Best Motorcycle Cleaners: Efficiently Remove Dirt and Grime
These top motorcycle cleaners will make your motorcycle look spiffy
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PUBLISHED ON September 11, 2019
Motorcycles need just as much care (if not more) than other types of vehicles. For the best results, choose cleaning products that are engineered specifically for two wheels. The best motorcycle cleaners will tackle dirt and grime caused by road debris, weather, insects, and more. Check out our best motorcycle cleaner reviews to find the perfect product for cleaning your bike.
- Best OverallAero Cosmetic Wet or Waterless Car Wash WaxSummarySummaryThis plant-based cleanser leaves behind a non-stick UV protective coating on the surface. It is also biodegradable, eco-friendly, and safe to use on most surfaces.ProsProsIt's really easy to use, it smells good, and it doesn't require any water for application. Overall, it leaves your bike with a clean, shiny, and smooth surface.ConsConsIt doesn't contain wax as the name implies. It may leave behind some streaks and it has difficulty removing material such as tar. It’s pricey.
- Best ValueOriginal Bike Spirits Spray Cleaner and PolishSummarySummaryThis "detailer in a can" can be used without water and removes road grime, grease, and bugs. It's intended for motorcycles, ATVs, scooters, automobiles, and marine and power equipment.ProsProsIt works great on painted surfaces, chrome, plastics, and other materials. It makes everything look like new and smells nice. When it's used regularly, your bike is much easier to clean.ConsConsIt may leave behind a hazy film, and it may be hard to remove from certain surfaces. You also need to keep it off your tire tread and brake rotors.
- Honorable MentionStar brite Ultimate Bike Guard Motorcycle Detailer & ProtectantSummarySummaryThis waterless cleaner sprays on wipes off and shines up painted surfaces and polished metals. Its protective polymers bond to the surface to repel dirt and prevent UV damage.ProsProsThis product beautifully cleans and shines your bike and requires minimal buffing. A little goes a long way. It's easy to use and it has a pleasant smell.ConsConsIt may not remove water spots on chrome parts, such as your pipes. It may also require a bit of elbow grease to remove gunked-on dirt and debris.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Motorcycle Cleaners
- Remove dirt. If your bike accumulates too much dirt and grime, it can cause issues with the engine and other parts. A motorcycle cleaning kit can prevent this from happening.
- Avoid corrosion. Over time, the metal parts on your motorcycle can start to rust, particularly if they stay wet or dirty for an extended period of time. Motorcycle wash products are integral in keeping your bike in tip-top shape and prolonging its lifespan.
- Save money. It's important to keep your bike's vital parts in good working order. This is hard to do if they're grimy. An inexpensive motorcycle cleaner helps maintain your bike, which can save you money in the long run.
- Look good. Let's face it, a clean bike is a pretty bike. If your motorcycle is covered in dust, dirt, and grime, it doesn't look as appealing. With just a little bit of work, you can get it fairly shiny in no time.
Types of Motorcycle Cleaners
As the name suggests, this type of cleaner can be used on most, if not all, of the components on your motorcycle, including the paint, metal, glass, and plastic. Since this type of cleaner is essentially a one-size-fits-all product, select a brand that doesn't include harsh chemicals that can damage leather or produce swirl marks.
Some of the best motorcycle detailing products are geared specifically towards certain components, such as the wheels, engine, or leather seat. You can initially use an all-purpose cleaner on your entire bike and then focus on separate cleaners and polishers for chrome pipes, leather saddlebags, or plastic windshields. Each product will have ingredients designed specifically for tackling dirt on these types of surfaces.
A waterless motorcycle cleaner is also known as a "detailer in a can." It is very convenient and worthwhile if you want to quickly clean your bike in between more thorough washings. While waterless products are easy to use, they are not a substitute for deep cleaning and waxing.
Meguiar's has been around for over a century and creates products for every automotive surface, including paint, wheels, tires, and interiors. It is based in Irvine, Calif., and one popular product is the Meguiar's Motorcycle Care Kit.
Chemical Guys is based in California and designs and create high-quality waxes, coatings, polishes, and sealants for automotive purposes. One of its recommended motorcycle cleaners is the Chemical Guys Moto Line Moto Metal Polish Cleaner.
Turtle Wax, headquartered in Addison, Ill., was founded in 1946 by Ben Hirsch. He and his wife, Marie, developed the world's first liquid car polish, known as Plastone. The company became Turtle Wax Inc. in the 1950s after Hirsch linked a turtle's protective hard shell to his Plastone polish. One popular cleaner is the Turtle Wax Ultimate Motorcycle Cleaning Kit.
Star brite launched in 1973 and is a top manufacturer of marine, RV, powersports, and automotive cleaners, polishers, motor oils, and fuel additives. All products are made in Montgomery, Ala. We recommend the Star brite Ultimate Bike Guard Motorcycle Detailer & Protectant.
Motorcycle Cleaner Pricing
- Under $10: You can find motorcycle cleaning supplies and cleansers at an affordable price. However, they may be less capable of removing hardened dirt and grime and tend to come in smaller-sized bottles.
- $15-$20: Expect to find some of the best motorcycle cleaner and polishes at this price point. If you spend just a little more money you are sure to find a product that will get the job done.
- Over $20: Why buy just a motorcycle spray cleaner when you can purchase a waxing product and leather conditioner at the same time? Many products in this price range are kits that provide several cleaning and protection items, such as microfiber towels.
Some motorcycle cleaning products can be used on motorcycles as well as cars, boats, and other types of equipment. You can save money if you purchase a product that is multipurpose. Also, as we mentioned previously, some products can be used on several parts of a bike, including the gas tank, wheels, leather seat, pipes, windshield, etc.
