The Best Cleaning Products to Keep Your Bike Gleaming

The Best Cleaning Products to Keep Your Bike Gleaming

By Wesley Pestana | Updated Oct 22, 2019

Best Motorcycle Cleaner

One of the best things about owning a motorcycle, next to actually riding it of course, is simply looking at it. However, motorcycles are magnets for dust, grime and dirt, and a formerly spotless, gleaming machine can soon look grubby and dull if it’s not cleaned regularly. So, if you want to keep your bike looking pristine, you gotta do like Mr Miyagi says and “wax on, wax off”. What are the best cleaning products for your motorcycle, though?

Best Motorcycle Cleaner Quick Review

Product Best For Our Rating
1. Adam's Heavy Duty All Purpose Cleaner Degreaser Best Motorcycle Cleaner Degreaser
2. Maxima Chain Wax Combo Kit, (Pack of 3) Best Motorcycle Chain Cleaner
3. Purple Slice 32 Oz Clean, Wax and Polish Best Waterless Motorcycle Cleaner Spray
4. GUNK EDW75 Engine Degreasing Wipes Best Motorcycle Engine Cleaner
5. Chemical Guys Moto Line Hyper Seal Shine Wax and Sealant Best Motorcycle Cleaner Wax
6. Ultimate Wheel Brush Set and Cleaning Kit Best Motorcycle Wheel Cleaning Kit
7. Meguiar's Motorcycle Care Kit Best Motorcycle Cleaner Kit
8. Armor All Ultra Shine Car Wash Wipes Best Motorcycle Cleaning Wipes

Top Choice: Adam's Heavy Duty All Purpose Cleaner Degreaser

Adam’s Heavy Duty All Purpose Cleaner Degreaser is a powerful all purpose cleaner that cuts through just about any grit or grease that can accumulate on your bike.

1. Adam's Heavy Duty All Purpose Cleaner Degreaser
Best For

Best Motorcycle Cleaner Degreaser

Our Rating
2. Maxima Chain Wax Combo Kit, (Pack of 3)
Best For

Best Motorcycle Chain Cleaner

Our Rating
3. Purple Slice 32 Oz Clean, Wax and Polish
Best For

Best Waterless Motorcycle Cleaner Spray

Our Rating
4. GUNK EDW75 Engine Degreasing Wipes
Best For

Best Motorcycle Engine Cleaner

Our Rating
5. Chemical Guys Moto Line Hyper Seal Shine Wax and Sealant
Best For

Best Motorcycle Cleaner Wax

Our Rating
6. Ultimate Wheel Brush Set and Cleaning Kit
Best For

Best Motorcycle Wheel Cleaning Kit

Our Rating
7. Meguiar's Motorcycle Care Kit
Best For

Best Motorcycle Cleaner Kit

Our Rating
8. Armor All Ultra Shine Car Wash Wipes
Best For

Best Motorcycle Cleaning Wipes

Our Rating

An Array of Choices

There are more motorcycling products around today than in any other point in history, and sometimes the sheer volume of options can be overwhelming leaving us with a number of questions. A few questions I’ve asked myself are below. If you’ve found yourself wondering something similar, click the links and find out.

Should I use Chrome polish and cleaner and which is the best?

Is there a specific motorcycle carburetor cleaner I should use?

What is the best lube for my motorcycle chain?

What is the difference between 2 stroke oils?

The Basic Necessities for Cleaning A Motorcycle

There are a few basic products that used to form the foundation of twentieth century motorcycle (and car) cleaning and care. These were a bucket and a rag, some sort of vehicle shampoo, a cloth to dry it off with, and then a can of wax and a cloth to buff the wax. These will still do a decent job of keeping your bike clean and shiny, of course. However, in the twenty-first century, though, we have way more choices available to us.

Now, in the same way that biker gals ask themselves whether they should wear a leather jacket or a summer jacket when they ride, you have to ask yourself just how far you’re willing to go down the motorcycle cleaning product road, and whether you want to use a cleaning spray or waterless cleaner, cleaning wipes or engine degreaser. Read on to find out which of these choices will be best for you.

best waterless motorcycle cleaner

How Often Should I Wash My Motorcycle?

As often as you want! The real answer to this question, though, is however often you need to wash it in order to keep it looking clean and sparkly. This will depend a lot on where you live, the climate of your area, and where you park your bike, and whether you use a motorcycle cover.

In areas that get a lot of wind and dust blown around, you’re going to need to wash your bike more, especially if it’s regularly parked outside. If you commute a long way on your bike, it’s going to pick up dirt and muck from the road a lot more regularly than the bike of a weekend rider, so it’ll also need to be washed more often.

Can Cleaning Damage My Motorcycle?

