How To Clean Bike Wheels

Last Updated on January 16, 2020

This guide has been written by cycling review expert Alex Bristol

Last Updated on January 16, 2020

How to Clean Bike Wheels

Cleaning the bike wheels may seem to be an easy task but it can be a bit challenging especially for starters. Before you start the process, you need to ensure that you have all the important cleaning items. For example, you will need bucket, warm water, sponge, and a toothbrush.  Below are the steps you should follow when cleaning.


Step 1 – Put the bike on the Stand or on a rack

Lay a mat on the ground to protect the bars and the seat from scuffmarks and dirt. Ensure that you are doing this in a well-ventilated place.

  • Using a low-pressure hose, spray the bike carefully. This is done to remove any loose dirt and also to wet the bike before you start scrubbing.
  • Avoid using a nozzle setting or high-pressure hose. Doing this can direct water into other components and this can cause internal rusting.


STEP 2 – Put warm water in a bucket

You can use a specific cleaner to the water but don’t use the ordinary dish soap because it has salt which can corrode different parts of the bicycle. Remove the wheels carefully so that you can be able to reach the internal parts easily when cleaning. The tires and the wheels are usually the dirtiest parts and it may not be possible to clean without removing them first.


Step 3 – Use the sponge to clean

Using the softer side of the sponge, scrub the entire frame. You should use warm water when scrubbing the metallic frame. You should never use an abrasive or rough brush when the scrubbing the frame. This might remove the paint and the frame will no longer be rust proof.

  • In case there are some stains that you are trying to remove, you can apply a degreaser on the spots and allow it to soak for some time. You can also scrub it slowly using a circular motion until it disappears.
  • If your bike has disc brakes, you should wipe the two sides using a soft sponge.


Step 4 – Clean the rims

The tires will get dirty again one they touch the surface. However, you should use the abrasive part of your sponge to clean the edges of the metallic rim.

  • Using a toothbrush, you can scrub the hub carefully. Remember to do this to the bolts and nuts on the opposite side.
  • If the wheels have a lot of mud, you can use a brush with heavy bristles to clean.
  • Use a lag to clean the internal parts of the collection of gears at the back or cassette.


Step 5 – Wiping and drying the bike

This one is the last step. Using a clean rag, wipe all the parts carefully to remove excess water. You should be very keen when wiping the joints and other metallic components to ensure that they are completely dry. After you are through, re-assemble the bike and put it on the sun to dry.



If you are a new bike owner, cleaning the wheels of your bicycle may not be very easy. However, it is our hope that this guide has enlightened you on what you are supposed to do.



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