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Tips for bike cleaning: How to get your bicycle ready for spring


Father and young son washing a bike

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You want to start whizzing around again in this beautiful weather? We'll show you how to clean your bicycle so that it's roadworthy again in no time!

Before your first ride: cleaning your bike properly

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and your bike is locked away in a dark cellar? Time to change that! It doesn't matter whether you want to use it to get to work or just for a relaxing weekend bike ride, it's important that your bike is clean. This is not only for aesthetic reasons, but it can help prevent your bike from damage so that it stays in a ride-able state for a lot longer. We will tell you how to clean your bicycle quickly and on the cheap with our bike cleaning hacks.

The required tools

Find a spot where you've got enough room to reach your bike from all sides and where it doesn't matter if a bit of water ends up on the floor. You will need the following materials to conduct a thorough bike cleaning at home:

  • A hand brush
  • A bucket of warm water and some dishwashing liquid
  • Two rags
  • An old t-shirt 
  • An old toothbrush

Attention! Your clothes can get dirty during bike cleaning especially if they come into contact with the oily chain. Although we have an article on how you can remove oil stains from your clothes, your best blouse or shirt should of course remain in the closet while you’re cleaning your bike.

Get rid of large bits of dirt

First of all, use a hand brush to remove the worst of the dirt from your bike. Bits of dirt or cobwebs (depending on the last time you rode your bike) can easily be removed in this way. When brushing the dirt off, watch out for small stones as they can scratch your bike.

Let the water flow!

Now turn your bike upside down so that it's propped up on the handlebars and saddle. This enables you to reach the important places better and turn the wheels manually. The next step is to soak the frame, handlebars, and spokes of your bike with warm water. If you have a garden hose at hand, you can rinse your bike with it. A pressure washer is not suitable for cleaning your bike, as it will quickly damage the bearings.

Wipe down and brush

Now wait a few minutes and then wipe down the bike with a rag. When you're done with the frame and handlebars, be sure to remember to dry the spokes so they don't rust. There are some places that you probably won't be able to reach well with a rag so that's where the (old) toothbrush comes into play. Run it under some water and then use it to clean the corners and edges.

Clean the bike chain

You can use the same brush for cleaning the bike chain and carefully remove any coarse dirt that's stuck there. Then take your old shirt, wrap it around the chain and operate the pedals with your hand. This is so that the chain can completely run through the shirt and the dirt is wiped off.

Finally, dry your bike thoroughly with the second rag. Now you’re done cleaning your bike, it should sparkle and shine once again! Time to get back in the saddle. Have a good ride! If you want more handy tips then why not read our other articles on first aid kit essentials, how to clean plexiglass or how to clean white shoes.