The obvious assumption with regard to cleaning a motorcycle is the more often, the better. However, using subpar products to clean your bike, and doing this on a regular basis, can actually damage your motorcycle’s paint and metal.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t regularly clean your bike, though; if you don’t clean it, the grit and grime it picks up from the road (not to mention salt in winter) will wreck the paintwork and metalwork over time. The key to keeping your paint, metal, plastic and rubber parts looking as good as new is to make sure you use high quality, motorcycle-specific products. As long as you use the right products, you’ll definitely be protecting and preserving your motorcycle’s good looks rather than damaging them.

best motorcycle spray cleaner

How to Clean A Motorcycle Gas Tank?

On many motorcycles, the gas tank is almost like a centerpiece, and many owners (yourself included, perhaps, dear reader?) spend a disproportionate amount of time cleaning and shining it. It’s often (depending on the style of motorcycle) the only painted metal part, and as such, its paintwork is rich and lustrous, and the clear coat that covers it is often especially glossy.

Also, however, it’s one of the areas in which paint fade is most readily and obviously noticeable, and it’s a part of the bike prone to getting damaged with stone chips, and from your legs rubbing against it. To keep it looking brilliant and shiny, care needs to be taken when cleaning and shining your bike’s gas tank.

If your bike’s gas tank has become a bit weathered and faded, you can use a motorcycle-specific paint restorer to get that beautiful mirror finish gloss back - but you do need to be careful and only use such products when necessary, as paint restorers are abrasive and can damage healthy paint and clearcoat (source).

best motorcycle wheel cleaner

Can I Use A Pressure Washer On A Motorcycle?

This is a trickier topic to tackle. While many motorcyclists do use pressure washers to clean their bikes, and (anecdotally) have done for years without supposedly damaging their bikes, there is a risk involved, particularly if you’re not very careful about where you’re aiming that jet of high pressure water.

While a pressure washer is definitely handy when it comes to cleaning stubborn dirt and grime off places like your wheel rims, you definitely don’t want to let the jet of water hit your chain. While normal water spray from the road won’t penetrate your bike’s chain link O rings, the high pressure jet from a pressure washer can, and will wreck your chain.

Also, it’d be a very bad idea to use your pressure washer near any areas where there are electrical connectors, or rubber seals. Again, while rain and road spray won’t get into these, high pressure jets of water will, and getting water into such areas will wreak havoc on your bike’s electrical system. It’s far safer, if you have areas of stubborn dirt on your bike, to soak the dirt for a few minutes before you start washing it. It should slide right off.

best cleaner for motorcycle plastic

Best Motorcycle Cleaner Review

1. Purple Slice 32 Oz Clean, Wax and Polish

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If you’re after one product that does almost everything you need to do when it comes to cleaning your bike, Purple Slice hits the spot.

If you’re looking for a product that does everything you need when it comes to cleaning your bike, without using water or wax, Purple Slice promises that it cleans, waxes and polishes all with one easy spray. Using Purple Slice is as simple as spraying it onto your dirty, dull bike, and then wiping it off to see a clean, shining bike. It doesn’t get any easier than that, so for convenience it scores a solid 5/5, but if you’re a collector and your bike is your pride and joy, you might want a product with more durable protection.

  • Very easy to use
  • Don’t need water to clean your bike
  • Protects as well as cleans
  • Good price
  • Doesn’t provide as much protection as a coat of dedicated wax

2. Maxima Chain Wax Combo Kit, (Pack of 3)

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The Maxima Chain Care Combo kit provides pretty much everything you need to clean and care for your bike’s chain. It doesn’t come with a chain brush, though.

A motorcycle chain is often one of the dirtiest parts of a motorcycle. It’s also one of the most important components and, unfortunately, one of the most frequently neglected in terms of cleaning and maintenance. The Maxima Ultimate Chain Care Kit comes with a chain cleaning spray, multipurpose penetrating lube, and chain wax. The only thing it doesn’t have, unfortunately, is a chain cleaning brush. However, using all three of the kit’s products will keep your chain clean and greatly extend its life.

  • Provides everything you need to clean and protect your chain
  • Aerosol bottles mean it’s easy to use
  • Doesn’t come with a chain cleaning brush

3. Meguiar's Motorcycle Care Kit

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If you want to give individual attention to your bike’s metal, plastic, leather and painted components, a Meguiar’s Motorcycle Care Kit allows you to do just that.

If you’re wanting to give your bike a more thorough and detailed cleaning than something like a waterless universal do-it-all cleaning spray can provide, then getting a kit with care products for every component and accessory on your bike, then the Meguiar’s Motorcycle Care Kit is what you’re after. It has plastic cleaner and polish, no slip leather/vinyl cleaner, liquid wax, metal polish, spray and rinse general cleaner, and detailer mist and wipe, along with two handy microfiber cloths.

