What do you need for cleaning your MTB? And what’s the best way to do it quickly?

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Cleaning the parts of your mountain bike and keeping the mountain bike itself clean are important parts of mountain biking. It is essential for the life of the parts that you check and clean them regularly or even after every ride. This is even more important in the winter months and when there is a lot of mud, wetness, and ooze in the forests.

Cleaning your mountain bike doesn’t have to be a tedious job, and it doesn’t have to take long at all. Your mountain bike can be roadworthy again for the next adventure in fifteen minutes! In this article, we tell you how we clean our mountain bikes.

Of course, this is just one of so many ways, and maybe we do it differently than someone else, but it has worked well for us this way for years whether you adopt our working method wholly, partially, or not at all is, of course, entirely up to you.


Before you begin cleaning, it’s best to have everything you need within reach. You can waste a lot of time searching for additional items during the cleaning process if they’re not readily available.

What do you need?

Here’s what you’ll need to clean your mountain bike. We like to keep it as simple as possible, making the cleaning process fast and thorough, especially in harsh and cold conditions when you don’t want to spend too much time outdoors.

Practical Tools

During the cleaning process, I always use the following items to make it more practical and ensure that everything runs smoothly and quickly.

Bike repair stand

Bike repair stand

This is essential if you want to clean all the nooks and crannies of your mountain bike. A work stand ensures that you always have both hands free, making the cleaning process twice as fast.

I’ve been using a workstand for years after realizing that trying to clean the mountain bike by leaning it against something or even holding it wasn’t practical at all.

Since the rear wheel isn’t fixed on the ground, you can freely rotate the pedals to thoroughly clean the entire drivetrain and apply lubricant to the chain after cleaning.

Garden hose

Naturally, you’ll need a garden hose to rinse off the dirt and soap (as mentioned later) from your mountain bike. Almost everyone has a garden hose at home. What works particularly well is having a fixed place for your garden hose, either on a reel or mounted to the wall. This way, you can save some time.

Air Compressor

To thoroughly dry the mountain bike after cleaning, we use an air compressor. This allows you to dry the areas that are hard to reach easily with a cloth.

I use a standard air compressor from the hardware store. My PowerPlus compressor has a maximum pressure of 8 bar, which is sufficient to dry our mountain bikes where needed thoroughly.

Bike Care Products and Accessories

In addition to the practical tools mentioned above, there are countless products available to help you clean your mountain bike thoroughly. While you can go all out with bike care products, in practice, only a few are truly necessary. Products that provide extra shine or alternatives to products you already have are not essential.

Bike Cleaner

Using a bike cleaner is recommended to remove the dirt and dust from your mountain bike. These products make dirt disappear from your bike in no time, or with better products, it simply falls off…

I use the Bio Filth Fighter from Dynamic for this purpose. This is the biodegradable variant of their other bike cleaner products. I like to contribute to nature, hence the choice for bio. Additionally, a biodegradable bike cleaner allows you to use it anywhere, even on your neat lawn…

Apart from the Bio Filth Fighter, I also regularly use the Dynamic Dirt Destroy foam spray. This foam spray can be used without any water. Handy when you don’t have a garden hose at hand or your bike isn’t overly dirty…

The main reason I always use these products is that they simply work very well. When you use foam or bike cleaner and rinse off the mountain bike, you’ll see the dirt fall off the bike. A stubborn spot of dirt is the only thing that occasionally sticks.

Drivetrain Cleaner

While you can clean your entire mountain bike, including the drivetrain, with a bike cleaner or the aforementioned foam spray, it’s also wise to use a specific drivetrain cleaner for that purpose.

A drivetrain cleaner can remove grease, oil, dirt, and wax even better, leaving your drivetrain truly spotless. This not only extends the lifespan of your drivetrain but also prevents residues on the chain and gears that can cause creaking and poor shifting performance.

For the same reasons as with the Dynamic Filth Fighter, I also use the drive train cleaner from this brand. The Dynamic Bio Drivetrain Detox can be used to clean the entire drivetrain.

Just like the bike cleaner, this drivetrain detox is the biodegradable version within Dynamic’s range. It has exactly the same effect as the other products for cleaning the drivetrain but is also better for the environment, your lawn, and your paving stones…

Chain Lubricant

Once the chain is clean and dry, you’ll need to lubricate it again. For this purpose, you can use either oil or wax, depending on your preference and the weather conditions. I lubricate the chains of all our mountain bikes with oil. For this, I use the Bio All Round Lube from Dynamic because, with this oil, you can ride your bike worry-free all year round.

