De-greasing is not necessary when you’ve been using Squirt Long Lasting Chain Lube. It does not form a black build-up like oils that traps dirt to accelerate chain wear. It does not smudge and stays dry. Brush off with dry brush if needed and remove occasional build-up from rear derailleur wheels with a toothpick.
We generally do not advise too frequent deep-cleaning as it removes all embedded wax from inside the chain and a two-coat reapplication of the lube will be required as per the application instructions. However, cleaning should be handled on a case-by-case basis such as when you hear the chain grinding after a muddy ride, because this implies that excessive dirt entered the chain that needs to be washed out.
On bike cleaning
For on-bike cleaning, usually two rounds using a clamp-on type cleaner (such as Park Tool CG-2.4) and our Squirt biodegradable Bike Cleaner product is adequate. Rinse well with clean water and reapply two coats of lube as per the application instructions.
For a more intensive clean, use about 1-2 litres of boiling water and pour slowly over the bottom span of the chain (between the rear derailleur and chainring) while turning the cranks backwards. This melts the wax and rinses it out of the chain together with trapped dirt. Follow this up with a couple rounds using the clamp-on type cleaner until the cleaning solution is not visibly dirty anymore. Always rinse well with clean water and reapply two coats of lube as per the application instructions.
For deep cleaning, the chain can be removed and degreased with a couple of rounds of soaking/shaking/rinsing in an organic solvent like kerosene or white spirits or a dedicated degreaser product. Follow this up with a rinse in solvent like IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) or methylated spirits to remove any possible residue left by the degreasers and reapply two coats of lube as per the application instructions. Discard all chemicals in an environmentally responsible way. Specialist workshops have ultrasonic cleaners that work well, and the user instruction of the device should be followed.