The best motorcycle cleaning products

Whether it’s a necessity or something you look forward too, keep your bike spick and span with these products

Washing a Honda CBR650R

by Jim Blackstock |

For some, cleaning their bike is a necessary evil, on par with paying taxes or the last five minutes of Mrs Brown’s Boys while waiting for something good to come on.

But for others, it is a source of excitement, with the prospect of removing all traces of dirt and leaving the bike sparkling making them wake early.

For most, it’s somewhere between and keeping your bike clean is essential to make sure it stays bright and fresh for as long as possible.

There are both practical and aesthetic reasons for this; a bike that looks good means you want to ride it and helps keep its value.

It protects it from attack by dirt and salt from winter riding, for example, which can affect its ability to do its job properly. And you always feel a little nicer riding out on a clean, shiny bike than a filthy one...

Related: Worx Hydroshot Brushless review

Also depending on your preference is how you clean your bike. You should obviously give it a really good, deep clean from time to time, particularly if you are preparing it to tuck it away for winter, for example, or as you ride through winter.

However, there are also times when a quick once-over will be enough, particularly if you’re about to head out.

Here is a selection of cleaning products that will make your life that little bit easier.

It’s like the last part of a drive-through car wash, blowing water off the bike and out of hard-to-reach areas. I’ve tested it and it’s very effective, though it’s also a lot of money.

Best motorcycle cleaners

Muc-Off twin pack deals
©Sportsbikeshop

Muc-Off Nanotech Bike Cleaner, 1- and 5-litres

Muc-Off Nanotech Bike Cleaner

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Half price on 1- and 5-litre twin packs, £21.98 down to £9.99 and £59.99 down to £29.99.

Muc-Off Disc Brake Cleaner

MCN Rated: The best disc brake cleaner
Muc-Off Disc Brake Cleaner
Amazon

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Tested by Simon Relph, 4 months - Quality 5/5, Value 4/5

"I still don’t know how I use to get by without disc brake cleaners, especially this one from Muc-Off. Very easy to use, simply give the can a good shake, then give the disc a good blast all over, concentrating on the dirtier areas and places where the dust collects in the hard to get at corners.

"Make sure this is down outside, or a well-ventilated space, as however nice it smells, it is still inflammable. Once the disc and calliper/pads look clean, leave enough time to dry off before wiping down with a dry clean cloth. Quick and easy to use, leaves everything sparkling."

Muc-Off Pressure Washer

Editor's Pick - We've tested this product and would spend our own money on it
Muc-Off Pressure Washer
Amazon

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You can't really entertain the idea of a proper wash of your bike without a pressure washer and this one from Muc-Off will look after all your dirty kit. I've been using this for two years and it's great; three lances to give different spray characteristics, snow-foam sprayer, carry bag and a supply of the potions you'll need to get you going. It's not massive but is powerful enough and easy to use. I wouldn't be without it. For a more thorough assessment check out our Muc-Off Pressure washer review.

Pros:
• All in one kit
• Easy to use

Cons:
• None

Worx WG630E.1 Cordless Brushless Hydroshot Portable Pressure Cleaner

Worx WG630E.1 Cordless Brushless Hydroshot Portable Pressure Cleaner
Amazon

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Alternatively, if you don't have access to an outside power socket or tap but still want to blast your bike with a pressurised cleaning spray then the Worx Hydroshot brushless makes the job of cleaning your motorbike much easier.

Thing is, even if you do have a hose, this unit is still very convenient and simpler to set up than having to drag a corded cleaner out for a relatively small job. We've reviewed the Hydroshot Brushless and really rate it.

Pros:
• Convenient
• Easy to set up

Cons:
• Not as powerful as a corded pressure washer

Gear Gremlin Wash Mitt

Gear Gremlin Wash Mitt

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A brush or sponge is the usual method for applying water and shampoo but this wash mitt from Gear Gremlin is made from absorbent, soft material and is super-easy to use, allowing you to get to more places than you could with a brush or sponge. It is apparently good for wet or dry use and can be used for washing or polishing.

Pros:
• Great value
• Easier to use than a brush or sponge

Cons:
• Reviews say quite small

Autoglym Shampoo

Autoglym Shampoo
Amazon

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For a good-old bucket-and-sponge wash, you'll need a shampoo and this one from Autoglym is Amazon's Choice. It's a straightforward shampoo that will help lift dirt, grease and road grime from your bike and leave the paint and surfaces clean and ready for whatever next process you want to apply, whether it leaves it as it is or carry on with polish or wax.

Pros:

• Easy to use
• Good value

Cons:
• No wax element

Greased Lightening Waterless Wash

Greased Lightening Waterless Wash
Amazon

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Sometimes, you just want to give the bike a quick once over and can't be bothered to get the pressure washer, bucket, sponge or brushes out. In that case, you need a waterless wash and this one is Amazon's Choice for 'Showroom Shine'.

It gets good reviews online and cleaning involves spraying it on, wiping it off and buffing up. Water beads nicely and it brings paintwork up well, apparently.

