How to Clean Your Bicycle with Dr. Bronner’s

Do you ride bikes? Cycle roads, mountains, streets? Enjoy feeling the fun and freedom only bikes provide? I sure love to ride my hybrid road/mountain bike on my local cycleways. And I love to use Dr. Bronner’s to clean my gear.

Personal Cycling and Bike Care with Dr. Bronner’s

Where shall we start? Imagine that you are cycling freely on an awesome, empty road in the hills. It’s a long ride. Sun is out. Fairly warm. Freedom and sweat are flowing! Now is a great time to take a short break, check out the awesome view, and wipe down your helmet’s inner hat band and hands with some Dr. Bronner’s Organic Peppermint Hand Sanitizer. Ahh! Feel the stimulation of your senses and the focus of your mind!

 Some cyclists, like me, chafe from all the biking movement. Using Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Magic Balm on body parts that have been rubbed raw can really help the chafing. And sore muscles can really feel better using our Arnica-Menthol Organic Magic Balm! After the ride, cool down and clean up in the shower with Peppermint (or Lavender, a favorite of mine!) Pure-Castile Liquid Soap! A peppermint burst so pure it tingles!

Laundering Your Cycling Kit with Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner

We all know that the post-ride cycling kit laundry needs to be done so we are ready for the next ride. Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner is an awesome green cleaning laundry option to wash your cycling shorts, socks, jersey, vest, arm, leg warmers, and gloves. Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner is clean rinsing in hard water situations, and is effective on grease and tough stains. Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds Liquid Cleaner is not a soap but instead is a concentrated hard-surface all-purpose cleaner. It is made with plant-based surfactants and natural fir needle and spruce essential oils (no cheap, harsh pine stump oil), without any synthetic dyes, fragrances, or preservatives. Sal Suds doesn’t react with hard water. It rinses cleanly and leaves surfaces sparkling. No more film on the tub or towels! For its multitude of uses, see the Sal Suds Dilution Cheat Sheet.

 As with the Dr. Bronner’s Castile soaps, the following recommended Sal Suds dilutions are not set in stone. You may have dirtier cycling stuff, larger sinks, a larger washer, etc., and you may need to tweak these amounts to your own situation. Experiment. Adapt!

As we know, special cycling clothing gear like bike shorts, jerseys, warmers, etc., are best hand-washed and air dried.

I've used both diluted Sal Suds and Peppermint Pure-Castile in my bike shorts' handwashes and they both worked great.  Just make sure to dilute the Sal Suds if the clothing wash instructions ask for "gentle."

Here’s how to launder those sweaty cycling kits:

Laundry: 2-3 Tbsp. (30-45 mL) for a large load in a top loading washer. Optional: For extra whitening/brightening, add ½ c. (120 mL) baking soda to wash cycle and/or 1 c. (240 mL) vinegar to rinse cycle. Halve these amounts for HE washers.
Pretreating Laundry Stains: Pre-measure Sal Suds for load. Apply some or all directly to stain(s). Let sit 30 minutes or more. Add remaining Sal Suds to washer. For broad stain, spray with a solution of half Sal Suds/half water.
Handwashing Delicates: 1/2 capful (1/2 Tbsp. or 7.5 mL) Sal Suds in about 1 gallon (4 L) of water. Swish gently. Let soak 10 minutes. Swish again. Rinse with clean water. Gently press out excess water with a towel. Hang clothing or lay flat to dry.

How to Clean Your Bike Frame and Chain with Sal Suds Now here is where the rubber really meets the road. Cleaning your bike, its chain, drivetrain and its parts after much fun use. As the bike experts remind us, A clean bike is a happy bike!” Keeping your bike, chain, and drivetrain clean and properly lubricated is a crucial part of bike maintenance. Cleaning the bike insures better performance, increased safety, easier repairs, and longer life for all parts of the bike… And more fun on your next ride!

 Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner is a great option for cyclists who want to use a green, biodegradable, non-toxic, bike frame cleaner and chain degreaser. My riding friends and I use it! And Sal Suds is especially great for more casual green cyclists who don’t want to invest in the more expensive bike cleaning tools, and in the cleaning and degreasing solvents on the market, some of which are unfortunately toxic to the environment. The bike experts who I listen to simplify the bike care into these three steps:

  1. Every ride. Check your bike chain for proper lube.
  2. Bike Bath every 1-2 weeks. Give your bike a full washing. Rinse with water. Wipe down your bike tires and frame with diluted Sal Suds to clean away chunks of dirt and mud. Rinse with water. Wipe dry with a clean rag or cloth.
  3. Full Cleaning every 2-4 weeks. Along with a full bike washing, it’s time to rejuvenate your chain and drivetrain with a degreasing. Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner handles all but the grimiest jobs.
There are various technical professional methods to do this full drivetrain degreasing and cleaning. I’ll include some great video links below, including for electric bikes. Basically, degreasing your chain and drivetrain with Dr. Bronner’s involves:
  • Cleaning the chain and drivetrain cassette with diluted or undiluted Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner.
  • Using and following the instructions for various bike marketplace dedicated chain cleaning tools filled with your Sal Suds Cleaner. Brushing the drivetrain cassette with a stiff chain brush and Sal Suds.

 If you don’t have a dedicated chain cleaning tool, I’d suggest these degreasing steps and watching the bike cleaning videos below:

  • Use a less diluted and more viscous Sal Suds mix like 100% strength, undiluted Sal Suds.
  • Drizzle 100% undiluted Sal Suds onto the chain as you run the chain through the gears backwards.
  • Let the chain sit for five minutes.
  • Then do a stiff brush brushing with a 25%+ Sal Suds solution.
  • Rinse with water, and let dry.
  • Lube the chain after it has finished drying, then wipe off any excess lube.
Some Good Bike Care Videos:

 Well, that about covers it. Happy cycling... and here’s to clean bikes! All-One!

Sal Suds cleaner shows >60% biodegradation after 28 days per ISO 14593.

Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner

Dishes-floor-laundry-more—the ultimate multi-purpose household cleaner! 

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