Washing a regular bike is more accessible than washing an electric bike. Electric bicycles have a more complicated structure, and some parts should not allow water to enter. Here are tips for you to safely and effectively wash and remove rust from your bikes.
Table of Contents
- Ways to Remove Rust From Bikes
- Pre-Wash The Electric Bike With Water
- Use A Special Detergent To Wash Your Bike
- Soak the bike with WD-40
- Remove Rust With Toothpaste
- Treat Rust With A Spray-On Paint Stripper
- Use Hydrochloric Acid
- Clean With Soft-Scrub Brush
- Dry Out With Hydrogen Peroxide
- Remove Rust With Cream Of Tarter Solution
- Wash With Motor-Oil
- Example of Steps To Wash And Remove Rust From Bikes
- Things To Do And Avoid When Washing and Removing Rust From A Bike
- Some Bike Maintenance Notes
Ways to Remove Rust From Bikes
It is not uncommon to see rust on bikes, especially if they live outside in the summer. Rust can happen when moisture and oxygen react with metal at a faster rate than steel can corrode and form iron oxide. This usually happens in moist environments, such as bathrooms and basements.
Luckily, there are some ways to remove rust from bikes without having to take them apart or use specialized tools or chemicals:
Pre-Wash The Electric Bike With Water
To wash your electric bike, you can take the bike out to the yard and use a hose to spray the bike’s surface to remove dirt, rust, and mud, especially on easily soiled parts such as wheels, chains, and rims, footrests. Should spray water along the bike’s direction because it is easy to spill water into and peel off the bike paint.
Some parts on the bike should not be sprayed directly with water, like the bike clock, because it contains electrical circuits, so it is easily damaged if soaked in water. Instead, it is the best way to use a cloth to clean those parts.
Use A Special Detergent To Wash Your Bike
To make the surface of the electric bicycle bright and beautiful, just washing it with clean water is not enough, but you should use other specialized bike wash chemicals. For example, you need to dilute the bike, wash water in a plastic bowl, dip a towel in it and then gently wipe away the stains on the car. Or you can put diluted bleach in a spray bottle on the bike and then use a towel to clean it.
After washing the bike with detergent, you should rinse the bike with clean water. Like the above method, use the nozzle to spray dirt gently and wash on the electric bicycle, so be careful to rinse it thoroughly because the cleaners can rust the bike’s surface.
Soak the bike with WD-40
WD-40 will loosen rust without altering or damaging the paint on your bike. Spray or pour some onto a paper towel, wipe down your bike and leave it to dry.
You can also remove rust from chrome by using WD-40.
Spray on a paper towel, wipe then polish with another clean paper towel. Chrome will shine like new.
Remove Rust With Toothpaste
Toothpaste is another effective way to remove rust. Use mild toothpaste with no abrasive. Squeeze or dab on some onto the area you wish to clean, then let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
Rub off with paper towel. If you see your toothpaste has turned pink, this means there is still rust on the surface of what you are cleaning. You can repeat if necessary.
Treat Rust With A Spray-On Paint Stripper
Instead of using toothpaste or WD-40, topping up on a spray-on paint stripper is the best way to get rid of rust on your bicycle. This will not damage the paint on your bike. After you have applied some spray, leave it to sit for around 30 minutes before wiping off with a paper towel. If you see the rust still remains, leave it longer, up to 3 hours for best results.
Use Hydrochloric Acid
If you are up for a task that is slightly more difficult, then you can use hydrochloric acid, which you can buy from a hardware store. First, mix baking soda with hydrochloric acid. Spray the mixture onto your bike until it is well-covered. Cover your hands and face with a towel to protect from splashes. Wait a few minutes for the mixture to work its magic at removing rust. Now start taking off the rust with a wire brush or steel wool.
Clean With Soft-Scrub Brush
If you want to do the job yourself, you can use a soft-scrub brush to scrub your bike. Fill about half a sink with warm water and add some mild soap. Then dip the brush into the water and scrub away at one part of your bike then rinse off with clear warm water. Repeat this for other parts of your bike until it is clean of rust stains.
Dry Out With Hydrogen Peroxide
You can also use hydrogen peroxide to clean rust. Pour some into a cup or bowl, then soak your bike in it for 30 minutes. Then wipe off with paper towel.
