How To Clean Up If Hoodlums Trash Your Bike – Motorcycle Vandalism Redemption

How To -



Sometimes Halloween can bring out the worst out in people; the hidden identity brought about by wearing costumes often encourages motorcycle vandalism. Here is how to clean up if Halloween hoodlums have trashed your bike.

The Problem: As egg dries, it becomes harder to remove. If left on your bike for too long, it can damage or crack the paint.

The Fix: Use water to hydrate the stain as much as possible, which will make it easier to wipe away and assist in a more complete removal. Then, using a commercial car-wash detergent and a micro-fiber towel and some warm water, gently scrub the stain off. Anything with a pH balance that isn’t neutral will damage the paint. Be careful not to use hot water, as it will cook the proteins from the egg right onto your bike, making it harder to get off.

Other common tips include a 50/50 water to white vinegar solution or using Vaseline, but we can’t stand behind those so, should our method above not work for you. We advise that you do your homework and try that one at your own risk.


silly string
Silly String & Shaving Cream
The Problem: If left on for too long or left under direct sun, much like an egg, these can also damage your paint.

The Fix: Make sure you wash it off with water as soon as you detect its presence. Use a micro-fiber towel to wipe clean.


Permanent Marker
The Problem: Your biggest problem is that someone either really wants to damage your property, or the neighbor’s kid is probably a juvenile delinquent; no one goes at something with a Sharpie unless they really want to permanently damage something. The other problem is that permanent markers are made to be permanent, and they’re very hard to get off.

The Fix: We haven’t had to try any of these ourselves, so try these at your own risk. We’ve been told that using hairspray or WD-40 and a clean micro-fiber towel works best. It has also been reported that a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser found in the cleaning isle of a grocery store can also remove permanent ink.


Toilet Paper
The Problem: Nothing, toilet paper won’t damage your motorcycle.

The Fix: Common sense says just pull it off and throw away. Get it wet and you are in for a huge mess. This is also where you vow to park your bike in a friend’s garage next year.

What are your tricks for cleaning vandalism off a motorcycle? What’s the worst damage you’ve seen done to a parked bike?

Related Links:
Cleaning: How To Clean Your Motorcycle Leathers
Cleaning: How To Wash Your Motorcycle
Opinion: Murphy’s Law for Motorcycles

  • Nathaniel Salzman

    Most inks are also soluble in rubbing alcohol if you get to them quickly. It evaporates quickly and is also water loving, so it’s really easy to get it off your paint either with a wipe or rinse. It’s also pretty gentle and shouldn’t bother paint or plastics at all unless you leave soaking in the stuff.

  • katesy

    Just recovered my vintage scooter from being stolen and it was covered white spray paint and the floorboard was littered with wet goldfish crackers. Kerosene was used to remove the spraypaint without harming the original paint, and I just ate the goldfish crackers.
    (jk about the goldfish, obviously)

    • Jen Degtjarewsky

      Goldfish crackers? Really makes me want to see who stole your scooter!

  • Gerardo Astroball

    Mr. Clean Magic Eraser… will take care of it BUT scratch your paint..

  • Robert Horn

    The best way to remove vandal blood is with a bottle of Evidence-B-Gon, a large heavy duty plastic bag, some really good friends, and…

  • Rowtag

    a shotgun will prevent all of the above

  • Jeromy

    Permanent marker can be removed by tracing it with erasable mark and then just wipe off, no kidding. I have not tried it on automotive paint, but I have confirmed that it works on computer screens (don’t ask) and on regular white boards.

    • eddi

      You’re laying down a layer of the liquid that keeps the inks wet in the pen. It works on white board surfaces too. (yeah, i did and it was there for a while too.)

  • Mr.Paynter

    Permanent Marker: From personal experience, most aerosol deoderants which contain a little alcohol will wipe permanent marker off when combined with a little elbow grease!

  • Brian

    one Halloween, a buddy found his Husky Sumo covered in fake blood to make it look like a bloody crime scene. He was amused from an artistic side of the creativity and care to make the overall scene and the splatterings where and how they were. The problem was the fact that it was a corn syrup based sticky mess. He ended up doing a very mild dilution of dish detergent with a natural sponge bath to the bike and then followed it up with a thorough cleaning with S100 ( he uses it normally in his twice a year heavy duty full on cleaning binges where he practically showroom details his bikes) to which he was annoyed about because of it putting the full on cleaning of his bike ahead of his schedule.

  • Jake Isbill

    You can get sharpie off with Acetone. Just get some finger nail polish remover and some cotton balls and go to town.

  • Thomas Whitener


    This is the cheap version of how we “fix” something in art school. Fix meaning “affix”, not repair. It makes the ink never ever ever come off. WD-40 would probably work better, but rubbing alcohol is probably your best bet.

  • guy

    for permanent markers, use the most concentrated rubbing alcohol you can find. i work in a sign shop and that is one of the things we use. the marker does get harder to remove the longer it sits though