How do I clean an electric scooter? Well, it is like cleaning a bike but with a few extra steps and much more care. You will need to be careful not to make the circuits wet. Don’t worry, you will find all the answers you need in this article.
The cleaning requires only the following things to boot:
- Soft sponge
- Clean water and soapy water (both separately, lukewarm water is the best)
- WD40, oil, Vaseline or Vaseline spray for lubrication
- A cleaning brush or a simple brush (cheap toothbrushes for the hard-to-get areas are both great and affordable)
- A few disposable rags
- 2 buckets (1 for soapy water and the other for the clean water)
- And patience (not because it will take a long time, but because you don’t want to harm the electronics)
Follow these steps to clean your electric scooter:
- Get all the necessary cleaning gear ready
- Clean the external components using two buckets (one with soapy water and one with clean water): handlebars, footrest, throttle and brake levers, suspension, lights, fenders, and the kickstand
- Wash the wheels – use a separate sponge if possible, as wheels are the dirties parts
- Lubricate the moving joints
Would you like to know more?
Then join us in the article below, as we offer an in-depth description on how to properly wash your electric scooter.
Cleaning the scooter
I recommend that before washing, you should give it a run or two, especially if you rode it in the rain recently. This serves two functions: to heat it up and to get out any water that could be inside. This is due to the fact that dirty water can be blocked under the fenders or other places. Also, keeping the dirty water there can mess the e-scooter with prolonged exposure. But this step is completely arbitrary.
The circuits are manufactured with durability and protection in mind, so they are better protected than we think. Some choose to follow the side of caution, some don’t care. And both are happily riding into the sunset.
The steps of cleaning your scooter
Just as a heads up, the process in it of itself is by no means complicated. If you have ever cleaned a bike, the process is basically the same, but with more care involved. This is due to the vulnerability of the internal circuits to the effects of water.
First, you must properly set-up your washing procedure.
After you have prepared all the tools necessary for cleaning, be sure that everything is in place. The scooter should be fully stopped, so that you may avoid any unnecessary injuries.
You should also try to do it outdoor unless it is raining. Not only is it more pleasant, but the constant flow and contact with the outside air keep the electronic parts dry.
If you are in a hurry, you can superficially puff it with some water/Ajax for a nice and quick outer aspect. Use something water-resistant to protect the floor from the dripping water and you are good to go. This light clean works very well when the electric scooter is just full of dust but no mud.
However, a thorough clean is highly recommended.
Clean up the main exterior components.
Get the bucket of soapy water, the sponge or the rag. Dip the sponge in the soapy water and then thoroughly squeeze as much moisture as you can off it. In fact, squeeze it until it is almost completely dry. This is different from washing a car, where you would want a lot of water so it can lubricate the surface. But a lot of water is not good for the electronics inside the electric scooter.
You can though get more water to the areas where you don’t have any electronics. Make sure you know where is the battery placed (handlebar or under the deck plate)
Start by cleaning the handlebars, footrest, throttle levers, forks, lights, fenders, and the kickstand. Avoid the wheels for now, as they are a more delicate subject.
Then, get the bowl of clear water and repeat the process to rinse the soap off.
Expert tip 1
if you want to be a PRO, there is an advanced technique: get the sponge into the soapy water, wash the scooter and then clean the sponge in the clean water bucket. This will prevent any dirt from sticking to the sponge and scratching the scooter’s paint. Repeat this multiple times covering only a little surface. This minimizes the change of mud/small rock or any other material sticking into the sponge. Also, the best sponge you can use is a microfiber one. You can easily get one on Amazon. Get a separate bucket for rinsing.
Expert tip 2
Always wash it going in straight lines, the circular motion can cause the spider scratch. If your scooter is very dirty, the chances of scratching it rise.
After this, you must wipe all the water off with a dry rug. You must avoid the risk of having any droplets of water slide into the electronics. A second and quick dry would always be welcome, but at this point, I am probably giving you too much work to do.
Don’t use a hairdryer as it can deliver the opposite effect: inserting the water into the electronic circuits via tiny channels. Also, it heats up the circuits so it’s not recommended.
Getting the wheels washed.
Take a sponge or a disposable rag, dip it into the soapy water and thoroughly wash the wheels. Those are tires after all and simple water does wonders with rubber. Also, make sure to scrub the interior of the back wheel with just as much thoroughness. Use the brush to go between the wheel spokes. Make sure you use a light brush so you don’t scratch the paint.
Simple cleaning solutions, such as Ajax Multi-Action also work very well. It is ultimately a matter of personal preference. Try only to avoid heavy cleaning chemicals, which could ultimately damage your tires over time.
Also, while you are at it, take your time with inspecting the wheels for possible tears and other such possible things. If you have air tires, maybe you can check the tire pressure as well.
Grease the mobile joints and suspension if needed.
After thoroughly washing and drying the wheels, you should also take care of the brake pad. It is just as important as any other component. For it, use the same process as with the wheel washing.
It is common knowledge for any bike or car user that if the brake pad is kept dry, prolonged usage will eventually damage the entire braking system. So, after the cleaning, it is time for the lubrication. But, read your user manual at this step, your brakes may not need lubrication.
