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Washing a bike at the car wash

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by mischiefmaka, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. As i live on a dirt/gravel road its pointless for me to wash the bike at home so im thinking about using the local car wash place * the joints where you wash it yourself with the brush and jets etc )
    Can you use the spray jets etc on a bike? Does anyone know if the products used in the car wash places are ok to use on bikes? Im just thinking Chain & tyre related here, didnt want to put anything on her that would make her unsafe thats all.

  2. Re: Wasing a bike at the car wash

    I do it all the time and have never had a problem. I always do the de-greasing bit at home first because they don't like you using chemicals there (they recycle all the waste water so the chemicals would screw that process up). Then I ride down and wash it. I always take a towel with me in the top box to wipe the seat afterwards, and a chamois to dry off the rest of the bodywork.

    I've had people bleat on about the high speed blast penetrating their bike's electrics and all that sort of stuff, but, honestly, most of the critical cables are hidden anyway and the bike can be ridden in heavy rain, so what's the difference?

    As far as the washing detergents they use, again, I woudn't be too concerned. If they can recycle the water then the detergents can't be too sudden.
  3. Re: Wasing a bike at the car wash

    You should relube your chain anyway after a decent wash. Personally I keep away for their degreasers and just use the soap spray, remember to spray downwards (so water doesn't get up under the seat, tank etc - where the electronics are) and also not too close (so you don't get water in seals, bend radiator fins etc). There's also a whole discussion around using water on hot engines I'm sure you could find somewhere on the site. Come to think of it, this has probably already been covered - did you do a search!:-s
  4. Re: Wasing a bike at the car wash

    Do a search, has been covered many times, there is even a sticky at the top of this page....
  5. Re: Wasing a bike at the car wash

    Cheers rc36

    I did look at the washing threads, but i couldnt see anything car wash/ jet related.

    ps..Avatar photo more to your liking Grange? lol perhaps u could change yours to a Carlton flag to keep me happy also ;)
  6. Re: Wasing a bike at the car wash

    How often should a bike be washed anyway, is it really that important?
  7. Re: Wasing a bike at the car wash

    High pressure jets and road bikes should only be mixed together VERY CAREFULLY - be especially careful around locations with bearings and electrics.
  8. Re: Wasing a bike at the car wash

    Depends on whether you want your bike to look good or not - esp after a few years. I'll wash mine according to need. It's ridden daily so when it's wet, it'll get washed at the end of the week. If it doesn't get washed, the dirt and road grime soils the surfaces IMO and is harder to get off later. Just a matter of routine maintenance.

    If it hasn't bee rianing, prob once a fortnight.

    I use a Karcher pressure washer on mine gravity fed by water tanks. I spray on CT18 truck wash first (from a spray bottle) and rub teh chain down with kero. Then I wet the bike down and sponge all the surfaces with truck wash and a sponge from a bucket. Then rinse off and dry. When the chain's dry, give it a lube with Motul Road.

    I go over the panels with Mr Sheen which polishes the surface.

    Spraying truck wash on gets into all those hard to reach places but I try and sponge it anywhere I can reach.

    Keep the nozzle of the Karcher a reasonable distance away so the blast isn't too fierce.

    How you take care of your bike determines how it is going to look and perform as the months and years go by. Trade in / sale price is also affected too.

    I'd be worried about cold water on a hot engine so personally wouldn't do the car wash thing.
  9. Re: Wasing a bike at the car wash

    I washed my roadbikes for 5 years using a water gurney at work, never had a problem but I was careful around the chain and electrics (dont want to blow out the Orings on the chain or force water where its not wanted)

    I also I didnt get too close to areas which had bad paintchips (else you risk stripping flakes of paint straight off if the gurneys anything halfway decent)

    I reckon they are great for washing bikes personally as long as your careful, they can clean areas you cant get to easily by hand :)

    Edit: I wouldnt try it on a hot engine though either, and leaving acidic bug guts on your bike aint good for your paintwork so yep its worth washing
  10. Re: Wasing a bike at the car wash

    Oh ok so if cold water and hot bikes dont mix that will make washing at a car wash a little hard, im pretty impatient , dont like my chances of hanging around for my bike to cool...

    Is there anything i could use on it at home that would perhaps limit the amount of dust and crap( from gravel road) from sticking to my bike?

    Curse the stupid Gravel road and my tight arsed council, not like they don't bend me over every year for a massive rate bill the bastards.
  11. Re: Wasing a bike at the car wash

    tried car wax before? lols thats prolly all u can really do - It will put a thin protective film over your paintwork so dirt sticks to the film rather than directly to ur paint, this makes washing actually quicker as everything slides off nicer (you know u need more wax if ur chamois doesnt easily glide over the paintwork when your drying it, it should not "grab" - the water will also stop beading if theres no wax left)

    I used to work at a caryard, we used turtlewax specifically as it was very easy to get on and off and lasted well for our situation where we had bees crapping on all our cars all day lols (beecrap wipes off easily on waxed cars, notso on unwaxed) This was for cars tho but I used to use it on the bike no problems, just dont hit the seat or rubber bits/ unpainted plastic (eg around speedo) on ur bike etc is all cause they can leave white marks on the wrong surface
  12. Re: Wasing a bike at the car wash

    I use motul wash & wax which is a spray on waterless cleaner for a quick clean of the paint and plastic bits after most rides, then occasionally give it a real wash with a bucket and sponge (in these water restricted days)
  13. Re: Wasing a bike at the car wash

    Thanks prawns..Ill go heavy on the wax then.

    Hey twistngo, i like the sound of waterless washing , im on tank water so i like to save as much as humanly possible , my kids call me a water nazi.
  14. Re: Wasing a bike at the car wash

    I could change it to a north melbourne one, have followed them also for the last 32yrs....
  15. Re: Wasing a bike at the car wash

    I hate those DIY car wash places. Those brushes do a great job of putting micro scratches in the clear coat, and the detergents they use way too harsh.
    The wash and wax motul stuff? Don't get me started. Why would you want to rub dirt all over your bike?
  16. Re: Wasing a bike at the car wash

    Cheers Darkhorse..I love a good ebay link up..does all the leg work for me ;)
  17. that plastic perspex stuff is a cuttiing polish (cuts into the paint to restore a finish)
    If your bikes paintwork is in good nick, avoid the cut and just wash and use wax (as cutting may not be needed)
    If you use a cut type polish, use it once and then just wash and wax until the suface deteriorates to a point where a cut is needed again - I wouldnt be using a cutting polish on a bike (or a car) as a regular weekly cleaning routine - you will end up running outa paint lols
  18. VuPlex DOES NOT contain a cutting compound. It is strictly a plastic cleaner and anti-static polish. I use it all the time, great for shiny surfaces such as my laptop, PS3 etc.
  19. sorry your right, I thought it was the same product we used to use for perspex which does normally contain a cut, but as they say in the link unlike the competition that particular product does not have a cut (which technically makes it a wax really not a polish I guess lols, bit misleading on the name)

    Edit:That products designed at plastics also, so it might be a better option than a car wax also on a bike :)