How to Stop Bike Handlebars From Rusting

We all love riding our bikes through muddy, wet, or dusty terrains. As much as we enjoy our adventurous rides, such conditions make our bike vulnerable to rust. This is even more prominent in bike handlebars made from iron.

How to Stop Bike Handlebars From Rusting

So How to Stop Bike Handlebars From Rusting? 

You can prevent the handlebars from rusting by using fingernail polish or touch-up paint, protectant grease, or by using metal frame protection. 

But how often should you apply these methods? Can you use them on mildly rusted handlebars? To find answers to all these recurring questions, you should go ahead and read this article. 

Ways to Stop Bike Handlebars From Rusting: Methods I Have Tried and Found Useful 

I love going on rides every weekend, and a lot of times, it rained, which was quite an experience for me but sadly not for my bike handlebars. These are some of the methods I often use to prevent the handlebar from rusting. 

rusted handlebars
close up handlebar of old rusty bike

Apply Fingernail Polish Or Touch Up Paint 

Apply the fingernail polish or touch up paint to areas where the metal has chipped off. It will prevent air exposure to the area, which might result in rusty handlebars. 

Apply Protectant Grease 

Applying protectant grease like WD-40 will prevent rust formation. Your handlebars are exposed to air, and chipping off the paint even a bit can lead to oxidation; hence, applying protectant grease is the best way to stop bike handlebars from rusting. 

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12/01/2022 01:59 pm GMT

You should apply protectant grease regularly on the handlebars and any other exposed parts of the cycle like its chain and gears to prevent any rust development. 

Use Frame Protection 

Using frame protection on the handlebars will help prevent rusting. Frame protection prevents air exposure and other debris chipping off the metal or pain, which in turn can lead to corrosion. 

Wash Your Bike And Keep It Dry 

I would recommend you wash your bike at least twice or thrice a month, especially if you have been through dusty or muddy lanes. Dirt and sweat will cause corrosion in the handlebars, causing them to rust. 

But just washing your bike isn’t enough. If you leave it wet for long, it will induce rust formation. So, don’t forget to dry it thoroughly after each wash.

How To Remove Rust From Your Bike Handlebars?

After prolonged use, handlebars and even other bike parts tend to develop rust. Here are some measures I use to remove rust and make my handlebars shine like a new one. 

Chemical Rust Cleaners: For Sturdy Rust 

If your handlebars have got solid rust, a store-bought chemical rust cleaner would be the best solution. You just have to pour the cleaner on the handlebars, and it will remove the rust on its own. 

Using a chemical cleaner also saves you the time you otherwise would have spent scrubbing. I have used the WD-40 Specialist Rust Remover Soak, which performed wonderfully well on my bike handlebars. 

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12/01/2022 06:32 am GMT

Home Remedies 

Baking Soda And Water

You must be familiar with baking soda and its culinary usage. But did you know this everyday kitchen ingredient can be a great handlebar cleaner too? 

Yes, you read that right. Let’s check out the steps to use baking soda to remove rust from bike handlebars (I have followed these steps and saw awesome results). 

Things you will need

  • Baking soda (I have used the Arms and Hammer baking soda)
  • Soap 
  • Water 
  • A bowl 
  • A toothbrush or a sponge 
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  • First, use soapy water to clean any dirt and dust from your bike handlebars. This way, it gets easier for the baking soda to clean the rust. 
  • Mix 50% of baking soda with 50% water. The mixture should not be too liquidy. Try to make a paste that sticks to the handlebars. 
  • Now take a toothbrush or a sponge, dip it into the mixture and apply it all over bike handlebars. 
  • Make sure that the entire area is well coated with the baking soda paste and leave it for fifteen minutes. 
  • Now dip the sponge into some water, squeeze out any excess. 
  • Rub it over the handlebar to scrub off the soda mixture. The baking soda will remove all the rust. 
  • If any rust remains, you can lay another coating of the baking soda paste and leave it for another ten minutes. Repeat the scrubbing procedure to get rid of the tough stains. 
  • Wash the handlebars with clean water and use a cotton cloth to dry them. 
  • Lastly, apply some bicycle wax which will keep dust and dirt away and prevent new rust formation. 

Aluminum Foil 

Cleaning with aluminum foil will need some extra rubbing and time, but the results are pretty awesome. So you might want to try this method as well- 

clean handlebars with aluminum foil

Things you will need

  • Aluminum foil
  • Salt 
  • Water 


  • Crumble the aluminum foil into a small ball.
  • Mix salt and water.
  • Dip the aluminum foil into the saltwater.
  • Rub the crumbled foil over the handlebar using optimum pressure. 
  • The rust will come off slowly after you repeat the step for some time. 

Note: you will have to wash your handlebars before using the aluminum foil, as I mentioned in the baking soda method. Similarly, rinse the handlebars at last with clean water and dry them with a cloth. Finish off by applying some bicycle wax. 

Acidic Cleaners: Vinegar Or Lime

Acidic cleaners like vinegar and lime can also remove rust from bike handlebars. All you’ve to do is apply vinegar or lime to the rusted handlebars and leave it for about fifteen minutes. 

Scrub off the handlebars with a soft cloth or sponge and rinse off with soapy water. Dry the handlebars with a dry cloth, and you get rust-free handlebars. 


How to remove rust from handlebars without damaging the paint? 

You can use a chemical cleaner like WD-40 that does not damage the paint while obliterating the rust. 

Is vinegar helpful in removing rust? 

Yes, vinegar is an acidic solution; hence works perfectly fine on rusty bike handlebars. 

What is the best homemade bike handlebar rust remover? 

Baking soda is the best homemade rust remover. You just have to leave the baking soda and water paste on the rusty area for about 15 minutes to get shiny rust-free handlebars. 

Final Thoughts 

Hopefully, you got your answer on how to stop bike handlebars from rusting. Try to keep your bike well protected from air exposure and dirt to avoid corrosion. 

Don’t forget to check the tips I mentioned for removing rust in case you ever get rusty handlebars. Happy riding!

About Martin

I am Martin, I am the author of this blog. My main interests include cycling. That's why this blog was created. I have always been interested in technology and how bicycles are made, so I built one myself.

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