Home Forums General Karting Discussion How do you clean your kart?

This topic contains 8 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Mike Giles 2 weeks, 6 days ago.

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    Brian G. Shacklett

    I’ve read many times that it’s very important to keep karts clean, but I’ve had a lot of trouble finding out how to do that. I got one suggestion to spray down the entire kart with atomized gasoline, then water, then wd40. Others suggest brake cleaner, and others suggest taking things apart before cleaning. My head is swimming with suggestions, bu, at the same time, none of them are very specific.


    Kirt Burcroff

    I buy WD-40 by the gallon at Home Depot. I clean it after every trip onto the track and clean it thoroughly in between race weekends. WD-40 will remove everything and keep the powdercoat looking shiny. Brake cleaner will dull your finish. I get brake cleaner onto the frame once in a while, while cleaning bearings and such, WD-40 returns the shine. I avoid water at all costs just because of the rust-prone parts on the karts. Cleaning a kart after a rain race is a royal pain in the butt.

    Besides keeping your chassis looking nice, cleaning it regularly will point you to potential problems like loose or broken parts.


    Stu Hayner

    IMHO, use brake clean on one thing – the brakes.

    Cleaning your kart is very important. Clean enough to eat off is best. While you’re at it, you can check for loose nuts, cracks in the frame and worn parts.

    We use a very light spray of WD40 on most everything metallic. Not the brakes. Never on plastic ie tank/bodywork/airbox. A little thicker WD around the chain and sprocket area.

    Wipe clean, starting at the front of the kart (less dirty) and work your way back.

    Spray orange Zep (you can get at any Home Depot) on everything plastic. Diluted 50% w/water.

    Wipe clean.

    For a finishing touch, get Motul spray shine and go. This makes the plastic look great (smells great,too)

    Never let the cleaning go – you’ll regret it – promise! A clean kart is a happy kart.



    Rodney Ebersole

    I like to use this with solvent, yet paint thinner or WD works too.


    Less than a quart of solution takes off the grime, cleans out the bearings and makes it reading for a rub down.


    Walt Gifford

    NEVER use gasoline to clean anything unless you’re ready for your hands to catch on fire.

    To clean a kart, just wipe it off with a rag.


    FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
    Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
    Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
    41 years karting experience


    Brian G. Shacklett

    Walt, that was definitely on my mind. It seemed like a bad idea to me. Rodney, any suggestions on what type of solvent?

    What about clutch and carburetor cleaning?

    Thanks to everyone who has responded so far.


    Rodney Ebersole

    Brian, I have been using an industrial parts cleaning solvent, they fill my fuel jug up at a race fuel distributor.  Last time it was $9.95 a gallon.

    A clutch and a carb is a part isn’t it?


    TJ Koyen

    Starting fluid cuts through grease and works great on driveline components and at the rear of the kart to get rid of exhaust grease etc. WD-40 to keep everything shiny and clean on the rest of the kart.

    Brake clean eats your powdercoat. Starting fluid does not.

    Team Driver - Innovative Performance/Tony Kart // Owner - Oktane Visual Custom Helmet Paint and Graphic Design


    Mike Giles

    This advise was provided to me by  Mr. Josh Huff  after an off track episode at Adams Kart Track. My kart looked like freaking powdered doughnut and the motor mount/lower case/bearing support was ten times worse. (sand/oil/chain lube…yuck) This was a practice session the night before a race and I didn’t have time to break everything down to clean properly. I took a disposable 9×12 aluminum pan and secured it under the motor with a bungie cord. Removed rear wheels and chain, put roughly 1/4 inch of fuel in the pan and used a 3 inch paint brush to “paint” the lower case, rails and mount  with the fuel. I stayed clear of the electrical connections (rotax evo) and axle bearings. The oil/sand mess literally melts off the kart.  I removed the pan and hit it with a little compressed air.  I then sprayed the same area with a liberal dose of WD and again hit it with compressed air and wiped up any residual.  For the rest of the chassis I used a second paint brush (dry) to brush every nook and cranny. Pedals, tie rod ends and every weld and nut and bolt on the chassis had dirt in it. Within 30-40  minutes the kart was clean and track ready.

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