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Review: Muc-off v Squirt Devil Cleaner & Degreaser v ‘traditional methods’

Posted by StevenD | August 3, 2011 | 9 comments so far

When it comes to cleaning bikes I have only use specialised cleaners selectively e.g. I have a bottle of Muc-Off that I use with the Mobi washer when travelling to the trail by car.

My main cleaning products are what I refer to as ‘traditional methods’ in the title; car shampoo or whatever else I can find for the frame and white spirit for the drive chain parts – both have done a sterling job for many years.

Squirt Devil Degreaser

As the Squirt girls were busy and unable to pitch their cleaning station on my local trails, in2dust sent me samples of their Squirt Devil Cleaner and Degreaser. You get two bottles; bike cleaner and degreaser but the degreaser is a 10:1 concentrated form of the bike cleaner (or the latter is a diluted form). This means that the 1 litre bottle of degreaser can be diluted to make up to 10 litres of bike cleaner.

Muc-Off Bike Cleaner

As I know that some moles also use Muc-Off I thought that a head to head test would be of interest, coupled with the fact that I needed to clean two bikes; my son’s MTB (which was utterly filthy) to sell and mine because I thought it best to put my new Hope Hoops on a fully cleaned bike.

Results

Bike Cleaner

With Squirt Devil Cleaner and Muc-Off you apply and leave it to work while you grab a beer – I needed new bar end tabs 😉 and you can easily target those difficult to access spots.

In this test there was very little difference between them. Both have the benefits of being able to be applied and left to soak and then simply hosed off afterwards, whereas with car shampoo you are inclined to wash using a bucket of water, the former is more convenient but the latter works well if you are stripping your bike down.

Degreaser

White Spirit was a clear winner. My son’s rear cassette, derailleur and jockey wheels were in a terrible state and after first trying degreaser the white spirit made a huge difference.

I have always found a quick spray with white spirit very effective and though white spirit may not be environmentally friendly the amount I use is small; I apply it to the rear cassette or front chain rings using a spray-on bottle and if soaking a chain, as with degreaser, I use an old coffee jar and re-use the solution again later.

That is not to say proprietary degreasers do not work, you can liberally apply Squirt’s degreaser when everything is on the bike and not worry about spillage or the effects of excess on other bike parts (as it is also a cleaner).

Summary

Based on results so far, I am unlikely to change my cleaning regime. When I am away from home Squirt’s cleaner/degreaser solution will certainly makes things a lot more convenient but at home in the garage I will continue to use more traditional methods.

Choosing between Muc-Off and Squirt’s Devil products is a little harder, there seems to be little difference in performance but Squirt’s cleaners are definitely better value.

Cost (based on web prices)

Muc-Off is £7.49 for a 1 litre bottle.

Squirt Devil Cleaner and Degreaser come as 2 x 1 litre bottles for £14.99, but as degreaser is a 10:1 concentrate of the bike cleaner this means you potentially get 11 litres of bike cleaner.

Filed under Accessories, Reviews in August 2011

StevenD

About the author

Steven, at over 50, is a Port'N'Stilton MTB rider based in the Chilterns. He enjoys local rides, particularly those involving stops at breweries and vineyards, but frequently visits Swinley and joins the Moles when possible. Steven rides a Trek bike and has been known to use it to go deer jousting. His latest toy is a ContourHD camcorder.

There are 9 comments on ‘Review: Muc-off v Squirt Devil Cleaner & Degreaser v ‘traditional methods’’

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  1. Colin says:

    I’m [a little too] relaxed about bike washing these days. Partly because I don’t have time, but also because I really don’t believe we should be regualarly using such things as degreasers near so many bearings and bushes, which are often poorly manufactured and poorly sealed.

    My prescription for a healthy bikestyle:

    Mains-pressure running water
    Occasional use of 2nd hand washing up brush,and Polycell paint brush cleaner on a rag (for rims and chainstay)
    More loving, less cleaning

  2. Markymark says:

    My routine is simialr to you Colin.

    Rant: I stopped using Muc-Off after the MUC-OFF 8 event last year when they purposely wetted out parts of the circuit making it unrideable and quiet frankly dangerous … but of course there were guaranteed huge queues at the MUC OFF jetwash station and free product to use before you did your next ‘lap’.

    A combination of powerwash and cleaning agents dont do the hidden bits any good.

    Nowadays i stick to mains pressure light spray and a Park Tool brush. Wipe down afterwards with an old clean cloth. Spray a little degreaser on another clean bit of rag and wipe the parts which need it. Also running the chain through a clean bit of rag with a long strip of degreaser sprayed on it works well. It also keeps excess product from going into the ground and into the air.

  3. StevenD says:

    In the winter months I make a point of cleaning my bike regularly, and sometimes after every ride, to keep it running well – much less so in the summer months. I make a point of not just spraying liberally but only on those areas that either need it, or are out of harms way. eg I clean the rear cassette by gently spraying it and leaving the wheel cassette side down over a bucket.

    I want to make sure that the bike continues to runs well, especially the drivetrain, whatever the weather.

  4. Jem says:

    Do what Fashion Princess ( wife femole) does about cleaning her bike.

    Nothing!!!!

    Guess who has the job instead??

  5. Tony says:

    I can agree that the Femoles gave the most efficient bike cleaning process ever. Leave a dirty bike after a ride and hey presto, cleaned and lubed bike when you go to the garage for your next ride. Or that’s what my femole tells me!

    My version. Deepest mid-winter mud ride. Take the Alfine bike. Get home. Shake mud off. Take out from garage for next ride…. Repeat process.

  6. Amanda says:

    Well this is funny reading the comments regarding Femoles cleaning bikes, I have just come to realise that I may be built from diffrent material…. I prefer to clean my bike rather than the house!!!!!!!!! I know those of you who know me will be laughing right now given our house is very small ( motor home infact) and only takes 20 minutes to clean….. but I still prefer to clean the bike for me its relaxing.

  7. Markymark says:

    YEah, gotta admit, i prefer a hose and a brush in my hand to a hoover.

    Actually, its handy to clean it properly as you tend to spot any damage, loose spokes, etc quite easily…

  8. StevenD says:

    I need to update this; after the Ridgeway ride yesterday my whole drive train was caked in clay and sandy grit. The Squirt degreaser cleaned the chain spotless (unlike White Spirit) – I am impressed.

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