HomeReviews & TechCommutingReview: Unpass 'eco' Orage bike cleaning wipes

Review: Unpass ‘eco’ Orage bike cleaning wipes

Baby wipes are not just a convenience for cyclists on-the-go who want to give their bike a shine, more and more riders rely on disposable cleaning wipes for their everyday (or every week or month) cleaning solution. The Orage wipes are a big step above baby wipes and will give the bike a good clean and tackle oil, grease and grime. For $39.90 you get the tub of 65 wipes and a microfibre cloth. If you don’t want the cloth, just the tub is $37, these prices include shipping Australia-wide.

The Orage bike wipes from UNPASS cleaners are made in France and are multi-purpose with the label indicating they are suitable for almost any material (vinyl, leather, metals, carbon fibre and more). I tested them on a clear coated titanium bike, a carbon fibre bike and parts of a car.

unpass tub
unpass clean bike wipes

The Clean

For my test, the bikes were not filthy, just the usual road grim and accumulation of grease around the chain and parts. One towel is enough for an easy clean of the whole bike and the instructions suggest starting in the clean areas before moving to the dirtier areas, The moist towel is a good cleaner as long as it stays moist and a micro-fiber cleaning towel is an optional accessory that I recommend as it provides a much better finish. If you need a deeper clean and are tackling the chain as well, you will need a second bike wipe.

dirty bike rag

Regular dirt and grime comes off at ease with the wipe, anything oily or greasy may need a little more attention but generally dislodges. The moment that the wipe gathers dirt and oil, you need to take care as this can smear. The microfibre towel should be used before the surface dries to provide a final buff clean. On the frame, using the microfibre did provide a better end-result (than without), especially on the carbon fibre frame and it will give you a showroom finish.

unpass bike wipes before
Titanium bike before
unpass bike wipes after
Titanium bike after

The matt carbon fibre frame needed a little more work and polishing with the microfibre towel than the titanium frame. As the titanium was smoother, grime was easier to remove and clean with the cloth for a top finish.

For parts of the frame that have discolouration (from sweat, drinks or neglect), surface stains can be lifted though deep-seated stains are harder to remove. The wipes work reasonable well on greasy parts like the chain, chain rings and cassette. I think a separate degreaser and clean for these parts first will provide better end-results, but the wipe does fairly well. If the wipes get greasy, this will transfer to your hands so you either have to wear gloves or grab another towel.

microfiber towel carbon fibre bike clean
The microfibre cloth is a must for carbon fibre frames

I also wanted to test the cleaning wipes on a car and a fresh towel quickly picked up surface dirt. The areas of the car close to the road that attract tough grime are harder to clean and pre-soaking and washing will help. Grease and grim on the wheels clean off well though it streaks so a lot of wipes would be needed. It is smarter to do a soapy wash and clean and use these wipes for detailing.

unpass car clean wipes before
Car door before
unpass car clean wipes after
Car door after

The Results

Overall I was happy with these and found my mindset was shifting. For a big clean I would still use a bucket aof soapy water first and a degreaser on the chain, but to finish off or quick cleans, the bike wipes are convenient and provide a good result combined with the microfibre cloth. If you are selling a bike, the wipes and polishing cloth will help you present the bike well.

Wipes something I usually just think of for travel however the tub is simply too large to be a perfect travel-mate. It is really a garage or workshop item. UNPASS don’t have compact alternatives, though it would be easy to put a few towels into a ziplock bag for travel.

The packaging is a fiddly, it lacks a dispenser (like baby wipes) so you can’t simply remove one towel. You may have try to pull out the roll and find the edge. Be warned, at the bottom of the tub there the cleaning liquid which will spill of the tub is tipped over too far. If your hands are greasy and you reach for another towel, it will rub-off onto the other towels. Not a deal-breaker, but can be improved.

unpass greasy fingers

The website suggests that the wipes are eco-friendly, “Our wipes are eco-friendly, containing no silicone oil, being non-flammable, having low V.O.C content, and free from endocrine disruptors.” I couldn’t determine the specific ‘ingredients’, though it has a peach fragrance and not a chemical smell. The director of UNPASS Australia, Jonathan Mecque says that the chemical compounds are environmentally friendly, though dirt and particles that it picks up when cleaning may be contaminated so the used wipes should be disposed of carefully…. this means they go into the general waste bin.

They are ‘made in France’ and the strict European Union laws are a reliable indicator of high quality and clean production alkthough part of the eco value disappears in the transport Down Under. To be fair, local production can struggle to be cost effective and the ‘bulk’ container format of the Unpass Orage wipes is a suitable for long-term cleaning and detailing solution.

clean bikes disposable wipes
A clean bike is even cleaner

Short of a comparison test against other brands, my subjective test confirmed that the wipes were effective and convenient for cleaning, indeed much better than a hose and sponge. It was a pleasant surprise using the microfibre towel (while the surface was still moist) and see how much of an improvement it made to the finish.

The Orage wipes from UNPASS are available for purchase online.

Christopher Jones
Christopher Joneshttps://www.bicycles.net.au
Christopher Jones is a recreational cyclist and runs a design agency, Signale. As the driving force behind Bicycles.net.au he has one of each 'types' of bicycles.
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