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How to Quickly and Safely Clean your Off-Road Vehicle


Do you love taking your truck, suv or you’re 1998 Honda Civic off-roading? Hey, I’m not here to judge, I’m just here to help you get the proper tools and methods to safely and quickly get all that mud off like nothing ever happened. I know that most owners are not looking for a showroom perfect finish, and most likely don’t want to devote a ton of time, so all of the products and methods are aligned with that in mind. This article will be covering the exterior so be sure to check out our next article on the interior and engine bay.

Oh and I’m not talking a little bit dirty, I’m talking about real off-road dirty …


I mean mud in places you didn’t even know it could get into dirty

So what do you do? The approach is a little bit different than a standard detail in a few ways.

First, you are dealing with a lot of mud/dirt. The faster you can clean it the better and you are going to need a lot of water and a great shampoo.

The Gtechniq W4 Citrus Foam is great for this. It has great cleaning ability and good foaming action so first spray off as much mud as you can with just water, really spend some time on this step. Then foam the whole car, wheels, fender wells, etc. and let it sit for 5-10 mins. Now rinse off all of the shampoo and foam it again. Normally I like to start with the wheels first, but because there is so much heavy mud/dirt that is going to be coming off it will be going onto the wheels so just work top to bottom.


Now that your car has it’s second foam, you can proceed to your normal wash process.

Next, you can work on the wheels. Normally my go-to would be Sonax Full Effect, but that is made to really clean brake dust and react with the iron particles, that is not what we are dealing with here. So instead I go with P&S Brake Buster, it is a really good cleaner that does well against dirt and the thicker gel style formula really helps grab that dirt and mud and cling to it to give you a really good clean. Agitate well with wheel brushes, and hit the tires with Meguiars D101 and a Tuf Shine Tire Brush.

Now, there are two products that are going to make this process wayyyyy easier the next time.

First is CarPro HydrO2. Before you dry your car spray one panel at a time and immediately rinse off. Do this to the paint, wheels, windows, trim, roof rack, etc. Super fast and provides amazing protection that will help the mud come off much easier the next item you want to run through that hug mud puddle.

Next, after you’ve dried with a good drying towel like The Rag Company Gauntlet to really help dry the large surface, you want to apply a dressing. CarPro PERL will make you feel like your car is new again. Not only is it a great tire dressing, but it can also be used on trim too and a multitude of other surfaces at various dilution ratios. It will also help these surfaces stay cleaner and be easier to clean. of course clean the windows and things like that and we will dive into interior/engine bay in another article.

That’s it. Quick, easy, and looking great and ready for the next ride!


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Ian Martinez
Gloss Angeles
Irvine, CA
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