MUC-OFF PUNK POWDER BIKE CLEANER REVIEW
Review by Robert Johnston
Muc-Off has been one of the leading bike cleaner brands since 1994, with their unmistakable foaming pink cleaner gracing the shelves of bike shops and the toolboxes of riders all around the world. Since their Inception Muc-Off has been growing their product range to include items from high-tech chain lubricants through to their bike-specific pressure washer, but their cleaner has remained largely unchanged in this time. If it ain’t broke… However, with eco-conscious activities becoming increasingly critical to protect our planet, Muc-Off has been making big moves to lessen their environmental impact with their Project Green initiatives. One of their key developments was to reduce single-use plastics to a minimum, leading to the development of their Punk Powder bike cleaner refill sachets. Does green mean less clean? The Eurowolf got to work on his muddy test rigs to find out.
Muc-Off’s Punk Powder bike cleaner refill sachets have been designed to offer the same cleaning power as their signature Nano Tech cleaner whilst removing any plastics or unnecessary water transport from the refill process. Each 30g sachet contains a dose of the Punk Powder suitable to make 1L of cleaner, reducing packaging by 92% in the process. The packaging that remains is also plastic free, with the sachet packaging being compostable and composed from renewable raw materials, all the way down to the vegetable-based inks. The cleaner shares the same properties as the Nano Tech cleaner, and as such is safe to use on carbon fiber, brakes, and suspension seals. In addition to this, it’s all vegan friendly and cruelty free, with no animal testing. In a box retailing for £14.99 are two sachets, which at £7.50 per liter saves roughly £3.50 per liter when compared with purchasing the Nano Tech bike cleaner bottle, and of course saves purchasing more single-use plastic.
Once the irony of the Punk Powder arriving at my door with the cardboard box inside a plastic shipping bag had been pointed out to Muc-Off (who vowed to ensure this would not happen again), it was time to get to work. The improved portability of the sachets compared with a second bottle of the cleaner is significant and makes for a much easier time transporting it around. Creating the cleaner from the Punk Powder is as simple as can be, add one sachet of the powder to 1L of lukewarm water, shake the bottle hard for 60 seconds and you’re good to go.
The resulting product was unmistakably Muc-Off, with its vibrant pink signature color. When it came to spraying it onto the bike however, compared with the standard bottle of Nano Tech cleaner I felt as if it didn’t have quite the same level of foaming. It was as if I’d over-diluted the sachet a little when mixing it, however I’d adhered to the how-to process to the word. In action, the cleaner also didn’t feel to have quite the same punch as the usual cleaner on the stickier dirt – it still did a fine job but wasn’t quite up to expectations. For the second sachet in the pack, I opted to dissolve in 800ml of water, which yielded a slightly higher concentration and performed more in line with the normal cleaner, which does a great job at shifting tough dirt. If this wasn’t a freak occurrence and is in fact the reality of the product then it does reduce the value proposition, however there’s no loss in the eco-conscious nature of the product, and for that reason I’ll be buying the Punk Powder again when it comes time for some more.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Muc-Off’s release of the world’s first plastic free bike cleaner is a welcome sight to us in the Wolf Den, so Kudos to them for making it happen. Whether the dilution ratio is slightly off as advertised or there was another explanation for the weakened cleaner with the first sachet will never be known, but it’s safe to say that the reduced environmental impact of the Punk Powder carries its own value, and as such it’s a very welcome product to the market.
Price: £14.99 / $19.99 (Twin Pack)
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