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Juice Lubes Dirt Juice Double Pack



Yes it gets your bike clean, but it's not the Messiah

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Fundamentally, there are two camps in the bike washing world - those who buy bespoke products, and those who reach under the kitchen sink for the green stuff. If you are in the former camp, you like British-made biodegradable products and you don't mind spending a quid or two per cleanup, then the Juice Lubes Dirt Juice Double Pack is a good bet.

If you are a kitchen-cupboard-cleaner kind of cyclist, you'll be able to afford that extra double espresso on the next ride out.

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In the world of cycling there are few subjects around which revolves as much myth, supposition, fervent belief and ardent suspicion as cleaning and degreasing products. Just how exactly do you measure 'clean'? What does 'degreased' actually mean? And what are the variables? Weather, speed, lubricant, previous products, manufacturer coatings, water hardness, type of brush, temperature of water, makeup of local soil type and seasonal bovine diet - all these and more play crucial parts in how any given cleaning product may or may not work.

Into this maintenance maelstrom we enter, attempting to quantify 'cleaning' and 'degreasing' performance.

Double take

The Juice Lubes Dirt Juice Double Pack is - as the name implies - a pack of two halves. A 1L squirty bottle of 'Less Gnarl General Cleaner And Degreaser', and a 1L bottle of 'Super Gnarl Concentrated Citrus Degreaser'. These are actually the same product - the cleaner is simply the degreaser diluted 10:1 in a squirty bottle. Together they retail for £16.99, whereas separately the degreaser is £11.99 and the cleaner £7.99. So you save £3 buying the double. But if you went down the DIY mixing route purchasing two bottles of the degreaser you'd have spent £24 for 1L Degreaser and 11L of Cleaner. That's a saving of over £75 for the effort of mixing 100ml of Degreaser with 900ml of water every time you needed a refill. If you like the stuff, there's a lot of cash to be saved by spending sensibly.

So does it work? Yes. The instructions say to wet your bike down, spray with cleaner, wait two minutes, 'agitating the most stubborn areas with brush or sponge' then rinsing with water. There's no definition of what 'most stubborn areas' entails - in practice I used a soft brush everywhere, it's simply easier to give the whole bike a going over rather than try to mince about deciding which bits to go at or not. For drivetrain areas and wheel arches the grubby brush came out, as usual.

Spraying the cleaner on means inevitable drift, and the odd bit in the face if it's windy. It wasn't unpleasant, but I'd not want to use it as a beauty product. On the Juice Lubes website they demonstrate by spraying the Cleaner direct onto a soft brush, which I found just as effective but makes you wonder about the instruction to leave on for two minutes.

To cover a large-sized road bike frame and rims in cleaner dense enough to work took squirts totalling 143ml - or 1/7th of the bottle. So you get seven washes per bottle of cleaner. Or £1.14 per wash if purchased separately, about 94p when purchased as part of the double pack. Let's call it a quid per wash.

So I put in no more or less effort than cleaning a bike using any other product, and the Juice Lubes product got the bike 'clean'. But critically, how 'clean'?

Answer: as clean as pretty much every other bike cleaning product I've tried, including the bucket du jour, a decent squirt of Fairy Liquid in a few litres of hot tapwater.

Mild green...

I can hear readers limbering fingers over the comments section, poised to rip into this heretical idea - Fairy Liquid containing such quantities of salt as will literally reduce your bike to a rusty exoskeleton overnight. To which I offer the rejoinder that my all-steel Charge Juicer has been washed twice a week every week for three years using hot Fairy and still looks like new - paint chippings aside. And when replacing bottom brackets an inspection of the frame internals shows no reason for concern.

Neat Fairy liquid is also an excellent degreaser, and possibly the only one on the market guaranteed to wash away completely without residue, according to a bloke I spoke to recently who had invested a lot of time in a half-billion-quid-equipped industrial lab doing batteries of tests, only to find out the new super-degreaser his startup had developed and sought to patent was basically Fairy Liquid in chemical composition (more on this guy and his lab in future reviews).

