Best motorcycle waterless washes

If you don’t have time for a full wash, one of these will get your bike looking spick and span in no time.

Polishing Suzuki SV650X fuel tank

by Jim Blackstock |

Sometimes, giving your filthy bike a full pamper session, with a wash, dry, polish and wax, is not just essential to maintain its finish but can be eminently satisfying. The process of turning a filthy bike, particularly in wintertime, back into a showroom-shiny example can be extremely rewarding, especially if you enjoy this kind of activity.

For others, a cursory blast with a pressure washer is enough to get rid of as much grime and dead insects as possible. However, while this might make things look better on the surface, it doesn’t necessarily get rid of stubborn dirt and the paintwork, while appearing in good condition, is more likely far from it.

If you have only limited time and you want to bring back the shine, then a quick go with a waterless wash can have your bike looking cleaner and shinier in moments, without the need for hoses, shampoos or sponges.

Related: Top motorcycle cleaning and maintenance sprays

A waterless wash will have various properties; it should loosen dried-on insect debris and road grime. It should dissolve grease and tar on the lower portions of the bike. It should remove all offending dirt and leave a clean, streak-free finish.

All you need is a decent microfibre cloth and a clean bike is just moments away. Our sister title RiDE tested waterless washes 18 months ago and here is what they found.

Meguiaru2019s Ultimate Waterless Wash and Wax

Meguiaru2019s Ultimate Waterless Wash and Wax
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This product from cleaning and care giant Meguiaru2019s is safe to use on all glossy finishes on the bike according to the manufacturer and in addition to removing insects, grease and road film well, will leave a smooth and shiny finish thanks to the inclusion of wax in its formula. It needed a good dose and effort to remove grease from the rear wheel but it did well with the rest of the material.

Triplewax Waterless Wash

Triplewax Waterless Wash
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The name Triplewax has been around for decades and is one of the stalwarts of car-cleaning products and this works just as well on bikes as it does on their four-wheels siblings. It works well overall, needing additional dwell time and effort to get rid of stubborn insects and heavy grease on the rear wheel but it does bring the paintwork up fairly well. Itu2019s just a wash though, with no wax component, so the paint needs protecting afterwards.

ArmorAll Waterless Wash and Wax

ArmorAll Waterless Wash and Wax
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The ArmorAll is another product that includes a wax component and in tests, this was found to work very well on dead and dried-on insects, cutting through and loosening them quickly and effectively. It also did well with general road grime, removing the remains of riding though it struggled with heavyweight grease and chain fling on the rear wheel. The wax element left a nice shiny finish though, even if it didnu2019t feel quite as smooth as some of the others.

Dirtbusters Motorbike Waterless Wash and Wax

Dirtbusters Motorbike Waterless Wash and Wax
Amazon

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When RiDE carried out its test, this motorcycle-specific product from Dirtbusters hadnu2019t been launched and the car-based product did a reasonable job, though it needed a fair bit of effort to get rid of flies and grease on the rear wheel. However, this bike version promises to get rid of dirt, mud, grease and oil without water and leave a premium wax finish. The car versionu2019s finish on the bike was acceptable but not as good as some others so hopefully, this bike product will redress the balance.

Diamondbrite Waterless Detailer

Diamondbrite Waterless Detailer

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Designed to drastically reduce the amount of water needed to wash a motorcycle, this all-in-one cleaner and wax goes on easily from the pump-spray bottle and was extremely effective against dead insects stuck to the test bikeu2019s bodywork. It also left a reasonably slick surface that while not appearing particularly shiny, should mean future dirt finds it harder to stick. It also needed a generous application to get rid of grease on the rear wheel.

Muc-Off High Performance Waterless Wash

Muc-Off High Performance Waterless Wash
Amazon

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Like the rest of Muc-Offu2019s cleaning products, this is pink so you can easily see where it has gone and if you need more in certain locations. In tests, it was very effective against road grime and general dirt and left the paint surface with a smooth finish though with no wax, it was clean rather than protected. It was also very good against dead insects despite needing heavy application when it came to dealing with a greasy rear wheel.

S100 Motorcycle Quick Cleaner

S100 Motorcycle Quick Cleaner

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This was by far the most expensive product tested by RiDE but it also performed very well. It removed dirt from the bikeu2019s paintwork exceptionally well and left it feeling smooth and debris-free. It needed a little extra application with dead insects but was still not troubled by them and with some effort, the grease was also removed from the bikeu2019s rear wheel. The overall finish was smooth, suggesting that dirt would be easier to remove in the future and this meant it was awarded a Recommended triangle. Seal of Approval - Weu2019ve tested this product and have found it performs well

Michelin Waterless Wash and Wax

Michelin Waterless Wash and Wax

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Forming part of the tyre giantu2019s Lifestyle range of products, this wash and wax goes on as a foam so that it dwells on stubborn dirt, soaking in and loosening it quickly, particularly when it came to dried-on insects, which it dealt with effectively. It was also very good at removing the general grime from the road, leaving the bikeu2019s paintwork with a healthy shine and a smooth finish. The foam also did well against dried-on chain fling on the rear wheel, removing it easily and leaving a smooth finish. It was given a Best Buy triangle in the test. Seal of Approval - Weu2019ve tested this product and have found it performs well

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