This is our review of the best bike chain degreasers of 2023.
For optimum use and performance, a chain should be well lubricated, however, lube should be applied to a clean chain once old grease and dirt have been removed.
A bike chain degreaser is a must-have.
A good bike chain degreaser should allow you to remove all the dirt with minimum effort. Not everyone wants to spend too much time degreasing their chain. Its application must be simple, fast, and ideally, respectful of the environment. I insist on this last point because it is important to me, you will discover that degreasers are far from being all biodegradable.
As a bike enthusiast, I searched for the best bike chain degreaser to help you find the best chain degreaser for your bike.
A biodegradable, citrus-based alternative that will fit any budget.
The bottle everyone should have at home.
It will remove all grease and dirt for a price that defies all competition.
I found that the Muc Off Bio Drivetrain Cleaner is the best overall bike chain degreaser.
Of course, not everyone has the same criteria to evaluate this, as needs may vary depending on our practice. I have included reviews of the best products available on the market in this article, covering the broadest possible spectrum when thinking about bike chain cleaning.
Let’s get started.
Our Best Bicycle Chain Degreasers
- Muc Off Bio Drivetrain Cleaner (Our favorite)
- WD-40 Specialist Bike Degreaser (The cheapest)
- Park Tool CB-4 Bio
- Finish Line Citrus Degreaser (The natural)
- Finish Line Speed Bike Degreaser
- STA-BIL SPORT Drivetrain Cleaner & Degreaser
- White Lightning Clean Streak
7 Best Bike Chain Degreasers
Everyone knows Muc Off, I’m not going to introduce you to one of the most famous brands in bike maintenance products.
It’s no surprise that one of their products appears in this list. Their Bio Drivetrain Cleaner is practical, affordable, and works great. Everything you’re looking for.
In large or smaller sizes, Muc Off’s degreaser can be sprayed on your chain and transmission, allowing you to reach all the hard-to-reach places without worrying. Once sprayed you just have to let the product act for a minute or two, rub quickly with a brush the grease a little stubborn that does not want to leave then rinse your transmission with clean water.
A simple and effective product.
A great advantage is that you can put it everywhere. I don’t mean that you can use it to clean your whole bike, I mean that if you use it on your chain and it spills on your frame or other components, it’s not a big deal. Where some degreasers can damage unprotected areas of a bike because they are very aggressive, the Bio Drivechain Cleaner will never damage your bike, even the rubber or plastic parts.
Finally, the product is entirely biodegradable, based on an alkaline formula. And we appreciate that. Unfortunately, the 750 ml does not come with a nozzle
WD-40 Specialist Bike Degreaser is different from the traditional and famous WD-40 that is used in many different ways at home. This product is specifically designed to maintain your bike, so let’s not get confused.
It is the best option for the price.
The pressure spray makes cleaning grease and dirt from your chain a breeze. When you apply the product, foam forms on the contact area and works within seconds, dissolving all grease and grime.
To use it properly, spray the product on your cassette while counter-pedaling with one hand, this will ensure a good distribution of the product on your chain and transmission. Let the degreasing magic work for a minute or two, you should start to see oil, dirt, and degreaser run off. If some of the grime doesn’t want to come off, use a brush to remove it, rinse thoroughly with clean water, and dry your chain with a clean cloth.
Don’t forget to place a cloth under your chain beforehand to collect any excess degreaser that falls off or dirt that is removed.
Similar to Muc Off Bio Degreaser, WD-40 Specialist is designed not to damage other parts of your bike or its paint. Handy.
The big drawback for me with this product is that it is not biodegradable.
This 100% biodegradable plant-based degreaser will effectively remove dirt and grease from your chain without any hassle.
More generally, it can be used a little more widely than on the chain only according to the manufacturer, although I advise focusing on this use.
No need to go into too much detail on the product, it works well, easily, and gives you value for money.
For those who find this kind of degreaser too expensive, remember that not maintaining your chain will cause it to wear out faster, but also your cassette and chainrings. Do yourself a favor by using these products and earn money in the long run.
Finish Line Citrus Degreaser is one of the best-selling degreasers on the market. Unlike many degreasers that use heavy solvents and harmful chemicals, this product is made from orange peel extracts. These contain a powerful chemical compound, D-limonene, which is used as a natural degreasing fluid to remove grease buildup on your chain.
Finish Line’s 12 fl oz. spray can allows for a pressurized blast of the fluid, which is ideal for clearing away dirt build-up that is normally difficult to remove. Also, its thin hose allows you to target hard-to-reach areas and remove grease without worrying too much.
