Gear For Venture is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Click to learn more. »

How to Clean Rust off Bike Rims

How to Clean Rust off Bike Rims

Bike rims, spokes, and other parts of a bike can quickly get rusty if they are stored in humid conditions or left for a while. This is common on older collector bikes with carbon-steel spokes and rims that are plated with zinc or chrome. Some of the best ways to clean rust off your bike rims are listed below.

Why do Bike Rims Become Rusty?

Bike rims are susceptible to rusting if they are made of steel, and they are exposed to moisture and air. If you also keep your bike rims in a humid location, there is a chance for it to rust. Salt can also accelerate the rusting process of your rims.

Effective cleaning products to use for cleaning rust

Household products for cleaning rust

Here is a video explaining the process of using coke and vinegar for removing rust (credits to GCN Tech).

How to Clean Rust Off Your Mountain Bike Rims

There are many ways to remove rust from the rims of bikes, and some of them are listed below.

For Minor Rust

The first method is to mix baking soda and vinegar into a paste, then add little lime juice. You will then apply the paste on the affected bike rim with a brush and then leave it for about 10 minutes. You will then scrub off the paste using a steel wool pad till all the rust has been removed. You can then add wax to your rim to prevent rusting in the future.

For Stubborn Rust

You will need an aluminum foil, dry rag, and degreaser for this method. The first thing to do is to separate your bike wheels so that you have only the bike rims. You will then cut an aluminum foil and dip it in a bowl of degreaser for a few seconds. You will then use the wet aluminum foil to scrub all the bike rims, including the rust spots. Continue rubbing the rust spots till the rust breaks down and fall off. After you have removed the rusts, you can then wipe the rims with a dry rag and then apply wax to prevent such occurrence rusting in the future.


Remove Rust from Bike Spokes

Apply some elbow grease on your steel or brass wool pads before you rub the spokes. Try to pinch the steel wool on the spoke and run it all over the spoke and rotate around difficult spots. You can also use a scouring pad instead of wool pads to clean the rust. Continue to rub the wool pads on the spoke till the rust falls off. Try to use the fresher parts of the steel wool pad once it breaks down while you are rubbing it. After the rust is removed, rub the wax over the spoke to prevent rust.

Things that you will need are steel or brass wool, wax, elbow grease, and scouring pad.