But let's leave the Fairies under the sink and get on to the next product in question - the 'Super Gnarl' degreaser. I found I needed about 100-150ml of degreaser fluid per effort, to do an entire drivetrain from moderately filthy back to dinner-plate clean - so somewhere between seven and ten degreasing sessions out of a bottle. Again, let's call it a quid per bash.

There was no getting away from it, you still need serious brushwork to dislodge baked-on gunge. It worked well in a chain scrubber as well as direct, applied by a decent stiff brush. The lube/mud gunge it was removing in this case was part Hampshire slurry, part MucOff C3 Ceramic. In the past I've used the weapons-grade Shimano degreaser - but that comes with major health and environmental warnings, and isn't cheap. The Juice Lubes Degreaser worked almost as well, on my mix of lube/mud. YMMV.

Now the blue comments section touchpaper is lit, I'll retire to a safe distance...


Yes it gets your bike clean, but it's not the Messiah test report

Make and model: Juice Lubes Dirt Juice Double Pack

Size tested: 2 x 1 Litre

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

It's aimed at people wanting to clean and degrease their bikes, who are averse to the idea of using Fairy liquid.

Juice Lubes says: "The Dirt Juice Double Pack is our Dirt Juice Super Gnarl 1 Litre strapped firmly to a bottle of Dirt Juice Less Gnarl with trigger spray.

"As you may already be aware the Dirt Juice Super Gnarl is a concentrated degreaser for use neat on drive trains and cleaning bearings and the Less Gnarl is a ready to use bike cleaner. By diluting the Super Gnarl 10:1 with water you can make your own Less Gnarl general cleaner, so as you can see this is a big value product giving you up to 12 litres of cleaner! That should last you a good while!!"

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

It's 100% biodegradable, and made in the UK.

Rate the product for performance:

It's okay, but not notably better than anything else I've tried.

Rate the product for value:

At £2 a go, it's hard to say this product is good 'value' – but then I wash bikes a lot, and hundreds of quid a year could buy me a new gruppo.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Okay. On par with everything else. The degreaser did a good job.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

it's biodegradeable, which is a big win over products like Shimano's degreaser.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

That it didn't perform notably better than washing up liquid.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, in as much as it didn't require more effort than I normally put in.

Would you consider buying the product? Not really - I'd save the cash.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Not unless I knew they were against ordinary washing up liquid.

Use this box to explain your score

At two quid a go to wash and degrease your bike, with performance on par with household washing up liquid, it's hard to offer more than an 'above average'. I have tried degreasers that haven't worked as well, but I've also tried a few that have worked better - albeit not 100% biodegradeable. It's complicated.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 183cm  Weight: 71KG

I usually ride: Charge Juicer  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: club rides, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, and Dutch bike pootling


Living in the Highlands, Mike is constantly finding innovative and usually cold/wet ways to accelerate the degradation of cycling kit. At his happiest in a warm workshop holding an anodised tool of high repute, Mike's been taking bikes apart and (mostly) putting them back together for forty years. With a day job in global IT (he's not completely sure what that means either) and having run a boutique cycle service business on the side for a decade, bikes are his escape into the practical and life-changing for his customers.

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N3al | 8 years ago

Excellent review!

I started using this stuff about 6 months ago and I must say I do rate it. I still give the bike the once over with soapy water first and then use this on the stubborn areas, drive train and wheels. It doesn't work out any more expensive that way and gives great results.

lerrup | 8 years ago

So how does it compares to Halfords degreaser, which is similarly citrus based and been around for years?

KiwiMike replied to lerrup | 8 years ago
lerrup wrote:

So how does it compares to Halfords degreaser, which is similarly citrus based and been around for years?

I had some of that a few years back, but haven't done a side-by-side comparison. Suffice to say I didn't buy another bottle.

Beefy | 8 years ago

Washing up liquid cheep and works, used muck off in past but always go back to washing up liquid because it keeps my hand so soft  1

Airzound | 8 years ago

A good way to waste your hard earned cash.

newtonuk | 8 years ago

Isn't 900ml of water and 100ml of concentrate a ratio of 9:1?

rmacneil | 8 years ago

Possibly my favourite review ever.

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