Cleaning things preserves them and in some cases makes them last longer while making them look nice. Nobody wants to zip to work on a dirty electric scooter. Because who wants the boss to see them carrying a dirty electric scooter up the stairs and tucking it under the desk? Nobody, that’s who.
So, clean that scooter regularly and enjoy clean rides every day while making sure no small thing delays your promotion!
Related: Best Electric Scooters for Kids
This electric scooter cleaning guide leaves nothing unsaid. You’ll learn the best way to clean every part of your motorized scooter. You’ll also learn what not to do, how to remove stubborn stains, and even how to properly store your scooter.
Admittedly, this isn’t a brief resource. But I believe you’ll find this e-scooter care guide useful. For e-scooters owners who hate reading detailed stuff, here’s a list of 15 easy steps to follow when cleaning this personal transportation device:
How to Clean an Electric Scooter Correctly in 15 Easy Steps
Step #1: Power off the electric scooter. Electric devices and gadgets and water have never been the best of friends.
Step #2: Dislodge large debris before starting the cleaning process.
Step #3: Remove detachable parts such as the Battery. Clean them Individually.
Step #4: Clean the device’s electronic screen
Step #5: Brush levers, handlebars, cables, reflectors, screws, and other small parts
Step #6: Use a cloth dipped in soapy water to clean metal parts
Step #7: Clean other parts with soapy water and use lemon juice+baking soda for stain removal.
Step #8: Clean the e-scooter’s wheels with a brush + soapy water.
Step #9: Use soapy water to remove greasy and hardened dirt.
Step #10: Use toothpaste, lemon, or baking soda to get stains off your e-scooter
Step #11: Use a dry cloth to wipe away excess water.
Step # 12: Vacuum up excess water using a wet/dry vac.
Step #13 : Dry off the scooter in the sun.
Step #14: Replace the battery.
Step #15: Store the cleaned e-scooter.
Electric Scooter Cleaning Do’s and Don’ts
- Do read the manufacturer’s instructions manual to see if there’s any specific cleaning method they’ve strongly recommended.
- Do turn off the e-scooter before cleaning it.
- Do remove the battery and other detachable parts/components and take care of them separately.
- Do check the scooter’s IP rating and clean the vehicle accordingly.
- Do use soapy water and a brush or cloth to clean the body of the scooter.
- Do use lemon juice + baking powder or any safe cleaner to remove stains on non-metallic parts.
- Do assume that a scooter without an IP rating isn’t rated at all and clean with great care.
- Do start cleaning the e-scooter from the top going down. For example, clean the handlebars and stem before cleaning the deck to avoid wet dirt streaming down to the deck. Cleaning the device from the top going down makes sure you won’t clean some parts more than once, saving you time and energy.
And now the don’ts of e-scooter cleaning:
- Don’t ever submerge an electric when cleaning it or at any other time.
- Don’t start cleaning the scooter if the battery and motor haven’t cooled yet.
- Don’t clean metal parts with acidic cleaners or with acidic home-prepped cleansers such as lemon juice, vinegar, or baking soda. However, you can use these acidic cleaning supplies if nothing else removes stubborn stains on metal, BUT be sure to rinse off the cleaner completely, and don’t let it sit on the metal for too long.
- Don’t clean an e-scooter’s battery with water.
- Don’t use a blow dryer to dry off an electric scooter no matter how strong the temptation. The pressure from the dryer can push droplets into openings and damage electronic components. Also, blow-drying a motorized scooter vaporizes the water, and some of it escapes into the device, causing corrosion down the road.
- Don’t pressure wash your electric scooter. Just don’t. I pressure-wash pretty much everything, but I’m not stupid enough to pressure wash my electric scooter. Why? Because a pressure washer certainly forces water into all sorts of openings. And getting water inside electric and electronic gadgets is a bad idea. However, if your scooter has a high IP rating number for protection against liquids (the second number being 6 or higher), you can pressure wash the scooter if you choose to. But I don’t do this and don’t recommend it all.
What the IP Rating Number Means and Why It Matters
IP means Ingress Protection. The IP (Ingress Protection) rating of an electric-powered device is a special number that communicates the gadget’s resistance to liquids and solids. The rating consists of two numbers; the first number indicates the device’s resistance to solid particles such as dust while the second number indicates the gadget’s tolerance to liquids, especially water.
