bike cleaner any better than washing up liquid?

  • This topic has 76 replies, 57 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by  nikk.
Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 77 total)
  • bike cleaner any better than washing up liquid?
  • fontmoss
    Member

    Fenwicks is reduced in my lbs but never used specific bike cleaner, it does seem to take me ages though so bought a hose and wondering if a bike cleaner will melt the mud away in a glorious cilit bang advert wunderbarr result sort of way?

    cr500dom
    Member

    Never used Fenwicks but Muc-off does seem to shift it far easier than anything else I have tried (And that includes nasty TFR)

    rootes1
    Member

    fenwicks def better the fairy

    I use Elbow Grease, household degreaser spray. IIRC, pretty much any degreaser is better than Fairy (other brands of washing up liquid are available), due to washing up liquid containig salt (as an abrasive).

    I use Fenwicks & reckon it’s pretty good, defo beter than WUL.

    fontmoss
    Member

    cool i shall give fenwicks a bash then, cheers

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Subscriber

    I always look out for reduced price barbeque cleaner which seems to shift the grease.

    rwc03
    Member

    Hope sh1t shifter is great, I was using fairly liquid and it took me ages so get all the grime out from between places. Just spray on leave for 4 minutes and hose off. Still have to give the drive train a bit of a wipe, but has saved my about 20 minutes every wash. I try not to get it on seals or bushings though, just incase.

    Edit: just to add that I’ve used muc off previously and it’s OK but not as good as hope’s stuff.

    CaptJon
    Member

    themanfromdelmonte – Member
    I use Elbow Grease, household degreaser spray. IIRC, pretty much any degreaser is better than Fairy (other brands of washing up liquid are available), due to washing up liquid containig salt (as an abrasive).

    Doesn’t the salt dissolve in the water, though?

    rwc03
    Member

    The salt is dissolved, but it helps clean kitchen items and softens the water I guess? Not so good for bikes though so you have to make sure it’s all rinsed off

    been using dish washing detergent (fairy liquid, etc.) to clean off-road bikes for 25+ years (including modern bikes with suspension and disc brakes) and no problems to report?

    tried muc-off, sh*t shifter, fenwick, etc.

    found it less effective at shifting the built-up mud (often seen mud stains still on the bike after cleaning and rinsing using these products)

    its a complete rip-off compared to £0.99 dish washing detergent which cleans a hell of a lot more bike than a bottle of muc-off??

    and Muc-off made some of my anodised components (especially Sun rims and race face stems) change from a black colour to a copper / brass colour and that was only 10 minutes of cleaning and then rinsing

    never had that issue with dish washing detergent?

    CaptJon
    Member

    rwc03 – Member
    The salt is dissolved, but it helps clean kitchen items and softens the water I guess? Not so good for bikes though so you have to make sure it’s all rinsed off

    is it more harmful that mud?

    legend
    Member

    doesn’t Muc-off say to rinse after a few minutes to avoid affecting paint finish?

    motox2k
    Member

    mukjunkie, i was sponsored by them a few years ago but not anymore (as I dont race anymore) but I have found this much better than muck off etc etc. Also the guy who started it, put bike parts in containers covered in the product for 6 months before release and not one part had faded or changed colour.

    Ebay is the best place to buy it as they have great deals on there, give it a go, i’m sure you will be impressed.

    Oh you dont have to but you can water it down 50/50 still giving you the same power (but I never told you that)

    Stu

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MOUNTAIN-BIKE-CLEANER-1×25-Lt-Buy-1-Get-1-Free-/330628800560?pt=UK_SportGoods_CyclAcces_RL&hash=item4cfb032030

    JoB
    Member

    bucket of hot water with some Fairy in it for the bike, spray of Muc-Off or equivalent on the geary bits to help shift the oily grime, been working fine for me for years and years and years

    andyl
    Member

    I use fenwicks. Buy the Concentrated stuff for £10 and it works out as £1 a litre. Hardly expensive.

    Washing up liquid is not ideal for bikes or cars etc. I use a big bottle of purple Meguiars for the car and Fenwicks for the bike. Both have lasted me ages. I keep the Fairy for the dishes.

    Doesn’t the salt dissolve in the water, though?

    That’s kinda’ the point though. Even if it is dissolved, you’re washing you bike with salt water.

    is it more harmful that mud?

    That would be very hard to quantify, probably not. But it’s certainly more harmful than using unsalted kitchen/motor degreaser (so still no need to pay through the nose).

    As said above, its ok to use washing up liquid but make sure its ALL rinsed off well. Muc off and Hope sh!t shifter are best I’ve used.

    hot soapy water 20 times better then cold with muc off etc personally and cheaper, rinse off after with cold job done

    buttercup
    Member

    Simple Green is where it’s AT!
    Better than anything I have ever used. super cheap. super non-toxic.

    nikk
    Member

    Let’s wash our £1000 / £2000 / £3000 bikes in salt water, thereby saving literally pennies every year! Great idea.

    For me, cold water and a selection of bike brushes does the job. Sometimes I’ll spray on a bike specific cleaner, but not every time.

    Mark N
    Member

    I will pull up a chair…

    You ride your bike through lord knows what on the trails then it may go on the roof or back of the car and you drive home. I seriously doubt that anything that may be in good old washing up liquid is going to be any worse. especially with the amount of salt being chucked on the roads at this time of year.

    Quick rinse to get the worst of and then bucket and brush to clean it down. there may be some car wash stuff in the bucket Dry it down, sort the chain and done. Every now and then the forks/shock will get a squirt of silicon spray.

    Not one for lining the pockets of these “specialist cleaner firms”. The money feels better in my pocket. 😉

    The chain gets cleaned with a Flash/water solution, rinsed and then re lubed. It works for me.