Remove Rust With Cream Of Tarter Solution
If you are still not happy with the results after removing the rust with the previous methods, then try treating the rust with cream of tartar solution. First, mix some cream of tartar solution in water in a large bowl until it is dissolved thoroughly. Dip a cloth into the mixture and apply it onto the rust stains. Then, leave it to sit for a few minutes.
Next, take a wire brush and scrub the rust stains then rinse off with water. If you see that there is still some rust left, continue to apply more cream of tartar solution and scrub again.
Wash With Motor-Oil
Motor oil will also help remove rust from your bike. The heavier weight varieties are best since they will not drip as much as lighter-weight varieties do.
Example of Steps To Wash And Remove Rust From Bikes
Step 1: Remove The Battery Or Accumulator From The Bike Before Washing
Every time you prepare to wash your electric bike, you need to remove the battery to ensure these parts are not soaked in water to avoid unnecessary damage. There are some models equipped with batteries in the footrest, under the saddle, or the trunk, specifically as follows:
- Xmen electric bike, Giant electric bike: the battery is placed in the footrest
- Najia electric bike: the battery is located under the saddle
- Diablo electric bike, HKbike electric bike: the battery is under the saddle
If you are unsure, refer to the manual that came with the vehicle.
Step 2: Spray To Remove Dirt And Rust On The Bike
Properly washing electric bicycles, you need to prepare a spray nozzle to remove dirt, rust in places such as wheels, chain boxes, and rims, footrests, fenders. Besides, you need to pay attention not to spray water on the vehicle clock face and the throttle body, and the engine to avoid affecting the engine inside. After spraying vigorously to remove all kinds of dirt and rust, use a damp cloth to wipe every detail on the electric bike to drain.
Step 3: Use Water To Wash And Rinse Other Parts Of The Electric Bike
In this step, you should use a small basin and a clean towel, then dip in the washing water and thoroughly wipe the details on the body of the electric bike. Pay attention to hard-to-clean parts such as fenders, chain boxes, and hidden corners of the wheels. After thoroughly cleaning the details, you need to rinse the bike with clean water to remove the dirt stuck on it.
Step 4: Dry The Electric Bike
The safest way to wash an electric bike is that after you have completed the washing steps with water, you need to prepare a clean, dry towel to absorb the remaining water on the body and other details. Then, after letting the bike dry, you put the battery back to make sure it is not soaked in water or has serious problems.
Notes When Washing Electric Bicycles
- Do not wipe the surface of the e-bike with a stiff, dry cloth because it will scratch the car’s paint. It is best to use soft clean towels or moisten the towel to make the car cleaner.
- Do not use soap or strong bleach to wash the electric bike because it will fade the paint color, causing unsightly damage to the electric bike.
- Should carefully dry the electrical system’s plugs, do not let these parts get wet because they may rust and affect the charging of the battery/battery.
- Combine several recipes with high rust removal ability: salted lemon, white vinegar, rice water, baking soda, dishwashing liquid and potatoes, alum.
Suppose you do not have experience washing electric bicycles. In that case, it is best to take the car to a professional shop to be cleaned and maintained in the best way by professional workers.
Things To Do And Avoid When Washing and Removing Rust From A Bike
Do Not Flip The Bike Upside Down
Some cyclists often flip their bike upside down when they’re cleaning it, mainly because it’s easy to reach areas that way. However, flipping the bike can cause scratches on the saddle as well as other parts. In addition, if the bike has a GPS device or any wrist-mounted tracker, it can also have a negative effect if you flip it upside down. If you want to clean your bike thoroughly, it is best to use a stand or lean against a wall. But if you’re concerned about flipping it over, make sure it’s on a cloth to prevent any scratches.
Always Have A Bike Wash Kit Ready
It is always best to have a car wash kit ready to be ready at all times. Try to stock up on chain degreasers and specialized bike wash soaps. There are pre-mixed soaps you can buy in the market. Also, be sure to get some of those soft brushes to avoid the possibility of scratches. Finally, regularly decrease your chain to avoid the possibility of rust, which is one of the most common bike damage.