So, are electric scooters IP-rated? For the most part, electric scooters don’t have an IP rating. In fact, only about 33 percent show an IP rating according to Electric Scooter Guide.
When these devices have an IP rating number, it’s usually IP54. About 50 percent of all scooters have an IP rating of IP54. This means you can ride these scooters through light rain and on dusty terrain. But you can’t (and shouldn’t) submerge these e-scooters.
Few electric scooters have a really protective IP rating. The highest IP rating I’ve ever seen on an e-scooter is IP67. If a scooter has an IP rating of IP67, you can ride it in all kinds of weather conditions. You can even submerge the scooter up to 1 meter/3.28 feet for up to 30 minutes. But no scooter manufacturer ever recommends that you submerge a scooter when cleaning it, nor do I.
Below is a more detailed version of the guide.
Step #1: Power Off the Electric Scooter.
Because electric-powered devices and water have never been the best of friends. If water gets inside the scooter, it can cause your scooter to short out IF the device isn’t powered down.
Step #2: Remove Large Debris Before Starting the Cleaning Process
Unless you live in heaven and every street is gold-covered and spotlessly clean, you’ll find pieces of broken glass, small twigs and rocks, dried mud, small metal pieces, wood, and whatnot in various places. These large debris like hiding between the fender and scooter wheel, in wheel tread, and other areas.
Use your hands,a stick, or a tough brush to dislodge these debris before you kick off the scooter cleaning process. Doing this makes the entire task much easier.
Step #3: Remove Detachable Parts Such as the Battery, Seat, and Other Accessories. Clean Them Individually.
Not all scooters are made the same way. Some scooters have the battery built-in and you don’t need to detach it when charging or cleaning the scooter. Others come with a removable battery, and you need to detach the battery when it runs out of charge and when cleaning the scooter.
Why remove the battery/batteries? It’s because when you remove the battery before cleaning the scooter, you protect it from potential water damage. Another reason to take the battery out before cleaning the device is that you get to clean the battery. And cleaning the battery may boost its performance in some way.
Consult the scooter’s user manual to know whether the battery is removable or not. Lost the manual? No worries, you can easily get it online via a quick search.
How to clean an electric scooter’s battery
Once you detach the battery, DO NOT submerge it in water or use water to clean it. Instead, use a clean dry cloth to wipe down the battery. It’s that simple. Wait until the scooter is completely dry before putting the clean battery back in.
If the seat is removable, detach it and clean it. How do you clean an electric scooter seat? It depends on what material the seat is made of.
- If it’s a molded plastic seat, clean it with a cloth dipped in warm soapy water.
- If the scooter has a leather seat, wipe the dirt and grease away using a clean cloth. Cleaning a leather seat with soapy water is a bad idea as is leaving a leather-seat scooter in the sun for too long.
- If the scooter has a breathable cotton seat, use a cleaner such as OXiClean to spot-clean the cotton seat. Simply spray the cleaner onto the affected areas and use a wet paper towel to wipe down the seat.
- And if your scooter came with a vinyl cover, wipe it down with soapy water.
Dry the seat off before replacing it.
Step #4: Clean the Device’s Electronic Screen
Take care when cleaning the scooter’s screen. This part serves a critical role and you want to leave it clean and functional. The best way to clean the screen is to wipe the dust and anything else off using a clean soft cloth. It’s best to use a microfiber cloth but dry paper towels should also do the job.
What if the scooter’s electronic screen has stains? That’s when you wet the microfiber cloth with distilled water, wring the water out completely, and start rubbing off the stains. No soapy water on the screen.
Pro scooter screen cleaning tip: When wiping down the screen, avoid using too much force to avoid scratching it or damaging it.
Step #5: Brush Levers, Handlebars, Cables, Reflectors, Screws, and Other Small Parts.
It’s time to show some TLC to your e-scooter’s smaller parts such as cables, springs, screws, brake calipers, brake levers, handlebars, reflectors, holes on the frame, lights, stickers, and whatnot.
The best way to clean these parts is using a toothbrush to brush the dirt off. A toothbrush enables you to reach all the nooks and crannies of the scooter.
If any of these parts has stains on it, get some soap onto the brush and rub the stained spot using circular motions. Alternatively, use toothpaste for stain removal. Both toothpaste and soap contain a great stain remover, baking soda.
Step #5: Dipped a Cloth in Soapy Water and Clean the Metal parts.