Also, don’t worry if you splash the rest of the bike, its biodegradable formula is studied not to damage the rubber or plastic parts.
To conclude, you have here a natural product, effective, but also affordable for all budgets.
Bonus: You probably didn’t ask yourself this question, but… this degreaser smells like citrus fruits. It’s a change, goodbye to the old stuff that attacked the nose.
Really popular in our workshops, Finish Line Speed Degreaser is a dry degreaser.
What’s that? A dry degreaser?
Basically, you can spray the degreaser on your bike chain or your entire drivetrain, which will remove any form of grease or dirt build-up, while evaporating quickly after use, not implying the need to rinse your chain after degreasing to remove any excess fluid that remains.
The manufacturer’s promise is to offer a product that is the fastest and most efficient in its category.
The product seems to keep its promise, spraying it on your dirty chain will remove the vast majority of the dirt without even needing to scrub, and the product dries quickly afterward, leaving a clean and residue-free chain. Practical for quick degreasing without having to get out the heavy artillery of deep cleaning.
We would have liked a biodegradable alternative, that would have surely made it one of the best chain degreasers on the market.
A product of a well-known brand, the STA-BIL SPORT Drivechain Cleaner is an alternative to classic degreasers. Its use is simple, we shake the bottle, we pulverize, we rub a little with a chain scrubber, we let act, we rinse, and voila. Here, nothing revolutionary.
The product seems to hold its promises and allows you to clean your chain links, cassettes, sprockets, and derailleurs quite easily.
The product is biodegradable, which is a good point, but it is not harmless as the indication on the bottle says that the product can irritate the skin and eyes.
I don’t have much to say about this proposal from STA-BIL SPORT, except that when you shake the spray bottle before use, it is not uncommon to see a little bit of product escaping from the nozzle, which does not seal the bottle very well.
Another dry degreaser on the list, White Lightning Clean Streak is promoted as a “no-touch” cleaner, with no chain scrubber, water, or cloth required.
This degreaser is sprayed at high pressure and instantly rinses all the grease from your bike chain, but also from other components like derailleurs, sprockets, and even brake discs!
Overall, it delivers on its promise, the Clean Streak melts grease and grime in no time and gets into the smallest nooks and crannies. It then evaporates quite quickly, leaving your chain ready to be properly lubricated.
To be used outdoors or in a well-ventilated area, the vapors of the product are powerful, I strongly advise inhaling them as little as possible. Also, given the speed at which the solvent acts on dirt, I would not have fun putting it on my skin, take precautions.
Finally, the product being an aerosol, it is unfortunately not biodegradable.
Bicycle Chain Degreaser Buying Guide
This section lists tips to know before buying your chain degreaser.
Can you use any degreaser to clean your bike chain?
No, no, no, and no. Although there are many different degreasers for many different applications, I strongly recommend sticking to using products designed for bikes. Some degreasers in traditional stores are very aggressive and will damage the various parts of your bike, rubber seals, paint, etc.
Even if you have to pay a little more for these “special bike” degreasers, it will save you money in the long run, allowing you to maintain your bike properly and ensure long life and good performance.
Is it OK to use WD-40 on your bike chain?
Yes, if you use their special bike degreaser. Be careful not to confuse it with the classic WD-40 degreaser that we all have at home, this one is not designed to be specially used on bike components, risking damaging them.
What about lubes and cleaners combined?
We now find 2-in-1 products that are both a cleaner and a lube. Although many people seem to use them and are very happy with them, I am not a fan of this kind of product.
I prefer to have a separate degreaser and a separate lube. I’m more of a “to each product its own use” kind of guy.
Do you have to lubricate your chain after degreasing it?
That’s a big yes. The degreaser allows you to expose the metal by removing any residue from your chain. If you don’t lubricate it after, you expose it without protection to the outside elements, to direct contact with the cassette, the sprocket, and the chainrings, provoking its accelerated wear.
It is ESSENTIAL to lubricate the chain after degreasing.
Can you lubricate your bike chain with a degreaser?
No, a degreaser has the opposite effect of a lube.
As explained before, a degreaser is a solvent capable of removing grease and grime. A lube is a greasy substance (we won’t go into details here).
If you use a product that is both a cleaner and a lubricant (combined), it can be not very clear.
A bike chain degreaser is a bike-cleaning product that should be found in all garages.
For the best ratio in terms of efficiency, ease of use, impact on the environment, and price, the best bike chain degreaser on this list is the Muc Off Bio Drivetrain Cleaner which is in our opinion the best compromise.