Can You Use WD40 On Bike Chains? Expert Sharing

WD-40 is a great product for many things, but can you use wd40 on bike chains?

Find out the answer to this question here! We give you a concise reply, its benefits and drawbacks, and suggest the best product for your bike. Let’s begin!

can you use wd40 on bike chains

Can You Use WD40 On Bike Chains?

Yes, but only as a temporary fix. WD40 is a versatile spray lubricant and can temporarily lubricate the bike chain. However, it is not a substitute for a dedicated bike chain lubricant formulated to provide long-term lubrication and protection.

It can be helpful in certain situations, such as loosening rusty or stiff bike chains, displacing water, or cleaning dirt and debris from the chains. 

Benefits Of Using WD-40 On Bike Chains 

Smooth and Quiet Riding – Prolongs Chain Life

WD-40’s main ingredient is a petroleum-based solvent, which helps to penetrate the chain links and remove any dirt, grime, or old lubricant that may be causing friction. 

Improved Shifting

Besides, it also contains a light lubricating oil that helps to coat the chain, reducing friction between the metal components. This oil is a temporary lubricant, providing smooth movement and quieter operation. 

Hence, it supports smoother gear shifts, ensuring accurate and reliable shifting performance while riding.

Prevents Rust and Corrosion

Last but not least, it includes corrosion inhibitors that protect the chain from rust and corrosion. 

By preventing the formation of rust, especially in wet or humid conditions, the chain’s performance and lifespan are improved, further reducing friction-related issues.

Limitations and Considerations 

can i use wd-40 on bike chain

Attract Dirt

The spray light lubricant can attract dirt and debris from the environment. Excess WD40 on the chain may act as a hotspot for dirt, leading to increased grime buildup and potentially affecting the chain’s performance.

Need Frequent Reapplication 

It is not specifically designed as a long-lasting chain lubricant. Its thin consistency means it can wear off relatively quickly, requiring more frequent reapplication than dedicated bicycle chain lubricants.

Be Washed Away Easily

It is not resistant to water, and prolonged exposure to wet conditions can cause it to wash off the chain. It can reduce lubrication and increase the likelihood of potential chain rusting if improperly maintained.

Less Suitable For High-Performance Cycling

For cyclists who engage in high-performance riding, such as racing or intense off-road biking, the multi-purpose lubricant may not provide the level of lubrication and durability required for optimal chain performance.

How To Apply WD-40 On A Bike Chain? 

Can I use WD-40 on bike chain? Now that you know its benefits, whether you own hybrid bikes with drop bars, mountain bikes, road bikes, or any other type, here is a guide on how to effectively use this spray lubricant.

  • Clean the chain: Protect your bike chain from dirt and debris by wiping it with a clean cloth or brush.
  • Spray: Hold the can of WD-40 and aim it toward the chain. Spray a light amount of the lubricant while rotating the pedals slowly.
  • Coat the chain: Move the pedals and spray the lubricant to ensure the entire chain is coated. Be careful not to use too much, as it can attract dirt.
  • Let it sit: Allow the spray lubricant to penetrate the chain for a few minutes. It helps it soak into the links and provide lubrication.
  • Wipe off excess: After the spray lubricant has had time to settle, use a clean cloth to wipe off any excess. It helps remove any dirt or extra WD-40.

Tips: The goal is to create a thin and even layer of lubrication, so instead of continuous spraying, use short bursts of WD-40 while moving the pedals to coat the chain. It helps distribute the product evenly without overgreasing the chain.

If Not WD-40, What Can I Use To Lube My Bike Chain? 

Despite the WD40 website stating its facts about its specialty in lubrication, it is recommended to use dedicated bike chain lubricants when lubing your bike. Here is the step-by-step guide:

  • Clean the chain: Use a soft brush/cloth to remove debris & dirt from the chain. Make sure it’s clean before applying the lubricant.
  • Apply the lubricant: Drip a few drops of lubricant onto the chain while turning the pedals backward. Make sure to cover each link evenly.
  • Let it sit: Give the lubricant a few minutes to penetrate the chain and displace moisture.
  • Wipe off excess: After the lubricant has had time to soak in, use a clean cloth to wipe off any excess. It helps prevent dirt buildup.

Tips To Maintain Your Bike Chains 

what can i use to lube my bike chain
  • Keep it clean: Use a piece of cloth to remove dirt & debris from your bike chain regularly. It helps prevent excess wear and keeps it running smoothly.
  • Lubricated regularly: Generally, it is recommended to lubricate your bike chain every 100-200 miles. However, it is up to your riding and weather conditions, and you may need to do it after every ride.
  • Remove any excess lubricant: After greasing, take a clean cloth to remove any excess lube to prevent dirt from sticking to the chain.
  • Avoid over-lubricating: Use the right amount of lubricant. Too much can attract dirt and leave a messy buildup.
  • Check tension: Ensure your bike chain is properly tensioned. It should have a slight give when pulled but not be too loose. Get the right bike chain tightness and check it for yourself. Consult your bike’s manual or a professional if unsure.
  • Regular inspections: Periodically inspect your chain for signs of wear, such as rust, stretched links, or damage. Replace the chain if necessary to maintain optimal performance.


Can you use WD40 on bike chains? Now you got all the deets about it. Knowing the appropriate circumstances for using WD40 will help keep your bike in optimal condition longer. It is more of a stop-gap than a regular and long-term product to use.

If you’re seeking a specific product to lubricate your bike, a dedicated solution tailored for this purpose is highly recommended. Feel free to return for more information and assistance with your biking knowledge. We’re all ears!

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