How to Clean A Mountain Bike In Simple And Easy Steps

In that case, if your MTB bike is dirty and you want to know how to clean a mountain bike, then we are here to help you out.

Below is the ideal way to clean your MTB, so it looks spanking clean on every ride.

Supplies You’ll Need

A bike Work Stand – Make sure that you get a rotating bike stand to not only mount your bike on it but also rotate it to get all the dirt out.

A brightly colored bucket – For putting warm water in it. 

Two brushes – One soft brush and one firm. You can easily find bicycle scrubbing brushes from a local retailer as well as from online marketplaces.

Garden Hose or Pressure Washer connected to cold water connection – We don’t recommend hot water to wash and rinse your bike.

Some cleaning products would include the bicycle washing liquid, chain lube, etc.

Dry Fabric Clothes – We will use them for drying the mountain bike.

Get all the supplies and then follow the guide below:

How to Clean an MTB Bike in Simple and Easy Steps?


Step 1: Choose Your Bike Washing Area

You cannot wash your bike anywhere you want. That said, you need to make sure that the area you choose for cleaning the bike is spacious enough.

Moreover, it must have good drainage, so the water will not collect on the surface but get adequately drained.

The wash area should allow you to move around the bike quickly. You can also look out for washing areas at a local bike shop if you don’t have your place to utilize. 

Step 2: Get the Equipment Ready

The next step involves getting all the equipment ready one by one. For starters, fix your mountain bike stand in the center of the area and mount your bike on it.

Similarly, connect the hose to the water connection nearby, as you’ll need water to rinse and clean the bike accordingly.

Next, keep the firm and soft brushes nearby when rinsing the bike. You’ll be needing them more often while scrubbing the dirt off the bicycle.

Step 3: Rinse the Bike with Cold Water

After mounting the bike on the work stand, rinse it with cold water using the hose.

Do not waste time removing stubborn stains from the bike using water only. Our primary purpose is to remove extra dirt and debris on the bike and soften the stains simultaneously.

So, thoroughly rinse the bike with cold water first of all.

Step 4: Soft Scrubbing of the Bike Frame

Next, take the bucket and fill it with warm water. We’ll use it to foam the whole bike later. Apply bike washing liquid on the soft brush and start scrubbing all parts of your bike one by one.

Make sure the brush is not too gritty or brittle, or else you’ll scratch the paint off and will have to repaint the whole bike. Foam the entire bike from top to bottom using the soft brush to get the dirty stains away from it.

Step 5: Scrubbing the Tires

Similarly, use warm water in the bucket, and this time you will need the firm brush to get the job done.

Apply the washing liquid on the firm brush and start scrubbing your bike tires. In doing so, focus on removing dirt from the tread, followed by the rims and sidewall. You should also inspect the tires and see if they’ve got any cuts or thorns.

Soapy water will also help you spot a soft puncture into the tire, and for that purpose, look out for bubbles while scrubbing the tires with a firm brush.

Step 6: Scrubbing Drivetrain and Cassette

After scrubbing the tires thoroughly, the next step involves cleaning out the drivetrain and cassette.

While you do so, remove grass, sticks, and other kinds of visible debris from the cogs, cassette, and jockey wheels. Scrub it off with the firm brush accordingly.

It would help if you also scrubbed the chain as it might have dust due to excess lube using warm water and bicycle washing liquid. We do not recommend using a degreaser to remove the greasy residue from the cassette. 

But in case if you cannot remove it with a soapy mixture, then fine! Go with the degreaser, but use it separately after removing the cassette from the bike.

Step 7: Rinse Again Using the Hose

After thoroughly scrubbing and foaming each part of your MTB bike, rinse it off using a high-pressure hose and cold water. We would also recommend you rotate the pedals to ensure that water runs through them for thorough cleaning.

Make sure that you remove the soap completely. Similarly, inspect the bike again to see whether it still has any dirt spots left or not.

Step 8: Repeat the Cleaning

If your mountain bike is way too dirty and you haven’t cleaned it in a while, rinsing it only once won’t be enough.

Follow all the steps we have mentioned above and make sure that you remove all sorts of dirt, debris, and stubborn stains from the bike with the help of soft and firm brushes.

You can also remove the tires from the bike and clean them with a firm brush accordingly.

Step 9: Drying the Bike

After rinsing your bike, let the excess water drain out while it remains mounted on the work stand. Remove the bike from the stand after that and let it stand in a dry area with a shiny sun to get dried out quickly.

After the vital sunbath, take a dry fabric cloth and use it on different bike parts accordingly.

Step 10: Polishing and Applying Lube

Mount your bike on the work stand again and remove the tires from it. Take a microfiber lint-free cloth and apply some silicone polish to the bicycle frame.

Polish the frame until it shines, as it will keep the bike away from getting dust and dirt while you take on a dusty trail on the bike. Apply chain lube on the links and run the pedals for a while. This ensures the lube spreads on each of the links perfectly.

Step 11: Store Your Bike in a Safe Place

Finally, as soon as you dry, polish, and lube the bike, store it in a dry and safe place. 

We recommend using a vertical bike rack to store and park the bike either in your garage or in your room with the front wheel up and back wheel down.

People Also Ask:

Should I clean my mountain bike after every ride?

You don’t need to wash your MTB bike after every ride. However, we will recommend re-lubing the bike’s chain along with a quick-dry scrub with the help of a fiber cloth to dirt away.

What is the fastest way to clean a mountain bike?

There’s no fast way to clean a mountain bike. It will require effort and hard work, especially if you have not cleaned and rinsed it in a long time. Rinsing it with high-pressure water would help remove most of the dirt and debris off the bike, though.

How often should I clean my mountain bike chain?

Many bike manufacturers and experts suggest cleaning and re-lubing the mountain bike chain after a hard ride or when it gets all wet and dirty during the ride. Make sure that you also clean the drivetrain and cassette properly.

Is it OK to hose down your mountain bike?

You can hose down a mountain bike, but do not keep the pressure too high, or it will damage the frame and other parts of your bicycle. Keep it steady, and you will successfully remove harsh and stubborn stains off your bike.

Is it OK to wash your bike with water?

Of course! You can use cold or warm water to wash all parts of your bike. We do not recommend using hot water as it can damage the tires and frame of the bike.

Final Takeaways:

Cleaning an MTB bike becomes the need of the hour, especially when you have just covered a dusty and slippery uphill terrain.

Although you should deep wash and clean your bike every once in a while, we recommend that you maintain this cleanliness after every ride as well.

Not only will it keep the bike maintained, but you will also get good performance from it without facing any hurdles.

Good Luck!!

Photo of author
Written By Robbie Ferri
My name is Robbie Ferri, I’m an Ultra Endurance cyclist from the UK. I have been lucky enough to have cycled all over the world. With some amazing world record attempts, bikepacking races, and many miles under my belt I couldn’t think of anywhere I’d rather be than on my bike.

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