Maintenance Monday: How to wash a bike

Bikewagon Community College

You got a dirty bike? Clean it! All you need to do is give it a good wash to have it looking brand new again.

What you'll need

  • Pressure washer, garden pump or hose
  • Bike brushes (stiff cassette brush and soft frame brush)
  • Degreaser
  • Bike wash solution
  • Chain lube
  • Two or three clean, soft rags
  • After-wash solution/polish (optional)

Washing the bike

1. Rinse the bike with water to loosen up dirt and grime.

2. Scrub the cassette and chain with degreaser and a stiff-bristle brush.


3. Use a bike cleaner solution and a soft-bristle brush to clean the frame, wheels, cranks, etc.

4. Rinse the cleaner and degreaser from of the bike.

5. Dry the frame, wheels and other components with a cloth. Let the chain and cassette air dry.

6. When the cassette and chain are dry, apply some chain lube.

7. If you have some, rub a little bike polish onto the frame with a soft, clean cloth.

8. Wipe off the polish and enjoy the shine!

9. Go get the bike dirty again and repeat.

by Nathan Moulton

Nathan is the content manager at Bikewagon. He has written or edited product descriptions for thousands (probably tens of thousands!) of bike parts and accessories. Nathan joined the BWCC faculty in 2008.