How to Clean a Motorcycle Air Cleaner

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What You'll Need
Cleaning solvent
Filter oil
Soap and water
Working gloves
Protective overalls

There are benefits associated with maintaining a motorcycle air cleaner. It makes the engine last for a long period. It is one of the components that make it possible for the motorcycle to run and perform its best. Driving long distances exposes the motorcycle to a build-up of dirt, dust, and debris, that an air cleaner needs to be able to filter out of engine. Follow these steps to clean the air cleaner.

Step 1 - Get the Necessary Materials

There are three main types of motorcycle air cleaners. For oiled foam cleaners, buy a cleaning solvent from a mechanic or garage.

Get filter oil as well. When cleaning oiled fabric cleaners, buy laundry soap and filter oil. Make sure to get out a bucket and protective clothing.

Step 2 - Clean the Filter

Remove the dirty air filter from the motorcycle. Be careful not to drop it or tear into the foam. Pull it slowly and place it on a safe surface. Put enough solvent in a clean bucket when cleaning oil foam cleaners. For oiled fabric cleaners, place a large amount of water in a bucket and dissolve the portional quantity of soap.

Take the air cleaner and dip it into the bucket. Use your hands to squeeze out dirt and oil residues. Use gentle motions and press your fingers towards the middle shaft of the air cleaner. This helps to remove as much dirt as possible.

Repeat the process until the air cleaner is well washed and free from any form of dirt and oil. For each step use fresh supplies of either solvent or soap and water for oil foam and oil fabric respectively.

Step 3 - Rinse Air Cleaners and Dry

For each type of air cleaner, place a new supply of clean water into a clean bucket. Use your hands to rinse the material until it is free from soapy water or solvent. This should be done at least three times.

Take the air cleaner and place it on a clean and dry surface. Let it dry completely.

Step 4 - Use Oil Air Cleaners

There are different types of oils that can be used for this purpose. Special air filter oil can be applied to the dried air cleaners. Other types of oil that can be used for this purpose include 10w or30w engine oil.

Pour out small quantities of oil onto the air cleaner and use your hands to make sure that all parts of the component get oil. Add more quantities and massage it into the air cleaner until all parts are covered. This allows it to work effectively.

Step 5 - Fix Air Cleaners

Be careful when placing the air cleaner back on the motorcycle. Make sure it is secure and fastened tightly enough. If there is visible dirt in the compartment, then clean it before putting back the air cleaner.


Always put oil on air cleaners made from foam filters. This allows them to work properly. These are commonly used as air cleaners in dirt bikes.