As the title suggests, I was lubricating the gears and chain, and I accidentally dropped some of the oil on the rear brake disc. I didn't notice it then, and took the bike out for a spin. That's when I noticed the rear brake was acting funny. Problem, there is oil all over the disc, and maybe on the brake pads too. Any suggestions to solve this?

3 Answers 3


Clean rotor with detergent, dry, clean with meths. Replace pads.

Some people have methods for degreasing pads but i find none of them satisfactory.

  • Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't have the pads available. What are the consequences if simply degrease them? Commented May 26, 2021 at 13:40
  • What are your pads made of? Sintered metal pads are more porous but can handle more aggressive treatments. As you've used the brakes, there is some oil on them
    – Chris H
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 14:01
  • Automotive parts degreaser or brake cleaner spray might help, but might also damage the disc brake pads, especially if they are resin-based pads.
    – Armand
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 14:04
  • @HarshVardhan Oil contamination is very hard (impossible?) to get out of disc brake pads because they absorb it so readily. If you use them, you will have poor brake performance and probably squealing. The cooling fins on the rotor's brake track will also get gummed up with oily brake residue that is time consuming to clean. You would then need to clean the rotors again when fitting new pads. I hope that answers your question.
    – Noise
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 19:59
  • @JoeK New pads it is,then. Thank you for your time and suggestions Commented May 27, 2021 at 8:06

To clean pads, start with a good soak in isopropyl alcohol or acetone. Don’t use gasoline as it is oily.

After they’ve had some time to soak the oil out, get a blowtorch and blast the pads until they are done smoking. The smoke is oil being vaporized. If you go too far, you’ll start burning the brake material, which results in a very acrid smell indicating that you should stop.

  • 1
    Brake pads are cheap, that seems like a lot of effort to repair something that is readily available from almost everywhere
    – Dan K
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 5:24
  • @DanK some brakes take unusual pads. I have to mail order for my MTB, which is one reason I fitted BB5s on my tourer, because those are common.
    – Chris H
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 8:03
  • @DanK Depends on which brakes we are talking about. B01S, sure, they're fairly cheap, but the fancier 2p and 4p pads are like $30+ a pop. 3 minutes with a blowtorch isn't that crazy anyways.
    – MaplePanda
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 21:39
  • 1
    +1... heat gun, hair dryer, etc. I've warmed to doing this more over the years to be honest, pun intended. I did it on some hope pads of mine a while ago and it worked perfectly. Commented May 27, 2021 at 23:16
  • Is this advise for sintered or organic pads?
    – gschenk
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 8:02

Use something like Disc cleaner to clean the Discs and replace the pads since they are not gonna function like normal ever again

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