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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Green Bay, WI
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    Suggestion for Soaps and Methods for Cleaning ATVs/UTVs/Side-bySides

    So when I saw Justins00s post his detail and coating an ATV, I thought to myself ,"Why not another vehicle type for detailing questions within this forum". My nephew in-law bought an ATV and a side-by-side for his off-road and trail riding with his family up north at his cabin. Here in Northeast Wisconsin ATV trail riding is a BIG motor-sport/outdoor enthusiasts activity, so much so, that townships are now allowing them on public backroads so they can get from trail-to-trail (and tavern to tavern or eating places or just plain place-to-place transportation. Tourism money talks.)
    Obviously, driving on dirt trails can get ATV`s quite dirty and my nephew in-law asked if there is a good soap to use in cleaning ATVs. He has a pressure washer on order, and that seems to be a common tool-of-choice up north, BUT there is a great deal of angst and reservation about using them, as the highly pressurized water can get into bearings/bushings and electronics, causing some concerns. I assume that some common sense needs to be used, including the "proper" spray nozzle and pressure setting, along with where it can be sprayed within an ATV.
    Since I assume some of my fellow Autopians have ATVs themselves or know of individuals that do, I am looking for suggestions on what soaps and methods you use to clean the dirt from ATVs. The biggest "problem" is cleaning off the clay silt that sticks to everything, especially plastic cladding. That clay film seems to suck the oils out of the plastic, leaving them pretty dull-looking. I suggested using Meguiar`s Ultimate Black Trim Restorer after scrubbing the plastic clean with a soft-to-firm brush.
    I told him NOT to use over-the-counter Simple Green or (formerly Castrol`s) Super Clean (The Purple Stuff), as these APCs/degreasers cause aluminum bloom or will discolor anodized aluminum.
    I did do a little internet research and found that Chemical Guy`s markets an ATV-specific soap called Tough Mudder Off-Road Soap. Why not; they make and sell 10 other kinds of vehicle soaps, including a past forum-favorite Citrus Wash-and-Gloss.

    Anyway, thanks in advance for suggestions on ATV soaps and methods. And yes, I am open to (and hoping for) car detailing products that can cross over to used on cleaning ATVs.
    GB detailer

  2. #2
    JustJesus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    So Cal
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    Re: Suggestion for Soaps and Methods for Cleaning ATVs/UTVs/Side-bySides

    Look into Slick Products. They cater heavily to the dirt bike crowd and off road community. I`ve tried their wash on a 4x4 and it seemed to do a decent job on the dry mud/dirt.

    It`s not supposed to be harmful to bearings and such, either. That`s according to them, though. I haven`t done any long term testing

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    Re: Suggestion for Soaps and Methods for Cleaning ATVs/UTVs/Side-bySides

    In these cases the dedicated prewash foams is good to use as a first step when you washing. Foam it on a dry ATV let it dwell good and then start from the bottom and work your way up with the water pressure from the PW to clean with more effective. Dirt runs off better on a clean surface. The surfaces that are exposed I think that is safe to use the water pressure from the PW. Then it`s common sense around things that you think can be sensitive to have the nozzle tip too close.

    I would see how the price is for Bilt Hamber Auto-Foam for you. Have seen a couple of places that has takeing it in. With all of the prewash foams I have tested this is by far the most effective and yet safe prewash foam. Angelwax Cleanliness is another prewash foam that`s close to BH Auto-Foam. Also Gtechnic W4 Citrus Foam could be an option to try out and see how you like it. The 2 last ones is based on citrus oils which is effective to loosen the mud kind of dirt. And also be safe on the materials on an ATV.

    For protection and the ease of washing it afterwards I would go with coatings. Carpro Dlux is a great option as it has a versitale use on different kind of materials. Wheels and plastic trim and rubber seals and any hard surfaces as metalls and such. If the body panels is of a plastic material it can maybe be used on that too. Otherwise I think it could be good combo with CQUK 3.0 on painted panels. Also the seats and such could be an option to coating them. Depends what it`s for material on them. The ease of washing and how it often stays cleaner I would look into the full blown coatings. If you going the coating lite range of products. The Tac System Moonlight is also a very versitale product to different materials. It`s known as a hidden gem when restoring and protecting plastic trim. And you can apply most coatings like these on engine and exhaust. I think that Moonlight you could coat every part of the ATV exept seats and windows if they are polycarbonate.

    Then after the prewash use Carpro Reset car soap or Gtechnic G-Wash as they are one of the car soaps with the most cleaning ability. If you want an easy protection or topper. The spray on rinse off product like Carpro Hydro2 and Gyeon Wet Coat and McKees 37 Hydro Blue and Sonax Spray and Seal is very easy with a PW and intricate parts to reach. And quite good longevity from it between 2-5 months longevity from them. Depending on the use and storage. But IME if you apply it monthly you build up the behavior from them. And some kind of blowdryer and you have a easy maintance of the ATV.



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