Mud, dust and debris are also major companions of off-roaders. After an off-roading trip you have to deal with them carefully to prevent your off-roading truck from damages.
I had talked about what can happen to your off-roading truck if you leave mud on it without cleaning them off ASAP. If you haven’t read it, you can read that article also to take an idea. I’ll put the link at the end of this article.
Here I’m going to talk mainly on how to clean your truck properly after wheeling on muddy trails. Because cleaning mud is the headache for most off-roaders.
With that being said I’m going to tell you everything you should know, for cleaning your off-roading truck under the following topics.
Things good to have for cleaning the jeep
In this cleaning process I use a few equipment like pressure washer, a foam cannon and a few brushes.
I think it’s a good investment if you can buy a pressure washer, if you are doing off-roading. You can check my pressure washers guide for wranglers to get more information.
Because washing your off-roading muddy truck with a garden hose is a huge pain while pressuring it with a finger.rather than that it’s very easy to take off mud and debris from the vehicle with a pressure washer.
But if you don’t have a pressure washer right now.don’t worry. I hope you can manage with a garden hose and stick to these steps.
In this guide I just use the pressure washer as my primary equipment than a garden hose.
How to clean the body of your truck after mudding ?
First advice for you is, never ever try to scrub the mud with anything before washing them out !
It will remain ugly scratch marks all over the body if you do that.
As a habit start to clean up the body first and then tyres and undercarriage. This is not a rule. but I have a good reason to wash out the body before my tyres. It’s simple because at home most of the time I don’t remove my tyres when washing.
If I clean my tyres first and then wash the body, again the mud and dust dissolves with water and drops on the wheels.
So I keep the wheel cleaning process to the end of body cleaning.
But I soak the undercarriage of the vehicle before starting to clean the body. Because that gives the time for dried mud to soak well.
Then it’s easy to wash out that mud in the undercarriage cleaning process. So without further ado let’s dive in the cleaning process..
First use your pressure washer to clean mud sprayed all over the body and under mudguards. Take your time and do it properly with the use of water pressure. After you remove all the mud out of your truck body, you have to work on removing the stained marks of mud on the paint.
For that you have to use foam like Tough mudder truck wash or something you use. Fill your foam cannon with that and attach it to your power washer.
Then spray foam all over the body and rinse them with the pressure washer. Here I’m going to do this process twice for prevention of swirls or any kind of paint damage.
If you think it’s enough to spray foam only once, according to the amount of debris stained on your vehicle, you can skip that part and do the scrubbing.
Foam again and scrub.
As mentioned above you can spray foam again after rinsing.Then you have to do the scrubbing the retained marks of mud.
I use a microfiber wash mitt to scrub the body for extra safety of my paint. You can get one of them or use a smooth piece of cloth that doesn’t damage your paint.
You can make a bucket of foam with your truck washing compound and scrub carefully on the body with the foam and clean out all the marks of mud retained. Then you can rinse the body vanishing all the marks of mud on the body.
Then you can plush out all the water on the body with the use of a woolly towel or some kind of cloth that does not harm your paint.
With those steps you are done with cleaning your truck’s body.
How to clean tires of off-roading trucks after mudding ?
Then you can clean out tires. First rinse the tires using a pressure washer and then you can start the scrubbing process.
One thing I have to note down here is, if you haven’t cleaned your mudguards yet you can do it in here right now.
But don’t keep that to do after cleaning the tire. Again mud under mudguards will be scattered on the cleaned tires.
For that I’ll use two soft brushes and one stiff brush for a proper cleaning process without causing scratches to my rims.
You can choose proper brushes according to your preference.
First I scrub my rim with an Easy reach wheel wheel brush with a wheel jel compound maked to a bucket. This is a very soft one which can safely remove debris or anything from the rim.
You can do this in the same way as me. Using this brush scrub from inner to outer direction to clean the rim.
Then you can clean the barrel of the rim with a fine flag tipped brush from upper surface to downward as it will prevent the areas we already cleaned from dirt.
Tire sidewall cleaning.
Use a tyre cleaning gel like Sticky citrus wheel jel and stiff brush.
spray the gel around the sidewalls of the tire and scrub with the wet stiffer brush to remove mud debris, old dressings, grease, tar, oil or any thing that caused the brown color of tire. As always start with the top of the tire.
Then finish the cleaning process of tyre with rinsing the whole tyre and rims properly with the pressure washer.
How to clean undercarriage of your truck after mudding ?
You may don’t need to use jacks for cleaning undercarriage because most off-roading trucks have enough height. So that you can access to the underside of the with your pressure washer.
You can lie on your back using a carpet or mat for this.
It’s good to use a pair of goggles because using high pressures to clean may throw washed out dirt particles to your face. So be aware of that.
Choke the vehicle properly before you start to clean the undercarriage.
Rinse properly under the vehicle with high pressure. Mud will easily break and fall down with the pressure.
Dried mud had enough time to be soaked with water because you had soaked them before starting to wash the body.
This will remove many contaminated dirt but may not all of them.
Then apply degreaser all over the underside of the vehicle carefully and let it do its job for about 20 minutes. Then wash out with the pressure washer.
Inspect and scrub if necessary and dry
Inspect after rinsing. If there are contaminants remaining in hidden spots, scrub them with a brush carefully and rinse them again.
Then you can use air to dry out the undercarriage.
Extra things you can do for your truck after cleaning.
After finishing the cleaning process of undercarriage of your truck, you can take actions for corrosion that could occur there. For that if you want you can apply rubberized undercarriage spray as a long term solution.
It will last for years.
But without going so far you can apply a simple lubricating oil. Normally I use WD – 40 oil for this.
It will make a thin layer with air and metal that can help to avoid rusting. And applying this kind of lubricant will make the cleaning process easier next time.
Because mud will contact with this lubricant layer and it will easily wash out with that layer than sticking directly with the metal.
But make sure not to apply these lubricants on heating parts like engine components, exhausts etc and places like oil changing areas.
Apply lubricants on other metal parts like brake lines, fuel lines and frame.
If you have seen rust spots on undercarriage take quick actions for those things.
Applying some lubricant oil on them and scrubbing will clean them out. Then do a fixed solution for those areas like applying a rubberized undercarriage spray.
So with that being said we come to the end of the cleaning process. You can check out my previous article on what can happen if you not cleaned your truck after mudding by clicking here.
If you want to get mud out from the jeep, I have an article giving few important tips for that. To read that click here.
Have fun and safe off-roading pals!!