Has your beloved scooter seen better days? Is she covered in road grime? Mine has some spilled coffee prompting this conversation. I feel your pain, but washing your scooter is a simple process. So simple that it really is a good way to spend a day with your scooter.
Steps to wash your scooter:
- Gather your supplies
- Rinse the scooter
- Clean and Rinse
It is important to use the appropriate products for your motor scooter to make sure you do not accidentally use something too harsh, but it is a rather simple process to keep your scooter shiny. If you’re looking for the quick version, head on down to the ‘No Time to Drag All the Gear Out?’ section for the less than 10-minute option.
Importance of a Good Wash
Keeping your scooter clean is more than just a mental thing for you. By washing your scooter, you wash off the nasty materials you pick up on the road that can literally be corrosive like road salt and grime.
In addition, cleaning your scooter gives you a much closer look at the condition your beauty is in. It is important to address any issues as soon as you find them, and this is a simple way to find those problems. You could find actual corrosion, body scuffs, or even just some connection issues. Find them and fix them to keep your scooter running well and looking sharp.
Before you get too far into this process…..
Set the stage with a cool scooter. I don’t mean the ‘cool’ factor but the temperature kind of cool. The scooter should not be hot since hot + cold = expansion/contraction which translates to an opportunity to damage things.
Also, you’ll want to set up to wash your scooter out of direct sunlight. You’re really running against the clock if it is sunny and everything is drying as soon as it touches the surface. Set up under a carport or some type of shade, so sometimes this requires you to think about what time of day you’re able to accomplish this. I’m a morning washer for the shade myself. It is not because I am a morning person. The scooter is cool, and I have shade. Check & check!
I tend to wash both scooters at the same time, or I’ll throw in a car while I have everything out.
Step 1: Get Everything You Need Ready
Go ahead and grab everything you want to wash your scooter with upfront to make your life easier. There is nothing worse than stopping mid-wash to go grab that 1 thing you forgot if the sun is blazing down and drying your soapy water. Your ice-cold drink will get warm!
Choose whatever you like for washing, but below is the list of things I use with links if you are shopping for anything new
- Wash Mitt or sponge: Helps you get rid of any stuck-on bits
- Small brush: Helps dig into those small crevices or those that require a bit more effort
- Microfiber cloths: I use them to dry and do finishing touches, so I just have a few on hand instead of having a chamois or something. Scooters are small enough that they work well to dry, and these cloths really pack a punch. If you wanna be fancy with a specific towel, I do own this one.
- Water hose & spray nozzle
- Car Wash: This is a bigger conversation, but get your car wash, water, and bucket together if this is the route you are going.
Car Wash Options
More on what to wash your scooter with – Some people have fierce opinions on this. I grew up using Dawn dishwashing soap for a satisfying bucket of soapy water to wash everything. It turns out that can strip off the protective wax of your paint finish. The idea is to minimize how hard or often you do any scrubbing on your paint so using a product that helps you achieve this is what you want to go with.
Also, consider your water use. I realize that different areas place different priorities on water conservation. There are options such as rinseless washes to help in this space.
I am using Griot’s Garage car wash. You can grab it here on Amazon if you’re in the market for something new. If you’ve clicked through any of these links, you’ll see I’m a Griot’s Garage fan. If you are looking for a rinseless wash, I’d go with their version here with excellent reviews on how easy it is.
Got all of your supplies, and you’re ready to make your motor scooter shine? Let’s get on with it!
Step 2: Rinse Your Scooter
Give your scooter a quick rinse with a normal hose and sprayer. You’re not looking to use anything high pressure. Just make sure that you give it a thorough rinse as you are loosening the dirt and grime. You’re just prepping your scooter for the full wash coming.
Step 3: Lather and Rinse. The Fun Part!
I feel like I just read the back of a shampoo bottle. Lather, Rinse, and Repeat. Ok, so you don’t have to repeat here (or in the shower really).
If you’ve ever washed a car, it’s the same principle. You start from the top and work your way down, from the front to the back. BUT, leave the dirtiest parts for the last. You’re washing gently, but if you start with the dirt, you run the risk of scratching off the protective coat and your scooter’s paint eventually.
If you are using a rinseless wash or a different wash, go with the instructions on your choice. For a standard wash, carry on here.
So you’re washing 1 area at a time, and you’re rinsing as you go. Don’t let the car wash dry before a rinse, but it’s a scooter. As long as you’re in the shade, you should be fine.
Step 4: Time to Dry Your Scooter
Just use a microfiber or towel to dry off the excess water. That’s really all there is to this step. Just remember to take it easy when you are rubbing. Number one rule when you’re washing.
Step 5: Finish Up With a Wax
This is optional, but if you want to finish up with a wax, now is the time. I use this Best of Show Spray Wax from Griot’s Garage. I know. Again with the Griot’s. 🙂 I like it! Anyhow, I spray it on in sections, and I use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe it off. It’s quick, and you don’t have to watch out for any of the black plastic or rubber pieces. The wax works well on it all. It has carnauba wax and some polymers to help protect your paint. So far so good here!
No Time to Drag Out the Full Gear?
I get that it can be a pain to drag everything out sometimes. I really don’t like to drag it all out for just 1 scooter. You don’t have to if you stay on top of keeping your scooter reasonably clean. That’s right! Cleaning your scooter is fast, but it can be faster!
I spray on a quick mist of the Griot’s Garage Speed Shine for these moments. Spray it on, and then wipe it off with one of those clean microfiber cloths. Again, you want to make sure you are being gentle, but this takes less than 10 minutes to knock out a quick shine between washes. Easy peasy!