Most electric scooters are made of aluminum alloy. But in most cases, aluminum isn’t the only material on the scooter’s frame. It’s common for these micro mobility vehicles to have stainless steel parts.
How do you clean the metal parts of an e-scooter? The best way to clean the metal parts of an electric scooter is to scrub them with a soft cloth (I recommend a microfiber cloth) or sponge dipped in soapy water.
To execute this step right, you need two containers with water (buckets or washbasins will do). The first basin contains soapy water while the other one contains clean, soap-less water.
- Wet the sponge by dipping it in the soapy water and squeeze excess water out. Use the damp soapy sponge to make rubbing strokes. Rub the metal parts in one direction (from top to bottom) to avoid transferring filth to clean areas.
- Once you’ve cleaned one small area, use a damp soap-less sponge or cloth to dry it off. If the part didn’t get clean enough with the first pass, repeat the process.
What do you do if there’s really tough stains on a scooter’s metal parts or components? In this case, you can use a mixture of vinegar + baking soda or lemon juice + baking powder to rub the stained part. Citric and acetic acids can help remove discoloration and rust stains from metals such as aluminum, copper, and bronze according to New Mexico State University.
Since e-scooter frames are mostly made from aluminum, using an acidic cleaner such as lemon juice or even a commercial cleaner can loosen up the stains, leaving the surface spotlessly clean. However, acids don’t treat metals very kindly. Tip: rinse the cleaner off the metal part as soon as it removes the stain.
Step #6: Clean the Nonmetal Scooter Parts with Soapy Water
The frame and a few other parts may be made of aluminum alloy and stainless steel, but the rest of the scooter is constructed from plastic, rubber, silicone, and carbon fiber. Follow the steps below to clean the non-metal parts of your scooter.
- Pour clean water into two washbasins or buckets.
- Add a little dishwashing soap to one of the buckets.
- Dunk a clean microfiber cloth in the soapy water and squeeze any excess water out, leaving the sponge damp rather than wet.
- Using the sponger, rub the dirty rubber, silicone, plastic, and carbon fiber parts of the scooter. Use uni-directional strokes, cleaning each section from the top going down.
- Finally, dunk a clean sponge in soap-less water, squeeze out as much water as you can, and use the tool to rinse off the soap.
Use Lemon Juice+Baking Soda for Stain Removal
One good thing about most non-metal surfaces and parts is that you can use acid-based stain removers without harming them. If your scooter has some badly stained nonmetal portions, treat them with a concoction made from mixing baking soda and lemon juice. Alternatively, you can formulate the cleaner by mixing lemon vinegar and baking soda.
- Vinegar/baking soda mixture: Mix 1 part of baking soda and 2 parts of vinegar.
- Baking soda/lemon juice paste: Cut a lemon into two halves and squeeze the citric juice into a small container. Add a little amount of baking soda and mix the two ingredients thoroughly.
Apply either homemade stain removal paste to the spots with stubborn stains and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then, clean the area with soapy water and rinse off the soap with a damp cloth. You can also rub the stained area using a toothbrush with toothpaste on it. Toothpaste contains a decent amount of baking soda, and this makes it a good stain remover. Repeat the process if necessary.
*If baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice don’t do the trick as far as stain removal, consider trying a stronger commercial stain remover. Research online to find out what other scooter owners use. I’ve never needed to use anything else aside from soapy water and occasionally vinegar + baking soda to clean my e-scooter.
Step #7: Clean the E-scooter’s Wheels with a Brush/Cloth + Soapy water
Cleaning the wheels isn’t hard, but compared to cleaning all the other parts of an e-scooter, it’s the hardest. I bet you dislodged all foreign materials from the tires in step #2. If you didn’t, do it now.
Pour clean water into a bucket and add a reasonable quantity of soap. Dish washing soap is OK for the job.
Then, use a tough piece of cloth (or a brush if the wheels are too dirty) to rub the scooter’s tires. I find that soaping the wheels and waiting for about 5 minutes before rubbing them works best. The water loosens up the dirt, making it easier to brush off.
You want to spin the wheels so you can access every section of each wheel. To be able to spin the wheels, find a way to raise the scooter a little off the ground.
Step #8: Use a Dry Cloth to Wipe Away Excess Water (Optional)
If there any excess water on the surface of the scooter, now is the time to wipe all of it away with a dry cloth. Take care as you carry out this cleaning step so that no water ends up where it can cause problems. Like in the motor, battery, screen, lights, and other electronic components.
