Tips & Recipes

Pro tips: at home bike wash

With a Muc-Off Dirt Bucket and a few key products, you will have everything you need to make your bike look and run like new, and it will hardly take up any space in your apartment

February 14, 2023

Most of us don’t have a professional garage at home to work on our bikes.

You might dream of owning our Muc-Off mechanics’ truck and having every imaginable tool, brush, cleaning product, and lube at your fingertips, or just having a team of mechanics ready to wash and tune your bike every time you get back from a ride like the pros do. It’s more likely that you live in an urban apartment. Instead of a backyard with a pressure washer and a spacious workshop, you might have to make do with a busy city sidewalk. Don’t worry. You can still wash your bike quickly without much fuss.

All you really need is a bucket full of warm water, an old bidon, some brushes, and a sponge, as well as cleaning products for your drivetrain and your frame. Fill a Muc-Off Dirt Bucket with a few key products and you will have everything you need to make your bike look and run like new, and it will hardly take up any space in your apartment. A soft-wash brush, two-pronged brush, claw-brush, and microcell sponge will easily pack into the 13-litre bucket, which comes with a FILTH Filter that traps muck and dirt at the bottom, so you can always draw clean water from the top. Add Muc-Off Nano Tech bike cleaner, Muc-Off Bike Protect, Muc-Off bio degreaser, and dry lube and wet lube, and you will have all you need to make your bike sparkle and ride like it’s come straight from the shop. You’ll also use a lot less water than you would if you blasted your bike with a pressure washer. Cleaning your bike by hand is gentler on your components. It also gives you a good chance to look over your bike so you can spot if anything is wearing out. It only takes ten minutes or so. Let’s start.


First, give your bike a quick rinse. Dip your sponge in your bucket of warm water and give your bike a fast once over to wash away excess dirt. You’ll want to avoid direct contact with your drivetrain, so you don’t spread grease around the rest of your bike with your sponge.


Then, spray your whole bike down with Nano Tech bike cleaner. Muc-Off’s famous pink washing liquid breaks down dirt and grime. It is safe on all surfaces, including carbon fibre, and anodised metal, and won’t harm seals, cables, brake pads, or rotors. It is also fully biodegradable, and free from acids, solvents, and CFCs. Give the sprayed-on foam a whisk with your soft-wash brush and let it sit for a few minutes. Your two-pronged brush is great for getting into tight areas. Then rinse off your bike with your sponge. You can spray tight spots with your water bottle.

Clean your drivetrain

Next, clean your drivetrain. Your claw brush is the perfect tool for the job. Spray Nano Tech bike cleaner on your chainrings and sprockets and then use the brush. Its durable, firm bristles are great for removing tough grease and grime. For your chain, Muc-Off’s high-performance bio degreaser can quickly and safely remove any muck. Give the can a good shake and then apply it to the drive side of the chain while turning your cranks backwards. If you’re using disc brakes, make sure you don’t get any of this product on your rotors. Rub it in with your claw brush, and then give your whole drivetrain a rinse with water. It will look factory-fresh.

Polish and Protect

Then, let your bike dry and apply Bike Protect. Muc-Off’s special formula drives out moisture and leaves a sparkling, non-sticky protective layer on your frame, drive chain, metal parts and paintwork. It prevents dirt from sticking to your bike during your rides, so your components will last longer and you have to wash it less often.


Finally: apply wet or dry lube to your chain. Muc-Off’s wax-based dry lube excels in dry, dusty conditions and will ensure smooth, silent shifting. For rain or wet-roads, Muc-Off wet lube is ultra durable. Our racers prefer the premium performance of Muc-Off's C3 ceramic lube. Apply a little lube to the drive side of each link of your chain while turning your cranks backwards and then wipe away the excess with a cloth. Now is a good time to make sure your shifting is spot on and your brakes are tuned, but those are subjects for a future article. Your bike is ready to go.

Pack up

Get rid of your dirty water. The Muc-Off products you have used are all biodegradable. You can then store your whole cleaning kit in the bucket and tuck it away in a corner of your apartment.

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