This oil ensures a smooth-running chain throughout the year and in all conditions. It is biodegradable, reduces friction, and keeps the moving parts running smoothly, resulting in unparalleled shifting performance! Additionally, this oil protects the chain from water and rust.

Take a can of oil and put a drop of oil on each link of the chain while rotating the chain. Once you’ve gone around, stop and turn your pedals a few times. Then, take a cloth and wipe the sides of the chain clean so that there is no more oil on them.

As a final step, you can wipe your bike with a cloth again. By lubricating your chain and letting it rotate, some splashes may return to your frame. You can simply wipe these away with a damp cloth.

Then, store your bike in a room where it’s not too cold so it can continue to dry further.

Using a brush set for cleaning

To remove stubborn dirt between the sprockets of the cassette, I use this cassette brush. This is the brush I use most often, as it’s nearly impossible to remove all the dirt between the cassette without it.

Additionally, I use the drivetrain detailing brush to clean the chain, cassette, and front chainring.

Furthermore, you can purchase specific brushes for the wheels and the frame. I mainly use the brushes for the drivetrain for a quick cleaning session. For thorough cleaning, however, I do use the Dynamic Band of Brushes 5-piece brush set.

Check all brushes and tools at Dynamic >> I use the above accessories and products to clean our mountain bikes. I am very satisfied with the products; otherwise, I wouldn’t use and recommend them.

The collaboration with Dynamic came about because I genuinely believe in the quality of their products. If that weren’t the case, you would certainly see another brand in the spotlight…

If you want to learn more about Dynamic’s products, be sure to check out the comprehensive review I wrote about them. In this review, you’ll find a lot of practical information and test results about these products, and you can also see the latest products.

We use the above accessories and products to clean our mountain bikes. We are very pleased with the products, which is why we have been using them for years. Using the above accessories and products, cleaning a mountain bike is never a tedious job for us, it always goes smoothly and quickly and the mountain bikes are always immaculate.

Best way to clean your mountain bike?

If you follow the 5 steps below carefully, your mountain bike will be mud-free and ready for your next ride in about 15 minutes. The first time may take a bit longer, but once you’ve mastered the right methods and techniques, you’ll find it becomes a real routine task.

Cleaning chain and gears with drivetrain cleaner

Start with rinsing the entire mountain bike with water. This is often the recommended method when using certain products. To use the Bio Drivetrain Detox from Dynamic, it’s advisable to rinse the mountain bike first. This way, most of the dirt is immediately removed.

To clean your chain and gears, there are various methods you can use. The Bio Drivetrain Detox comes with a handy spray nozzle that allows you to spray the entire drivetrain. To remove stubborn dirt, you can use one or more brushes.

Another method is to pour the drivetrain cleaner into a container and apply the product to the drivetrain using a brush.

If you’re not using biodegradable products, it’s best to place some sort of catch basin or mat under the parts you’re applying the cleaner to. This prevents your floor from getting dirty or your grass from being damaged. Let the degreaser soak in, and move on to the next step.

Cleaning frame and components with bike cleaner

While the drivetrain cleaner is doing its job, you can spray the entire bike with the bike cleaner. The Bio Filth Fighter or Dirt Destroy comes in a convenient spray can, making application a breeze.

Spray your bike generously with this product and let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes. When you rinse the bike in the next step, you’ll see the power of the bike cleaner with your own eyes. Meanwhile, the drivetrain cleaner has also done its job…

You can also start tackling stubborn dirt with a brush during this time. Additionally, you can lather up the mountain bike with a cleaning glove. Of course, you can also move on to the next step right away, especially if it’s mainly dust and sand on your mountain bike.

Rinsing the Bike

Grab the garden hose with a spray nozzle, choose a good stream, and rinse your bike. I use the strongest stream of the garden hose, which is still gentler than that of a pressure washer.

Now you’ll see the power of the bike cleaner. As you rinse the bike, you’ll see the dirt falling off. It’s effortless, and you don’t need much water at all.

A gentle stream works just as well, although it might take a bit longer. Your bike will look clean right away.

