Can I Wash My Motorcycle with Dish Soap?

Washing the motorcycle consumes time — that we call all agree on. It can either be a love or hate relationship. On my part, I really don’t like to do it. But sometimes I have to when I can’t take it to a service center.

As you can imagine, not being an avid bike cleaner, I don’t have the necessary materials such as a cleaning solution. All I had that resembled a cleaning solution is dish soap. But can I wash my motorcycle with dish soap? That was a question that needed answering.

My experience tells me that it’s quite alright to use dish soap to wash our motorcycles. However, it’s not something the experts recommend. While no hard evidence are supporting the claim, issues could arise if you’re not careful.

Do You Need a Soap to Wash Your Motorcycle?

Two kinds of dirt can get onto your motorcycle – water-soluble dirt like mud and soil, and non-soluble dirt like grease and tar.

The first kind of dirt i.e., mud and soil, is an everyday thing for bikes. You can’t prevent it. But it takes only water to get them off. You may not even need to wash it using soap. A simple spraying of water might do the job.

If the dirt is dry, you can let it soak in water and scrape it easily.

However, if your motorcycle has got the grease, grime, and tar on it from somewhere, life’s going to be tough. You need to use soap effectively against grease deposits. And in such cases, a dish soap could be your savior when you’re in a pinch.

Is It Okay to Use Dish Soap on a Motorcycle?

When you’re washing your bike, any soap is better than no soap. Dish soaps are one of the perfect cleaning solutions.

It will get the dirt and grease off of your motorcycle. And there’s no risk of damaging your bike as long as you rinse it off properly.

The fear is that the soap will damage the paint. And it may damage the paint job if it was done poorly. It wasn’t an issue when the manufacturing quality control was regulated fairly.

Nowadays, you will find paint jobs with comparatively thinner paint coats. And the hardness of dish soap could work against it. At the least, your motorcycle will lose its shine.

Nothing like that will happen if you properly rinse your motorcycle after using dish soap.

Interested in similar topic on Bike Care:

What to Do After Washing Your Motorcycle with Dish Soap?

I can tell you what gives me the results. Here are the things you can do to protect your bike’s good looks.

Rinse and Dry Properly

This should be your first step after you’re done washing your bike. You need to get rid of all the soapy water from the bike including the body, engine, and especially the covered spaces on the fuel tank.

Keep the motorcycle in a shaded spot for it dry. Sun exposure is bad for the paint. You can pat it dry if you want.

Apply Wax or Paint Protection

If you use dish soap, you risk losing the shine. Even if you don’t lose it, it’s good practice to re-wax it with a paint protection wax. Liquid paint protection will also work.

Can I Wash a Motorcycle Chain with Dish Soap and Water?

Yes, you can wash your motorcycle’s chain with dish soap. It’s even safer than using it on the motorcycle body since there’s no paint on the chain. However, you have to make sure there’s no soap or water left afterward, as these will cause rust and corrosion.

Why Should You Wash Your Motor Cycle?

Even if you don’t have the proper cleaning solutions, you need to wash your bike. The grease, grime, and dirt on different parts of the motorcycle will affect your motorcycle’s performance in the long run.

Final Words

So, can I wash my motorcycle with dish soap? Yes, there’s no major issue to be concerned about. If you follow the proper guideline, as we mentioned earlier in the article, the paint job and the sensitive parts will work just as before. However, if there’s no grease on the motorcycle, using a high-speed water sprayer will be more than enough.

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