How to Clean Your Tricycle: Essential Guide



Tricycles, either traditional or recumbent style, are a wonderful way to get outside and keep fit. But, the most important thing to keep your motorcycle in good condition is to clean it and do maintenance. In this guide, we will walk you through the most crucial steps of tricycle cleaning, from setting up your workspace to shielding your trike from the elements. Whether it is an adult tricycle, an electric tricycle, or a recumbent trike, these tips will help you maintain your three-wheeled ride in its best condition.

Key Differences in Cleaning and Maintaining Recumbent Tricycles vs. Standard Tricycles

Recumbent and standard tricycles have similarities when it comes to washing and maintenance. However, recumbent tricycles have a different design and therefore need more attention in some areas.

Seat and Backrest: Recumbent tricycles are characterized by having a seat and a backrest that require cleaning and maintenance on a regular basis. Frequently, these elements consist of cotton or leather. The backrest can be detached from the rest of the structure so that it can be cleaned apart.

Suspension: Many recumbent tricycles have a “suspension” system that requires cleaning and maintenance on a regular basis. Normally, the suspension system consists of springs, shock absorbers and bearings. Those parts require extra caution during cleaning to prevent them from being damaged.

Canopy and Windshield: Likewise, some models of recumbent tricycles have this canopy and windshield, which should be cleaned and maintained regularly. Clean the canopy, rinse it well and then let it dry to be put back. When it comes to the windshield, a glass cleaner and a soft cloth are the best options to prevent scratches.

Additionally, the general maintenance of the brakes, pedals, and tyres is equally important, as these are the parts of the bike that determine the safety of riding.

standard tricycle

Preparing Your Tricycle for Cleaning

It’s time to get started on cleaning your tricycle. Let’s first collect all the required supplies. There should be a clean bucket, soap, a dry cloth, and a sponge. The toolkit that you will need will depend on the type of tricycle you are working with, and you might also need some screwdrivers or other tools.

Be extra careful. If you have an electric tricycle, be more careful while washing it near the electrical components. It is always a good idea to read the manufacturer’s manual or to ask a pro if you are not able to clean an electric tricycle safely.

When you decide to wash your tri-cycle, keep in mind the weather conditions. Do not clean in really hot weather or when it’s raining, as this may be difficult for cleaning. Rather than that, you can choose a day with mild weather and put the tricycle in a place where it is easier to clean it.

BucketHolds soapy water for washing the tricycle
SoapCreates soapy water for washing the tricycle
Dry ClothDries the tricycle after washing
SpongeApplies soapy water to wash the tricycle
ToolkitTightens or loosens parts of the tricycle during cleaning as needed
ScrewdriversTightens or loosens screws on the tricycle during cleaning as needed
Tools to wash your tricycle

Step-By-Step Cleaning Process

Now that you have gathered your cleaning supplies and prepared your tricycle, let’s walk through the step-by-step cleaning process.

Washing the Frame and Body

Let us begin cleaning the tricycle by washing the frame and its body. To begin with, mix some dishwashing soap in a bucket of clean water to make soapy water. Next, wet a sponge or a cloth in the soapy water, and then scrub the bike frame carefully. Give more consideration to the spots that are heavily polluted. Now that you’ve cleaned the frames, hose them down with a lot of water to get rid of soap. Last, but not least, dry up the frame and body using a clean cloth or some rags. This will take off the water that is still on the trike. This step is very crucial as it allows dirt and water to not accumulate on the frame of the bike, which might cause rust or damage it over time.

Detailing the Wheels and Tires

The trike’s wheels and tires are highly likely to get dirty. They, however, can pick up a lot of dirt, sand, and filth. This is why it is very essential for you to be very careful when you’re doing the cleaning process on your tricycle. First, you may want to take a close look at the tires. Make sure there are no holes or damage. First, if you discover any issues, solve them before you embark on cleaning. Then, wet a cloth or a sponge to clean the tires. Clean the tread and the tire sides equally. Use a toothbrush or a brush for the spokes. This will, of course, help to clear off any dirt or grit that has adhered to them. The next step is to give the wheels and tires a good washing with water. Do not forget to discard any cleaners you used. Through such actions, your tricycle will be better. This will also ensure that you have a more exciting and safer ride.

