A good solvent is a worktop essential, and WD-40's Bike Degreaser does a great job at a sensible price.
- Pros: Very effective, great value
- Cons: Might be a bit aggressive for some uses
Degreasers come in various forms that can do different jobs (or the same job different ways). WD-40's is a high-pressure, volatile spray that liquefies oil, dirt and grime and flushes it right off the component of your choice.
This kind of high-speed spray is beloved by bike mechanics for its ability to clean out hard-to-reach places, such as inside rear mechs, behind chainrings and in between sprockets. It's most satisfying to see a river of black gunk come running off and the pristine surface underneath revealed.
The regulation label tells me that WD-40 Bike Degreaser is '30% and more aliphatic hydrocarbons', which means petroleum-derived. There's no water involved, which is good for cleaning water-sensitive areas such as chains and pivots. It evaporates quickly too, which means you can re-lubricate components pretty quickly after use.
I don't like to use any more solvents than necessary, so for most jobs I sprayed the product onto a kitchen towel and wiped to clean, which works just as well. WD-40 recommends that for plastics, rubbers and coated surfaces you should test it on an inconspicuous area first. I had no issues with any materials I tested this on, but I guess WD-40 wouldn't say it if it didn't mean it. If in doubt, use a citrus-based product on sensitive areas. Similarly, it's best kept away from any areas you really don't want degreasing, such as bearing seals because it will get past them.
WD-40's aerosol is highly pressurised, which helps with the dirt shifting. For that reason I preferred to use the supplied straw to direct it, as straight from the nozzle it was inclined to clean the wall behind, as well as splashing back from the bike. This settles down as the contents reduce, but there was still plenty of propellant left at the end of the can to make sure none is wasted.
Also, WD-40 uses a good quality nozzle that doesn't leak or fall off in use. Sounds like basic stuff but some product manufacturers seem to have problems with it (hi, GT85!).
It's hard to directly compare products like-for-like because no two formulations are the same, but compared to something likeGT85 Bike Degreaser at £7.99 for 400ml, it's great value. Based on usefulness-per-penny outlay it's jolly good too, the 500ml can lasting me a good three weeks of pretty generous use in the workshop.
Excellent solvent spray for hard-to-reach mucky areas, in a generous can at a great price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: WD-40 Bike Degreaser
Size tested: 500ml
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
As it says on the tin: "This quick-drying product is perfect for removing grease, grime, dirt and oil from all moving bike parts including the chain. It helps extend the life of your bike so you can spend less time fixing and more time riding!"
All this is true. The point about extending the life of your bike being that clean components run better and aren't ground down by gritty contamination.
Distributor Zyrofisher says, "A very fast acting formula with a powerful blast spray action to help remove grease and old chain lube from your frame and drivetrain with minimum effort. It's safe to use on all surfaces."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Hydrocarbons, C9-C11, n-alkanes, isoalkanes, cyclics, <2% aromatics, Propan-2-ol
500ml aerosol can
Comes with a straw for the nozzle
Brilliant for flushing muck out of hard-to-reach areas. Also, spray it onto a cloth or paper towel for more economical cleaning of easier-to-reach components.
A useful-sized can that will last through plenty of bike servicing for the home user; comes in cheaper than most volatile degreasers.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Excellent product that dissolves grease, grime and dirt and flushes it out of hard-to-reach places. Best kept away from bearing seals, though!
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Effective cleaning, sensible price and a large can; plenty of propellant so it didn't lose pressure before the can was empty.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's hard to directly compare products like-for-like because no two formulations are the same, but compared to GT85 Bike Degreaser at £7.99 for 400ml, it's great value.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
While it may not be the ideal degreaser for every single application, for the uses recommended by WD-40 it's excellent. Also makes a great disc brake cleaner.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10 My best bike is: Tomassini Prestige
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking