maintenance a lot less complicated. But how does this gizmo work? By taking the plastic body apart, you can install the scrubber onto the chain directly, without having to take it off the bike. There is a container inside the scrubber which can be filled with cleaning fluid. There is a mark showing you the maximum level of fluid that needs to be added.

After installing the device on the chain, hold the handle while turning the cranks. A roller brush will start scrubbing the chain’s side plates. After that, you can see the links as they pass through a set of vertical brushes, deeply cleaning the inside of the chain. In the final phase, you will notice the chain passing through a gap where it is degreased thanks to a foam element. It sort of reminds us of a car passing through the car wash. The manufacturer recommends repeating the process, using fresh degreaser the second time.

There are a lot of things that place this scrubber on top of our preference list as far as bike chain cleaning tools are concerned. First, it only takes about 5 minutes to completely scrub the chain once. Then, it makes a minimum amount of mess compared to that left behind by your average chain brush. Not to mention that it does a very good job in actually leaving the bike chain clean.

Another thing we really liked is the fact that you can use almost any type of cleaning product, including a combination between liquid detergent and water. It also helps you avoid a manual labor that often comes along with scrubbing the chain and making sure you’ve left no link unturned. When it comes to having to clean the Park Tool scrubber, the process is almost insignificant. Since most of the chain cleaners are based on water, you will have nothing left to do but to rinse it with some more water.

Pros

  • Make little to no mess when being used.
  • Is compatible with a load of chain cleaners.
  • Can also be used with a mix of water and liquid detergent.
  • Requires no force and almost no manual labor.
  • Parts are replaceable in case they get damaged.

Cons

  • Plastic casing feels pretty cheap, cracks easily.

Bike Chain Cleaning Tool by Ozzy Outdoors

  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Multi Use: Yes
Bike Chain Cleaning Tool by Ozzy Outdoors-Our Newly Designed Cleaner uses Rotating Brushes to Make Bicycle Chain Maintenance Easy-Bonus Gift with Purchase

Did the Park Tool chain scrubber light a sparkle in your eyes? Then let us give you a similar, but maybe not as efficient cleaning kit for your bike chain.  This particular kit was put together by Ozzy Gear, in an attempt to automate a process that makes a mess and leaves you wondering why you needed a bike in the first place. Even if it may look similar to the product presented above, the Ozzy Outdoors chain cleaner has a different scrubbing mechanism.

Inside the blue plastic case lies a single clamp that keeps the device together when you’re cleaning the chain. Compared to its competition, the Ozzy cleaner doesn’t just work with specific types of bikes, but promises to be compatible with all the different chain sizes. All you have to do is attach the cleaner to the chain and rotate the pedals so that the chain can move through the scrubber. If your bike has coaster brakes, it’s recommended to either flip it over or elevate it so that you can easily have the chain pass through the cleaner.

In most cases, you will never have to remove the chain from the bike, thanks to the clipping mechanism that attaches the scrubber to the chain. The reservoir inside the scrubber can be filled with your favorite chain cleaning product. The casing itself is made from heavy duty plastic and it’s transparent, so that you can actually see how your chain is being cleaned to perfection. It doesn’t come with any metallic pieces, which is a plus considering that a lot of cleaning products are water-based and water and metal have a way of not getting along.  For a limited time only, the manufacturer has also thrown in a notched scraper and a bristle brush, in case you need them to make any finishing touches to your bike chain.

Pros

  • Comes with a notched scraper and a bristle brush.
  • Takes less than 5 minutes to clean the bike’s chain.
  • Case if made of heavy-duty plastic.
  • Requires very little fluid for a complete clean.

Cons

  • There is no mark to show you how much liquid to add.

Oumers Bike Cleaning Kit

  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Weight: 10.2 ounces
  • Multi Use: Yes
Oumers 6pcs Bike Bicycle Clean Brush Kit/Cleaning Tools for Bike Chain/Crank/Tire/Sprocket Cycling Corner Stain Dirt Clean, Fit All Bike

Time to go back from scrubbers to old fashioned brushes. But this isn’t just your average brush: it is a 6-piece set of highly capable products that, working together, will make sure your bike chain and drivetrain are clean and functional. Since these tools feature an ergonomically designed handle, they are perfect for reaching difficult areas that are normally a hassle to clean. The variety of brushes should make it easy for you to properly clean the bike, as the set contains: a cleaning brush, a tire scrubber, a tapered detail brush, a brush for cleaning the gears, a scraper for the gear and a bike cleaning mitt. The kit itself has a pleasant design and works with any kind of bike, from BMX to folding bikes.

Pros

  • Very good price for a kit composed of 6 different cleaning tools.
  • Tools are pretty sturdy.
  • They feature ergonomically designed handles for a better grip.

Cons

  • Bristles are too soft.

The Bottom Line

Ladies and gents, there you have it: a round-up of some of the most common and customer-preferred bike cleaning tools. It’s hard to give you a specific piece of advice on which one of these would work best for you and, since none of these products are actually expensive, you might want to experiment and see which type of cleaning method suits you best.

Scrubbers like the one sold by Park Tool make chain cleaning really easy, since you don’t require applying the same brute force as you do when you’re scrubbing the chain with a regular brush. With scrubbers, the chain passes through a set of brushes that are backed up by cleaning liquid used to fill the designated container and they diminish the time it takes for a full chain sweep significantly. However, some people argue that these scrubbers don’t do the job as well as they should and still prefer to used their hands to clean the chain manually.

For these people, we’ve included some brushes into this review: from simple and inexpensive units, to kits that contain up to 6 pieces of brushes, in all shapes and sizes, that facilitate cleaning other bike parts as well. In the end, you will have to create your own cleaning process but, from what we’ve seen so far, people that really love fiddling with their bikes will often prefer the manual cleaning way rather than putting all their faith into a scrubber that might or might not do the job.

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