How to clean your bike after a wet and muddy ride

Jun 16, 2023

We’re sure you’ll agree that the ‘new bike’ feeling is worth bottling up to enjoy all day, every day.  Our step-by-step guide will keep your bike looking fresh and brand new, even after the muddiest of rides!

It’s crucial to clean your bike regularly to keep it working smoothly and improve the longevity of your bike. Any built-up dirt will wear through moving parts if left long enough. Please also note the importance of cleaning your bike, whatever the weather! You must ensure regular cleaning of your bike throughout the year. Frequent washing will help to minimise energy wasted through unnecessary friction.

Before you start, make sure you have the essentials. Here’s a shortlist of the basics you will need:

  • A bucket
  • Bike cleaner
  • Bike de-greaser
  • Brushes and cloths
  • Lubricant

Check out our range of bike cleaners, de-greasers and lubricants online to get started. Other products that might be useful include:

  • Specialist polishes
  • A work stand

Step-by step bike cleaning guide:


  1. Rinse your bike using warm, soapy water. The easiest way of doing this is to use a bucket and sponge to avoid high pressure. If you decide to use a garden hose, avoid spraying directly at fragile areas such as the hub (centre) of your wheels, the headset and the cranks and bottom bracket. Warning: Apply caution when cleaning an electric bike to avoid water entering the battery, motor or controls.

  3. Clean your drivetrain using our chain cleaning machine to remove any grease and grime. Remember to brush some de-greaser/drivetrain cleaner onto the other oily parts of your bike such as the cassette and derailleurs. Finish by rinsing your chain and making sure you have removed all de-greaser. This ensures the smooth riding of your bike and so, is a crucial step!

  5. Now it’s time to clean the rest of the bike. This includes the common touchpoints of the bike i.e., the handlebars, brake levers, gear shifters and saddle. Either use a bike cleaning spray to cover your bike and then work away the dirt or use a sponge and some hot water to remove as much as you can. When dealing with disc brakes, it’s ideal to use disc brake cleaner for the pads and rotors. Avoid getting the spray onto other parts of your bike.

  7. Dry with a clean rag/cloth to ensure water does not sit in the bike and cause rust. Focus especially on bolt heads, which are most likely to be missed. Make sure your drivetrain is clean and dry, ahead of step 5.

  9. Re-lube: It’s essential that you re-lubricate your bike before riding or storage. Failure to do so can leave your drivetrain vulnerable to rusting and run the risk of it seizing up. Start by moving the pedals backwards whilst applying the lube to the inside of your chain’s rollers. Use a rag to wipe off any extra on the outside of your drive train which, may attract dirt and grime to your bike. Warning: Be sure not to get any lube onto your braking surfaces.

Now you know the basics; the rest is down to you! Make sure you keep on top of regular cleaning to get the best out of your bike. Shop our range of bike cleaning products here. Cleaning your bike is a handy time to carry out full-bike maintenance. You can check out our helpful bike maintenance guide here.