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✔ Article reviewed by Ethan Orenstein. Bringing motorcycles back from the dead since 2013. Learn More.

How to Clean a Dirt Bike

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Getting into the habit of keeping your dirt bike clean can go a long way in terms of maintenance. 

A clean bike will look better, last longer, and be easier to work on. 

This guide will go over the proper steps to take when washing your dirt bike. 

After that, check out some of your other guides on dirt bike repair and maintenance

How to Wash a Dirt Bike

Before you get started cleaning your dirt bike, you’ll need to gather:

  • A pressure washer set to a low pressure setting with at least a 40 degree washer nozzle. 
  • Mild detergent/soap or cleaning solution. 
  • Gloves and eye protection.
  • Clean rags and paper towels. 
  • Sturdy, non-metallic brushes and sponges.
  • Compressed air. 

Your first step when giving your dirt bike a thorough clean is to:

  • Remove or cover the seat to protect the cover and foam. 
  • Plug any holes and openings with rags and duct tape (exhaust, carbs, airbox, etc.).

Begin by removing any big chunks of mud and grime by hand. The more you can remove, the more effective the water will be. 

Use some of your cleaning solution to spray it on the bike and allow it to soak in a bit. 

Spray your bike down to remove the more stubborn areas of dirt and grime. Avoid using too much pressure or spraying any sensitive components on the bike. 

Repeat on the other side. 

Once you’ve finished with the washer, go back over any remaining dirt and mud with your cleaning solution, brushes, and sponges. 

Give the bike a final rinse. 

After that, dry down the bike with clean rags and compressed air. 

During the entire process, be gentle so as not to disconnect or damage anything. 

Your job isn’t done when you’ve cleaned the mud off your bike, check out our others guides on topics related to keeping your dirt bike clean:

How to Clean Dirt Bike Plastics

Keeping your dirt bike’s plastics clean will prolong the life of your graphics and the appearance of your plastic parts. 

After you’ve removed the big chunks of mud and grime, you can scrub them down with a sponge and mild detergent/plastic-safe cleaning solution. 

For more stubborn marks, like black marks from your boots, a stronger cleaning solution and buffer pad may help. 

If your dirt bike plastics are scratched and faded and you want to bring them back to life, check out our guide on how to restore dirt bike plastics

How to Clean a Dirt Bike Engine

The engine can be one of the dirtiest parts on your dirt bike. 

Its low position and temperatures make it a prime location for dirt, grime, and mud to build up and adhere. 

Too much mud and grime can affect the engine’s cooling and performance. 

You can make your life a little easier by cleaning your engine after each ride to prevent the dirt and grime from building up and baking on. 

A clean engine will run better and be much easier to troubleshoot if anything goes wrong. 

To clean your dirt bike’s engine, you’ll need:

  • Eye protection and gloves. 
  • An engine degreaser. 
  • Sturdy scrubbing pads and stiff, non-metallic brushes. 
  • Rags. 

Before you get started, be sure to cover any holes or sensitive parts with a rag. 

It’s a good idea to avoid using too much water or water pressure when washing the engine. 

Avoid scraping or scrapping the engine’s cases with anything too hard. 

To clean a dirt bike engine:

  • Brush away any loose debris and caked on mud. The more you can remove the better.
  • Apply the engine degreaser and allow it to work into the grime. 
  • Use a non-metallic brush or scrubber to clean off the dirt and grime. 
  • Continue as necessary. 
  • Scrub down the engine with a clean, damp cloth. 
  • Dry it completely with a dry rag or compressed air.  

Again, keeping your engine clean will help keep it running better and lasting longer. Plus it’ll make your life a whole lot easier when you need to perform any repairs or maintenance on it. 

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Content Editor: Ethan Orenstein

Ethan is not just any motorcycle enthusiast. With a decade of experience riding, maintaining, and restoring a range of motorcycles, Ethan brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Many of the tips and tricks shared on this site are born from hours spent wrenching on personal bikes. Paired with his experience as a journalist covering DMV & insurance topics, MotorcycleZombies.com is a must-visit site for any home-mechanic. Every article has been carefully reviewed and edited to ensure accuracy, authenticity, and simplicity - all to help bring your bike back from the dead and onto the road.

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