Remove Bicycle Chain Rust With Lime Juice And Steel Wool

If your bicycle chain is rusty, an easy way to get rid of surface rust is to pour lime juice on a piece of steel wool and scrub the rusty areas. The citric acid in the juice will react with the iron oxide (rust) and make the rust easier to remove with an abrasive. This trick also works for tire rims, gears, and other rusty bicycle components.

Instructables user joshf discovered this method from a book on Japanese life hacking techniques. (Urawaza) Although the author uses lime juice and steel wool any combination of citric acid and abrasive should work similarly well.

When you're finished removing rust, make sure you remove all of the lime juice to prevent any leftover citric acid from weakening the metal. For full photos and the author's technique click on the link below.

Remove Rust from a Bicycle with Lime Juice [Instructables via Re-Nest]


    After clean up the left over lime juice, make sure you coat the cleaned bike chain with oil. This is very good to repel water from sticking to the chain. There is specialised motor oil, or if you don't have, olive oil or WD40 is good too.

    OK, it says that any combination of citric acid and abrasive should work, but, really, why lime juice (expensive) in particular?
    Why not lemon juice (cheaper) or cleaning vinegar (very cheap - acetic rather than citric acid, but I bet it still works)?

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