During a long winter, we can often leave our bikes locked up outside, in a shed, or garage, and not even look at it until the spring sunshine comes out, and we want to go for a ride. Of course, when you do this, you can often set your eyes on your bike for the first time in months and discover that the bike had rusted.

Fortunately, rust on a bike can be easily treated without needing to take the bike to a specialist. We’re going to have a look at four common methods that people often use to remove rust from their bikes. They’re all cheap and require no expertise to do. Let’s get started.

Remove Rust with Baking Soda

Baking soda

This inexpensive method of removing light rust from a bike can be done with just baking soda and water, although you may want to get some lemon juice to add to the mix if you’ve got a lot of rust to remove.

Firstly, you want to get a bowl. You’re now going to make a paste. This is created by stirring baking soda and water together. You want the measurements of the baking soda and water to be the same. For example, if you use 20g of baking soda, you’ll want to add 22.5ml of water. Add some lemon juice if you’ve got it. Stir it all together until it’s thick, like a paste.

Using either a brush or sponge, you want to apply the mixture to the rusted parts of your bike. Try to make sure that you spread the paste evenly over the rusted areas. And you also want to ensure that the paste is sticking to the bike parts. If it’s too runny, you need to stir the mixture again or add more baking powder to it.

Next, you want to leave the mixture on the bike for fifteen minutes. Once this time is up, you should get an old toothbrush and scrub the areas where you’ve added paste. You’ll notice that the rust is loosening now. After you’ve scrubbed everywhere, wait another ten minutes for the mixture to do more work, and then wipe everything off with a cloth, preferably a microfiber one.

Remove Rust with Vinegar

Vinegar for cleaning

This method is incredibly easy too. All you need is white vinegar, baking soda, and an empty spray bottle.

  • Fill up the bottle with vinegar, add a spoonful of baking soda to it, screw on the lid, then spray your bike with the solution. Make sure that you cover the whole of the rusted areas.
  • Then leave the bike for fifteen minutes.
  • Once the time is up, get a hosepipe, and spray the bike clean.
  • Remember, vinegar is corrosive, so you have to ensure that it’s all removed; otherwise, it could harm the metal on your bike.
  • Once you’ve washed off the vinegar, dry your bike with a cloth. Ideally, you want to soak the cloth in alcohol, as this will ensure that all moisture is removed from the bike’s metal, meaning that it won’t rust again in a hurry.

Remove Rust with Citric Acid

Citric acid cleaner

Citric acid is renowned for its corrosive properties. And that means that it can be used to remove rust from a bike. You can use fresh lemon or fresh lime or purchase some lemon or lime juice from your supermarket. Besides the juice, all you need is some salt. You want to get coarse salt for this method. And then you want to cover the rusted areas on your bike with the salt. Next, you want to pour the juice over the areas where you’ve sprinkled salt. Then, with a cloth, you want to start scrubbing, and you should find that the rust comes away from the bike’s metal. Make sure that the bike is dry once you’re done, and there’s no trace of the juice.

Remove Rust with a Chemical Product

Man lubricating bike chain

There are many excellent chemical rust removers available. Each product will have clear instructions with them that will explain how you can safely use them. As these products are highly potent, then you must ensure that you follow the safety instructions properly. You should always wear gloves and goggles when using these products, as they could cause lasting damage if they get onto your skin or eyes. It’s also recommended that you only apply these products to your bike outdoors. If you do it in a confined space, then you could become light-headed or even faint. Chemical products are only advised if the other methods that have been outlined here don’t remove the rust from your bicycle.


Following these four easy methods will allow you to remove that pesky rust from your beloved bike. Remember, you should always store your bike in a dry, cool place if you want to avoid rusting again.