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Cleaning A Bike Chain With Isopropyl Alcohol

Cleaning A Bike Chain With Isopropyl Alcohol

Introduction- Cleaning A Bike Chain With Isopropyl Alcohol

One of the main components of your bike is the chain. It transfers your energy to the wheels, acting like a transport for the human-fueled traction you apply to your pedals. If your chain isn’t healthy enough, you may waste your energy. This is why you should always ensure your bike chain is clean and healthy.

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How to Clean a Bicycle Chain

Cleaning your bike chain is no hard work. You can do this within less than an hour if done properly. Here are some simple steps to clean your bicycle chain and keep it in great condition.

  1. The first step is to secure your bike. To do this, you can either use a kickstand or a bike repair stand. If you don’t have any of these, just put your bike upside down, letting it rest on the handlebars and seat.
  2. After inspecting your bike chain and realizing it needs cleaning, remove it from your bike. This ensures no cleaning product affects other parts of your bike, such as the frame or tires. Depending on your type of ride, there are different ways to remove your chain. Bike chains can also easily be disassembled.
  3. Once removed, it is time to degrease your chain. You can use different products, one of them being isopropyl alcohol. Let your chain rest in a bottle filled with this liquid to ensure all old grease is removed. You can either use it on its own or mix it with other degreasing products.
  4. Once degreased, you must ensure your chain is dry before returning it to your ride. Use a clean piece of cloth to wipe away any remains. Using a rag, you can press your chain with your hands and slide it through.
  5. Once fixed back on your bike, don’t forget to lubricate it. There are different products and lubes you can use to do so. Make sure every link receives enough lube and wipe away any excess.


This video shows how you can use various products to give your bike chain a good clean-up (Credit to oz cycle):

Is Methyl Hydrate the Same as Denatured Alcohol?

While they may look and smell similarly, methyl hydrate and denatured alcohol differ. However, they may be used indifferently for some applications. Denatured alcohol is the one we can find in alcoholic drinks. This is also used as a solvent, an ingredient in pharmaceutical components, and fuel.

On the other hand, methyl hydrate is found in paint, varnishes, cement, and other industrial coatings. Its properties are quite different from denatured alcohol, as it is a stronger liquid and solvent.

If you doubt whether you can use methyl hydrate or denatured alcohol indifferently for a specific purpose, we recommend you read the instructions and correct applications in the manufacturer’s bottle. Always remember that both are very volatile liquids, so keep them away from fire and store them in fresh, dark spaces.

Methylated Spirits Degreaser

Methylated spirits are a great product when removing grease from your bike chain. It is commonly used to clean a variety of paints and varnishes. However, due to its properties, you should be very careful not to spray or pour any of this type of solvent onto your other bike parts.

Featured image: Unsplash/ Kira Cheng