We all want to keep our bikes clean. Not only is it the best way to pride and joy looking its best but it’s an important part of its maintenance schedule and a vital way to ensure it’s performing to its best ability, too.
But these days, it’s increasingly important to look after the environment too, and many traditional cleaning products, by being solvent or acid-based, can be potentially disastrous here, not just to drains and the water systems, but to the atmosphere and in terms of packaging as well.
Which is where the new breed of ‘eco-friendly’ automotive cleaning products, many of them specifically designed for use on motorcycles, come in.
These are often alkaline or water-based, so pose no threat to the environment, are available with refills, so have potentially less waste packaging and are often designed to tackle specific cleaning tasks on your bike.
Related: Best motorcycle cleaning brushes
But what, exactly, is out there? What do they do, what are they made of and what do you get for your money? Here’s our pick of some of the best currently available to help you choose...
1. Midchem Cleaner
This cleaner from Midchem is water-based, is biodegradable, uses citrus oil and is intended to be
It can be used neat for particularly stubborn debris or diluted for less hardcore muck and to go a longer way. It is acid and caustic-free and can be used by professionals, industry and regular bikers alike.
2. Proper Cleaner Motorcycle Cleaner Starter Pack
This cleaning solution comes from ex-TT racer and TV star Guy Martin and is a novel design in
It’s claimed to be fully biodegradable as again it’s alkaline based with no acids, solvents or CFCs, is even friendlier to the environment by not shipping around unnecessary water and is designed and made in the UK.
From Guy Martin
‘Mix your own’ design
Not as proven as some
3. Muc-Off Biodegradable Chain Cleaner
This, from highly reputable cleaning-product brand Muc-Off, is specifically designed to tackle the
It is suitable for all types of bike both on and off-road, won’t damage rubber or alloy (so is suitable for all types of chain, including O, X and Z-ring types), is fully water soluble and biodegradable so is friendly to the environment. It even comes with a lush watermelon fragrance – what’s not to like?
Easy to use
Not the cheapest (but not bad)
4. Putoline Biodegradable Action Cleaner
Putoline is another leading brand specialising in motorcycle lubricants and cleaning product with
This means it has the added benefit of therefore also not damaging any glue in the filter (as it’s not solvent-based) and by cleaning the filter, ensures a longer service life for both the filter and your bike’s engine.
Extends the life of your air filter and engine
Easy to use
A little pricier than some
5. Dirtbusters u2018Bio Bikeu2019 Cleaner And Chain Degreaser Double Pack
This double pack from bicycle and motorcycle cleaning specialists Dirtbusters comprises a
Both contain what they call ‘muck munching microbes and enzymes for powerful eco-friendly cleaning’ and are suitable for all types of bikes and motorbike. Although not as well known as others, they’re well rated.
Simply spray on and wash off
Not as well-known as some
6. Motul E2 Moto Wash
This specialist bike-cleaning spray is from well-respected, leading French petrochemicals,
It’s easy to use; is claimed to remove dirt and protects against corrosion, is usable on all surfaces and is biodegradable. It gets very good ratings from users, as well. Simply spray, wait, agitate slightly for stubborn dirt and rinse off.
Simple to apply
Usable on all surfaces
Refills not available
7. Muc-Off Nano-Tech Biodegradable Motorcycle Cleaner, 5-Litres
This is the larger pack version of Muc-Offu2019s highly rated biodegradable motorcycle cleaning
The nano-technology bit refers to its claim to break down dirt on a molecular level; its alkaline-based formula is free of all acids, solvents and CFCs so is fully biodegradable; its famous pink fluid is safe on all surfaces and, in this economy pack form, is great value, too!
Other sizes available
Doesn’t come with spray dispenser
8. Silkolene Pro Wash, 1 Litre
This environmentally aware, biodegradable spray cleaner was specially developed for all types of
Again, it’s effective on all surfaces, too, and being alkaline based and biodegradable, inflicts no harm on the environment whatsoever.
Easy to apply and rinse off
Specially developed for bikes
Refills not available
9. Muc-Off Bio Degreaser Spray, 500ml
Another biodegradable, eco-friendly product from Muc-Off. Distinct from the same companyu2019s
It’s claimed to cut through the toughest of grime, including waterproof grease and lube residue leaving your bike chain running smooth and it’s easy to spray on, leave, then rinse off so takes no time at all to use. Best of all, it’s fully-biodegradable so is completely friendly towards the environment.
Aimed at performance bikes
Spray-on, rinse-off design
Highly rated by buyers
Aerosol type so not refillable
10. Liquid Moly Cleaner
This German-branded cleaner is one of the most respected in the business, dating back almost 60
It comes with its own spray bottle dispenser with refill packs available, is alkaline based, as are many others, so contains no environmentally harmful solvents or acids, and is easily applied, left, agitated as required and then rinsed off.
Proven and respected brand
Easy to apply
Not the cheapest