The only thing you want to do is put the bike in the shed after a grueling climb over the hills. However, it's crucial to take care of your ride. A well-kept bike runs smoothly and ultimately saves you money. Consider the fact that your bike contains a number of moving parts that may degrade if they are exposed to dirt and other particles. You should give your bike some TLC if you haven't cleaned it in a while.

You've come to the perfect site if you want to learn how to clean a mountain bike or remove rust off a bike. Here is a step-by-step tutorial on cleaning a bicycle.

When should I clean my bike, and why?

Every time you go for a ride, your bike should be cleaned. You don't need to give it a full cleaning before a brief trip. You ought to at the very least clean and lubricate the chain. Before storing the bike, you should clean it if it is covered with dirt.

You should bring your bike to a cleaning station if you don't have access to clean water. If you're traveling, seek for accommodations that allow bikes.

Touching the chain with your finger is another indication that your bike needs cleaning. It needs to be cleaned if the solution turns black. However, excessive noise while pedaling indicates some parts are unclean.

The Things You Need to Clean a Bike

A few necessities are required if you want to give your bike a pristine appearance. You must have a bucket of soapy water and clean water at the very least. Other necessities are:


Use either dry or wet lube. When riding in the dirt, dry lube is preferred. It usually works better and is more cost-effective. The fact that it can be washed off in the rain is the sole drawback. On the other hand, moist lube can be used in damp environments and won't wash off in the rain. However, grease and dirt might adhere to it, so you might want to rub any extra lube off. The drivetrain's lifetime will suffer from the abrasive paste.

Bike degreaser

It removes the sticky components from the bike chain. Use only ecologically friendly items, please. Avoid using kerosene and turpentine.

Brushes and rags

Keep sufficient of them on hand for general cleaning and chores involving oil, grease, and wax.


Beneficial but not required. It makes it easier to maneuver your bike into comfortable positions and reach tight spaces.

Bike Chain cleaning device

Cleaning brushes come in three different varieties. To start, clean the frame with a soft-bristled brush. Here, a paintbrush can also be useful. Second, you need a brush that resembles a toilet brush to clean the particularly unclean areas, such as cranks and tires. Finally, you require a gear brush or a gear brush with firm bristles. You'll need an eco-friendly detergent for the soap. A degreaser will, of course, also work its magic.

A bike cleaning kit is something you can get if money is tight. It includes a sponge, cleanser, lubricant, and degreaser. You require a specialized cleaner to get rid of oil, grit, and dirt if your vehicle has disc brakes.

You can test a handful of the many different bike cleansers available. Verifying that the product is suitable for disc brakes is crucial. Some cleaning products also serve as degreasers. Such goods are more affordable and environmentally responsible. Naturally, choosing products with little environmental impact is always an option.

Remember that water from a high-pressure hose could harm the bike's delicate components.

Cleaning a Bike in 7 Easy Steps

Simply follow the precise instructions to completely clean your bike.

1. Drivetrain cleaning

You require a unique brush in order to clean the chain. The last thing you want to do is to dirty up the braking surface. You might have to replace the brake pads if you make this error. The tenacious dirt can also be removed with the use of a chain cleaning tool or a flat screwdriver.

You should pay close attention to your drivetrain, which includes the back cassette, chain, front chainrings, and rear derailleur.

2. Wipe the disc brakes (surface down)

The brake disc surface has to be cleaned. There will always be muck that can reach the rotors, so take caution. Use a paper towel to help you avoid making this error.

3. Wash your bicycle with soap

You'll need a garden hose, a sponge, and water to wash the bike. Any loose dirt and mud will now be removed with ease. As a general rule, stay away from spraying water directly at the hub and cranks. This might be a disaster place if water reaches there.

The dirt and filth accumulation may be cleaned up with just a hose, bucket, and sponge. Reduce the intensity of the jet wash if you're using one.

4. Wipe down

You should pay close attention to the moving parts while you clean the bike. Smaller brushes can fit into the tight areas. Keep in mind the bottom; an old rug can be helpful here. After a few cleans, a routine will form.

Headset, handlebars, seat stays, brakes, top tube, and front fork should be worked on in that order. Cranks, cogs, chainrings, and chain stays should then be cleaned.

You should now concentrate on cleaning the bike's non-oily components, such as the handlebars, brake levers, saddle, and gear shifters. Consider using a scrub brush to get into the frame's crevices if you have one. You can see any scratches that occurred throughout the voyage once it has been cleaned. To get them out of the picture, dab some alcohol on the affected area.

Use hot water and a sponge to get rid of as much dirt as you can from your bike's rim brakes. Give them a thorough rinse after you're through.

If your bike has disc brakes, you might want to apply a rim disc cleaning. A fresh rug should be used to wipe them off because they are aerosols. Make sure the bike's other parts don't come in contact with the disc cleaner.

In order to more readily reach every corner and crevice, larger brushes are needed for the wheels. You can start at the valve and work your way out to the hubs and spokes. After then, turn the wheel to work on the opposite side.

5. Wash the bicycle

After each wheel has been spun, thoroughly clean it. You might wish to rinse the areas again after cleaning them with the brush. When the bike is clean, issues are simpler to identify.

6. Dry the bike

To dry the bike, if you have a work stand, use an old dish towel. Use a silicone spray on the braking surface. For your subsequent outing, this will not only lessen the gunk but also make it sparkle. Drying your bike shouldn't be limited to simply the frame. Check the bolt for any water that can allow rust to accumulate.

After cleaning, if you don't dry the bike, you risk leaving water stains everywhere. To complete the task, use a microfiber cleaning towel.

7. Use lubricant

Do you want to know how to remove rust off a bike? Referring to the manual will help you apply lubricant in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. Application should not be made on braking surfaces. Holding the bike up, rotate the pedals counterclockwise to lubricate the chain. Next, add a little oil to the pivot points and a few drops to the chain rollers.

Derailleur and brake levers are additional components that require lubrication. Applying a drop or two will keep them operating properly. The pivot points may require additional lubrication because they might potentially stiffen up.

Wipe off any extra lubrication to complete the process. This could have an impact on the bike's performance if you're not careful.

Without lubrication, the drivetrain can rot and need to be replaced.

The procedure is the same if you're still unsure of how to clean a mountain bike.

Additional Bike Cleaning Advice You Should Never Ignore

  • You should focus on replacing any worn out parts as you clean the bike. More particular, inspect the brake pads, chain, wheels, and tires for any worn-out parts.
  • Clean the bike, then polish it using a professional product. Next time, washing will be simpler as a result. Use of household polish should be avoided.
  • When washing the bike on those muddy days, a work stand can save you some time. Additionally, it keeps your bike still while you thoroughly clean it.
  • Cleaning your bike will be simple thanks to these products.
  • Never get your bike's saddle or water bottle wet if they have them.
  • A bike that is over-lubricated may perform poorly. To reduce the excessive wear on the moving parts, only apply a light lubricant.
  • Never mix buckets, rags, or tools. You don't want the grease from the drivetrain to get on other bike components.
  • Never use a hose with high pressure. The bearings may eventually deteriorate if water gets inside of them.


Clean bikes perform better and look nicer. You can keep your car from rusting and save money on repairs by giving it a few routine washes. All you need are a few simple tools. Make sure to adhere to the aforementioned procedures if you're unsure how to clean a bike. You want a clean bike that will function properly for many years, after all.