MUC-OFF WATERLESSS WASH
Aimed to remove lighter contaminants between major washes, Muc-Off Waterless Wash also provides a nice shine with a quick buff. Light grime is its territory, so don’t expect it to shift the gunge from an encrusted cassette. However, I’ve found it very handy to keep the full-wash at bay for a few extra rides, and my bikes have looked dandy.
Pros: convenient and very effective on light grime.
Cons: light grime only.
The idea is that you can clean your bike when water is either scarce or unnecessary. At the same time Muc-Off promise that you’ll restore that “showroom” finish. So clean and polish, basically. On that basis, whilst it is safe on matt finishes, it will leave a bit of a shine; best stick to something matt specific.
Muc-Off do not give away their secrets easily, but the description of “powder free” and “non-sticky” seem spot on. As such, there’s less chance of streaks and residue. Beyond that, there’s a silicone-based polymer in amongst the surfactants, to lift grime .
Shake very well and spray away. Two settings for the head, spray and stream, give you a choice; the latter gives a narrower coverage. Coloured a bright pink, you should be able to see what you’ve missed. On that front, it is runny, so expect some wastage. Having said that, when working on smaller areas, I’ve recouped what I can on a cloth and re-applied.
Guidance is to leave the potion in situ for some time, to penetrate. I’ve found that light dust needs only a few second, whilst muddy smears require a minute or so. If in doubt, just leave it for longer rather than shorter.
You need a couple of microfiber cloths, or, at least one large enough to keep a section clean. First wipe should remove dirt, then clean cloth to buff. Behind this is the way microfiber lifts dirt away from the surface. Any one will do, but Muc-Off do offer their own version.
What is lighter grime etc? More of that later.
I’ll admit to being a tad sceptical about the Waterless Wash. I guess that growing up with cleanliness next to godliness required lots of soap and water and that combination is etched on my mind.
Starting with my old Carlton Clubman. Mainly road use, and contaminated with no more than the grime of country lanes. So, specs of mud, flecks of dung, residue from water splatter, now all dry. That’s what I’d call light grime. I started with the alloy mud-guards (fenders, as it said on the pack, they came in. Allowing a couple of minutes for the Waterless Wash to work its magic, a single firm wipe quickly removed dirt and a smear of grease. Noticeably, some mud, encrusting the stay-bolts, stayed put. A second wipe with a clean cloth brought a nice, streak free shine.
Similar impact on the frame, even the relatively mucky bit under the bottom bracket. I’d already degreased the chain and cleaned the chain ring from deep gunk. However, I was impressed by the reviving effect on the anodised black.
Heavier soling? Well, grime like that on the old tourer (see below) shifted a little, and went with a second squirt and wipe. Even so, the paint didn’t show up so well, so leave it to a real bucket wash or a stronger bike wash with a rinse and polish. Best maintain their stricture of light grime only to avoid scratches.
Light grime on the wife’s white Whyte hybrid went with a single dose and cleaned up nicely with a single buff - although it is not meant to gleam. Sent packing too, were couple of greasy marks transferred from the chain via my fingers.
Finally, the tidy tourer came up like new - well, nearly, as easy as summoning the gene from the lamp - well, nearly
Bar tape and hoods clean up nicely – without the shine – of course. Panniers, such as the UPSO Potters model – constructed of old lorry tarpaulins – shine, although the Waterless Was will not do away with the ingrained grease. I’ve tended to use Rock ‘n’ Roll Miracle Red for that.
This is a potion with limited power, but has real-world uses. It won’t push the likes of Crankalicious Mud Honey Foaming Bucket Wash off the workshop shelf. Nor will it do away with more powerful sprays, such as Pure Bike Wash. On the other hand, it really does well on those between major washes blow overs when a day on the road has left things dusty and dull: a day’s bog-cycling or gravel bashing on sodden forest tracks is not to its taste. If that is your taste it is worth every penny.
Duck Smart Smart ‘n’ Ezee, one litre of, comes in at £10 a litre: it is a real jack of all cleaning, but some feel it does not give the same almost-instant shine. Tru Tension Bike Snow Foam is considerably more expensive, and needs a bit more technique. It is recommended for frames and components, lacking wider applications.
Far from the most powerful washes, it is really handy for lighter grime.. Keeping things shiny help, too. Say, after a day on your swanky Eroica ready bling bike, when you just want to restore its natural beauty, before settling down with a beer and basking in those admiring glances – of the bike!