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MTB Washing Machine: Muc-Off Bicycle Pressure Washer Review

muc-off pressure washerPhoto credit: Jason Magness
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There’s nothing better than riding hard and coming home dirty. But just like us, our bikes need a good washing after an epic day on the trail. Muc-Off offers an easy, effective, and fun solution.

Mountain bike season is just around the corner for most parts of the U.S., and that means a quiet chorus of dirt-caked bikes begging, “Clean me before the next ride!”

Too often, those remain empty pleas that result in a filthy bike being ridden time and again. But all that grime and grit lead to poor performance and worn-out parts. I know because, as fun as riding in the dirt is, cleaning up afterward is a chore I abhor.

But for riders like me, there’s hope: Muc-Off’s bike-specific pressure washer (and cleaning kit). Complete with the brand’s signature hot-pink accents, the all-in-one kit makes cleaning a bike nearly as fun (and addicting) as riding it.

Muc-Off Pressure Washer

Muc-Off claims this pressure washer is specially designed to keep bearings and seals — including suspension, bottom brackets, headset, etc. — safe. That’s a welcome assurance because, in the past, using a high-pressure stream had always been a no-no for bikes.

The washer comes with three lance tips: one for bikes, a more powerful one for motorcycles, and an accessory lance that fits directly onto an included bottle of nano-tech cleaner. This snow foam cleaner feels especially rewarding, covering your bike in a thick carpet of white suds. It works to loosen all the grime and grease before you wash it clean with the sprayer.

And Muc-Off advertises that its cleaning solutions are eco-friendly and biodegradable.

Plus, the kit includes Muc-Off’s cleaning, degreasing, polishing, and lube products. The entire setup fits and straps into a roll-top dry bag, helping make transport easy and convenient.

All you need are a power source (three-prong outlet) and a water source (standard hose). The pressure washer’s power cord and wand hoses are plenty long to allow you to move the system far away from any sensitive areas — like the garden or garage — to avoid collateral spray damage.

using muc-off pressure washer
Photo credit: Jason Magness

Follow the Instructions

We recommend taking a few moments to read the instructions and ensure the correct order of operations during setup. Powering on a dry unit before it’s connected to water can damage it. With practice, you’ll be washing your bike within a minute of un-bagging the unit.

Keeping my bikes clean used to be a chore, but the first time I tried the Muc-Off system, all that changed. My riding partner and I found ourselves fighting for the “magic” wand, reveling in how the wide water blade instantly turned everything clean.

My 4-year-old was entranced too, and within the hour he’d deep-cleaned more than 20 bikes. We put the washer away only when there were no more dirty bikes in the neighborhood.

muc-off pressure washer
Photo credit: Jason Magness

Muc-Off Pressure Washer Review

In practice, I found the Muc-Off saved tons of time versus conventional cleaning protocols — and it did a better job. Even a quick spray after a dirty ride set me up for a cleaner bike on the next outing.

And doing a deep clean was almost as easy: Spray the bike with water, foam the bike with Muc-Off, wait 3 minutes, rinse, and then apply the “water displacing” Bike Protect spray (make sure to avoid the brakes). There’s no need for any brushes unless you have some extreme caked-on mud, but even then, some gentle brushing during the foam is all you need.

Occasionally, I’d apply a degreaser to the chain for a few minutes pre-cleaning and re-lube at the end.

Used with a soft hand, the included bike cleaner will last over a dozen washes. And when you run out, just refill the bottle with three parts water and one part of the included Muc-Off concentrate. That will last for another dozen washes. All in all, I estimate I could get about 75 washes from the kit before springing for refills.

The $320 price tag looks a bit steep at first (compared to a low-end pressure washer from Home Depot), but the attention to detail, attachments, and “complete bike-cleaning thought” that Muc-Off has packaged is compelling. And I’m sure that within a season of regularly keeping my bikes in tip-top shape, I’ll save more than that amount in maintenance.

And there’s one final unexpected bonus: I now look at my clean bikes in the garage and yearn to make them extra dirty, just so I can clean them again.

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