I have bought not so long ago (about two month) brand new and the shiny white from my handle tap have become pretty dirty:


I am tempted to just change the tape to another color - that would be problem solved for me - but that would basically be a dirty hack. How can I clean the white tape and remove the dirt?

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    For those wondering yes I have my bike in my bedroom, i.e: p.chmouel.com/inbedroom.jpeg Sep 7, 2012 at 15:44
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    You mean everybody doesn't? Sep 7, 2012 at 15:45
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    Wrap it with white (or orange or blue) hockey tape. Sep 7, 2012 at 15:52
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    (Or wash your hands.) Sep 7, 2012 at 15:52
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    Why wash it? You worked hard to accumulate that much dirt - it just shows that you ride a lot. I thought my white tape was going to be a P.I.T.A. to keep clean, too but once I realized it's a badge of honor I just let it go. Sep 19, 2012 at 12:39

8 Answers 8


Grab some of the disinfecting wipes in the round containers that you normally use for kitchen counters, etc. I like the Clorox brand in the yellow (Lemon Fresh!). Wrap around bars and squeeze a bit as you twist/rotate in the same direction as the wrap.

With cork based wrap this is fairly effective. With some of the slicker surfaced wraps (Lizard, etc), it's downright awesome. If you start cleaning with the wipes on a regular schedule your wrap will get even cleaner over time.

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    BTW: this works for other color wrap as well...it's surprising how much better black (non-cork) wrap looks after a good clean.
    – Ken Hiatt
    Sep 7, 2012 at 16:06

I use a citrus degreaser and its great. I clean my entire bike with it, but it gets the sweat and oils off the tape so the dirt stops sticking.


I use a cleaning product called Simple Green. It's bio-degradable ( good for the environment ) and really does a complete cleaning job! You can mix it at different strengths from a 1/2 gallon or 1 gallon refill size. It comes in a spray bottle initially. I use it to clean my bicycle rather than soap and water. It is safe to use and doesn't harm the paint. Just spray it on the bike or a soft cloth, and wipe the grease and dirt/dust off easily. No need to rinse the bike. It should gently remove the dirt/sweat from your handlebar tape. If the grips are cork, use just a little Simple Green on a soft cloth and wipe gently and remove from the tape. Don't allow the Simple Green to stay on the tape for an extended period ( which is determined by the strength you mix the Simple Green ). Same goes for wiping the bike using Simple Green. Don't allow it to dry on the paint. Wipe it on and with a dampened second cloth, wipe it off. You'll find more uses for Simple Green besides your bike! If you're married, better buy two bottles so your spouse can have their own bottle!

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    word of warning on simplegreen. If you let sit too long, like say a year, it will bleach things. Especially in the heat. Something about it breaks down over time and it can damage things when its old.
    – Matt Adams
    Sep 7, 2012 at 23:23
  • I love Simple Green, but no longer leave it on or let parts soak in it for very long... (velonews.competitor.com/2005/11/bikes-and-tech/technical-faq/…) Sep 8, 2012 at 0:09
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    The link above has a posting from a rep @ Simple Green which has a (new) product, Extreme Aircraft and Precision Cleaner, they claim is better for use on bicycle parts than plain old Simple Green. You can get it here: amazon.com/gp/product/B001VXU7OE
    – IconDaemon
    Sep 8, 2012 at 15:22

Dishwashing liquid and a small amount of baking soda, warm water, on an old sock or rag. Wipe with damp rag. Clean and bright.

Most of the dirt on my handlebar tape is from cleaning debris from tires while cycling.


I've used Cif or Jif as it used to be called. Its a cream bathroom and kitchen surface cleaner. Works wonders.


I've never gone wrong cleaning wraps using a soapy rag and elbow grease. I use an old bit of towel and dish soap. This has done a great job cleaning up thoroughly bike-greased and sweat-upon wraps.


baby wipes all day son - best, cheapest option to rim to rim, and you can even get them in organic! I've even used coconut oil as an on the spot bike lube.

  • Welcome to Bicycles @face. As a new user, I encourage you to check out our help center to learn how this site works. Enjoy!
    – andy256
    Aug 14, 2015 at 2:41

Use your old toothbrush and a normal toothpaste

  • Gidday and welcome to SE Bicycles. Can you expand your answer with more details? Have you done this yourself? Did it work well or was it less effective than other cleaning methods?
    – Criggie
    Jan 6, 2016 at 20:43

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