How do you prevent water from getting into these areas? It’s easy: move the dry cloth away from the battery and other areas and not toward them. Also, dry off all depressed areas of the scooters (holes and whatnot) so that no drop of water remains in there. As already mentioned, water can (and does) cause corrosion in metals, and some scooter parts are made from metal.
Oxidation is when an oxide layer deposits on a metal and kick-starts a process that eats the metal down, eventually weakening its structural integrity. By the way, corrosion isn’t the same as rusting. Aluminum gets corroded when exposed to water but it doesn’t rust.
Step # 10: Vacuum Up Excess Water Using a wet/Dry Vac
If you’re struggling getting excess water out of holes and other surfaces on the scooter, grab your dry/wet shop vacuum and solve the problem. These kinds of vacuum cleaners do a really good job of lifting up every drop of water on the scooter’s surface.
I’ve never had to use a vacuum cleaner to dry off my scooter. A dry cloth works just fine for me and does the job really well. To get the cloth into holes, I place the cloth over the hole and stick a finger in. I then move the finger (and the cloth) all around the space, absorbing the water. So, a dry/wet vacuum isn’t absolutely necessary for this step.
Step #11 : Dry Off the Scooter in the Sun
At this point, dry the now clean electric scooter out in the sun until it’s completely moisture-free. For me, the drying process takes about 2 hours on a sunny day and a couple of hours if it’s relatively humid outside. The drying process shouldn’t take more than 1 hour if you used a dry/wet vacuum cleaner to lift up excess water from joints, holes, and crevices in step #10 above.
Step #12: Replace the Scooter’s Battery
Now that your personal mobility device is thoroughly dry, put the battery back in and store it for the next fun ride to work, grocery store, or school run. With a clean battery and wheels, I bet the thing will be rolling down the street like a dream, getting you there faster. You just won’t get the fitness benefits kick scooter owners get when riding their manually operated device. If you’d removed the scooter’s seat and it’s now completely dry, screw it back on.
Step #13: Polish the Scooter (Optional)
While this step is optional, I suggest that you don’t skip it. Polishing your scooter leaves it looking almost like it did when it shipped in.
You don’t polish every surface on the scooter the same way, though. Below is how to polish a cleaned e-scooter correctly:
Plastic parts and components: Get a liberal amount of toothpaste onto a clean dry cloth and polish every plastic part. Aluminum metal parts: Use the best aluminum metal polish you can find and apply it on the metal parts of your scooter.
I have used quite a few options, but I’ve found the motorist’s choice to be the most effective one. I’m talking about the Mother’s Mag and Aluminum Polish. It costs around $10, and it leaves your scooter’s stainless and aluminum parts shining like …like new.
Apply this polish in circular motions. Then, wipe the polish away with a clean microfiber cloth. Giving the polished surface an extra rub with a fresh soft cloth gets the aluminum surface looking even better. At least for me.
I’ve watched a few videos (like the one below) where people demonstrated how to polish aluminum using good old WD40, but this isn’t something I’ve tried.
Others have recommended homemade aluminum polishes such as a baking soda/lemon juice paste. They say to make a thick paste by mixing lemon juice with a 2 tablespoons of baking soda and apply to the metal using a cloth. Next, you’re to use a buffing pad to get any excess residue off the surface before buffing it off to a pristine shine. I don’t recommend this approach since I know that acidic substances are unkind to metal surfaces such as aluminum.
Step #13: Store the Clean Electric Scooter
Before storing an electric scooter, be sure to remove the battery if it’s removable and turn off the device. Also, charge the battery to somewhere between 50-70% before storage. Avoid storing your scooter in the basement if the place isn’t warm and dry. If you’ve yet to waterproof the basement and the windows are insanely draughty, use the attic or closet instead. And if you have an outdoor shed or tent that’s nice and dry, store the scooter there.
If the scooter will remain in storage for months, pack it in a fireproof and waterproof bag and keep it under the bed or wherever you have space. Finally, you can store the e-scooter in a DIY box.
How Do I Make an Electric Scooter Last Longer?
Below is a list of tips to help you keep your electrified personal transporter in tip-top condition.
- Don’t attempt any kind of stunts or jumps with your e-scooter. It’s not made for that.
- Wipe down the scooter quickly after riding in the rain and remove the battery if removable.