  • Features separate products for cleaning components made of different materials
  • Has everything you need to clean and protect everything on your bike
  • Decent price
  • Doesn’t include a chain cleaner

4. GUNK EDW75 Engine Degreasing Wipes

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GUNK EDW75 Engine Degreasing Wipes offer an easy, hassle-free way to get gunk and grime off your bike’s motor.

GUNK EDW75 Engine Degreasing Wipes are very handy and easy to use when it comes to cleaning your bike’s motor. All you do is wipe, either using the smooth side or the more scrubby side of the wipe, and the wipe will take off grease and grime. You can also use these in your kitchen, or on your oily hands when you’ve been wrenching on your bike. One downside, though, is that they do tend to dry out quickly. They’re relatively cheap, however, so you don’t need to worry about using a couple.

  • Very easy to use
  • Removes pretty much any kind of grime and grit that can accumulate on your bike’s motor
  • Can dry out quickly, meaning you use a lot in one application

5. Chemical Guys Moto Line Hyper Seal Shine Wax and Sealant

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Chemical Guys MTO10516 Moto Line is wax designed specifically for motorcycles. It provides brilliant glossy shine and protection for plastic and painted metal components.

If you’ve got a shiny new (or old) bike and you want to keep it looking that way, especially if your bike is outdoors a lot, Chemical Guys MTO10516 Moto Line Redline Hyper Seal High Shine Wax and Sealant for Motorcycles offers an excellent UV-resistant seal to protect your bike’s paint and plastic against the elements and the sun, and can be buffed to a brilliant glossy finish. If you’re after some serious shine and protection, this product delivers.

  • Designed specifically for motorcycles.
  • Provides great protection against harmful UV rays which can fade your paint and plastic components
  • One application protects your bike for up to a year
  • More expensive than general auto wax

6. Adam's Heavy Duty All Purpose Cleaner Degreaser

best motorcycle engine cleaner best motorcycle cleaner wax

Adam’s Heavy Duty All Purpose Cleaner Degreaser is a powerful all purpose cleaner that cuts through just about any grit or grease that can accumulate on your bike.

Adam’s Heavy Duty All Purpose Cleaner Degreaser is a versatile product that can cut through just about anything that dirties up your ride, from general grit and grime to tar from the road and leaking engine grease. The fact that it’s dilutable is very handy, so you can make it as mild or strong as you need it to be. It only comes in gallon jugs, though, so you need to buy a lot at a time.

  • Very powerful, will cut through just about any kind of dirt, grime, tar or grease on your bike or your motor
  • Dilutable, so you can make it as strong or as mild as necessary
  • Only comes in gallons so you have to buy a lot at a time

7. Armor All Ultra Shine Car Wash Wipes

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Armor All Ultra Shine Car Wash Wipes allow you to wash your bike with just a quick swipe of a wipe.

When it comes to convenience and ease of use, cleaning your bike doesn’t get any faster than when you’re using Armor All Ultra Shine Car Wash Wipes. All you do is take out a wipe, wipe it a few times and then voila, you’re done. They’re a shade short of $5 too, so they won’t make your wallet much lighter. They do a decent job of cleaning, but they won’t provide the kind of shine and protection that wax does, though.

  • Very convenient, just wipe and go
  • Very cheap
  • Doesn’t provide the same kind of protection as wax
  • Wipes can dry out quickly

8. Ultimate Wheel Brush Set and Cleaning Kit

best motorcycle cleaner spray best waterless motorcycle cleaner

The Ultimate Wheel Brush Set and Cleaning Kit makes the usually onerous job of cleaning your motorcycle rims much easier.

The Ultimate Wheel Brush Set and Cleaning Kit makes cleaning your bike’s wheels - usually one of the worst and most annoying areas to clean - a breeze, with a number of different brushes that make it quick and easy to clean areas of your wheels that are hard to get to. The kit also includes a handy microfiber mitt, but doesn’t, unfortunately, come with any actual cleaning products.

  • The variety of brushes included in the kit make it a breeze to clean your bike’s wheels
  • Comes with a handy microfiber wash kit
  • Doesn’t come with any cleaning products

Clean Bike, Happy Rider

While cleaning your bike can often seem like one of those chores you’d rather avoid, with the range of motorcycle cleaning products available these days - just like the vast array of jackets available to keep us riders safe - you’re not only spoiled for choice, it’s actually really easy to clean your bike, so there’s no excuse to ride around on a grubby machine. It’s never been easier or more convenient to keep your bike looking spotless and shiny, and with the kind of products that are now available to keep your bike clean, with a little bit of elbow grease and a couple dollars you’ll be keeping your ride looking pristine for years to come.


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