Can You Use Brake Cleaner On A Motorcycle Chain?

Are you having trouble removing the dirt from your motorcycle chain and wondering if a brake cleaner would cause any damage?

Yes. You can use brake cleaner to get the grunge off your motorcycle chain. However, brake cleaner contains aggressive solvents and will strip everything off your motorcycle chain, including the lube.

What can I use to clean my motorcycle chain?

If you have steel on the steel chain-link, you can attack the cleaning more aggressively than if you have a sealed motorcycle chain.

The likes of brake cleaner do an excellent job on steel on steel chains and remove the grunge in no time with a stiff brush, but for sealed chains, you need to use a specifically designed chain cleaner that will not damage the seals.

Kerosine is an excellent option for cleaning your motorcycle chain. You can apply the kerosine liberally and wash off all of the grunge your chain has collected. 

Kerosine is cheap, so don’t be shy when applying to the chain. The kerosine will wash off everything on the chain, including lubricants, so view cleaning your chain like servicing the chain.

Check the chain links, including the master and the sprocket, simultaneously before reapplying lube.

What should you not use as a brake cleaner?

Brake cleaner uses nasty chemicals such as toluene, acetone, and methanol. Exposure and inhalation should be kept to a minimum.

Don’t get me wrong, brake cleaner does a great job of stripping all the gunk and crap off the chain, but it is aggressive.

You can achieve good results for a cheaper price using kerosine and a brush, kerosine is not as harsh, and although not environmentally friendly, it is better to use than brake cleaner.

Can you use WD 40 to clean a motorcycle chain?

It’s not recommended to use WD 40. WD-40 is in everyone’s garage, and we love the job it does.

It can be sprayed onto your motorcycle chain, and it will fetch off some of the grunge with the use of a decent brush.

If there is any moisture hiding in the chain link pins, WD 40 will resolve that problem. The problem comes when it is used as a lubricant.

WD 40 will strip every last drop of load-bearing lubricant from your chain and cause your chain to fail prematurely under load conditions.

WD is an abbreviation for water dispersant and not a lubricant; WD 40 is used for dispersing water and has minimal lubrication qualities.

It is expensive to use as a motorcycle chain cleaner, and there are better products that will do a better job faster.

WD 40 has become part of our lives but is often misunderstood and a miscategorized product and used in many applications that it is not suited for.

Use kerosine to clean your motorcycle chain and a suitable chain lubricator to get the best performance from your chain.