first ever bike wash

so after my first week of commuting and a 3hr return trip down to Kent and back (do i not like unlit A roads at night) my pride 'n joy is now a filthly street crawler and requires a good clean-upmy plan is to do a quick interim wash each weekend with a good all over clean once a month

interim wash, starting this weekend, will just be to clean the wheels, swing arm, lower fairings, down pipes etc being careful not to touch the chain and sprockets too much

will be fitting a scottoiler to get around too much chain maintenance hassle anyway

has anyone used a garden sprayer thingy for washing their bike? are they powerful enough? i’m hoping the dirt wont be too ground-in after only a week

thinking of buying some decent car/bike wash liquid and the product below (or cheaper if the B&Q next door has a garden one):



that looks a good idea, might get one myself. ANy idea how it splits between “with shampoo” and without for rinse ?

now thats a good question, bugger, it either needs to be fancier or have an adapter that mixes the liquid in on the fly…hmmm

any water pressure cleaner have small pipe for mixing with shampoo, haven’t they ?

A bucket. And some soapy water. And a sponge. And a brush for the wheels. And then you can spend all the money you’ve saved on something nice.

[If you’re really posh, then you can buy special car-cleaning soap rather than use Fairy liquid]

need to keep all the items down to minimum as in a small flat :slight_smile:

Be careful about using anything with a jet/spray on a bike… you can very easily get water into bearings/ electrics etc… it’s not the same as washing a car …

I use jet spray on my one without problems so far. I’m trying to avoid washing electrics etc. Very useful for wheels:)

Heh true it’s not like a car wash and that’s why it takes 3-4h :smiley: even with jet wash…

not sure if the handpump ones do

Without wanting to hijack this thread - I use a hose on my bike to rinse the suds off after washing it - on the weaker setting which spreads the spray widest (if you know what I mean). However I usually have a job starting it afterwards, have to try for a few mins before the engine catches the starter (even after blocking up the exhaust before washing).
Anyone know why this is ?

true I won’t expect them to do it

I got sth like that

about £50 but does its job well, haven’t tried to mix shampoo using the small pipe on the side though :slight_smile:

Yes, but a high pressure washer is not a substitute for the sponge and brush. You can’t clean your bike just by spraying water on it, however high the pressure or however soapy the water. And even if you could do this, it would completely miss one of the main points of cleaning your bike, which is that it gives you a chance to give everything a good check over whilst you’re getting in close and washing it.

So given that you need something along the cloth/sponge/brush line, the most space saving (not to mention cheapest) thing to do is to get a bucket as well. There’s a reason why old-fashioned techniques persist. It’s because they work.

I don’t understand where people find all this time to wash their bikes!! I go for the natural cleaning process - the one where the dirt builds up enough to fall off in lumps.

Be careful around the rad, the vents are easily bent, even by water under pressure.

dont think this handpump sprayer will be very high pressure to be honest, was going to combine that with some elbow grease :slight_smile:

he he it takes some time but by now it’s my habit to perform regular clean every Saturday and at least once a month to undo all the fairings and clean whole engine etc…

i got like 5 different brushes, sponge, cleaning cloth, bucket and tons of cleaning products :stuck_out_tongue: don’t use them all at the same time, would be bad for bike all these chemicals. Still in process of finding best products:)

One day I might train up my kids to clean the bike with promises of riches and favours; only to viciously withdraw them for the slightest smear on the plastics. Until then; at least it keeps the power rangers away from the bike as they live in fear of tarnishing their dayglowness.


i use a hand pump one that i got from homebase perfect pressure for the bike and the bottle holds the right amount to get the job done.

I agree, good old spunch and bucket will do. Use soap first, then rinse without. The dirt will just come off, no need to pressure wash.

Watch out with Fairy liquid or any other dishwashing liquid though. It’s salty so any left on the bike may help corrosion. I use a cheap car shampoo from Tesco. Last time I got a bottle of the “green eco friendly” stuff, it’s actually quite good.

I think that’s the same thing as I use, only I can’t get the bloody thing undone to refill it because of the pressure :stuck_out_tongue: