How to clean your mountain bike grips

If your mountain bike grips are getting dirty because of dust or crashes or if they are getting too sticky you may be wondering how to clean them.
Below there’s a list of some methods you can use from simpler to more aggressive. If the first method doesn’t work move to the next one.

Easy ways to clean sticky bike grips

If you are wonddering how to clean rubber handlebar grips, use these easy methods to clean your bike handlebar grips:

Pressure washer

Pressure washers can save you a lot of time and effort and the results can be exceptional of you do It safely. We won’t explain here how to clean your full bike, we’re focusing on the grips, so next time you go clean it and your grips need an extra attention, do this:
Starting from a safe distance so the pressure is not too high to damage the grips, soak them over. Gradually get closer, increasing the water pressure by doing so, until you can remove the majority of the muck and dirt.

Cleaning a bike with a pressure washer

Stop and apply soap all over the grips with a clean sponge. Wait for some seconds to give time for the soap to act and use the pressure washer again (at a safe distance) to remove any remaining soap.
Let them dry or use a hairdryer to accelerate the process. Make sure you use cold air.

Soap and warm water (step by step)

1) Fill a bucket or recipient with plenty of warm water and ad soap. Dishwashing soap works wonders.
2) Soak a clean towel in the warm a soapy water and wait for some seconds to let it absorb the mixture.
3) Wring the towel to remove all excess water and wrap it around the grips. Rub it around the grip in a circular motion from one end to the opposite. Now the warm and soapy water is acting on the grips.
4) Dip a toothbrush or similar in the soapy water. Make sure is soft and non-aggressive. Brush the grip back and forth. Make sure you brush all around and along the full grip.
5) Rinse the grip thoroughly using cold and clean water making sure all the soap is removed properly.
6) Use a clean dry cloth or towel to absorb the water.

7) Let them dry or use a hairdryer to accelerate the process. Make sure you use cold air.

pro mtb grips

Rubbing alcohol

If none of the above methods worked try with a deep cleaning.
Start by using a dry cloth to wipe the grip making sure to remove sweat, dirt, grim or dust.

Dampen a small towel under warm water and wring it until it’s damp to the touch and not very wet.
Pour rubbing alcohol on the damp towel making sure it’s evenly distributed all over the towel or use only the area where you poured the alcohol.
Rotate the towel around the grip and rub it working your way from one end to the opposite. Repeat 2 or 3 times until you cover all the areas of the grip with the rubbing alcohol soaked towel.
Use a clean dry cloth or towel to wrap it around the grip applying light pressure to absorb any excess water and alcohol from the grip.
Let them dry or use a hairdryer to accelerate the process. Make sure you use cold air.

 Cleaning AMS Extralight grips

What to do if they remain dirty?

If you used all the methods above and your grip is still dirty or sticky you either use even more aggressive methods (which we can’t recommend) or maybe it’s time to upgrade your grips.
More aggressive methods which we can’t recommend:
✔️ Degreaser
✔️ Use a paste by mixing baking soda and water
✔️ Lighter fluid
✔️ Methanol


Tackling Sticky Bike Grips: A Cleaning Guide

Sticky bike grips can detract from the joy of riding, making your hands uncomfortable and your control less precise. Understanding how to clean sticky rubber bike grips not only improves the grip but also extends the life of your bike's handlebars. Whether you're dealing with mountain bike grips or standard bicycle handlebar grips, the right cleaning approach is essential.

The first step in addressing sticky handlebar grips is identifying the cause. Often, the stickiness results from a build-up of dirt, sweat, and grime. In other cases, it could be due to the degradation of the grip material over time. For those wondering, "Why are my bike grips sticky?", it's usually a sign that a thorough cleaning is overdue.

 sticky grips

Effective Cleaning Techniques for sticky grips

For sticky rubber handlebar grips, avoid using harsh chemicals or solvents as they can break down the rubber and exacerbate the problem. Instead, focus on a gentle, thorough cleaning with soap and water. After scrubbing, rinse the grips thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.

Once cleaned, dry the grips with a soft cloth. Let them air dry completely before using your bike again. This not only ensures that the stickiness is gone but also prevents new dirt from adhering to damp grips.

Summing up

Dirty grips can seem like a badge of honor, but a brand new like clean brand and components are one of the best feelings in the cycling world.

And you know we like to ride in style.

Bike grips get dirty and can get sticky by the use, so we encourage you to give them a clean from time to time starting with the simplest method  (pressure washer) and progressing from there if they remain dirty.

Carles Carrera

Co-Founder, Product&Marketing

Carles' passion for Enduro MTB ignited the creation of AMS. Nowadays, you're more likely to find him speeding along scenic gravel paths, enjoying the thrill of his gravel bike.

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