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The Muc-Off Bottle For Life Bundle is a great way to keep your bikes clean and reduce your impact on the environment. The aluminium bottle is tough, with a silicone base to help protect it, and the Punk Powder does a good job of de-mucking your bikes. Unfortunately, as seems to be the case with many eco-friendly products, you do pay a bit of a premium.
If you take pride in cleaning your bikes regularly but worry about the waste, this Bottle For Life Bundle might be just the ticket.
Compare it with, for example, Muc-Off's Nano Tech Bike Cleaner. We've tested the Nano and it works well at getting through grime, but if you go through a lot of it, there's a fair amount of waste involved: not just the plastic container when you purchase it, but the issue of environmental transportation costs if you go for the 5L refill to reduce the packaging, or you can buy it as a concentrate in a 500ml pouch, which makes 2L.
With this eco-friendly Punk Powder, two tiny sachets make 2L of bike cleaner. The packaging is compostable (Muc-Off says two sachets is a 92% reduction in packaging over the Nano Tech stuff), the ink on the packaging is vegetable, and the powder itself is plant-based – so vegan, and therefore cruelty-free. The box housing both sachets is also FSC recycled cardboard.
And of course the aluminium bottle can be reused indefinitely, its bottom protected by the non-toxic, food-grade silicone base.
Whether the trigger spray will last a lifetime is hard to say – in my experience, you'll see a couple of years before something breaks – but it might prove me wrong.
Muc-Off says Punk Powder, when dissolved in water, is just as effective as Nano Tech and safe on all parts and surfaces, so it won't harm crucial components like seals, cables and brake pads.
Indeed, when I tried it out the results were pretty much as I expected. I'd been testing a new set of carbon wheels and brake pads on my Condor Italia RC, and within the first 100 miles, during the initial bedding in of the pads, they, the callipers and surrounding paintwork got caked in dust. I left this to sit on the bike for a week before attempting to clean it off.
To dissolve the powder, just fill the aluminium bottle with luke-warm water, pour the sachet of powder in, screw on the spray trigger and give it a good shake for about 30 seconds.
First up, I sprayed it on the caked-on brake dust, left it to work for a few minutes, and then used the shower setting on my garden hose to rinse it off. The majority of the dust had been removed, with only a tiny bit on the brake pad remaining; this eventually came off with a bit more Punk Powder and a soft bristle brush.
On other areas of the bike it worked equally well at removing grime, although as with most cleaners of this ilk, you'll either need to scrub hard or get something more powerful to cut through oily gunk. That's perfectly acceptable.
The aluminium bottle itself feels great. It's slightly weightier than a plastic bottle and feels built to last, without deforming in any way or discolouring. The silicone base is a nice idea too; it not only helps protect the bottle from getting dinged when in use, it also helps the bottle stand up securely, especially on uneven ground. Personally, I didn't like having the base on while in use, as it made the whole bottle very heavy to hold.
The spray trigger is the same as you get with the Nano Tech cleaner. I have to admit I've never been a massive fan of this kind of spray trigger on the Muc-Off bottles. I tend to find it quite hard work to saturate a bike with the spray – there's not a load of throughput. It has a dual-action cap that you flip to change the spray from narrow to wide; I prefer the kind with a rotating adjustable nozzle at the end, so you can fine-tune the spray type.
Overall, the Bottle For Life Bundle is a really great idea – I love the environmental credentials – but it comes at a premium. You can buy the 5L bottle of Nano Tech for £29.99, which works out at about £6 per litre, whereas the Punk Powder is about £7.50 a litre.
Muc-Off isn't the first company to try to reduce its carbon footprint. Proper Cleaner by Guy Martin's Proper Degreaser Starter Pack, for example, consists of a plastic bottle and two sachets to make 2L of its degreaser, while its General Cleaner Starter Pack, which we tested back in 2018, consists of a bottle and a sachet that makes 1.5L of cleaner, for £6.50.
Of course, if you already have an old plastic bottle to hand you could just use that and buy the Punk Powder sachets instead. The aluminium bottle and silicone base are a nice touch, definitely, but reusing an old bottle is arguably better for the environment.
Good bike-specific cleaner with great environmental credentials, but it's expensive
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Muc-Off Bottle For Life Bundle
Size tested: 2 Litres
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?
Muc-Off says, "Our all-new Bottle For Life is a recyclable tough aluminium spray bottle that'll stand the test of time and grime! It comes with a non-toxic, food-grade silicone base to protect both the bottle and your bike! Included in the bundle you'll find two sachets of our incredible new Punk Powder."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
100% plastic-free packaging
Refill your Bottle For Life and help to eliminate plastic waste
92% saving in packaging compared to 2 x 1L Nano Tech Bike Cleaner
100% environmentally friendly ingredients, including plant-based raw materials
Supplied in a compostable sachet and printed with vegetable inks
FSC recycled card box containing 2 x sachets – that makes 2L of bike cleaner
Safe on all parts and surfaces including carbon fibre
Will not harm seals, cables, disc brake pads or rotors
Alkaline-based and free from alcohol, CFCs, solvents or acids
Vegan & vegetarian friendly
Bottle for life is compatible with our Muc-Off Pressure Washer snow foam lancer attachment.
Cruelty-free, not tested on animals
Dissolves easily in any type of water. Cold, warm and hot. Hard or soft.
The aluminium bottle is already pretty tough, and the base helps to protect the bottom from dents.
In terms of cleaning, the Punk Powder is very good – cuts through most grime effectively. It's also safe to use anywhere on the bike.
All good so far. The plastic spray trigger is my only doubt, although I've had several before that I've used for years without any issues.
The spray trigger is easy to hold comfortably in hand. The aluminium bottle is a little weighty with the base attached.
It's pretty expensive for the kit, and refills cost more than conventional water-based refills from Muc-Off and sachets of Proper Cleaner by Guy Martin.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I can't knock the eco credentials, and the cleaner performs as well as normal Muc-Off stuff. I'm not a big fan of the spray trigger, but that's probably just me being picky.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The Punk Powder sachets.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's pretty pricey, working out at about £7.50 per litre for the Punk Powder. The Proper Cleaner by Guy Martin Starter Pack is only £6.50 and is effectively the same thing (with sachets making up 1.5L for £5, so around £3.33 a litre). Muc-Off also makes a 5L bulk refill container of Nano Tech for £29.99, which works out at about £6 per litre – cheaper, but not so good for the planet.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Not the whole kit, but certainly the Punk Powder sachets.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your overall score
A good bit of kit overall, and a great way of encouraging people to think more about the waste involved with bike cleaning products. It's expensive, but if you need a new bottle (and you like the idea of the base) that's shinier than plastic, then go for it.
About the tester
I usually ride: Condor Italia RC custom build My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,