How to Wash and Wax a Motorcycle


When preparing to wash and wax your motorcycle, the first thing that you want to make absolutely sure about is that you are picking a sunny, dry day where you can wash your bike perfectly clean and then apply the wax so that it really bonds to the motorcycle’s paint job. However, it is not advisable to clean and wax your car in direct sunlight, as this will have a reverse effect when you begin to apply the wax. The high gloss finish of your motorcycle will be looking good as new with a new coat of wax laying on the surface. There are some simple steps to follow when you get ready to wash and wax a motorcycle and abiding by these guidelines will get your bike back to having that showroom shine.

When the time has come to wash your bike, make certain that you are using warm water. Warm water does a much better job of lifting all of the random agents that have begun to eat away at your bike’s paint job. It will be far easier and much less time-consuming to use warm water simply because of its ability to give your motorcycle the kind of deep clean that it needs to be ready for waxing.

It is also important that you use motorcycle wash cleaner rather than using a common dish soap or kitchen soap. The reason that you want to stick with a car wash-type soap is simply because the ingredients in car soap are specifically designed to not eat away at your cycle’s paint job. Using a harsher type of soap, like dish soap, can end up harming the paint job due to some of the more abrasive chemicals that they put in dish soap to lift grease off of dirty dishes.

To get excess tar or other similar substances off before you wash and wax a motorcycle, you will want to get a bottle of tar removing agent from your local auto retailer. Try to stay away from degreasing-type products, as these tend to have elements in them that lead to the corrosion of chrome and the removal of paint from the body. You can use the degreaser, however, to clean items on your motorcycle like the chain and engine components. As these are areas that usually have an inordinate amount of grease and other debris, degreaser will provide the means necessary to get these extremely dirty areas clean once again.

Now, it is time to completely clean the bike from top to bottom with your soap, pail, cloth, and hose. Make sure that every nook and cranny is thoroughly cleaned because you will not want to put a coat of wax over an area that still has dirt remaining on it. After you are done soaping down the bike, give the cycle one last blast to clean off all of the soap as well as any degreaser or tar remover that might still be remaining on the bike.

The last step before you’re ready to apply your coat of wax to the bike is to give the bike a good once-over with a cloth to dry it out. Don’t worry if you miss some spots of the cycle in the process because the air will more than likely get any of the moisture that you missed. Just a quick wipe down with a towel to some of the harder to reach spots is usually sufficient enough for a motorcycle.

Then, you want to apply your coat of wax to the bike. Many people still swear by carnuba wax, which is the wax usually put on regular vehicles. Carnuba wax is very good at bringing out the natural shine in your bike’s paint job as well as taking care of scratches and other imperfections that have found their way to the bike in recent years. You will want to wait about 10-15 minutes to wipe off the wax that has hardened on your bike. If you go to wipe the wax off and you notice that it has not yet firmed on the surface of the motorcycle, give it an extra five minutes and then wipe it down. Don’t forget to wax the chrome of your tires, either, as this will help to prevent corrosion from any water that finds its way onto the pipes during the course of regular riding.

After you are done wiping off the wax, simply take a gentle terrycloth and wipe down the whole bike once more to make sure that any excess soap or wax is off the cycle. Then, you can stand back, admire your bike, and think about how easy it was to wash and wax a motorcycle.

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