Removing rust from a bicycle depends on whether it is minor rusting or somewhat stubborn rusting. For minor rusting, you can use Aluminium Foil, Baking Soda, or Extra Fine Steel Wool and in case of Severe rusting you can use Vinegar, WD40, or Rust Removal Chemical.
If you haven’t used your bike in a while, chances are the metallic parts are starting to rust. Rust not only leaves a nasty color on your bicycle, but it can also make it unusable if it isn’t treated on time.
But how to remove rust from bikes and prevent it from happening again?
You need to learn how to clean rust off a bike. This is an important skill to develop when considering the overall maintenance of your bicycle. If you want to extend the life of your bicycle, you need to remove rust from the chain, main body, and other parts.
How To Remove Rust From Bikes – For Minor Or Severe Rusting
Aluminum Foil For Minor Rusting
To remove bike rust, you can use aluminum foil, a material that’s easy to locate. Using the foil, rust on the bike’s surface can be removed by its abrasive nature. In addition to this, the foil is soft to the touch and will not damage surfaces..
It is important to wear gloves when using foil since it can stain your fingers if you don’t wear protective gloves.
Baking Soda To Remove Minor Rust
Add the baking soda to a bowl and pour some water in it and mix well. Mix water and baking soda in a 1:1 ratio in a bowl until the mixture becomes thick. Keep the bowl, baking soda, and water nearby in case you need to make more paste to completely cover the rust.
The best way to remove minor rust is with baking soda. If you wish to strengthen the removal properties, A few drops of lemon juice add to the paste.
You should leave the paste on the rust for about 15 minutes. You can either brush or sponge the paste onto the rusted bike. It will take time for the paste to set and break down the rust, so don’t scrub or remove it straight away. Allow the paste to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. A thick enough paste of baking soda should be applied to the rust patch without dripping off.
With a scrub pad, scrub the baking soda. You can use steel wool or a plastic scrubber to scrub the baking soda solution. When you scrub, you will notice that the rust detaches from the bike. If you don’t notice this, add more baking soda paste to the bike and scrub it more vigorously. If scrub pads aren’t available, use a toothbrush instead.
Let the baking soda sit for about 10 minutes before wiping it off. After you finish scrubbing, leave the baking soda on for about 10-15 minutes to reach stubborn rust. Finally, wipe the paste off using a dry microfiber cloth. Keep the bicycle completely dry to prevent further rust.
Extra Fine Steel Wool For Minor Rusting
It can be used to remove rust from chrome surfaces and other components of a bicycle. One of the best things about steel wool is that it is affordable and readily available. Also, it is a relatively inexpensive method of removing rust from your bike.
The only thing you need to do is scrub gently over the rusted area to see its effectiveness. Apart from removing the rust, it can also remove any oxidation that is forming on the surface. The chrome surface of your bike can even be polished with steel wool. Extra-fine steel wool can be used to clean and remove rust from small components.
Vinegar For Severe Rusting
Add white vinegar to the spray bottle. Because white vinegar is more acidic than other varieties, it is the best for rust removal. Rather than dabbing the vinegar directly onto the rust on the bike, spray bottles are a good way to make sure the liquid is evenly distributed. For a more corrosive solution, add a small amount of baking soda.
Vinegar can be used to spray or coat rust on your bike. Put vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it evenly over the entire rust spot. Use a sponge or ball of tinfoil to apply the vinegar if you want to directly coat it. You can also use tin foil as a scrub brush while applying vinegar. Alternatively, removable bike parts can be soaked in a vinegar solution.
After 15 minutes, rinse off the vinegar from your bike. Even after removing the rust, vinegar can continue to corrode your bike metal. To prevent this from happening, wash the bike down with a hose after the rust has dissolved.
Before storing the bike, let it dry off. Rust can return if moisture is left on the bike. To remove excess moisture from your bike, wipe it down with a cloth soaked in denatured alcohol. Keeping your bike dry and cool will prevent future rusting.
WD-40 For Severe Rusting
WD-40 is a multipurpose chemical that we find works well for removing rust from bicycles. To keep in mind about WD-40, it is more of a cleaner and less of a lubricant.
Therefore, it is great for getting some rust off metal parts, particularly if you are mainly dealing with surface rust. When using it on a chain, you should still lubricate the chain with a more traditional chain lube afterward.
Rust Removal Chemical For Severe Rusting
If other methods do not work, use chemical rust remover. Rust may be difficult to remove from household items in some cases. Baking soda and vinegar will work initially, but if neither of those work, you can purchase rust remover at your local hardware store. Chemical removers should never be mixed with baking soda, vinegar, citric acid, or any other cleaner. Mixtures can be deadly in some cases.
When handling rust remover, wear gloves and safety glasses. Chemical removers are more dangerous than other methods to use and can damage your eyes and skin. Make sure you read the instructions carefully before using them. Please contact poison control if the cleaner gets into your eyes or on your skin. In confined spaces, do not use chemical cleaners. If you feel dizzy or lightheaded, open a window or door for ventilation, and leave the room immediately.
As directed, brush the chemical cleaner on. For some chemicals, you have to wait for a certain amount of time after applying the cleaner. Timings can range from 30 minutes up to overnight. To get the best results, read the instructions carefully and follow them.
The label of the cleaner you choose should specify a quick setting time if you need a cleaner that will remove rust quickly.
The cleaner should be removed after the recommended time has passed. After the chemical cleaner has finished removing the rust, wipe it away completely with a cheap cloth. In case you need to remove more rust in the future, store remaining cleaners wherever you keep other chemicals. After using the cloth, throw it away to prevent contamination of other fabrics.
How To Prevent Your Bikes From Rusting
If you notice that your bike has rust, you should take measures to prevent it. Rust on bikes is usually caused by a few common visual parts. By combating each, your bike will not rust.
You Should Store Your Bike Indoors
An area with a controlled climate would be ideal for storing your bikes, such as the entryway to your home or an HVAC-equipped garage. Store it in a garage or shed if possible. With just a bit of precipitation, rust will start to appear on worn areas of bikes quickly.
You Should Always Wipe Your Bike Down After Rain
The morning after a storm, or during a heavy downpour, you should use an old rag to wipe down your bike. Ensure it is dry as much as possible. Keep your eye on any shiny parts, such as the chain, brake components, or other moving parts.
Make Sure To Keep Your Bike Oiled
Bike oil is something that every bike owner must have handy, and it is important that you regularly lubricate the bike. Be sure to oil your chain, as well as any exposed components. It’s even nice to oil the area where the pedal meets the crank.
The component should be oiled and then wiped down with a rag. Trust me, there will still be enough oil on it after wiping down to keep the rust away..
Watch Out For Your Own Sweat
Water dripping from your body can sometimes cause rust to occur, especially around the stem, handlebar, and head of your bike, where sweat tends to accumulate. When you are using an indoor bike trainer, this can be particularly problematic since you aren’t actually moving. Keep your salty sweat off the bike by covering the stem area with a towel.
You Should Clean Your Bike After Hauling It
Be sure to clean your bike off after taking a long trip with it on a car bike rack, just to avoid corrosive elements. If you are using a trunk-based carrier like the Saris Bones, which leaves your bike exposed to the elements, this is even more important.