Just as with bikes, use any of the following: WD-40, oil, Vaseline or Vaseline Spray on the pad. Use them in small to moderate amounts and then turn the wheel for equal distribution. Too much can actually be harmful and will render the brake pad non-responsive due to too much slippery action.
And while you are at it, use so lubrication on the moving joints as well. More specifically, the ones near the suspension and the quick release clamp for changing the handle height. You can also lubricate the pins that connect both wheels to the scooter but be careful to not overdo it. The handlebar stem may also need lubrication.
Why clean it?
Propper maintenance and regular cleaning will, like with anything, prolong its lifespan by a long shot.
And you will want it to live a long and happy life, seeing as how many models get into the 400$-500$+ range. If anything, don’t see washing it as a chore, but as a hobby-like activity.
How often should you wash it?
On average, you should clean your e-scooter once every two weeks. You can and should do it more than once if the weather is rainy and dirty outside. It is not only that the muddy water makes it look bad, but it slowly damages the scooter over time.
What not to do while washing it?
Using a Hose
The first thing that comes to mind when speaking of cleaning an electronic scooter is a hose or even pressure washing it. Although there are people out there who hose their scooters, I would not recommend it to you. Water pouring from a hose doesn’t go wherever you want and in whatever quantities you want. And water can easily infiltrate the gaps that lead to the electric circuits.
Despite the fact that those things are sturdy, they are not invincible. They also aren’t cheap to replace. The scooter, although made to be sturdy, despite its small size, is not invincible to a steady stream of water. Its sturdiness comes from its ability to function properly in rainy conditions such as simple rains.
And don’t get me started on pressure washing. Not all scooters are made equally. In order to emphasize this, take what I said about hose washing and amplify in by 100. Some scooters are of high quality, while some are not. Some have good and durable protective materials, while some are probably bought from a pawn shop.
A high-pressure wash delivers a pressure 100 bars or more which can easily get water into the circuits between the gaps.
The point is that regardless of manufacturer, flaws can exist in the protective casings and the quality of the materials. And by pressure washing, you are not only risking the internal circuits, but you are also slowly “skinning them alive”.
If you have done it properly, it means that you have cleaned it from “head to toe”, including its brake system. Which is why using it just after washing and greasing it is dangerous to ride it. Water on the surfaces used for braking can, for a time, reduce or even hinder braking maneuvers. And it is all fine and dandy until you break into the literal front of a car.
However, if you are that eager to immediately try it out, find some flat where there are no people around. There you can test your breaks at your own leisure, without endangering anyone.
Another thing to keep in mind is not to leave it in the sun. Many scooters have exteriors that incorporate plastic or plastic-like materials. Also, most are black. And what do black, water covered plastic-like materials do in the sunlight?
They attract heat from the sun. Which, after a long enough exposure, can lead to the internal circuits being slowly cooked from the inside-out. If you do, however, wish to leave it drying outside, a simple solution is to find some constantly shaded area.
Another reason why not to let it dry in the sun is the steam. When under the sun, the drying water will create vapors that can very easily enter the circuitry.
There are also those who say that leaving it to dry naturally is harmful to the metals, due to rusting. For this, however, there is a simple and obvious solution. First, you wipe it dry with a towel or a rag and then you can leave it in the shade. This should both protect the metals from rust and keep is fresh.
There are, however, models out there that are basically immune to the blight of rust, such as the Egret One scooter. Instead of steel, it is made of mostly aluminum, which is basically immune to rust. Its bolts, despite being made of steel, are coated with zinc, so that they may not rust.
But aren’t E-scooters waterproof?
This is a common misconception regarding e-scooters. They are not waterproof by any means. Most manufacturers even advise against riding them in the raid and through puddles, due to the risk of water-related mishaps.
Well, how can you find out information regarding your scooter’s water resistance capabilities? There are two main ways: The first is simply looking on forums or any other site for information regarding your scooter.
IP Rating of Electric Scooters
Ultimately, it revolves around the IPX rating of the scooter. Knowing what IPX rating your ride has will help you determine whether you can safely use the scooter in rain. The IPX should be written somewhere within the specs. Either that or you can simply find it online. It is highly indicated that your electric scooter has an IP of at least 54 to be usable in light-rainy conditions.
This matters a lot because it shows how vulnerable electric scooters are to water. The IP system mainly advises against using them in rain, but how about washing? Well, if you follow down below guide, by squeezing the sponges/rags you won’t have any problems.
Cleaning Sprays for Electric Scooters
Cleaning sprays are also safe, but you must be careful not to target the circuits. Just to be safe, you can spray a rag and clean it with it.
Submerging the electric scooter
Submerging them in water, however, or hosing them is a big no-no, since their components are not made to be sealed shut. Water will get in and it will fry the electronics. Keep on reading to find out why hosing or pressure washing is a very bad idea.
Just like anything mechanical, a good wash must be followed by a thorough inspection. See if there is any water left near the vulnerable circuits. Also, check if the freshly lubricated brake pad is in order, then the integrity of the brakes and so on.
Some may not even bother to follow most of these steps properly. However, one thing is for sure, and that’s that your e-scooter’s lifespan can be greatly increased with a good wash.
Until next time, ride safely.