Cleaning the Chain

Cleaning and Lubricating the Chain and Drivetrain

The chain and drivetrain of your tricycle are vital components. They should be cleaned and lubricated properly so that they can operate efficiently. Now, apply a degreaser to the chain. A brush or cloth is used to eliminate any dirt and grime. After that, rinse the chain with water to wash away the degreaser. Then, wipe the chain with a cloth. After the chain is dry and clean, add the lube made specially for bike chains, also known as chain lube. Make sure to cover moving parts. For a manual chain cleaner, you can get one that can make the process faster and easier. With this treatment, there will be less friction, which will make shifting easier. This way, it will also help the drivetrain of your trike to last longer.

Addressing Gears and Brakes

Your gears and brakes of your tricycle should be well maintained. This way, they will only convey the information they know to be accurate and keep you safe. First, brake pads have to be checked. Check for worn or damaged parts. If brake pads are worn out, you should probably change them. This would be to make sure your brakes work properly. One of the simplest brake repairs you can do yourself is usually cleaning the brake pads and wheel rims, if the brakes are making a squeaking noise. Water and laundry detergent should be used to perform this task. You should also grease the pivoting point of the lever. Through this, they can smoothly move from one stage to another. Brush the gear with a brush or cloth to remove any dirt or debris that is stuck. Don’t forget to grease the gears. It will thereby remove friction and make shifting much easier.

Special Considerations for Recumbent Trikes

A recumbent tricycle cleaning process involves some special considerations because of its unique design and features. One of the issues is accessing hard-to-reach spaces, for instance, under the seat or between the frame and wheels. For the cleaning of these parts, use a toothbrush or a small brush to remove the dirt or any debris.

Maintaining the Seating Area

The seat with the saddle and backrest is a major part of your recumbent tricycle and needs to be kept clean. Such things, frequently crafted from fabric or leather, will accumulate sweat, dust, and grime after some time. Another interesting finding was the need for interdisciplinary collaboration between healthcare providers, social workers, and community organizations. Clean the fabric with a mild soap solution and soft brush, and apply the leather cleaner and conditioner for the leather seats. Usually, the backrest can be removed to facilitate cleaning. Following the washing, leave the seating to dry before any dampness or mold growth occurs. Be especially cautious when cleaning of electric tricycles near to electric components, and if in doubt, consult either the manufacturer’s instructions or a professional for the proper maintenance.

Travelling on recumbent trike

Post-Cleaning MaintenanceTips

After cleaning your tricycle, it’s important to perform post-cleaning maintenance to keep it in optimal condition.

Squeaking Noises and How to Silence Them

If your recumbent trike squeaks after cleaning, it could be that moisture or the wrong lubrication has caused the squeaking. Make sure that you recheck the water in the area that you took apart during the bike cleaning process. Also, make sure to wipe it down. Transmission noise can also come from the gears and components if they have too much or too little lubricant. Refer to the trike’s manual for the amount of lube to be applied; too much lube is an attractor of dirt and grime, while insufficient lube causes friction and wear. Ensure you use the correct kind and quantity of lube on the chain, gears, and brake pads.

Dealing With Rust and Prevention

Check your tricycle often for signs of rust and repair any areas immediately to prevent more corrosion from occurring. You can preserve your tricycle by keeping it in a dry place that doesn’t get rained on and away from the sun. Make sure you exercise caution when cleaning the electric tricycle, paying special attention to the cleanliness of the electrical components, to prevent any damages. Through the implementation of preventive measures and the correction of rust immediately, you would be able to extend the lifespan of your trike as well as keep it in tiptop condition.


By maintaining and cleaning your adult tricycle regularly, you can keep it running well and safely. This article is going to be a step-by-step tutorial on cleaning your tricycle (or recumbent trike). From washing to drying, it will cover everything you need to know. You will learn how to charge the batteries in e-tricyles and how to clean them as well. Moreover, you will learn how to clean the seat and handlebars.

It is worth recalling that investing some time to work on your three wheeled bicycle is a good deed. It would be as if you were buying yourself years of fun because you would be able to ride for a long period of time. Now, get your equipment, tune in to music, and take good care of your tricycle.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Clean My Tricycle?

What interval you should clean your tricycle depends on a few factors. These are for example, regular maintenance, the environment in which you ride and the tricycle that you have. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to clean your tricycle at least twice a month, roughly. Yet, if you do the riding in extreme temperatures, either hot or cold, or in rough conditions, you may have to clean the helmet more often.

Can I Use Household Cleaners on My Tricycle?

Household cleaners use on your tricycle are often not recommended. This is because such chemicals are often the strongest in them. These chemicals can damage your gears or the electrical components, most especially if you have an electric trike.

Rather than being hard on the bike with strong detergents, use gentle detergents or cleaning products made especially for bikes. These products are formulated to clean your tricycle thoroughly and gently. They won’t hurt or damage your tricycle.

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