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A good quality microfibre sponge is great for getting your bike sparkling clean. Although not up to really grimy jobs, the Oxford Noodle Sponge is perfect for a quick once-over to get rid of accumulated dust and light splashback, or for finishing off a deeper clean.
A sponge is a sponge... until it's a Noodle Sponge. This two-in-one design blends the benefits of a microfibre surface for easily lifting grease, grime and dirt, with a high-density sponge's ability to hold water for a wetter clean.
I tend to use some decent car sponges and a microfibre cloth from a kitchen multipack for general cleaning of my bikes, and I can't say that I've seen much improved cleaning ability here with this combo product than I have with my bog standard stuff.
Yet, there are some positives to having a dedicated sponge like this one. The noodles, for instance, are said to enable more residues to be caught and drawn away from the surface of your bike compared with a standard 'flat' cloth. Used dry to wipe away dusty dirt, or wet during a light clean, it's certainly proven effective in testing.
The back of the sponge features an elastic band to keep the sponge in place on your hand in use, while under that the spongy element is covered by a perforated mesh which can be used to agitate and really get into any dried-on dirt. Having that mesh there protects the sponge underneath (which is good, compared with the naked sponges I normally use), and makes washing out any dirt a little easier too.
Like with any sponge, you need to make sure you take care of it after washing. Just a few minutes spent thoroughly rinsing it out in warm soapy water is plenty, and ensures it's primed for the next clean. Think of it like a paint brush – if you want to use it again without risking rubbing in old dirt and grime on your next clean, you need to make sure you get rid of all the old stuff.
Do that, and the Oxford Noodle Sponge will serve you well. I've used it a couple of times wet across three bikes, and a few times more dry in the interim, and it's still doing a grand job with no loss in quality of the sponge, the noodles or the perforated mesh backing. Sure, the noodles aren't as bright green as they used to be, but I think that's just down to discolouration rather than holding onto excess dirt.
You won't want to tackle the toughest built-up dirt with it or oily zones like your drivetrain – leave that to your favourite scrubbing brush(es) – but once that first scrub down is done, that's when the Noodle Sponge is best used in deeper cleans.
Muc-Off offers its own sponge aimed at delivering a superior cleaning performance for £4.99, but this doesn't blend microfibre or perforated mesh materials like the Oxford Noodle Sponge does here for a pound more.
Perhaps more relevantly for most, though, you can visit your local B&M or similar (or even shop on Amazon) and buy multipacks of cheap car sponges and microfibre cloths for just a few quid; although these may not have quite the shelf life individually, is it worth having one product rather than a replaceable set of many?
There's likely to be less waste from a decently made product like the Noodle Sponge; if you take care of it then it will keep doing its job for a good amount of time before it needs replacing.
A good quality double-action sponge for both dry dusting and wet cleaning
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Oxford Microfibre Noodle Sponge Fluo
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Oxford says: "The Noodle Sponge is perfect for use on many types of surfaces and in numerous applications, including motorcycle, bicycle, car, board and in the home. The microfibre noodles are soft and absorbent for gentle cleaning. Used wet, they lift dirt, dust and grime from paint, chrome & other delicate surfaces. Used dry, they work well as a duster. Can also be used for dusting inside, just make sure it is clean and dry."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Oxford lists these key features:
- Double action microfibre sponge
- Elasticated strap makes it easy to grip whilst cleaning
- The perforated mesh on the back can be used to remove dead flies, stubborn stains and grime from headlights, windows, etc
- Use wet or dry to clean outside and inside car
- Machine washable
So far so good, but I'll report back if it suddenly stars falling apart. I'd hope for at least six months of life.
Having the padded sponge there does protect your hand when cleaning.
If you prefer to use cheap sponges and microfibre cloths, you may wonder why you'd want to pay £6 for this, but if it lasts much longer, it could be worth the investment, even just to save waste.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good at shifting light dirt and dust, good quality sponge.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Noodles get discoloured quickly, a standard microfibre cloth or cheap sponges could arguably do the same job.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Muc-Off's sponge aimed at offering superior cleaning performance is £4.99, but this doesn't blend microfibre or perforated mesh materials like the Oxford Noodle Sponge does here for a pound more. But you can buy multipacks of cheap car sponges and microfibre cloths for just a few quid from various stores and online.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, although I'd understand if they'd need convincing.
Use this box to explain your overall score
This is a good quality multifunctional sponge, worth the investment.
About the tester
I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF SL (2016), Fairlight Strael 3.0 (2021) My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Dabble in Zwift training and racing