In principle, you don’t need brushes or extra sponges. Rinsing with water alone is sufficient. If you still have some stubborn dirt on your bike or between your cassette, you can easily remove it with this brush set.

garden hose mountain bike

Dry your mountain bike

I dry in three steps:

  • I use the soft microfiber cloth from Dynamic to dry the easily accessible areas.
  • Then, you can use your compressor with an air gun to blow dry all the harder-to-reach parts like your cassette, gears, brake pads, under your saddle, your fork, and so on. Blow everything nice and dry.
  • Then, wipe the entire bike with a cloth again. What you might also want to do afterward is take another cloth, grab your chain, and give it a spin to ensure it’s completely dry.

The best thing you can do after this is to grab your chain with a cloth and let it go around for a while so that your chain is definitely dry.

Optional: Finishing & Protecting

If you value a spotless bike, you can treat it after cleaning it with a protective wax. Not only will your mountain bike look like new again, but it will also be better protected against corrosion and scratches from sand and salt.

For this, I use the Protective Wax Spray from Dynamic. To apply this wax properly, I use a special and soft polishing cloth.

I do this regularly to keep our mountain bikes in good condition and provide extra protection. Additionally, the mountain bike looks much nicer and slicker after treating it with the protective wax!

Lubricating Chain with Oil or Wax

Afterward, you can lubricate your chain again to prepare it for your next ride. You can use either oil or wax, depending on your preference. I lubricate the chains of all our mountain bikes with oil. For this, I use the Bio All Round oil from Dynamic because you can cycle worry-free with this oil all year round.

This oil ensures a smooth running chain throughout the year and in all conditions. This oil is biodegradable, reduces friction, and ensures that the moving parts continue to rotate smoothly. This results in unparalleled shifting performance! Additionally, this oil protects the chain from water and rust.

Take a bottle of oil and put a drop of oil on each link of the chain while spinning the chain. Once you’re done, stop and rotate your pedals a few times. Then, grab a cloth and wipe the sides of the chain clean so that there’s no oil left.

Cleaning the Chain of Your Bike Finally, you can go over your bike once more with a cloth. By lubricating your chain and letting it rotate, some splashes may return to your frame. You can simply wipe these away with a damp cloth.

Then, store your bike in a space where it’s not too cold so it can continue to dry further.

How long does it take to clean your MTB?

The cleaning process itself takes a maximum of fifteen minutes, especially once you become more proficient and familiar with the techniques.

If there isn’t much mud clinging to my bike, I skip step 2 entirely, making it even faster. This way, you also use your bike cleaner longer. Your bike will get dirty again on the next ride, and the most important thing is still to ensure that your moving parts are clean and creak-free.

Of course, you can make the cleaning process as elaborate as you want. You can, for example, remove your wheels and clean them separately, or you can even dismantle half of your bike each time and clean everything meticulously. Doing this once a year is more than sufficient.

Washing Bike Clothing

If your bike is covered in mud, chances are you are too, and you’ll return home with dirty cycling clothing. Cleaning it is a breeze.

If there’s a lot of mud on it, I take the garden hose, which is already there for rinsing off your bike, and spray the mud off the clothing. Your washing machine will be incredibly grateful if you do this.

Then, put the clothing in the washing machine with detergent, such as the Dynamic Washcraft, specially developed for cycling clothing, at 30 degrees Celsius.

Pro tip! If the inside of the shoes has also become wet, you can insert newspaper. A newspaper will absorb the water, allowing the shoes to dry faster. It’s important to replace the newspapers regularly. To avoid using too much newspaper, you can let the newspapers dry on the heater in the meantime before reusing them in the shoes.

Final thoughts

There are hundreds of products and tools you can purchase to clean your bike. However, you don’t necessarily need most of these things. So, first, decide for yourself which products can offer you practical benefits or convenience.

What you definitely need is a reliable bike cleaner and a good lubricant. These are products that every mountain biker and bike enthusiast should have at home. They save you a lot of time and keep your bike and its parts looking like new.

How do you clean your MTB, and which products do you use? Be sure to let me know in a comment at the bottom of this page.

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Geert is a recreational marathon mountain biker, trail runner, and athlete who continually strives to push his limits and challenge himself to achieve his athletic goals. He has completed the Stoneman Arduenna and the Limburg 200 MTB ultra in one day. Additionally, he is a certified bicycle technician.

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