A Guide to Cleaning your eBike

Cleaning an ebike sounds like a lot of work and can be boring at times, which we can’t deny. But this is a process that you need to take seriously, or you can easily end up damaging your ebike.

How should you clean an ebike? You have to do it periodically. How often you clean will depend on your usage of the bike. You will need a hose or a bucket full of water, bike cleaner or soap, brushes and sponge, bike degreaser, disc brake cleaner, ebike’s user manual, chain lube, poly-film.

If you want to wash your ebike correctly, you will need more than just time. you are going to need patience, enough space, some cleaning utensils, and your favorite playlist. 

It is not only about cleaning your bike; it is also something to do with safety. When there is too much dirt gathered in the battery compartment or the brakes, it can lead to a serious accident. 

Keep reading to learn how to clean your ebike properly step by step.

How often should you clean your ebike?

This is a common question; people don’t wash their bikes as often as they need to. Some do this because they don’t use the bike often or they use them in the city, which leaves them looking clean when compared to mountain ebikes that are used out of the city regularly. 

ebikes are a little different because it involves electric mechanics and circuits, you have to clean periodically to extend the life of its battery and ensure it is working how it should. Here’s a good guide to battery care.

It is hard to answer the question of how often you need to clean the bike because it is going to depend on how often you use it during the week, the season you are currently living in, and the type of terrain you are driving on. 

A bike that is being used twice a day in the city is not going to be dirty. If you are driving the bike through rain, mud, sand, and snow, then you can expect to clean it at least once every week.

If you are a light user, then you can get away with cleaning your ebike once a month. You can also do it once every two months if you really procrastinate. Dirt, mud, and other particles are going to stick on your chain and it makes it harder to pedal.

The battery compartment is also going to gather dust and other substances like saltpeter and they are going to affect the performance of the battery.

It sounds boring and tedious to clean your ebike every weekend, but when you think about the benefits you are going to get, then the bucket and sponge are going to be your best friend.

yellow powder on clear glass bowl

What do you need when washing your ebike?

The main thing you need to have is patience. This is even more important if it is the first time doing it. you will also need space to clean your ebike.

It could be your garage, the backyard, front yard, the garden … anywhere where you can have your bike still is enough space. Make sure you can comfortably move around without making a mess.

You are going to need the following items:

  • Soap or bike cleaner
  • A hose or a bucket full of water
  • Sponge and brushes
  • Chain lube
  • Bike degreaser
  • Disc brake cleaner
  • Poly-film
  • Your ebikes user manual
  • Cleaning your ebike

Once you have all the items and enough space, this is how you are going to start. Put on your favorite playlist so you can make the chore more entertaining.

How to prepare your ebike for cleaning

Read the user manual to know how much water your bike can resist; you are going to see this in the first pages of the user manual. It is abbreviated using the letters “IP”, the higher this number is the more waterproof the bike. If this number is 38 or less, then you need to avoid using a hose because it has high pressure that can end up damaging the inside of your bike.

If you have a display, take it down. If it is fixed to the wheel and can’t be taken down, then cover it using poly-film to protect it from water.

Removing the battery. The manual is going to let you know whether to leave the battery in there because it has enough protection. If it doesn’t have enough protection, it can cause a short circuit. ebikes have been built for tough weather conditions like snow and rain, but you can avoid complications by removing the battery.

If you want to get good support when cleaning, consider turning the bike upside down so it rests on the seat and handlebar. You can cover some parts of the bike using a poly-film to protect from water. This is a good way to do it because you can easily turn the wheels and not have to worry about the bike falling over. If you feel like you can do it without doing this, then ignore the step.

Cleaning the ebike

Start by washing using water, use a garden hose or a small glass to catch water from the bucket.

You can start cleaning using small clothing. Use a brush to reach tricky places like the pedals, brakes, and between the tires. Don’t stress if some water enters the battery compartment because it has a small intern drain. The plug has been covered with a special material that protects them from corrosion, water, and general damage.

To clean the drivetrain (chain, cassette, chainrings, derailleurs), use a bike degreaser. Leave it there for 5 minutes to settle before cleaning using a thick paper or wet cloth. Do this slowly so you can reach the sneaky places.

To clean the brakes, you need to use a disc brake cleaner. Slowly scrub them. You should avoid using homemade cleaners because they can limit the brake’s functionality. 

After you clean the bike

Remove the rest of the water on your ebike by using a dried cloth. Do this with patience because small traces of water on the bike will make it dirty in a shorter time.

You also have to pay close attention to the battery compartment. Make sure it is completely dry before you install back the battery. 

Do’s and don’ts when cleaning your ebike

There are some tips and skills we have gathered from many years of working with ebikes, and they are going to help new users, especially those who want to wash their bikes without much trouble.

Cleaning do’s

If you want the ebike to look like a brand new one, make sure you use shine products that have been approved for use on such bikes. 

Choose the ones that come in a spray instead of liquid lubes. They will help you avoid stick surfaces and are easier to apply. 

Use poly-film to protect electronic displays. There is not too much when it comes to this.

Check how your ebike is in terms of cleaning at least once a week. The best time is the end of the week. You also need to check the chain and lubricate if need be. Don’t wait for it to dry out before you lubricate the chains. 

If you don’t have much time, use a garden hose to rinse your bike faster. 

Where you store your ebike is also important and you can see our ebike storage guide here.

The don’ts

Using a jet power washer or pressure hose. The dirt could move to the sensitive areas of your ebike.

Applying bike degreaser on the brake pads or calipers. It can contaminate the pads or calipers and won’t function as brakes anymore.

Going 6 months and not checking the chain or washing your ebike. It is your responsibility as a rider to do that. Even if you don’t use your bike that much, it is still important to make sure that there is no mud or dirt that can interfere with its functionality. It is important to make sure that you are safe as you ride.

Now that you know what you need to do when cleaning your ebike, there are no excuses. You need a little bit of patience and some items you can find at the store. Take care of your bike because you are never going to regret it.