If you want to keep your bike looking good and running well (so your parts last longer and need less maintenance!) then cleaning it regularly with best bike cleaning kit and products available is a must.
As much as we love to boast a muddy, filthy, well-ridden bike, we know as well as the next mountain biker that cleaning your bike well is crucial in order to maximise the longevity of its components. That, and you can shred harder. So investing in the best bike cleaning kit and products is a win-win really!
Ideally, after you’ve rinsed your dirty bike with water to get the worst of the muck off, a good bike cleaner will break down the dirt and gunk on your bike after spraying it all over. Give it a good brush, then ensure you rinse it thoroughly with water. After you’re done with this step of bike cleaning, your bike frame should look clean and shiny; then it’s time for good quality bike lubricant on the chain, and you can also pop on some disc brake cleaner or suspension lubricant.
If you want to make things easy on yourself, it’s worth investing in a good quality bike pressure washer.
Muc Off Nano Tech bike cleaner
One of the best bike cleaners out there
Sizes: 1L, 5L, 25L | Biodegradable: Yes
Reasons to buy: Eco-friendly. Safe to use on all parts
Reasons to avoid: You go through it pretty quickly!
No conversation about bike cleaning or bike cleaners is complete without mentioning the legendary Muc Off. This was the first product that it launched over 25 years ago.
The idea is to give your dirty/muddy bike a quick spray of water before spraying this bright pink liquid all over it. In fact, if you fancy a little bit of fun, plug it into your pressure washer bit for a proper snow foam experience. After a little scrub using the foamy stuff, your bike should come out looking sparkly clean.
With all of the eco-friendly ingredients, recyclable packaging, top up options and the pink Punk Powder option which allows you to make up your own bike cleaning liquid, Muc Off is really stepping it up when it comes to going green.
Juice Lubes Dirt Juice bike cleaner
Effective at degreasing and dirt removal
Sizes: 1L | Biodegradable: Yes
Reasons to buy: Safe to use on all parts and surfaces. Biodegradable
Reasons to avoid: Not a special bike cleaning formula, derived from other Juicy Lube products.
Basically deriving from the concentrated degreaser by Juice Lubes, Dirt Juice is the same liquid but diluted 10:1. It’s possible to buy both, the degreaser and the bike cleaner, at the same time and mixing and matching the compositions (or diluting the degreaser at home) to prolong the usage of the products.
Juicy Lubes Dirt Juice is a fast acting bike cleaner that’s safe to use on all parts and surfaces. Like any other bike cleaner, you’ll have to spray your bike with water, followed by this and then scrub and rinse away the dirt!
It comes with a foaming trigger spray to make the bike cleaning process more satisfying and fun.
Excellent, efficient bike cleaner
Sizes: 1L, 5L | Biodegradable: Yes | Rating: 9/10
Reasons to buy: Available in different sizes. Smells minty fresh
Reasons to avoid: You’ll need a lot of it if your bike is super muddy
When Steve Peat launches a whole bike cleaning range, as any mountain biker would, you naturally go try out those products no questions asked. If this is good enough for Peaty to clean the fancy bikes at the World Cup circuit, then there’s no doubt that it isn’t just safe to use on all parts and surfaces but is also efficient at its job.
A notable thing about this product is that you’re meant to spray it on directly, without having to rinse your muddy bike with water first. When you leave it for a few minutes, the organic gelling agents work their magic. Then, you can go ahead and rinse it all with your pressure washer. Of course, if there’s any stubborn bit of dirt or grime, you may have to clean it off with a brush.
All in all, Peaty’s Loam Foam bike cleaner does its job and does it well.
Size: Makes up to 750ML per sachet | Biodegradable: Yes | Rating: 8/10
Reasons to buy: Great value for money, less plastic waste
Reasons to avoid: Still need a little elbow grease to shift stubborn grease
You might have seen these online; tablets that you bung in a spray bottle, add water and you have an instant bike cleaner. They’re popular because they’re great value for money – you’re not paying for packaging and you can buy in bulk, so you get a deal. Squirt Cycling Products has jumped on that bandwagon with its new Super Concentrate Sachet and depending on how you dilute it, it can function as a general cleaner (750ml) or a degreaser (220ml). It’s biodegradable and not harmful to the environment. We like the idea of this type of cleaner; it’s easy to mix, we can reuse one of our old spray bottles, and we can get 10-bottles of cleaner for more than half the usual price.