    Premier Icon billyboy
    Subscriber

    I was sceptical about Muc Off and always used to use washing up liquid instead, but it did seem to make for squealing brakes so I changed to Muc Off and have had no problems since

    nikk
    Member

    Mark N – salt on the roads is horrible for the bikes as well. Still no reason to on purpose cover your bike in salt water after every ride though, is it? Mud is not nearly as corrosive.

    What is worse is that the detergent breaks the surface tension of the water, meaning the salty water mix finds its way into every nook and cranny much easier than just water itself, and so water alone won’t rinse it out. So your bearings are filled up with a degreaser + corrosive mixture, a really bad combo.

    Given the price of even one bearing is more than a fiver, why bother feeling good saving say £4.50 by buying a bottle of cheep dish cleaner and IIRC 4% salt (used as a thickener I believe)? Would you save money on hair shampoo by using dishwashing liquid?

    Sorry for being an evangelist about this, but I have seen what washing up solution does to bare steel… it is not good.

    Rivett
    Member

    Car shampoo

    A cocktail of all the above perhaps ?

    crikey
    Member

    Sorry for being an evangelist about this,

    I’m sorry too, because it’s a pile of old bollocks.

    How much salt is in a bucket of water with a squirt of washing up liquid in?

    How much salt remains when the bike gets rinsed off?

    Muc-off and the like will discolour the anodising on your bike; a lot worse than a squirt of washing up liquid.

    Cobblers peddled to the mindless..

    …and I’ve seen waht washing up liquid does too; I use it to wash things in, in my kitchen, everyday.

    nikk
    Member

    crikey – I find it helps to imagine you are sitting round with a bunch of mates having a craic when posting on the internet. It generally means the conversation remains respectful of each other, rather than descending into ‘keyboard warrior’ mode.

    The answer to ‘how much salt’ is ‘enough, if it gets into the wrong place’. Go get a handful of nails, and a shallow dish. Fill it up with some dishwash water, then put the nails in, then leave it and see what happens to the nails. Do the same with plain water, and bike detergent, if you want to see the difference.

    It’s up to you whether you think this is cobblers or not. For me, it is much more sensible to use either plain water (which does a fine job most of the time), or a squirt of proper bike cleaner, that gets rinsed off quick. A £5 bottle of bike detergent every year or two isn’t going to break the bank.

    crikey
    Member

    I’m talking to you as if you were one of my mates; hence the use of fruity colloquialisms. If this upsets you, perhaps you should recalibrate your expectations of a mountain bike website.

    Your dishwater and nails experiment is quaint and irrelevant; we are talking about washing bicycles, not nail soakage.

    Your ‘proper bike cleaner’ will do more damage than washing up liquid; I have seen red anodised wheels turn pink because of Muc-off use over a winter of washing a cross bike.

    I have been washing my bikes using washing up liquid for 25 years without problem.

    nikk
    Member

    I’m sure you know that stuff comes across harsher on the net, and TBH I don’t think the subject nor my POV deserves that level of derision.

    The nails are steel, the same thing that bearings are made out of more or less. The experiment shows that WU liquid is corrosive to steel.

    It may be that modern bikes don’t have that much that are affected by this, but still bearings may develop problems, and it won’t do the chain any good, and possibly the brakes as well.

    I have heard about the anodizing issue before, I wonder what the mechanism is for this? Not good in any case.

    That’s why plain water is best.

    doh
    Member

    Sorry for being an evangelist about this, but I have seen what washing up solution does to bare steel… it is not good.

    have you seen what happens to bare steel when exposed to oxygen… it is not good.

    Premier Icon P20
    Subscriber

    Fenwicks user here. Mixed to 10% for general and 25-30% for drivetrain. Works well, better than muc off in my opinion. I used flash about 10yrs ago, seemed fine

    nikk
    Member

    doh – just steel and oxygen don’t react very much at all, it needs water or water vapor to do the damage. Salt makes it rust much quicker. It is way less affected by pure water or by dry oxygen.

    sweepy
    Member

    If the muds bad i’ll hose my bike down, maybe dislodge the worst of the stubborn stuff with a brush, run a rag over the drivetrain then lube the drivetrain.
    Nothing has really faded or corroded so far.

    doh
    Member

    doh – just steel and oxygen don’t react very much at all, it needs water or water vapor to do the damage

    where on earth could this magical oxygen/water vapour mixture that you speak of exist.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    salt is used in wup liquid to thicken it. micelles, trust me. It can be quite high levels too, but as long as you rinse well i doubt it’ll do much harm in the short contact period.

    That said, I use Halfords value car shampoo diluted down in an old Muc Off sprayer plus a soft brush and my dirtworker. About £4 for 5 litres if i remember and I’ve had the stuff about 3 years now and there’s tonnes left.

    Fenwicks and Muc-Off seem comparable to me.
    I’ve found that car washing soap (Turtle Wax etc) works well too.
    It helps that you can buy 5L of that for around £15 or whatever and that will last for a year or so.

    I once cleaned my bike with Muc Off using a sponge – the next day the skin peeled off my fingers. That’s how Muc Off etc work. It’s caustic.
    It does remove grime well as well.

    Premier Icon JoeG
    Subscriber

    Another vote here for car wash detergent, with Simple Green for tough spots and degreasing.

    i used muc-off for the best part of two years and went through bearings far too quickly (and yes, i rinsed it off thoroughly, shortly after it had been applied). it was very effective in doing its job but these days i just rinse the worse of the muck off with a hose and let the bikes stay dirty! cleaning em with a toothbrush after every ride seems a waste of time to me.

    Rockape
    Member

    I use this http://www.busters-accessories.co.uk/productinfo/578271/Bike-Care/Cleaners/Fuchs-Silkolene if you regularly check web site they often do two for price of one lasts ages aswell.

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