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best way to take "the smutz off"


Zot

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Anyone out there got any "words of wisdom" on washing a bike.

Because of the bug situation up where I live, I find myself washing my 2000 R1100RT almost after every ride.

I'm using warm water with dishwasher liquid, rinse, and towel dry,sometimes wax.

Is there any chance that I'm hurting the paint by overwashing.

Comments? wave.gif

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The Glasurit paint clearcoat is very very resilient. It's really some of the best 2 stage paint I have seen.

 

You can keep at it. The clear can take it.

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There's a lot of salt in domestic dishwashing detergent. If you want to use it, cold water is better.

 

For de-bugging after a ride, rinse the bike with cold water (to flush off the surface dust and grit) and use a wet microfibre cloth. Don't scrub, but wipe, turning the cloth to a clean surface frequently. Rinse often in clean water.

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When you wash with dish detergent,your stripping off any wax you applied after your last wash.

Use a quality car wash soap. I use Mother's Gold. It rinses clean,& doesn't remove wax,thereby reducing your labor. thumbsup.gif

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Dances_With_Wiener_Dogs

I don't use soap at all and don't have any problems (y'all who will comment about the infrequency of my washings keep quiet... grin.gif). What I use is hot water and a microfiber towel. Everything comes right off...every time! smile.gif

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y'all who will comment about the infrequency of my washings keep quiet...

Crud, you read my mind! grin.gif

Picture of Steve preparing to wash his bike:

 

 

BajaMarch05134.jpg

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It's pretty much impossible to hurt your paint by washing it too much. In fact, frequent washing will probably extend its life by removing harmful contaminants. But, you need to do it properly; the wrong methods or materials can cause damage.

 

First, stop using dishwashing liquid. It's actually fairly harsh and will strip off any wax or sealant. Any good quality automotive wash will work.

 

Here's what I do: I use a good automotive wash (Griot's Garage, Turtle Wax, Mothers, etc.) in a clean bucket. The first step is to start with a cool bike and rinse it thoroughly, to try to remove as much surface dirt as possible. Don't use a heavy stream of water--it will get into places it shouldn't be.

 

Throughout the washing process, you want to eliminate potential abrasives. If you have lots of bugs, wet a large towel and place it over the front to loosen things up. Remember, their little corpses, with their exoskeletons, can be abrasive. I use a microfiber mitt to do most of my motorcycle cleaning, dipping it in the washing solution frequently. If you have trouble getting the more complex parts clean, use a soft washing brush (like a wheel brush), dipped frequently in the washing solution.

 

Frequent rinsing is a good thing. You want to rinse away the gook after it's loosened and you want to keep the soap from drying on your paint. As I get to the wheels and the engine case, I spray them with some dilute Simple Green and use a soft brush to agitate the dirt away. Again, remember that Simple Green--or any similar product--can etch paint or metals if you use too strong a mixture or don't rinse it away fairly quickly.

 

Once things are clean and it's all rinsed off, I use all-cotton or microfiber towels to dry things. Be especially careful at this point. Dirty towels will scratch your paint and windshield. You can use any good automotive wax to add a protective finish.

 

Now, stand back and admire your handiwork.

 

A couple of tips:

 

-Mixing a little liquid automotive wax in your washing solution helps stretch the interval between waxings.

 

-Use a lot of care around seals and your instruments. While motorcycles have some resistance to water, you don't want to stretch that concept too far.

 

-Other than microfiber towels, avoid any cloths that have man-made fibers. If you drop a drying cloth on the driveway, toss it in your laundry pile and start with a clean one.

 

-Waxing your wheels makes them easier to clean.

 

-Apart from general washing, the best way to keep your windshield clean is with a product specifically designed for that purpose, like Plexus.

 

-Don't get any slippery stuff on your tires--tire dressing is a definite no-no. dopeslap.gif

 

-You can easily take this all too far . . . as I sometimes do. eek.gif

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Lone_RT_rider
You can easily take this all too far . . . as I sometimes do. eek.gif

 

You?....noooooooooooooooooo!!!!! grin.giftongue.gif

 

Shawn

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You can easily take this all too far . . . as I sometimes do. eek.gif

 

You?....noooooooooooooooooo!!!!! grin.giftongue.gif

 

Shawn

 

I guess it shows, huh? grin.gif

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There's a lot of salt in domestic dishwashing detergent. If you want to use it, cold water is better.

There is NO salt at all in either hand dishwashing detergent, or automatic dishwasher detergent. There IS, however, a small amount of sodium hydroxide (lye, or caustic soda) in automatic dishwasher detergent. Salt would have no useful purpose in any detergent.