Some spray-on cleansers are easy to apply: simply spray on and wipe off with a microfiber cloth. However, some products are more likely to leave behind streaks or a hazy film. Make sure you select a brand that doesn't require you to do more wiping than necessary and that is simple to use.
- Eco-Friendly: Stores are full of chemical-based products, including cleaning solutions. Fortunately, some motorcycle cleaners are non-toxic and eco-friendly. They are made with plant and water-based ingredients, which are better for the environment and your health. If living green is important, look for products that are eco-friendly.
- Scent: You may like cleansers that emit a sweet, pleasant smell, or you may not care about fancy smells when it comes to motorcycle-care products. Alternatively, you may have a sensitivity to certain scents. Some spray-on products have a very distinct odor, while others don't emit much of a scent at all.
Best Motorcycle Cleaner Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Aero Cosmetic Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax
This product gently cleans and protects motorcycles, cars, boats, and RVs and leaves behind a non-stick UV protective coating on the surface. The water and plant-based solution is alcohol- and ammonia-free. It is also biodegradable, eco-friendly, and safe to use on most surfaces. The kit includes one gallon of Wash Wax ALL, a 16-ounce spray bottle of Wash Wax ALL, four microfiber towels, and a product guide.
One great thing about this product is it's really easy to use. You simply spray it on and wipe it off. It smells good and doesn't require any water for application. Also, you can wash your bike anywhere—in the garage, in a parking lot, or any spot that's convenient. Overall, it leaves your bike with a clean, shiny, and smooth surface.
While it effectively removes dirt, you will need to use a lot of the product to clean gritty debris such as tar off your bike, and that may not even work. Also, it doesn't contain any wax (although its name alludes that it does), and there have been some complaints that it leaves behind some streaks.
Best Value: Original Bike Spirits Spray Cleaner and Polish
The price is right for this "detailer in a can,'' which can be used without water and removes road grime, grease, and bugs. It's intended for motorcycles, ATVs, scooters, automobiles, and marine and power equipment. It also helps to protect against ozone and dirt accumulation.
It works great on painted surfaces, chrome, plastics, and other surfaces on your bike. It makes everything look like new, it smells nice, and it appears to leave behind a protective coating that makes the next cleaning easier. For example, when it's used regularly, bugs are much easier to remove. It's also small enough to keep in your saddlebags so you can use it whenever it's convenient.
One downside to this product is that it may leave behind a hazy film. Also, it may be harder to remove from some surfaces as opposed to others (metal versus paint, for example). You also need to be careful and keep it off your tire tread and brake rotors because it can be difficult to remove.
Honorable Mention: Star brite Ultimate Bike Guard Motorcycle Detailer & Protectant
This waterless cleaner sprays on wipes off and shines up painted surfaces and polished metals. Its protective polymers bond to the surface to repel dirt and prevent UV damage. It removes light road grime, bug debris, and greasy fingerprints. It's safe to use on motorcycles, helmets, and all clear coats, wraps, and metal flake paints.
Star brite's product beautifully cleans and shines your bike and requires minimal buffing with a cloth. A little goes a long way, and it doesn't take very long to detail an entire motorcycle. It's easy to use and diligently removes dead bugs that can cling to your bike. It easily removes dirt, and it has a pleasant smell. It works well on chrome, rubber, plastic, and painted surfaces.
The manufacturer cautions users not to spray the product on a helmet's visors. Also, it may not remove water spots on chrome parts. In addition, it may require a bit of elbow grease to remove gunked-on dirt and debris.
- Only use motorcycle- or automotive-specific cleaners on your bike. Other types may damage your motorbike's plastic, paint, and/or metal components.
- Some manufacturers recommend cleaners for specific bike makes and models. Consider this before purchasing a cleaner because you want to use the most appropriate product that guarantees the best results.
- Before cleaning your bike, remove as many accessories as possible for better access. You will need a bucket, cleaner, degreaser, water, cleaning cloths, and other supplies to get the job done.
- Wait until your bike cools down before you wash it because you shouldn't spray cold water on a hot engine or body. This can cause streaks and water spots.
- Don't give your bike a full wash too frequently. If you fuss with it too much you can create fluid leaks and reduce lubricants in the cables.
- Don't apply too much water pressure when cleaning your motorcycle. You want to avoid inserting water into the electronic components and other crevices to avoid corrosion and degreasing certain parts.
- In addition to a premium cleaning product, be sure to use microfiber cloths. They are better than regular towels and prevent you from scratching the paint and metal surfaces.
- Don't neglect your motorcycle chain. They can get very dirty, which can adversely impact performance. Clean it with the best degreaser for motorcycles and lubricate it on a regular basis.
Q: How often should I wash my motorcycle?
A: As we previously mentioned, you don't want to wash your bike too often. We recommend cleaning it once a month unless you ride it on muddy roads. If you ride less frequently, then you can wash it every few months.
Q: Can washing my motorcycle damage it?
A: As long as you are careful when you clean your bike and use the proper cleaning materials, it's a good idea to wash it. There are more benefits to washing it than leaving it dirty, which can lead to corrosion and other issues.
Q: Will I damage my motorcycle if I use a garden hose to clean it?
A: The most important thing to do is to use a low-pressure spray on your bike. If you have a nozzle with various settings, choose a gentle one because too much pressure can potentially damage certain parts of your bike.
Our pick for the top motorcycle cleaner is the Aero Cosmetic Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax. It's an eco-friendly product that doesn't require any water. You can use it anywhere, and you'll end up with a clean and shiny bike.
If you want a more budget-friendly option, consider the Original Bike Spirits Spray Cleaner and Polish.