Chain Waxing Tutorial

Yep, one of the plus points of waxing is all those degreasers you’ve accumulated over the years are pretty much not needed any more!

I should throw a shout out to ufo clean, as I’m using it more and more now - it’s the ideal cleaner for grease and wax :+1:


naphtha (no points for spelling that) works pretty well for removing wax also… it takes a couple baths in it, but when I first started waxing, my LBS pointed me at WEND, which is absolute PASTE on the chain, so I quickly removed it with that. It took a couple baths to get it off, but it worked pretty well also.

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I drop waxed chains in mineral spirits and denatured alcohol before rewaxing all the time. My bikes live in the garage and this its easier to clean them there than fuss with boiling water. Im also doing 4-6 chains at a time so its easier logistically to drop them in as each gets pulled out of rotation until i need to rewax a batch.

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You’ll get answers from both sides of isle on this. In the 8 years I’ve been waxing chains I’ve never done this and never will. At most, I’ll take rag dampened with naphtha and wipe down the outside but usually not. But I only ride in dry conditions in the high desert on the road and trails.

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Thanks for all the feedback. I’ve done two gravel races that were close to four hours with some mud and a water crossing on the old chain so I think the boiling water and mineral spirits might be worthwhile this time. Plus I want to clean the cassette on my other wheelset so I can do both at the same time.

Great thing about boiling water is you always have a kettle when you travel to ride. Wax before going, ride 2-300k, flush with a kettle, apply drip wax, continue.

Vs everyone else trying to wipe their chains clean and getting 4th cat tats on their legs from oil.


In 'Merica you have to bring your own kettle because 'MERICA!

the chain tat isn’t making us cyclists look any more ridiculous than our apparel already does.

A 4th cat makes you look like an oaf.

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My routine is getting so simple waxing. I have 3 chains, I take them off the bike, pop them in a jar with white spirit, shake, leave for a bit. Drain the spirit as its dark colour now, add some more, shake, its clear so take the chain out and save the spirit for next time. Rinse, dry and leave in the crockpot for when i next want to wax. Do it once every 2 - 3 weeks.

you can go straight from spirits or alcohol right into the wax to simplify further

depending on the state of the chain I go from bike to 20% simple green & water in the heated ultrasonic at 70° C Rinse until there’s no soap. wipe dry, blow out each link with compressed air (air compressor with a tank is SOOOO nice to have) dry for 30/60 or over night, then into the crockpot.

Yep good point

This may be a bit of a special question but: I’m experimenting with chain waxing and now want to convert all my bikes except for the commuter. One problem is that every year I spent time with my girlfriend in another country once or twice for a few weeks. When I’m there I usually put my bike on her trainer.

She uses RnR Gold on her bike, so presumably the cassette will be contaminated with that. I’m resigned to that probably meaning I want to put a cheap chain with normal lube on. Will I spend days cleaning my drive train every time I come home before I put the waxed chain back on? Or should I just use my waxed chain and a few weeks on a trainer with a contaminated cassette will jot make much of a difference?

I would think how much cleaning you have to do would be dependent on HOW contaminated her trainer cassette is. If she stays on top of cleaning it, the contamination MAY be minimal, but I suspect some level of drivetrain cleaning on your bike will be needed. If you have access to another chain you could put on your bike temporarily, it will save you from having to degrease that as well… OR, BETTER YET….

if you have a spare (clean) cassette kicking around, maybe bring that with you and swap the cassettes around on the trainer when you are using it. A bit of a hassle to switch them around each time, but better then trying to degrease your drivetrain when you get home IMO.


I’d just degrease the cassette - bit of meths and a (couple of) microfibre cloths should do it. If you’re using erg mode you could just do the one cog :smiley:

After every time she uses the trainer? I think the cassette swap might be more practical. :slight_smile:

Rubbing a cloth on a cassette for a few seconds, or spending a few seconds sliding a cassette off and another on again… either works I suppose. The main thing I’d question would be being in a relationship with someone who uses rock and roll gold when you have enough knowledge to post on this thread - get her on the waxing!:grinning:


@cyclhist THIS is an even better option. If she can maintain this (it’s not really difficult once set up) then there is no messing around with degreasing OR cassette swapping!

I’m going to make a line of t-shirts, coffee mugs, hats, etc with that statement on them and get rich selling them to chain waxing adherents :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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