Normally, you wouldn’t shop at the hardware store for your next piece of bike gear, but if you’ve ever struggled to wash your bike with minimal space and water, there’s one item you should add to your shopping list: a one-gallon weed sprayer.
Designed to disperse pesticides, this handy garden tool can also be filled with soapy water to become a portable wash kit. A pump handle slightly pressurizes the water so you get a little more cleaning power than you would with a bucket, and the screw-top lid lets you pack it easily for travel.
How to wash your bike like a pro:
A weed sprayer is especially useful in the winter. With the frozen muck and salt on the roads it’s the season when your bike really needs thorough cleaning after every ride, but low temps can freeze outdoor hoses and pipes, limiting your options. Rather than risking your plumbing, leave the weed pump filled with warm soapy water while you ride, and you’ll be ready for a quick rinse when you get home.
And it’s not just for your bike. “I’ve been using one for a few years as a bike wash, camp shower, and for washing dishes while camping. I even put quick connects on it so I can easily swap between sprayer heads,” says Pennsylvania-based cyclist Benjamin Coleman. “It’s not perfect for any of those jobs, but it’s one piece of equipment that does all three.”
We’ve seen weed sprayers pop up at cyclocross races, trailheads, and apartments. Best of all, one will run you less than $20. The one-gallon capacity should be enough to handle one bike while remaining fairly portable, but two and three gallon options are available as well.