How to Wash Your Motorcycle- An Ultimate Guide For Biking Enthusiasts!

Andrew Roberts

Andrew Roberts

As a biker, what’s the one thing you love the most about your bike? The clean, shiny, scratch-free body is all set for a spin! Nothing is more comforting and satisfying for a bike enthusiast than seeing their baby shine and sparkle in all its glory. Especially after a tough terrain bike ride, your motorcycle deserves spa treatment. So, assemble your car washing gear and wash your motorcycle.

How to Wash Your Motorcycle- An Ultimate Guide For Biking Enthusiasts Your bike is your happy place, so why not keep it clean and stunning at all times.

 For many motorcyclists washing their bikes is a pleasant and relaxing feeling. Everyone has a formula, the secret trick to keep their road buddy shining.  If you are amongst those few, congratulations, but if you need some bike washing tips, you have come to the right place.

Motorcycles are different from cars and need a separate washing schedule.  Most bike parts are exposed: transmission, electrical cables, and engine. Hence, washing your bike carefully without damaging any part is essential. Motorcycle cleaning and polishing involve multiple steps and the use of dedicated products. To make each part super shiny and increase the life expectancy of your bike, follow the dedicated steps.

So, you might be thinking about how to remove bugs, salt, and road grime from your bike without ruining the paintwork?  Buckle up; we will share with you the secret to keeping your bike clean at all times.

The Step by Step Guide to Wash your Motorcycle is Right Here!

After taking your bike for a spin, it’s sad to see the dust and grim on your bike. The more we ride, the more the bike loses its luster and shine. Fortunately, following a step-by-step cleaning process will make your bike look sleek and stylish for years to come.

Step 1: Gather all the Cleaning Supplies in One Place

Gather all the Cleaning Supplies in One Place

The first step is to gather all the necessary supplies, i.e., cleaning tools and solutions, and not just the basic soaps and a sponge. Here is everything you will need.

  • Cleaning sponge to clean stuck-on grime and dirt
  • Brushes to clean spooked wheels and similar areas.
  • Clothes or towels you need to dry motorcycles.
  • Microfiber cloths to tarp any leftover dust or lint without scratching the bike.
  • Motorcycle cleaners

Step 2: Prep up Before you Wash Your Motorcycle

Prep up Before you Wash Your Motorcycle

Find a place for washing your motorcycle that is not excessively ventilated. If there is too much air, the detergent will dry, leaving marks or stains. Also, if your bike doesn’t have a center stand, the ideal thing is to get two stands. Place your bike in an upright position that will make cleaning easy.  Ensure your bike is cool to ensure the water soap or cleaner doesn’t evaporate when spraying it.

Step 3: Plug Exhaust Holes and Spray Clean

With a specialized motorcycle rubber exhaust plug, plug the exhaust hole. This step is essential to prevent water from collecting in the exhaust pipe. But, if you have a recent model with a strategically angled exhaust pipe, you don’t need an exhaust plug. The next step is to spray your bike with a chemical motorcycle cleanser and water.  Spraying loosens gunk and dirt before you use the elbow grease. Once the spray cleaning cycle is complete, rinse and wash your motorcycle. Doing so will remove dirt and debris that doesn’t require muscle power to get rid of.

Note: avoid using a power washer as it can damage the paint and certain parts of the bike. Use a standard garden rose with a pressure nozzle for proper cleaning. Also, don’t forget to clean the nooks, crannies, and hard-to-reach parts.

Step 4: It’s Time to Wash the Body of the Bike

It’s Time to Wash the Body of the Bike

Grab the water cycle cleaning solution and a scrubbing brush or sponge to wash your motorcycle thoroughly. Follow these steps to wash your bike:

  • Start from the top and clean till you reach the bottom; make sure you don’t miss any visible spots.
  • Clean the brush or sponge regularly to eliminate the dirt and grime to prevent dust from spreading all over your bike.
  • Don’t scrub the bike’s chain and brakes as it causes damage to the bike coating and impacts its functioning.

Step 5: Rise and Let your Bike Dry

Rise and Let your Bike Dry

After scrubbing all the visible dirt and debris, rinse your bike properly. This step is essential to prevent soap from settling on the bike’s surface. Last but not least, after rinsing, let your bike dry.  Get rid of all the water, as any water left behind can cause corrosive damage.

Use an air blower or a basic shop vacuum with a reverse function to get rid of excess water from the nooks and crannies of the bike.  Another option is using natural chamois towels to eliminate water droplets without harming bike parts.

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Step 6: Lube the Chains of the Bike

Lube the Chains of the Bike

A clean motorcycle is not where you stop, don’t forget to lube the bike chains. You might have stripped off any lubricant from the bike with the water, soap, and cleaner. Now is the time to reapply it and even wax your paint for that extra shine and finish that stays longer.

Dos’ and Don’ts of Washing your Bike

The washing process for a car and bike is different. Cars have more protection and can withstand high-pressure hoses and powerful detergents. On the other hand, bikes are more sensitive, so before you start to wash your motorcycle, note down a few things.

