SILKOLENE WASH OFF
1 litre £8.50
Silkolene’s Wash Off is a spray-on cycle and motorcycle wash. That’s a competitive field to be in. However, it has some distinctly good points, though often advantages in the world of spray on washes are marginal. Equally, at its price point there is strong competition for the contents of my miserly wallet. Having said that, Wash Off has a bit more bite than some and I’ve seen it discounted on-line.
Pros: effective and pretty rapid.
Cons: not significantly better than some competitors around the same price.
Silkolene have not done so well for so long by giving away their secrets. Apply normal, sensible precautions.
The blurb states that Wash Off is particularly suitable for unprotected aluminium. Although this is an obvious wink to the motorcycling community, exposed or polished aluminium, and other metals, are common in cycling, too. Fundamentally, Silkolene emphasise Wash Off’s mild character.
All other cycle surfaces are within Wash Off’s compass, say Silkolene, but I’d still be cautious and consider more material/finish specific products for carbon and some matt finishes. Why? Largely because I am cautious. If unsure, try things out on a spot where the sun don’t shine.
Simple: wash with hose, pressure washer, or means; spray-on Wash Off; wash off. OK, Silkolene point out that you’ll need to agitate heftier or ingrained muck, but you’d expect that, even with a bucket wash such as Mud Honey from Crankalicious.
Pressure washer? Well, that raised some hackles at Seven Day Towers. Some like to blast lumps of trail dirt with high pressure, but more are careful of their beloved bearings. Amongst the latter, I stuck to garden hose and watering can for the purpose of testing.
Finishing off the process with a nice rub over will get you a very presentable bike, but a frame polish will be required for a gleam. Again, you’d expect that from most washes.
There’s no recommended time to let the spray soak into the offending dirt. Pro Green suggest 1 to 3 minutes for their Bike Wash. The thing with Wash Off is not to let it dry.
Accumulated crushed lime and post morning milking country lanes had sufficient time to dry. Garden hose dousing was followed by a good dose of Wash Off. Spray heads, such as this one, with broad and narrow range are increasingly common. Waiting for around three minutes (longer seemed to make no significant difference), brisk agitation with appropriate brushes, especially around the mechs. reduced things to a smeary mess, easily dispersed by the return of the garden hose.
Sprays are, I think, best for trail-head wash downs and post ride blow-overs, so this was pretty impressive. A further wipe finished off the grime, before a rub over with a lint free cloth produced a presentable finish. Note, the right hand image was taken before wiping the crank.
Lightly soiled chains have been tidied up, rather than made spotless, by a run through a chain bath: hefty accumulations on old school wet lube resisted, unsurprisingly, much more strongly. For a more potent wash take a look at SKS Wash Your Bike, although that’s more expensive for 250ml less. Cassettes given a good dose and a vigorous scrub, have looked all the better for it, but it has taken a lot more effort than a degreaser, such as Oxford’s Mint Degreaser, to get things looking half so dandy.
Bar tape? Quick spray and a scrub and your pretty much done.
I’d generally reckon on twelve to fourteen cleans from a litre bottle. Four bikes in and we’re very much on course for that. In that sense it is similar, in my view, to Oxford’s Mint Bike Wash, which, like Wash Off, is more potent than some sprays.
Not particularly profligate, at a reasonable price, with a five litre refill for the workshop, and seemingly kind to most surfaces, Wash Off certainly has potential for more than a quick once over. Mind, a for a real deep clean, a bucket wash and degreaser would still be the best bet.