 

Best for washing your car or bike is hand dishwashing liquid. It has great detergency, yet is still kind to hands and paint. Automatic dishwasher detergent will destroy your hands before it will bother the paint!

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There's a lot of salt in domestic dishwashing detergent. If you want to use it, cold water is better.

There is NO salt at all in either hand dishwashing detergent, or automatic dishwasher detergent. There IS, however, a small amount of sodium hydroxide (lye, or caustic soda) in automatic dishwasher detergent. Salt would have no useful purpose in any detergent.

 

Best for washing your car or bike is hand dishwashing liquid. It has great detergency, yet is still kind to hands and paint. Automatic dishwasher detergent will destroy your hands before it will bother the paint!

 

The EU requires manufacturers to provide lists of ingredients. here is the list for Fairy hand dishwashing soap. May I draw your attention to item no 6 on the list. Ingredients are listed in decreasing order of quantity.

 

Andy

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And the ingredient list for Dawn dish detergent widely used here in the US.

 

Water, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium pareth-23-sulfate, C 12-14-16 dimethyl amine oxide, SD alcohol 40-B, undceth-9, sodium cumenesulfonate, sodium chloride, PPG26, cyclohexanediamine, polyacetate, magnesium chloride, tocopheryl acetate, panthenol, protease, amylase, fragrance, and blue 1.

 

And Palmolive:

Active Ingredients: Triclosan

 

Inactive Ingredients: Water, Magnesium and/or Sodium Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Polyglucose, Lauramideopropylanine Oxide, SD Alcohol 3A, Sodium Xylene Sulfonate, Sodium Chloride , Fragrance, Pentasodium Pentetate, Sodium Bisulfite, Quaternium-15, D&C Orange 4

 

 

Don't think it matters when washing your bike, but salt is definately present in dish soap.

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Yeah, I'm not sure it makes any difference, but at least some Dawn and Joy dishwashing liquids also list sodium chloride as an ingredient.

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About those microfiber towels:

 

(Haven't tried them - Mike's post makes me want to give them a go.)

 

Are the cheap ones you can get at the supermarket as good as the ones you can pay out the nose for at cycle shops?

 

Can you wash them or do you just throw them out when they get crusty?

(I'm "thrifty.")

 

Interesting thread! thumbsup.gif

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Hot water works the best for me. Don't have to scrub, even the most dry bug splats. Just let the hot water soak the spot and off it comes.

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grin.gifgrin.gif Where else but here can you ask about washing your bike and get a chemistry lesson for free thrown in? I love this place! clap.gif
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About those microfiber towels:

 

(Haven't tried them - Mike's post makes me want to give them a go.)

 

Are the cheap ones you can get at the supermarket as good as the ones you can pay out the nose for at cycle shops?

 

Can you wash them or do you just throw them out when they get crusty?

(I'm "thrifty.")

 

Interesting thread! thumbsup.gif

 

I've got one Mongo-sized one from Griot's Garage that's very nice, but also very overpriced. crazy.gif The supermarket/department store microfiber towels seem to vary a lot in quality. I bought a large pack at Costco that is generally good quality, but which leaves tiny little fibers when you use them to dry a vehicle. Eventually that stops, but not until you've washed them about a dozen times. K-Mart sells ten-packs of blue microfiber towels for, I recall, about $4.99. They're very soft and seem pretty durable. Really, while the really expensive microfiber towels sold by dealers and places like Griot's Garage may be marginally better than Costco/K-Mart, I don't think they're worth the extra cost unless you're intent on maintaining a vehicle to concours levels. I'd urge you to get towels that are intended for use on cars, though. The term "microfiber" covers a lot of territory, and some of the others seem a little rough to use on paint.

 

As with any cloth, they'll stain over time when used on road-going machines to clean oil, tar, etc., but they're no more prone to get "crusty" than cotton towels. They're quite washable, but you have to avoid bleach. I imagine it would cause them to get brittle.

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I use S-100 Cycle Cleaner, yeah yeah, I know, it's expensive, but wow, does it work. Spray it on, wait a minute and rinse it off. Very little scrubbing. Then towel dry. No affiliation.

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High Tech Solution

 

Soak old bath towel with H20 and apply over front of windscreen and fairing. wait 1/2 hour or so ... presto it wipes off easily. grin.gif

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You might try one of those "clothes softener" sponge thingies that you toss in the drier!! Get wet....then go to town on the bugs!! A GS driver told me about this one.

 

Pat

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High Tech Solution

 

Soak old bath towel with H20 and apply over front of windscreen and fairing. wait 1/2 hour or so ... presto it wipes off easily.

Wait. That'll never fly with BMW owners. We're used to paying ridiculously high prices for everything! Maybe a cashmere cloth soaked in Evian would work.

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