  • Don’t wash your bike when the engine or pipes are hot
  • Don’t use the same detergent you use on a car.
  • Invest in a motorcycle cleaner
  • Don’t wash your bike when it’s hot. Let the engine cool down before washing.
  • Never wash bike in sunlight as it causes soap to dry quickly
  • Don’t use a high-pressure hose, as high forced water can damage engine components
  • Don’t forget to clean the bike chain before cleaning the rest of the bike.
  • Don’t scrub your bike excessively.

How to Deep Clean a Motorcycle?

How to Deep Clean a Motorcycle

Start the deep cleaning process using a motorcycle brush to scrub your bike wheels, engine, and chain. Scrubbing eliminates dirt and contaminants the bike has soaked and gives you freedom from cleaning the tank twice.  To deep clean your bike, perform the following steps:

  • Star with the pre-washing preparations.
  • Presoak depending on the location and type of the bike to remove accumulated dirt.
  • Follow a bottom-to-top approach. Start using a motorcycle detailing brush to scrub the bike’s wheels, engine, and chain. Next, scrub to loosen the dirt and containments.
  • Set the water temperature right before washing your bike. During winters, use colder water to protect the bike from damage.
  • Pre-rinse the bike to remove any abrasive material before you take your bike for the final wash.
  • While washing the bike, go easy on the paint. Before washing the painted areas, rinse your wash mitt or rag often. Avoid hard circular scrubbing of the dark paint areas. After the washing is complete, rinse and ensure the paint is clean.
  • Use a blow drier to dry your bike instead of using drying towels.
  • Remove the side covers, the saddle, and other bodywork to reveal the normally hidden parts of the bike. Use a soft, damp rug or automotive cleaning wipes to clean the frame and components.
  • The end step in deep cleaning is to polish, wax and preserve your bike.

How Often Should You Wash your Motorcycle?

 If we go by the rule of thumb, wash your bike at least every two weeks. If you wash your motorcycle more frequently, it will lead to paint or metal damage.  Your bike needs frequent cleaning to remove irregular dirt like road salt and bug huts. Some reasons why you should wash your bike often include:

  • Road salt
  • Animal droppings
  • Insect assaults
  • Dirt and mud
  • Rain and tree sap
  • Tar and other road grime
  • Stagnant water

What’s the Fastest Way to Wash your Motorcycle?

Want your bike to appear clean and shiny like the first time you rolled it out of the showroom? Some people have the perception that cleaning a bike takes a long time. But, with the help of a few techniques, you can wash your bike fast. So, let’s look at a few ways to reduce the time taken to wash your motorcycle.

  • Make sure you keep all the cleaning appliances in one place, cutting down the time to hunt for the equipment.
  • First, clean the dirtiest parts of the bike first.
  • Wet the bike and let it dry for some time.
  • Make use of an auto-specific detergent to speed up the process.
  • Choose a fast method to apply wax and lube to the bike.

What Should You Not Wash A Motorcycle With?

By now, you already know how to wash your motorcycle, what cleaning tools you need, and how to speed up the cleaning process. Now, let’s talk about what products or tools you should never use when cleaning your bike.

  • A gas-powered pressure washer
  • Avoid using a sponge as dust; containments get trapped when you use it on a paint job.
  • Don’t use chamois for the same reason you shouldn’t use a sponge
  • Never use stiff bristle brushes as they cause scratch or damage to the paint, powder, and coat.
  • If you use the tire shine improperly, it can prove disastrous

Washing the Motorcycle at Home VS Washing at a Car Wash Center

At-home: Car Wash Center:
Time Spent: Washing a bike at home is more time consuming Professionals take less time to clean the bike
Cost-effective: More cost-effective More expensive
Harmful: If you don’t follow a proper technique, you can damage the bike components No damage
Eco-friendly: Less eco-friendly and involves more water usage More eco-friendly

Hopefully, by now, you will have complete knowledge of how to wash your motorcycle. If there are still certain doubts you want to clear, here is a list of questions you must address.


Can I Pressure Wash My Bike?

It is technically safe to pressure wash your motorcycle, but you must take extra care when carrying out the process. Unlike cars, motorcycles have exposed components like seals, bearings, and electronics that are water-resistant and pressurized water can cause them damage. For better results, combine a pressure washer and a foam cannon.

What is a Safer Alternative to Washing your Motorcycle?

If you don’t want to get your bike wet, you can clean your bike without soaking it with a hose or a pressure washer. Rinse-less wash products work best when you use them on your bike. They provide water for lubrication without spraying it directly at the bike.

How Often Should I Lube my Bike Chain?

You can lube your bikes every week or two. A few drops of lube would be enough unless you ride continuously on dirty roads.  Also, clean and lube your chain every day.

Can I Wash my Bike with a Shampoo?

The best way to wash your motorcycle is to use a mild shampoo. Instead of shampoo, it’s better to use a motorcycle cleaner for better results.


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