how to wash a go-kart

How To Wash A Go-Kart – Beginners Guide

If you don’t wash your go-kart correctly, mud and dirt can slowly degrade your go-kart over time. Chains, brakes, and other parts don’t stand a chance against the grime. Yet, it can be challenging to determine how to wash a go-kart properly. 

A go-kart should be lightly washed after each ride and deep cleaned once a month. While a go-kart exterior is essential, take extra care to clean the chain, sprockets, engine, and brakes. WD-40 gives the go-kart a light clean, while harsh degreasers remove stubborn grime.

Since go-karts have specialized parts, specific instructions for washing your go-kart will be beneficial. Keep reading for a detailed guide on washing a go-kart, what products to use, and more. 

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How to Wash a Go-Kart 

If you’re not experienced in go-kart maintenance and troubleshooting, you may not know that go-karts must always be kept clean. Leaving mud, oil, and debris on your go-kart is not advised because they eat away at its parts. 

Below are some step-by-step instructions to follow when washing your go-kart.

Prepare the Space to Clean Your Go-Kart

If you have a sturdy table or platform, you can place your go-kart on top of it before cleaning. The table/platform’s height should not be higher than your waist. This could make it hard for you to reach different parts of the go-kart. 

Cleaning your go-kart on the ground is doable. But it could cause back pain after a while. 

Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

You will need the following supplies to wash your go-kart, including: 

  • WD-40
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Toothbrush

WD-40 will loosen up grease and grime on several parts of your go-kart without causing any damage. If you prefer to use a product other than WD-40, you can. Alternatives to WD-40 include 409 or Simple Green Cleaners.

Remember that these cleansers may not work as well as WD-40 when breaking down the most stubborn dirt.  

Use a microfiber cloth for most of the scrubbing. You don’t want to use terry cloth or any other cloth type because these cloths could make superficial scratches on your parts. Use a toothbrush to scrub any areas your hand is too large to clean.

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Wipe Down the Rear Axle and Bearings

An excellent place to start when washing a go-kart is the rear axle. Constant exposure to the elements means this part gets dirty fairly quickly. 

To clean the rear axle, use a microfiber towel and WD-40 to break down grease and debris. Spray a thin layer of WD40 on the axle and then wipe it with the microfiber towel. To make this part easy and quick, turn the back wheels as you wipe. This will reduce the time you need to spend cleaning the axel. 

Here’s a good rule to follow when cleaning your kart’s parts. Clean them so well that if you run your finger over any part, you won’t get any grease or dirt on your finger. 

How do you Clean Bearings on a Go-Kart?

You can clean the go-kart’s bearings as you clean the axel. Use the same cloth with some WD-40 on it to wipe down the bearings. If the towel has started to dry out, you can add more WD-40 directly to the towel. As you wipe the bearings, take a few seconds to look closely at them and see if there is any grime. 

If the bearings are unusually dirty, take some extra time and elbow grease to get them clean. If the dirt is hard to reach, you can use a toothbrush or any other small brush to reach those hard-to-reach places. 

It’s important not to leave any dirt on the bearings. 

Clean the Shields and Seals

It’s common for dirt and grime to get wedged under the shields or seals of your bearings. This could cause your bearings to be noisy and even cause them to work improperly. To get the deepest clean possible, remove the seals and shields from the bearings and clean them. 

You have several choices when it comes to cleaning very dirty bearings. You can start with a degreaser. But if the grime has solidified to the point that it won’t budge, you can use a parts washer to clean it. These can be expensive, but they get the job done. 

You can also soak your bearing shields and seals for several minutes to loosen up the most stubborn debris. Some recommend soaking them in alcohol or acetone.

Following these steps will restore your bearings to a “like-new” condition. 

Clean the Brakes, Sprocket Carrier, and Engine

After cleaning the rear axle and bearings, move on to the brakes. To clean the brakes, wipe them down with the same cloth you used. Pay special attention to small parts and dirt buildup. It is common for people to ignore small parts unintentionally. Over time, these ignored nooks and crannies can break down. 

It’s important to inspect the brakes for wear and deterioration as you clean them. Look for cracks and other imperfections that may warrant further inspection. The cleaner you get the brakes, the more thorough your inspection will be. 

Cleaning the sprocket carrier is simple. Just wipe it down as you did with all of the previous parts. 

Lastly, don’t forget to wipe down the engine! A simple wipe-down with WD-40 will do. Break out the toothbrush to focus on stubborn grime or to get into the nooks and crannies.

Clean the Outside of the Go-Kart

After thoroughly wiping the previous parts, you can move on to the fun part, cleaning the outside of the go-kart. After all, no one wants to drive a dingy go-kart! 

Cleaning the outside of the go-kart entails cleaning: 

  • The Frame
  • The Front Bumper
  • The Back Bumper

This cleaning step is not as strict as the others, as you only clean the go-kart’s outermost parts. You can wash them with soap and water and rinse them clean afterward. Or you can wipe them down with WD-40 and a microfiber cloth.

Deep Cleaning Instructions

After every month or so, depending on how often you use the go-kart, you must give it a deep clean. If you only ever do light cleanup sessions on the kart, you may end up with issues down the road.

To give your go-kart a deep clean, in addition to following the steps above, you will need to take off several of the parts and scrub all of the connections.

You will need to remove the following: 

  • The wheel
  • The Sprocket
  • The Rotor

Removing these parts makes it easier to clean the interior connections.

Deep Clean the Chain

The chain on your go-kart can get especially gunky. It is full of recesses where grease and grime can settle. To deep clean a chain, allow it to soak in a degreaser. After soaking, apply a cleaner of your choice (many love Simple Green) and then rinse it clean. 

Some recommend using a power washer on the chain, while others advise against it. If you soak your chain adequately, you will not need to power wash it. Lubricate your chain after you’re done washing and drying it. This will prevent rusting.

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Clean Mud Off of Your Go-Kart

Never let mud harden on your go-kart. Wash it away immediately. The best way to get rid of mud is to power wash it. If you do this, be sure to keep the pressurized water away from the following parts: 

  • Bearings
  • Engine
  • Seals

To wash visible debris off your tires, you can use a gentle soap or a specialized tire wash to clean the tires. Then rinse it off with water and allow it to dry.  

Final Thoughts

Now you know how to wash a go-kart, even after stubborn gunk has set in. This guide should remind you how to keep your go-kart shiny and clean. Use these steps frequently to prolong the life of your kart for as long as possible.

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