slight rust on the side of the links of my bike chain. I'm runing with dry lube which is teflon based I think. The rust isn't deep. Can I go at it with a brass bristle brush, or will that damage it and the orings?



3 Answers 3


I would use something like WD40, and a soft cloth to rub the rust away. Then apply the right amount of chain lubricant and you will be good to go. You can use a brass bristle brush, provided you do it gently like this guy in the video. A toothbrush will also work. This is light surface rust and IMHO nothing to worry about too much.


You can buy a special tool to clean the chain, it is normally circular/spiral shaped and you twist the brush as it runs along the length of the chain.

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Also, you can purchase a special chain lube tool, that basically hugs the chain and has a hole to insert a straw.

  • That 3-sided "Grunge Brush" at the bottom of the page you linked to is also very good. Nice thick bristles. Same idea tho - brush all sides of the chain.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 15:41
  • Wow Mitchell. I've never seen that tool you mentioned. Nice. Thanks. Commented May 20, 2016 at 19:04
  • got one of those, but doubt it will remove rust? probably just good for removing grunge
    – Max
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 8:03

I use a brass brush and kerosene on my chains (both bicycle and motorcycle). it works great and i have never had a problem. i have read that WD40 is inadvisable on o-ring chains, as it can displace the lubrication behind the o-rings. not sure how accurate that is. My neighbor cleans his chain with WD40, and it hasn't flown off the bike while running yet...

  • Modern orings are made of neoprene and are resistant to the solvents in wd40. Older ones were made of silicone and would indeed dissolve.
    – JoErNanO
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 21:55
  • interesting. I would have thought that kerosene would be more aggresive to the orings than wd40. I think brass brush and wd40 will do it for me
    – Max
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 6:45

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