When you clean your bike, be sure to inspect every single part of it. If you see some dirt and rust, wipe it off with a wet cloth. If the wheels have dirt or debris on them, you may want to brush them off gently. But it’s best to bring a bike wash kit such as a towel, soap, and water bottle with you on trips because you may find yourself driving on dirty and muddy roads.
Do Not Use High-Pressure Spray-On Critical Parts
With a positive high-pressure hose as the fastest way, you can clean your bike as you want. It also used bikes as well as other vehicles. However, You should use the ability to spray high pressure more appropriately. Otherwise, it can cause damage to your bike. When using high-pressure spray nozzles, be sure to avoid spraying directly on the front fork system, wheels as well as the bearing area. If you think you can’t use a high-pressure hose on your bike, you should use a sponge and soap.
Do Not Lubricate The Chain
Bicycle chain lubrication is one of the most critical components in cleaning as well as conditioning. It can reduce the chance of rust. It also makes your bike smoother, lighter to use. However, it would help if you never lubricated the bike chain as it will leave black marks everywhere, especially on your legs. Also, you don’t seem to want to drive around cities with greasy feet.
Be sure to use a soft brush after lubricating the chain so you can remove that excess grease altogether. Also, avoid over-lubricating the bike chain as it can jam or break during your rides. One of the best strategies for cleaning a chain is to remove the grease head first. After you do the degreaser, use the brush to scrub it or use the sponge, continue polishing until you can no longer see the grease. Then, go ahead and start applying lubricants on your chain thoroughly.
Avoid Using Dry Towels On Your Bike
There are quite a few cyclists that can be cleaned with a simple dry cloth, which is one of the reasons why your bike’s paintwork is damaged. When cleaning your bike, be sure to prepare the necessary cleaning tools and specialized tools that can remove all the mud and dirt.
Some Bike Maintenance Notes
Keep Your Bike Clean
Usually, the best time to clean is once a week. However, the time may vary depending on the distance you have traveled. Pay attention to cleaning the corners of the bike, such as the inside of the shifter. If the soil and dirt stick for a long time, it will cause stuck, even rust.
Keep It Dry
Always make sure your bike is completely dry after riding in the rain. Because water trapped in the chain and actuator will make the rusting process easier. You can replace a new transmission, but a broken chain will be a significant inconvenience, so drying after rain is necessary.
Pay Attention To Your Tires
Regularly check tire pressure at the start of a ride. Correct air pressure improves the ride. Especially sports mountain bike road tires, when the correct tire pressure is ensured, it will help reduce the friction force of the tire and the road surface, which helps to prolong the life of the tire. Check tire pressure once a week. To avoid deformation of the rim, spokes and to ride the bike safely.
Never Ignore The Annoying Squeal Coming From Your Bike
Many people have the habit of not paying attention to the bike’s sound and trying to continue running. That’s not recommended because when it makes unusual noises, that’s when it has a problem inside. Instead, you should stop the bike and listen to which part the sound is coming from, from which there are immediate repair directions. Don’t ignore it and keep it from running.
Check The Brake
You should know which brake lever controls the front or rear brakes of the vehicle. Braking will create friction with the surface that the brake is in contact with. Therefore, you should keep the brake contact surface clean, free of grease, wax, or other abrasives to create maximum friction.
Related: how to adjust bike brakes?
Keep Your Bike Indoors
Do not leave your bike outdoors. Direct exposure to sunlight, wind, and dew will reduce the vehicle’s life, causing rust. If you do not have a parking space, you can use a canvas to cover the bike.
It will help if you try to find a way to keep your bike handlebars parallel to the floor when not in use. Most people assume that if you lean your bike against a wall, your bike won’t suddenly fall. But this will cause eccentricity for your bike.
Pay Attention To Bike Scratches
In general, we will ignore scratches on the car without knowing that these scratches are the cause of significant rust marks later, and at the same time, reduce the strength of the frame. If you find a paint color that matches the color of your old bike, you can repaint the scratches. If you don’t want to have a different color streak than the rest of your bike, you can use nail polish on the scratch to prevent rust.
Be sure to soak the bike properly and keep it smooth. You should also avoid using dirty clothes or rags as they will only transfer dirt onto your bike. The above sharing is valuable knowledge for you to bring to your bike. The bike rides are amazing. Let’s refer to more experienced bike players for better guidance!