WD-40 Bike Cleaner is a no-frills spray that is more effective on some parts of the bike than others, but not as effective or good value as other bike-specific cleaners our there.
- Pros: Can be used all over the bike for a one-stop shop cleaner
- Cons: Not the strongest solution, dries 'streaky'
It's straightforward to use, in that there's no dilution required, and it can be used all over the bike. It comes in a useful spray bottle, too, which feels more convenient than continually wetting a rag in a bucket of washing-up liquid.
To test the cleaner I used it on a commuter bike that had seen one too many dirty puddles during summer flash storms, and on my summer bike and all its fancy gadgetry.
It was certainly effective on a frame caked in dirt – I wet the bike, sprayed on the WD-40, wiped it down, and then gave it a quick rinse with clean water. It's important to note that if you don't do that final rinsing step, or if the bike dries in the sun particularly quickly, you'll get streaks on a matt frame. Not a big deal, but a bit annoying.
On the more oily bits, the spray is a little lacking in oomph. Getting into the nooks and crannies of the bike, particularly greasy and grimy cassettes and chainrings required either multiple applications or that the WD-40 be left on to soak for a few minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. To be fair, although WD-40 says it 'quickly cuts through dirt, oil & grime' the company also has a dedicated Degreaser in its range for cleaning gears and chains. Still, the Bike Cleaner felt a little lacking compared to some leading brands such as Muc-Off and Fenwick's, which cut through grease faster and more effectively and tend to dry 'cleaner'.
In terms of value, with a price tag of £4.99 for 500ml, the WD-40 is a little pricier than some of the trigger sprays we've tested on road.cc. Proper Cleaner, for example, costs £6.50 but dilutes to make 750ml, and Zefal's Bike Wash is £7.99 for a litre. You can buy a 1 litre option for £9.99, which puts it on par with the likes of Muc-Off and Pineapple Express Spray Wash from Crankalicious, which reviewed well here.
Even better value, though, is Fenwick's concentrate, which costs £11.99 for what makes up to 11L (we tested it in 2016 when it was £9.99); if you already have a spray bottle, decant a diluted mix into it and squirt away.
To conclude, WD-40 Bike Cleaner does an okay job, and is probably better than the Fairy Liquid you 'borrowed' from the kitchen, but it's lacking a little punch compared to some of its rivals, certainly when it comes to the greasier jobs.
Does an okay job but there are better and cheaper options
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road.cc test report
Make and model: WD-40 Bike Cleaner Total Wash
Size tested: 500ml
Tell us what the product is for
WD-40 says, "WD-40 Bike Cleaner is ready to use and quickly cuts through dirt, oil & grime. It's great on all surfaces including paintwork, plastic, rubber & chrome to leave your bike looking really clean. It is an effective Mountain Bike cleaner and Road Bike cleaner."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
All over use
Quick and Easy
The spray worked well enough on clearing muck off frames, but you need to wipe it off a frame quickly before it dries to prevent it from leaving streaks. It's not designed for degreasing drivetrains so perhaps not surprising it lacked a little oomph there.
It prices up on par with other bike cleaning products supplied in a spray bottle, but if you want good value you're best off buying a large bottle of concentrate and diluting it in a bucket or old spray bottle.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It was okay.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Being ready-mixed and in a spray bottle made it easy to use for giving the bike a quick once-over without too much preparation.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It wasn't all that effective on cassettes and chains; you'd need to buy the Degreaser to tackle those.
Did you enjoy using the product? It was ok.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably not.
Use this box to explain your overall score
I'm giving the Bike Cleaner a 6. It works well enough for cleaning your frame, but there are more effective and better value bike-specific cleaning options out there.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCR / Cannondale Supersix My best bike is: Giant TCR
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding