Is WD40 Good for Bike Chain?

WD40 is a popular multi-purpose product that can be found in many households and workshops around the world. It’s marketed for use in a wide range of applications, including protecting metal surfaces from rust and corrosion, loosening rusted parts, and lubricating moving parts.

People also use WD40 to lubricate and clean their bike chains. However, the question “is WD40 good for motorcycle chains” is a subject of some debate.

In this article, we will answer this question in detail to help you understand whether you should use this product for your motorcycle or not. We will also dispel some misconceptions about this product and provide tips on how to use it correctly for optimal results.

What is WD40 | Is it good for bike chains | WD40 misconceptions | Should you use WD40 | FAQs

What is WD40 Actually?

wd40 hand towel on car bonnet

WD40 is a popular brand that has been around since the 1950s. The company was founded in San Diego, California, by a team of chemists who were trying to create a water displacement formula that could prevent corrosion on missiles.

The name “WD40” is short for “Water Displacement – 40th Attempt“, as it was the 40th formula that the team created.

The original formula for WD40 was designed to prevent corrosion and rust on metal surfaces, but it quickly gained popularity as a versatile household and workshop product.

Today, WD40 is sold in over 176 countries and has a wide range of applications, including lubricating machinery, loosening rusted bolts, and removing adhesives and grease.

While the original WD40 formula is still available, the company has expanded its product line to include specialized formulas for specific applications.

These include WD40 Specialist, designed for heavy-duty applications; WD40 Bike lube, formulated specifically for bike maintenance; and WD40 Rust Remover, designed to dissolve rust and prevent its formation.

Is WD40 Good for Bike Chains?


WD40 is a popular product that has a variety of uses, including cleaning, degreasing, and lubricating bike chains. However, you need to make sure that you use the correct WD40 product for a specific purpose.

For example, if you want to degrease your bike chain, you’ll need to use a WD40 bike degreaser, and the WD40 bike cleaner will come in handy for cleaning purposes. In the same way, you’d want to apply a WD40 bike chain lube to lubricate your bicycle or motorcycle chain.

Why is WD40 Good for Bike Chains?

As mentioned already, WD40 can be useful for cleaning, degreasing, and lubricating your bike chain. The company offers different types of products specially designed for different applications.

You just need to make sure that you use the correct product for each application to achieve the desired results. For example, you shouldn’t apply the WD40 cleaning formula to your bike chain if you want to lubricate it and vice versa.

Additionally, you’ll also need to make sure that you choose the right type of lubricant depending on the conditions in which you ride your bike. For instance, you’ll need to go with the WD40 wet chain lube if you ride in wet conditions, and dry WD40 lube will be more effective for riding in dry conditions.

WD-40 All Conditions Bike Chain Lube and Chain Cleaner/Degreaser
  • Includes: One(1) All-Conditions Chain Lube And One(1) Chain Cleaner & Degreaser
  • All-Conditions Chain Lube – The Fast and Easy to Use Formula Helps Prevent Squeaks and Extends the…
  • Contains Corrosion Inhibitors for Long-term Optimal Chain Performance – The No-wax Formula Will Not…
  • WD-40 BIKE Chain Cleaner & Degreaser’s Foaming Action Clings to Bike Surfaces to Deeply Penetrate…

Why is WD40 bad for bicycle chains?

WD40 isn’t bad for a motorcycle or bicycle chain as long as you use the correct product. However, if you use the wrong product, such as applying the cleaner to the chain as a lubricant, it won’t work effectively. It’ll make the chain dry, which will cause it to become susceptible to rust and damage.

Misconceptions About WD40

collection of cars in wd40 sponsored garage

There are several misconceptions about WD40, including the following.

Misconception #1: WD40 is Not Really a Lubricant

While the name “WD40” stands for water displacement, the brand has a catalog of different unique blends of lubricants, anti-corrosion agents, and other ingredients.

Misconception #2: WD40 Contains Fish oil

There is a common misconception that WD40 contains fish oil and can be used to attract fish. This is not true. While the exact formula of WD40 is a closely guarded secret, it certainly doesn’t contain fish oil or any ingredients that would attract fish.

Misconception #3: WD40 Contains Water

Many people think that WD40 contains water, but it’s not true. It’s based on a water displacement formula, which means it displaces water when you apply it to a surface.

Should You Use WD40 on Your Bike?

motorcycle racer on wd40 sponsored motorbike at silverstone circuit

While the answer to this question depends on your personal preferences, you can use this product to degrease, clean, and lubricate your bike chain.

There are different types of WD40 products available, featuring different formulations, and you can use them for your regular bike maintenance.

How to Use WD40 on Your Bike

How to use WD40 lube on bike

You can use the following steps to use WD40 on your bike.

  1. Rinse off any dirt and dry mud from the bike chain using a rag or a brush with firm and thick nylon bristles. Next, apply the WD40 bike degreaser and let it work for a few minutes.
  2. Scrub off the grime and dirt from the chain using a brush. The degreaser helps loosen the grime, making it easy to scrub off without damaging the chain.
  3. Wash the chain with a sponge and clean water (or WD40 Specialist Bike Cleaner) to remove the degreaser’s residue and any remaining dirt. Let the chain dry thoroughly.
  4. If your bike chain has rust, use WD40 rust remover by spraying it directly on the affected area. Then, wait for it to soak in, and then scrub the rust with a wire brush or sandpaper.
  5. Once the rust is removed, lubricate the chain using a WD40 lubricant specially designed for the bike chain. Don’t forget to take into account your riding conditions while choosing the lubricant.

WD40 Bike Chain FAQs

Is it ok to use WD40 on the bike chain?

Yes, it is ok to use WD40 on a bike chain, but it is recommended to use the right formulation depending on the results you want to achieve.

Is WD40 a good lubricant for bikes?

Yes, WD40 is a good lubricant for bikes as long as you choose the WD40 bike lube.

Is WD40 a good bike chain degreaser?

Yes, WD40 bike degreaser can be a good bike chain degreaser as it effectively removes dirt, grime, and old lubricant from the chain.


WD40 is a versatile product that can be used for a variety of purposes, including cleaning, degreasing, and lubricating bike chains. However, it is essential to ensure that you use the correct product for each application.

So, whether or not you use WD40 on your bike is a personal choice, but using the right product for the right application can lead to optimal results.