Pros:
• Gives the bike a quick spruce up
• Good reviews online

Cons:
• Need to be careful of grit on paint

Wurth Brake and Chain Cleaner

Wurth Brake and Chain Cleaner

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A best-seller at Sportsbikeshop, this cleaner from Wurth will keep your chain as well as your brakes in top condition. Use it on the chain (more effective when used with a brush, like any chain cleaner) to get rid of dirt, grime and old lubricant and on brakes to get rid of dust, oil and debris.

Pros:
• Cleans chain and brakes
• Handy aerosol can

Cons:
• Doesn't appear to be biodegradable

WD-40 Wax and Polish

WD-40 Wax and Polish
Amazon

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A winner when sister title RiDE tested combined wax and polishes, this one from WD-40 sprays on as a foam so it doesn't run off and brings both paint colour up nicely and adds a protective layer over the top, helping water bead off and reducing dirt's tendency to stick. Combines polish with carnauba wax for paint restoration and protection.

Pros:
• Polish and protection in one
• Great finish

Cons:
• Small can doesn't go far

Oxford Brush Set

Oxford Brush Set

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If you are going for a bucket and hose wash and don't fancy a wash mitt, then a set of cleaning brushes, like this one from accessory giant Oxford, will be essential. Four brushes cover just about every application; a soft, general paintwork brush, a long-reach wheel brush, a pronged brush for wheel spokes and a double-density general brush.

Pros:
• A brush for every occasion
• Great value

Cons:
• None

Muc-Off Motorcycle Cleaner

Editor's Pick: We've tested this product and would spend our own money on it
Muc-Off Motorcycle Cleaner
Amazon

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Muc-Off's motorcycle cleaner can be applied using this spray pump or, as I do, using the company's pressure washer and foam lance. You apply and let it sit for a few moments, then agitate with a brush and rinse. It's very effective on all forms of muck, including dead flies and is biodegradable with no acids, solvents or CFCs. It's also kind to all bike finishes, including carbon fibre and you can get five-litre refills to cut back on plastic use.

Pros:
• Biodegradable
• Smells nice

Cons:
• None

Fuchs Wash Off

Fuchs Wash Off

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Billed as a simple spray-on, hose-off cleaner, this product from Silkolene is designed for road and off-road bikes, as well as quads and ATVs. It has been specifically developed to spray on and rinse straight off, breaking down dirt and lifting it off the bike's surfaces. It will also clean unprotected aluminium without promoting corrosion and bring the bike up with what the manufacturer describes as a 'factory finish'.

Pros:
• Developed for bikes
• Good price

Cons:
• Mixed customer reviews

S100 Total Cleaner

Seal of Approval: We've tested this product and have found it performs well
S100 Total Cleaner
Amazon

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This cleaner from SDoc is a gel that goes on thick and needs spreading out but once done, it cuts through dirt and grime well, leaving a nice finish. The manufacturer says it dries without needing a chamois or leaving watermarks and protects the bike's finishes. However, worth noting is a warning not to use it on unlacquered aluminium, this means potentially all sorts of fittings on the bike.

Pros:
• Works well on all dirt and grease
• High viscosity so stays where you spray it

Cons:
• Can't be used on bare aluminium

M16 Extreme

Seal of Approval: We've tested this product and have found it performs well
M16 Extreme

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Winning a RiDE Best Buy triangle in the magazine's cleaner test, the M16 Extreme is another spray on/rinse off product that cuts through grime well and with a little agitation from a brush or sponge, gets rid of the most hardened dirt. The manufacturer claims it will dry streak-free and also that it will not harm aluminium, carbon fibre, stainless steel or any anodised parts.

Pros:
• Safe on all surfaces
• Dries streak free

Cons:
• None

Proper Cleaner

Proper Cleaner

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Billed a Proper Cleaner 'by Guy Martin', this starter pack comprises an empty spray bottle and two tablets of cleaning product, one of which is added to the bottle once you've filled it with water. Designed to remove road and track grime, bugs and brake dust, it's safe for all bike surfaces and is biodegradable, alkaline-based and contains no solvents or acids. Proper nice.

Pros:
• Biodegradable
• Ships without water to reduce carbon footprint

Cons:
• None

Rock oil dirt blaster

Rock oil dirt blaster
Amazon

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This spray from Rock Oil will get rid of dirt, oil and grease, is biodegradable and contains no caustic soda so should be gentle on bare finishes. The manufacturer says it works well with 'minimal' agitation, suggesting it needs working into more stubborn dirt and it can also be used through pressure washers. The manufacturer does specify it should not be allowed to dry on polished alloy finishes though.

Pros:
• Biodegradable
• Can be used in a pressure washer

Cons:
• Can't dry on polished surfaces

SDoc100 Paint & Plastic Polish

Clean plastics too
SDoc100 Paint & Plastic Polish

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If merely removing the dirt and grime from your bike isn't enough for you, then look no further than this polish from SDoc100. One application should be enough to remove fine scratches and leave your plastic and painted parts shining brighter than they did from the factory. It's solvent-free too, so you don't need to worry about your decals peeling off.

Pros:
• Good value
• Ideal for plastics

Cons:
• Small can

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