All round bike care
Size: 1L | Biodegradable: Yes | Rating: 9/10
Reasons to buy: Works well. Cleaner really foams up. Three in one pack.
Reasons to avoid: Lube separates, so needs to be shaken up before every application.
Peaty’s Clean, Protect & Lube Gift Pack contains a 1L bottle of LoamFoam, a 400ml can of PT17 and a 120ml dropper bottle of all-weather LinkLube; think of it as a grooming pack for your bike. When prepping your bike for a deep clean, Loam Foam attacks all that ingrained grime and staining and also lifts off old lube and attached dirt from the chain. It doesn’t seem as corrosive as some cleaners we’ve used, but to be on the safe side we still spray and rinse pretty quickly. Flipping the cap on the end of the spray switches between deploying a foamy lather and a more direct jet.
Good quality bike brushes for cleaning every hard to reach part of your bike
Handles: Made of Beech | Rating: 8/10
Reasons to buy: Great attention to detail in design. Clearly built from experience
Reasons to avoid: Expensive. Might have to look after the handles a bit.
If you’ve ever found yourself grabbing an old toothbrush to clean your bike because you think, “A brush is just a brush, what difference does it make?”, you have never tried Peaty’s bicycle cleaning brushes. These brushes are specifically designed for MTB usage.
The Bog Brush is a big brush with 360 degrees bristles that you can use on most of your bike. The Detailer brush is the Mr Fancy Pants of all bike cleaning brushes. You know those annoying bits between the suspension designs? That’s what this one’s for. The bristles are medium-density with super-soft blue cotton tip. The Drivetrain and Tyre brushes do what they say on the tin, but better.
The reason plastic bristles were chosen over natural is because natural fibres didn’t quite hit any of the sweet spots with bristle quality.
A brush for every job
Handles: Plastic | Rating: 8/10
Reasons to buy: Good value for money 5-piece brush kit. Varied selection of sizes and function
Reasons to avoid: Not the most durable. No carry bag
Finish Line’s Easy Pro brush set includes five different scrubbers, and they each have a function. Brushes have a hard life – you throw them around, leave them outside and generally treat them with disdain because you just want to get the job done. Finish Line’s Easy Pro Brush Set does get the job done and is also one of the cheapest around.
How we tested
We ride a lot of bikes in a lot of wet, mucky and muddy conditions, and as a result do a lot of bike washing! These products have all been tried several times on a very muddy bike.
They’ve been tested for how effectively they remove dirt and grease, how much they foam up, and how well they rinse off. They’ve also been judged on elements such as whether they are biodegradable, use natural substances, and are recyclable or low waste.
How do I choose the best bike cleaner?
Think about the ingredients used in the bike cleaning products. Are they eco-friendly? Can you dilute it to use it for longer? Are they safe to use on all parts and with all materials? Then, you can look at your options, weigh the budget and invest in one that fits your needs.
How long will a 1L bike cleaner bottle last me?
It depends on how often you clean your bike, what season you’re riding in and how muddy/dirty your bike gets. The filthier the bike, the more bike cleaning product you’ll need.
You could consider diluting the product so that you can use it for longer. Sometimes, the product is super concentrated and will make it easier to clean stuff with less product.
Will the bike cleaner fade my frame?
No, bike cleaners are designed for use with bikes. Usually, the products are made with the consideration of materials that the bike cleaner will be used on. Hence, you should be safe to use bike cleaners on any bicycle frame – no matter the type of bike that you’re using.
That said, we’d always recommend rinsing your bike thoroughly to ensure all of the cleaning product has been washed off, and not leaving it on for too long while you’re washing the bike.