Top motorcycle kit cleaning products

Keep your motorbike gear in tip-top shape and it will look after you

Washing a textile motorcycle jacket in a washing machine

by Jim Blackstock |

It should go without saying that keeping your riding gear in tip-top shape is of paramount importance. However, what many don’t realise is that as clothing and helmets get dirty, their performance can suffer.

They may not necessarily offer any less protection but they might not keep the water out as well as they used to, they might start to hum a bit or they might not fit quite as well as they should. Or, they might just look really grubby and like you don’t really care about them.

So keeping them clean and in good condition is as much about keeping you warm and dry as it is protected.

Different types of clothing need different types of maintenance. Leathers, for example, don’t like lots of water. Soaking, hosing or washing machines can alter the nature of the leather itself and make it not only uncomfortable but also, not as safe as it should be.

Washing textile clothing in the washing machine is perfectly acceptable, once you’re removed all the armour and make sure that there is no fabric conditioner involved at all – it will ruin any breathable membranes.

Using a spin cycle is also a bad idea as it can force water through the porous membranes in materials like GoreTex and they won't keep you dry anymore.

Keeping helmets spick and span is relatively straightforward but sometimes needs a bit more than just a squirt of freshener inside. But even then, it’s a simple process to keep them fresh and clean. Similarly, on the outside, getting rid of road grime is fairly simple.

Related: Best water repellant sprays for you motorbike helmet visor

Boots and gloves are also easy to keep clean – and working properly. Some benefit from re-proofing – lots of people swear by products such as Dubbin for leather boots, for example – a spin-off from mountaineering but modern boots rarely need this, with a simple clean and dry often all that is needed.

Of course, dead insects in summer are perhaps the most common ‘foe’ and they are simple to remove though it just needs a little care.

Water-only wipes can help to soften the remains of bugs on clothing and helmets, for example, but nothing else in the wipes such as baby wipes – clothing won’t like it. Gently re-hydrate the insect carcasses and then, remove with the appropriate cleaner.

Here is a selection of cleaning products that will keep your gear in perfect condition.

Nikwax Leather Cleaner

Nikwax Leather Cleaner
Amazon

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This spray-on leather cleaner from specialist Nikwax is said to be designed for breathable leather gear and the online reviews tell the tale u2013 reviewers have used it on all sorts of leather gear including motorcycle jackets with excellent results. It is Amazonu2019s Choice for u2018motorcycle clothing cleaneru2019 and will both clean and revitalise leather clothing.

Motul M3 Perfect Leather

Motul M3 Perfect Leather

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This leather-care from Motul will clean, nourish and revive any leather clothing, including jackets, trousers, boots and gloves. It will remove dirt and insect residue and revive the leather, restoring the essential oils and nutrients and leave it supple and looked after. It will help the leather surface repel water and prolong the life of the garment.

Oxford Helmet Care Kit

Oxford Helmet Care Kit
Amazon

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This handy kit from motorcycle-gear giant Oxford contains everything you need with you on a trip to keep your helmet clean and fresh. There is a bottle of helmet cleaner, to get rid of road grime and bugs, as well as an anti-fog spray to prevent misting of the visor or spectacles.

There is also a bottle of anti-bacterial helmet sanitiser to prevent any smells from building up until you can remove the interior to wash it and a microfibre cloth to apply it all. And it comes in a useful pouch to fit under the seat or in a bag.

Putoline Leather Wax

Putoline Leather Wax

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This wax from Putoline is designed to clean and restore leather clothing, boots and gloves. Reviews online are very good, reporting it has good ability to clean leather as well as revitalise and impart a degree of waterproofing. The instructions say work the wax in with a cloth, removing dirt and coating the surface then apply heat with a hair dryer so it soaks in and revitalises the material.

Nikwax Tech Wash and Wash-in

Editoru2019s Pick - Weu2019ve tested this product and would spend our own money on it
Nikwax Tech Wash and Wash-in
Amazon

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This double-pack of Nikwax products is great for washing and re-proofing textile clothing, with or without membranes. The Tech Wash replaces the washing powder or liquid in a cool hand-wash cycle in a washing machine and then, the wash-in repeats the process to reinstate waterproofing qualities.

It’s as easy as washing the garments twice to get them clean and waterproof again. I use this at least twice a year on textiles.

Oxford RainSeal Waterproofing Spray

Oxford RainSeal Waterproofing Spray

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This waterproofing spray from Oxford can be used on virtually any fabric to give water repellence and proofing. Water will bead on the surface and runoff, making clothing much more protective to the elements and also protects the fabric from UV radiation. In addition to motorcycle clothing, it can also be used on tents, tarpaulins and any material that needs to be waterproof.

V2 Visor Sponge

Editoru2019s Pick - Weu2019ve tested this product and would spend our own money on it
V2 Visor Sponge
Amazon

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It might not look like much but this could be the most useful thing in your pocket to keep your visor clean. Just dampen the sponge with water and it will remove even the most dried-on dirt and insect debris, leaving your visor sparkling and clear.

It comes with a plastic pouch to keep it damp for when you need it out and about and a cloth to dry the visor afterwards. I use one of these regularly and it’s really good.

Muc-Off Helmet Foam Fresh

Muc-Off Helmet Foam Fresh

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More than just a squirt of freshening spray to mask odours, this foam spray is designed to actually clean helmet interiors as well as body armour, gloves and boots. Simply apply the foam to the article in question u2013 helmet liner or boot insole, for example and gently agitate the dirt away. The foam leaves the item smelling citrus fresh and it wonu2019t irritate the skin, according to the manufacturer.

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