Trucks and mud go together like lightning and thunder; if you own a truck, it’s bound to get muddy fast. After hauling loads or trekking through the wilderness, clean-up can be a daunting task. In this post, we’ll share the tools, materials, and step-by-step process for safely cleaning a muddy truck.
To wash a muddy truck: Power wash from top-to-bottom, apply a wheel cleaner to the wheels, wash the vehicle with a car shampoo and wash mitt, scrub the wheels with a tire brush, rinse thoroughly, dry with a microfiber towel, and apply wax or sealant if you haven’t done so already.
Tools & Materials Required
- Pressure Washer
- Garden Hose
- Two Buckets
- Car Shampoo
- Wheel Cleaner
- Tire Brush
- Wax or Sealant
- Wash Mitt
Prepare your work area
Ready your work area by gathering all the needed tools and materials. Work in a shaded, cool area. Fill two buckets - one with your car shampoo wash solution and the other with plain water for rinsing your wash mitt. Prepare your pressure washer and ensure you have everything within reach.
Power wash your truck from top-to-bottom
Begin by rinsing the truck from top-to-bottom. Pressure washers are useful tools for breaking down caked-on mud, but you can use a standard garden hose if the residue isn’t old or if there isn’t much covering your vehicle.
A thorough rinse will ensure you remove dirty debris safely. Immediately using a wash mitt can lead to scratches on your paint because mud often contains small rocks. A pressure washer safely removes these tiny particles without applying unnecessary, potentially damaging friction.
Target the wheel wells
While you have the pressure washer out, spray your wheel well interiors. This area takes the brunt of anything your tires kick up from the road: dirt, grime, oil, tar, brake dust, salt, cinders – you name it. A quick pass will go a long way in keeping these areas clean and functional.
Apply a wheel cleaner to the wheels
Apply your choice of wheel cleaner onto the wheels. Consider Stoner Car Care’s Wheel Cleaner if you need an effective product. SCC’s Wheel Cleaner’s pH-neutral formula has a foaming action that helps it cling to your wheels’ vertical surface to deliver a powerful clean.
Applying your wheel cleaner early in the washing process will allow additional time for the product to lift stubborn contaminants like mud, road grime, and brake dust.
Wash the vehicle with car shampoo and a wash mitt
Using a wash mitt, apply soapy water to your vehicle. Or, if you’d prefer, you can use a foam cannon to blast a thick foam onto your truck. Foam cannons produce suds that will cling to your vehicle and provide additional lubricity to prevent potential scratches.
Whether you choose a traditional wash or a foam cannon, Stoner’s MOAB will deliver a powerful clean. MOAB’s high-foaming formula helps it cling to your vehicle’s surface. If you require a car wash, this is an excellent choice.
Wash from top to bottom
Washing from top to bottom is especially crucial when removing mud or rocks. The top of your vehicle will generally be its cleanest part; it’ll get dirtier as you move down. Working from top to bottom ensures no contaminated solution runs through already-cleaned areas.
As you wash, frequently rinse the mitt in your clean-water bucket or with a hose to remove debris. The lower you go on the vehicle, the more often you should rinse to prevent small rocks or sharp debris from scratching your paint.
Scrub the wheels with a tire brush
Now that the wheel cleaner has had enough time to sit, you can scrub the wheels with a tire brush. Get all areas of the rim, including crevices, lug nuts, and the tire itself. Rinse the tire brush frequently as you clean to avoid reapplying mud or debris.
Rinse the vehicle thoroughly
Now that the paint and the wheels are clean, it’s time to rinse everything thoroughly. Use your pressure washer or hose to lift dirt, soap, or lingering wheel cleaner. Ensure no suds or dirt remain before moving on to the next step.
Dry with a microfiber towel
Follow up the rinse with a microfiber towel. These towels are designed for optimal absorption and are excellent at removing light debris. We recommend wiping in long, straight strokes from top-to-bottom. Start with the truck's roof, and work down the sides.
Water spots can form quickly, especially if you’re working in direct sunlight or hot temperatures. If you encounter them, simply reapply some soapy water, and follow it by drying them with a microfiber towel.
Your truck should now be free of mud, grime, and dirt!
Apply wax or sealant if you haven’t done so
Mudding doesn’t come without its risks. Applying wax or sealant won’t just protect your paint; it can help repel mud and other potentially-damaging debris. Both provide a temporary, invisible layer of protection between your paint and the outside world.
Check out our blog here for proper instructions on applying waxes or sealant. For quick step-by-step instructions, read below:
- Read the back of the product’s label for any specific instructions
- Shake the bottle for 30 seconds to mix.
- Apply wax or sealant onto an applicator pad.
- Choose a small panel area of the vehicle, and blot your applicator pad onto the surface.
- Buff in small circular motions until no haziness remains.
- Remove any excess product with a fresh microfiber towel.
And that’s it! Your truck is not only spotless; it’s protected and ready for future adventures.
Bring on the mud!
Cleaning mud off a truck is daunting, but lubrication and TLC are the secret ingredients to safely removing muck. Just follow these steps while washing a muddy truck: Power wash from top-to-bottom, apply a wheel cleaner to the wheels, wash the vehicle with car shampoo and wash mitt, scrub the wheels with a tire brush, rinse thoroughly, dry with a microfiber towel, and apply wax or sealant if you haven’t done so already. Take on the mud confidently, and your truck will be clean and ready to return to work, play, and all things muddy!