- Clean the scooter regularly.
- Avoid draining the battery completely.
- Ride the scooter in conditions recommended by the manufacturer.
- Ride the e-vehicle responsibly to avoid falling all the time or ramming into things as that will break your machine in no time.
- Don’t push the scooter too hard, such as forcing it to climb super steep hills when it’s a single-motor device.
- Don’t ride the scooter if you’re outside the recommended maximum weight limit.
- Have a scooter repair shop examine the device at least once every 12 months.
- Avoid pressure-washing or blow-drying the scooter.
- Keep moving parts adequately oiled to stave off wear and tear.
How to Clean an Electric Scooter FAQs
I’ll dive right in and answer your questions.
How Often Do You Clean an Electric Scooter?
If you ride it regularly, clean your e-scooter at least once a week. But if you’re an occasional rider, once every month should suffice depending on the riding conditions outside. When riding your scooter in the winter, it’s best to clean it as soon as you’re back home. Summertime e-scooting doesn’t necessitate such a demanding cleaning frequency. If it’s been months since you rode your scooter, you still need to clean it once in a while, say once every 3 months.
How Do You Clean an Electric Scooter?
Use warm soapy water to clean plastic, silicone, rubber, and carbon fiber parts. After rubbing these parts, rinse the soap off with a clean damp cloth. As for metal parts, wipe them down with a soft damp soapy cloth and a damp clean one to wipe the soap residue away. For hard-to-access nooks and crannies of the e-scooter, use a toothbrush to get the grime and dirt out. Finally, use a dry cloth to wipe down the scooter and leave it to air-dry before replacing any parts you had detached to clean separately such as battery and scooter seat.
Can You Pressure-wash an Electric Scooter?
Technically, you can pressure-wash electric scooters whose enclosures have an IP rating of 6 or higher (second number in the rating). But to make sure no water gets into the electronics inside the scooter, it’s best to not use a pressure washer on it.
Can You Dry Off an E-Scooter With a Hair Dryer?
It’s a bad idea to dry off an electric scooter with a hair dryer. Blow-drying a scooter ends up getting water droplets into the scooter. Water often damages electronics while shorting them out if the device isn’t turned off.
How Do You Clean an Electric Scooter After Riding in the Rain?
If it’s raining heavily and your e-scooter lacks an IP rating, it’s best to stop riding it in the rain and catch a cab home. If it’s nothing more than light showers, you can e-scoot with a worry. Once you get home, turn the scooter of give it a quick wipe-down with a dry cloth. Wipe down every part: the handlebars, wheels, deck, tires, T-bar, head tube, fenders, brake calipers—everything. Make sure no water gets into the wheel’s core where the bearings are because water degrades scooter wheel bearings.
How Do You Store an E-Scooter?
Store your scooter in a dry, warm place. The attic, a tightly sealed outdoor shed, and a waterproof basement are all good places to store a clean e-scooter. Alternatively, get high-quality waterproof and fireproof bags and store the scooter there. Be sure to charge the battery appropriately (50-70% charge recommended) before storage whether it’s removable or not. Also charge the re-charge the battery after 3 months if still in storage.
How Do You Polish an Electric Scooter?
Rub an appropriate metal polish onto the scooter’s metal parts using a soft cloth. Then, wipe the polish away after a short while with a clean, damp cloth. For a pristine shine, use another soft cloth to give the surface uni-directional rubs. As for plastic and all the other parts, use a toothbrush to get toothpaste onto the surface. Then, use a clean dry cloth to wipe the paste away before using a fresh cloth to give the plastic surface an extra shine.
Final Thoughts on How to Clean a Dirty E-scooter
If you put the scooter care tips given by the manufacturer and the cleaning tips this comprehensive scooter cleaning guide presents, chances are your device will last years.
If you’re out and about on your scooter and starts pouring, consider catching a cab home. And once you reach home, quickly wipe down every part of the vehicle to prevent water from seeping into sensitive electronics and damaging them.
Know your scooter’s IP rating before cleaning. If there’s no IP rating, assume your scooter isn’t water-resistant and avoid getting water into the device. Once you’ve cleaned every area per this guide/manufacturer’s care instructions, store the device in a warm, dry place.
Make sure to charge the battery 50-70% before storage. And if the battery is removable, get it out before storing the e-scooter. If the battery is a built-in one, make sure to power off the scooter before stowing it away.