Proper Cleaner by Guy Martin Starter Pack Review £6.50
A good cleaner with some great eco friendly credentials
Apr 6 2018
Smaller carbon footprint than competitors and easy to transport
Nice finish, leaves water beading on frame
Cheaper than some competitors without the need to buy/store a 5L tub
Need to use more product than other cleaners for the same result
You want a good bike cleaner that is doing its bit for the environment
Proper Cleaner from Guy Martin is a general purpose cleaner for any type of machine with wheels, including our shed full of mountain bikes. Touted as having a tiny carbon footprint it cleans bikes as well as the next but in a more eco-friendly manner.
Guy Martin Proper is the place to go for all Guy Martin related products, from bobble hats to t-shirts to hoodies and now, the first cleaning product, ‘Proper Cleaner’. First off, I’ll address the eco friendly credentials: the Proper Cleaner is sold either as the ‘Starter Pack’ you see here which includes a 750mm bottle and two capsules of cleaner for £6.50 or you can buy the capsules alone (two pack) for just a fiver. The theory behind this is, that the reusable bottle only needs to be shipped once with the sachets of cleaner used to refill the bottle being a darn sight smaller and lighter to ship around the world. Less weight, less room, less fuel, less CO2 etc. The carbon footprint of the cleaner is further reduced by the fact that it is capsules that are sold rather than a bottle of fluid cleaner, meaning there is no need to ship weighty water, you add that straight from your hose at home.
The guys at Proper Cleaner say that the bike wash is 100% biodegradable, alkaline based and safe to use on all surfaces, including carbon fibre, anodized parts and disc brakes. It’s not tested on Nigel the Dog or any of his furry mates either. And if bike washing isn’t your favourite thing, you’ll be glad to hear the capsules last 3 yrs from the date on the pack. A 750ml bottle and two capsules will make 1.5L of cleaner which works out to be £4.33 a litre – a pretty good deal!
Dropping the first capsule into the bottle of fresh water and its surprising (in a good way) to see it dissolve instantly, there is no sticky residue left from either the product itself or the wrapper. With a little shake and 30 seconds rest, the cleaner is ready to use straight away, so I got spraying on the sweet, fruity, banana smelling wash all over my mucky steed.
The makers of the cleaner say this is a product to use when your bike is super dirty. Like us here at off.road.cc they are not fans of cleaning their bikes after every ride, rather they designed a bike wash to use when giving your bike a really good clean once a week. Simply spray off the worst of the dirt and use a brush to agitate the cleaner, without a good thick brush the cleaner doesn’t foam up too well though. I also found I needed to use more of the cleaner than I might do with other brands to get the same result. I could have diluted the cleaner a little less but this would make it more expensive to use. Proper Cleaner say the wash doesn’t foam up due to the design of the nozzle, they purposefully chose not to use a ‘foaming nozzle’ as you might find on MucOff or Duck Smart as they say these have a tendency to break. The ethos of Proper Cleaner is to be as eco friendly as possible so they didn’t want customers to be in a position where they needed to replace the bottle soon after purchase.
The Proper Cleaner removed many types of mud, grime, grease and other nasties from the frame by just spraying on and agitating with a soft brush to remove the dirt, it makes light relatively light work of a dirty job with no residue left either. It also gave a good go at removing grease from the drivetrain too, although it doesn’t propose to be a degreaser. You have to be fairly adept at spraying and brushing in unison as the thin nature of the water-based cleaner does tend to follow gravity and run off the bike quite quickly. Upon spraying off the bike I noticed that the cleaner caused the water to bead on the frame which is a nice touch. On speaking to the makers they said they intentionally started off with a weaker cleaning fluid as it's easier to make it more concentrated than less, so there is room to make improvements to the mixture.
At £5 for the replacement sachets, Guy’s Proper Cleaner is a practical alternative to bottled cleaners. What it lacks slightly in cleaning power it makes up for by being better for the environment, taking up less room in the shed, being easier to transport to races or abroad (as long as you have a bottle available at the other end!) and by being one of the cheaper ways to buy bike cleaner if you are not in a position to store it in bulk.
Rachael is happiest on two wheels, she's been riding bikes for a good few years now after horses got too expensive! Partial to a race or two Rachael also likes getting out into the hills with a big bunch of mates. She's been writing - for publications such as Mountain Biking UK and Flow magazine - for as long as she's been riding and is equally happy getting stuck into a kit review as she is creating stories.