The task of how to wash your bike at home may sound simple enough but there are many critical points you have to keep in mind. When you wash your bike at home, make use of a bike paddock stand and other two-wheeler accessories like microfiber cloths, bike shampoo and soft brushes.
You might think that washing your bike at home is just a matter of keeping it clean with a good old scrub of soap and water, but there are some basic steps that you should follow to protect surfaces and finishes. So, let’s get down to the question of how to wash your bike at home, the simple way.
Cleaning tips to make your bike sparkle
Ensure that you wash your bike regularly to protect the paint finish, metallic surface and plastics from weathering. Inspect the bike for damage, wear and tear, oil leaks and brake fluid that may escape from the lines.
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- Stick to bike shampoos and solvents that have been specifically designed to wash your bike at home. Using an abrasive solvent like dish soap may damage the delicate paintwork, metallic finish or plastic parts. Harsh detergents undergo a chemical reaction that attacks the bike surface, so it is best to avoid it.
- Refrain from washing the bike when it is just back from a long ride. The engine and exhaust may still be hot and water should not be rinsed off it. Take a break while the bike cools down before you start washing it.
- Use a water pressure jet on a soft or medium setting. A high-pressure water spray has the ability to strip the clear coat from the paint finish and may damage parts of the bike that are delicate.
Easy steps to wash your bike at home
- Use cool water to wash away dirt and debris that may be on the surface of your bike. Rinse thoroughly before using the soap solution as plain water does a good job of breaking free mud or muck, especially on the underside of the bike.
- Utilize a soft sponge or microfibre cloth to prevent any scratches on the bike. Keep rinsing the sponge to remove any dirt that may build up on it. You could use two buckets of water, one for the soapy solution and the other to rinse the microfibre cloth.
- Clean the entire bike by dipping the sponge or microfibre cloth in the soapy solution and gently rubbing it on the bike surface. Stay away from brake fluid or chemical solvents as they will damage the plastic parts.
- Once the bike is covered in a soapy solution, rinse it thoroughly with cool water making sure to remove all the soap. Residual soap solution may lead to rust or corrosion of the bike parts.
- Dry off the bike with a clean microfibre cloth, and let the engine run for a while.
- Test brakes and other controls to make sure they are working. Lubricate the drive chain as it may be without enough grease after the wash. Turn on the headlights and make sure the electrical and electronic systems are working.
The finishing touches to your bike wash
Once you have completed washing your bike at home, make use of a high-quality polish and wax solution. Spray it all over the bike surfaces and buff it to a shiny finish using a microfibre cloth. Ensure that the wax / polish solution is non-abrasive as the paint job should remain intact.
Use only cool water for the wash and dry the bike thoroughly. Use a paint polish and wax solution to protect the finish.
It is a good idea to wash your bike at home using the proper equipment. Usually, you need just a couple of buckets of water, a spray hose, sponges and microfibre cloths and a high-quality polish/wax liquid.
These items are easily available at two-wheeler accessories stores either online or in your locality.
Washing a car is a matter of cleaning the body panels and the glass area, but for a bike, the process involves a little more effort. Bikes have hard-to-reach places, cables, corners and switch gear that you should be able to get around for a good clean. Most of the parts of a bike are exposed, such as the engine, gearbox, drive chain and seats.
Exposed parts mean they are more likely to gather dirt, mud and debris and you will have to use a soft brush to get into all the nooks and crannies.
However, washing your bike at home can be a rewarding experience especially when you have a shiny, new-looking bike once you are done.