When it comes to the plight of being more environmentally friendly, very few bike cleaner brands do it quite like Squirt and its Biodegradable Bike Cleaner. Now available in 30ml sachets with a super concentrated formula, this cleaner effectively covers all kinds of washing applications, whether that’s a general post-ride hose-down or a more intense drivetrain degrease. It’s a one-stop shop for all bike cleaning needs, though a bottle will have to be bought separately.
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Squirt Biodegradable Bike Cleaner 30ml Super Concentrate Sachet - Technical details
Even though it’s a cleaner, Squirt uses a blend of non-ionic surfactants that have been made from natural and renewable raw materials. Also found within the green syrup are corrosion inhibitors, chelating agents and non-carcinogenic foam stabilisers. But importantly, it’s an environmentally safe solution that doesn’t use alkylphenol ethoxylates, nonyl phenol and phosphates. I’ll admit, I can’t and won’t attempt to pronounce most of those words.
As its name suggests, it’s biodegradable too and safe to use on steel, aluminium, rubber, and fabrics.
Though, Squirt’s Biodegradable Bike Cleaner comes with very simple but very noble intentions. Not only has it been created in order to be good at cleaning stuff but Squirt’s move to package a super concentrate in small sachets solves a few issues. Firstly, it saves water being exported from South Africa (where it’s made), a naturally water-scarce region. That’s huge. Instead, it relies on the end user to mix with water from their own tap, rather than take such an important resource away from those who need it for something other than cleaning bikes. Squirt says that it has managed to reduce the amount of water used to create the cleaner by up to 90%.
Secondly, it drastically reduces the company’s carbon footprint. A small box of 10 sachets takes up much less space in the back of a lorry, enabling a courier to transport more around the world in a single shipment. This also lowers its price per use compared to other cleaner brands.
Of course, Squirt Biodegradable cleaner is still available in larger quantities, such as the 750ml ready-to-use spray and five-litre tub.
Each sachet makes 750ml of cleaner or mix with 190ml of water for a mild degreaser.
Squirt Biodegradable Bike Cleaner 30ml Super Concentrate Sachet - Performance
These days, most bike cleaners do a solid job of ridding muck from our bikes, granted with an array of fancy scents. However, as most come pre-mixed, few are nearly as versatile as Squirt in this concentrated sachet.
Mixing the green goop to create a cleaner is very easily done, I just had to hunt down an empty spray bottle, fill it and give it a shake. Though the possibility of creating a degreaser ups the cleaner’s capability.
Once sprayed onto the bike, through my old Juice Lubes Bike Cleaner bottle, the solution sits as a foam that sticks around for a reasonably long time. Plenty long enough for it to work its magic. This long-time foaming both allows the cleaner to penetrate hard-to-shift crud but also stays rather foamy whilst brushing the bike down.
When it comes to rinsing, the cleaner doesn’t hang about, leaving my carbon, Invisframed frame streak and mud free. I’ve been rather impressed with the gleaming state Squirt has left my bike after so little agitation or scrubbing.
But where the Bike Cleaner really comes in handy is in how you can create a super cleaner, or a degreaser where it’s proven to be equally as effective. In a second spray bottle that I had lying around, I kept a more potent mix of the cleaner that I used only on my bike’s drivetrain. When giving it a scrub, I sprayed it directly onto the cassette and I would have it drip feed through my chain cleaning tool. After which, my drivetrain was left without a smear of grease. During my time using Squirt Biodegradable Bike Cleaner, I never felt the need for a purpose-built drivetrain degreaser. However, it’s not quite strong enough to efficiently shift heavier assembly greases.
If I were to nitpick, finding a spare spray bottle was a bit of a pain but the fact that I had to is exactly the point of these cleaner sachets. In unearthing old bottles I was doing exactly what the Biodegradable Bike Cleaner sachet wanted me to do - recycle old stuff. But if you’re strapped for spare bottles, you will have to shell out for another. It’s not ideal but absolutely understandable.
Squirt Biodegradable Bike Cleaner 30ml Super Concentrate Sachet - Verdict
Generally, everyone needs some kind of bike cleaner and it’s tough to beat the value of Squirt Biodegradable Bike Cleaner, even though the initial investment is larger than that of a bottle of Muc-Off Nano Tech Cleaner, for example. For your £3 though, you’re effectively buying 750ml of cleaner and, if you buy the £32 ten-pack, you're essentially getting 7,500ml. To get even close to the same volume, you’ll need to spend north of £83 on seven bottles of Nano Tech and even then you’ll be 350ml short.
For £32, the price of the ten-pack, you can buy five litres of Nano Tech but the big bottle will take up more space in your shed and it doesn’t come with the eco-credentials or degreasing properties of Squirt.
In fact, unless you’re willing to risk hosing your bike down with dish detergent, there are incredibly few cleaners that offer the same sense of bang for buck, especially if you need to top up your degreaser, too.
But to bring Muc-Off back into the story, we have to talk about Punk Powder, the brand's attempt at offering an environmentally friendly sachet-based cleaner. It is pricier than Squirt, especially as a first purchase (the Bottle For Life Bundle will set you back £32 which includes an alloy bottle). Top-up packs, including another two litres of cleaner, will cost £16. In testing, I found that it was a struggle to mix, sometimes clogging the spray head’s hose.
Squirt’s Biodegradable Bike Cleaner 30ml Super Concentrate Sachets aren’t just for the eco-conscious but budget-conscious, too. The cleaner combines effective degreasing and bike washing for a comparatively low price while lowering emissions and minimising carbon footprints. It’ll also take up much less space in your shed. If you’re looking for a cleaner and degreaser in one place, this stuff can’t be beaten. Just make sure you’ve got a spare bottle lying about.