Chain scrubber tool worth it?

Hello, I am relatively new to biking and cleaning my bike as I am a fair weather rider.
I am getting better at doing a good job, I think, of cleaning my bike, however, the chain is my nemesis as I find it hard to get all/most of the old grease off (I am using wd-40 aerosol degreaser, household brushes, sponge, rags, repeat).
I have heard mixed reviews of the effectiveness of a tool like the Park Tool Cyclone Chain Scrubber CM-5.2. I was wondering if I had one of these and at least cleaned my chain more frequently because using a tool like this is both easy and effective, it would be worth it for me.
Any feedback is greatly appreciated as I try not to buy stuff I don’t need or that are not really useful.
Thanks very much,


I wouldn’t bother cleaning the chain all that much. I generally just wet down the chain enough with lube to make it drip and wipe off with a rag. For me, it’s “clean enough” at that point and lubed and ready to go ride with a silent drivetrain.

Of course, it’ll never get truly clean with that approach, so when it gets really bad and I’m ready to change the chain, I’ll strip the cassette and the chainrings and scrub them down.

Waxing seems to be the in thing and sounds like it’ll stay clean… but I can’t seem to be bothered by all the equipment it takes either.


For me, the Parktool chain scrubber is essential. Makes cleaning even the most grubby chain a pleasure and it’s done in a handful of seconds.

I part fill mine with Morgan Blue degreaser and top of with water. Spin it up and hey presto, clean chain.

I’m absolutely convinced that this short process extends the life of my drivetrain. Finish off with a drop of Finish Line Wet Lube.


I ride MTB and the chain gets pretty dirty and dusty. I use the chain cleaner tool with Simple Green and it gets the chain nice and clean. I also run Finish Line, Ride Clean which is a wax based lube that keeps the chain and drivetrain clean. Also makes cleaning the chain and maintenance of the drivetrain easier. Many people like Squirt Lube but I find that to be a mess of gunk and cleanup is horrible. I’m alway picking out dirt, leaves and other garbage from those thicker wax lubes.

I used a chain cleaner similar to the Park Tool cleaner & found it to be effective and durable. Used it for years. So that’s one option.

Another option would be to buy a cheapo sonic cleaner. Like this one:

If you don’t mind taking your chain off that cleaner does a better job than the Park Tool device. You may judge the sonic cleaner to be more effort than a chain scrubber…more of a pain in the butt…you might be correct. But it is another option and it does get the chain a skoshe cleaner.

A third option is to use a lube like Squirt. Squirt advise you to thoroughly clean the chain out of the package, apply squirt, and never clean the chain again. Just apply more Squirt as the chain needs it. The lube keeps the chain pretty clean all by itself.


I’m a big fan of the park tools chain scrubber. It’s quick and easy to use and does a good job.

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I have a PT chain scrubber. Run with degreaser, it’s certainly better than not cleaning your chain or just wiping down with a rag, but I think after a while it needs replaced, or at least replace the brushes and sponge. At this point, my scrubber is just moving grease around. I get better results removing, soaking, etc. my chains. (FWIW I also switched to waxing so grease just isn’t an issue on my drivetrain anymore).

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big fan of the park tool chain cleaner. Just about to buy my 3rd refresh kit. I highly recommend using a good citrus degreaser like park tool’s chain bright or whatever the pedros one is called. I dilute it by half for the first go which works well but I’ll admit it does work super well when used at full strength. I just go by half to save some money and stretch that stuff out a bit since it’s not super cheap. I wipe down the chain in between passes then I just run warm water through to rinse the chain for the second pass. Then I wipe it down again to dry it and get whatever junk remins. I feel like I get more mileage out of my chain cleanings and possibly my chain this way than just wiping down and applying more lube.

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Have one, not using it. It cleans the chain, but not the chainrings, derailleur rollers or cassette - so whatever you clean will get dirty again pretty quickly. I’m a fan of quick chain links, removing the chain, rollers, cassette and chainrings and cleaning everything in one pass.


How much cleaner do you add in the sonic cleaner?

Here’s the classic video of GP Lama putting it to the test and giving some tips. It looks to truly work, but it is somewhat involved.

In answer to OP, I’m all for that ParkTool Cleaner. I used it every time I clean my bike and it is fantastic. So easy to use. Only issue I have now is cleaning the cleaner itself. That’s the time-intensive part with each wash.

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Hated cleaning the chain cleaner, so a couple years ago I switched to using a GCN hack… the “scrub brush sandwich” method of chain cleaning:

put bike on the stand, hose it off, spray simple green on the chain/cassette/rollers, and let it set a few minutes. Then sandwich the chain between two scrub brushes and use the pedals to run the chain thru the “sandwich.” And I’ve got a plastic tool (Park) to quickly hit the cassette. Hose off and do another pass with simple green and the scrub brush sandwich. Finish washing the bike and then use Rock-n-Roll Gold lube/cleaner on the chain and even more gunk comes out – even the next day – you can’t wipe the chain enough. Then lube other parts.

Chain runs smooth for about 2 weeks or 300 miles, whichever comes first. Whole process of cleaning and lubing bike takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.

I’ve got a sonic cleaner and intend to wax some chains once I’ve got 5, slowly stockpiling new chains.


Enough to cover whatever you want to clean.

Whether you put a cassette or a chain (or both) in the ultrasonic cleaner, all you need to do is fill it up so the stuff is just covered in liquid. Turn the device on – and the heater element if you cleaner has one – and let it run for 5 minutes or so. Presto, bammo. Pristine clean.

I switched from PT chain scurbbers + Rock-n-Roll, to ultrasonic + Molton Speed Wax, and its a revelation in clean. :slight_smile:

p.s. I use un-diluted Simple Green in my ultrasonic cleaner. It’s cheap and works a treat.

I couldn’t agree more. I remove my chain and cassette, get some krud kutter, and let chain and cassette soak. Scrub the jockey wheels with krud kutter/toothbrush…clean as a whistle

Last plug here for waxing. Eight months in I haven’t had cause to remove any drive train parts to clean/degrease. When the chain is off, I can wipe excess wax bits with a rag in one pass. Clean to the touch. To me, the touchable clean is a better perk than watt savings (which Squirt can give).


+1. No water to clean the chain ever for me. Organic mineral spirits in jars. Just shake vigourously to flush, move until subsequently cleaner jars and then drop into crock post with molten speed wax

I’ve use the chain scrubber tool in the past and it works. However, I find it easier to use a quick link and just take the chain off to do the cleaning.

I store my bike in the basement so any cleaning maintenance etc. is done inside. Removing the chain is just a little bit cleaner with less chance of spillage than messing with the chain scrubber.

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Just ball parking the numbers here…maybe a 1.5-2.0 cups hot water mixed with 0.33-0.5 cups Member’s Mark degreaser:

what quick links do you have that you are re-using? or are you sticking on new ones every time?