Efficiently clean your bicycle with a jet wash

Cleaning your bicycle with a pressure washer is easy. Our guide shows you how and includes some helpful tips.

A man cleaning his bike with a STIHL RE 130 plus pressure washer

What to consider when power washing your bicycle 

Pressure can dissolve even the most stubborn dirt. That’s why a pressure washer is a good option for getting your bicycle clean. While there are strict legal regulations around washing your car with a high-pressure cleaner, there are generally no legal restrictions when to comes to using a high-pressure cleaner to wash your bike. However, we advise you to contact your local authority for information on any regulations that may be in place just to be sure. There are a few precautions you should take to avoid causing any problems or damage.

  • First, before you start cleaning, make sure your bike is standing securely by leaning it against a wall or tree or securing it in a bicycle holder.
  • Work with a pressure setting of 20 bar. If your pressure washer does not have a setting this low, make sure you keep it a sufficient distance from the bike. This is because excessive pressure can damage paintwork and stickers. Start at a larger distance and then gradually ease closer; if it seems like the dirt isn’t coming off, you can reduce the distance further. Use the fan jet nozzle of the pressure washer to create the softest possible jet for cleaning your bicycle. Do not aim the jet directly at bearings or seals, as this could force water and dirt inside them and accelerate wear.
  • Do not use the pressure washer on the bicycle chain.

Use protective equipment before using a jet wash on your bike

Working with powerful tools is fun and means you can extend your abilities, which is great as long as you are relying on effective and safe protective clothing while using them. Always wear personal protective equipment when working with high-pressure cleaners. This includes safety glasses, ear protection and more. Please see the operating instructions for your product for further details. Before using your device for the first time, you should familiarise yourself thoroughly with it and make sure that it is in flawless condition before each use. On request, your STIHL dealer will be happy to prepare your tool for its first use, and will also advise you on models and sizes of protective clothing that you can try at your leisure. Please remember that personal protective equipment is no substitute for safe working techniques.


How to jet wash your bike: instructions

How often should you clean your bike?

You can give your bike a thorough cleaning with a pressure washer at regular intervals or as required. It’s usually sufficient to give it a proper clean every few months. In fact, cleaning your bike too often could actually cause damage to it by attacking the seals and bearings. A little bit of dirt on your bicycle will not cause any problems, though if you’ve been on a wet bike ride, it’s best to remove any mud immediately so that it does not dry out. Happy cycling!

A freshly washed bike standing in front of a house next to a STIHL RE 130 plus high-pressure cleaner

Summary: How to clean a bike with a pressure washer

  • A pressure washer can help you clean your bicycle effortlessly and thoroughly.

  • Make sure that the bicycle is standing securely. Use low pressure (ideally 20 bar) and work at a sufficient distance from the bicycle.

  • Do not aim the water jet directly at bearings, seals or the bicycle chain.
  • Always wear personal protective equipment while you work, as directed in your operating instructions.
  • First rinse off the coarse dirt with water and then use the high-pressure cleaner to apply the cleaning agent. Remove dirt with a soft brush, then rinse the bike with clean water.
  • After cleaning with the pressure washer, thoroughly dry the bicycle. Finally, oil all moving parts.
  • You should clean your bike thoroughly every few months, if you use it frequently. In between, it is usually sufficient to give your bike a quick clean as necessary and to remove heavy dirt. If you only use your bicycle infrequently, one to two washes every year is enough.