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  1. #1

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    Question No-scrub cleaner or degreaser to remove greasy red clay soil residue?

    Hello all,

    I`m trying to find a product that will remove the greasy dirt residue left by red clay soil without needing manual scrubbing.

    I`m dealing with three types of parts:

    1. plastic parts (engine covers, radiator shrouds, splash shields) removed from the vehicle.
    I`ve tried automotive citrus degreasers, simple green, gunk degreaser, CLR, dawn, then hosed off but nothing has removed the residue without manual scrubbing.

    2. metal parts (cast steel and aluminum suspension components) removed from the vehicle.
    I`ve tried most of the above, on these parts it seems to be staining from the clay. The only thing that has worked on these is metal brushes on a dremel or metal polish.

    3. painted metal surfaces (engine bay, undercarriage)
    It`s not so much residue on these surfaces as it is a white hazy film. A bit of mild compound on a foam polishing pad has worked great on these.

    Is there anything else in terms of products or chemicals I might try on the plastic and metal parts, or is there no shortcut and I need to just spend the time with brushes?

    Ideally I`d like to find a no scrub solution because I also need to get inside frame rails and boxed sections for the same reason.

    Thank you for any suggestions.

  2. #2

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    Re: No-scrub cleaner or degreaser to remove greasy red clay soil residue?

    I`d give Superior Products Road Warrior a shot, it`s like $12 a gallon and you order it through O`Reilly`s and is one of the safest degreasers that I have found to date. If not, Back-Set by Romix may be an option. I do need to preface that I have never used either of these chemicals on red clay. I cannot recommend any other concrete removers as I haven`t used any others. If Road Warrior doesn`t remove the residues, then I would try Back-set. You might also be able to remove some of the staining with an chemical iron remover such as Eagle One Black & Plasticoat Wheel Cleaner or Meguiar`s Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner, but only on painted and metal surfaces. Unfortunately, I don`t think there is a solution that will allow you to remove everything 100% manual agitation free. I also wait for others to chime in.
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  3. #3
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: No-scrub cleaner or degreaser to remove greasy red clay soil residue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taymar View Post
    Hello all,

    I`m trying to find a product that will remove the greasy dirt residue left by red clay soil without needing manual scrubbing.

    I`m dealing with three types of parts:

    1. plastic parts (engine covers, radiator shrouds, splash shields) removed from the vehicle.
    I`ve tried automotive citrus degreasers, simple green, gunk degreaser, CLR, dawn, then hosed off but nothing has removed the residue without manual scrubbing.

    2. metal parts (cast steel and aluminum suspension components) removed from the vehicle.
    I`ve tried most of the above, on these parts it seems to be staining from the clay. The only thing that has worked on these is metal brushes on a dremel or metal polish.

    3. painted metal surfaces (engine bay, undercarriage)
    It`s not so much residue on these surfaces as it is a white hazy film. A bit of mild compound on a foam polishing pad has worked great on these.

    Is there anything else in terms of products or chemicals I might try on the plastic and metal parts, or is there no shortcut and I need to just spend the time with brushes?

    Ideally I`d like to find a no scrub solution because I also need to get inside frame rails and boxed sections for the same reason.

    Thank you for any suggestions.
    The only thing that removes clay from anything is pressure washing.. Mine is a 2.0 gal/minute machine, and it works great
    If you can add hot water, it will work faster.. If not, only a wide, adjustable, fan, tip used carefully will move this dreadful stuff off without manual scrubbing..

    A longer extension on the gun will perhaps make it easier to get to things and not get so wet from blowback.. You want to try to use angles to clean this and keep it from coming back at you or the rest of the vehicle, etc..

    If there was grease before the clay, then it will probably require a good degreaser application once you get all the clay off first..
    Have had the best results for my business using Meguiars Super Degreaser -- https://www.autopia-carcare.com/megu...l#.XsQSr0SpH3g

    Living now on a former lake bed, which of course, is miles of clay deep, I have learned so much I never knew I would have to know about this subject..

    Good luck!
    Dan F
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  4. #4

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    Re: No-scrub cleaner or degreaser to remove greasy red clay soil residue?

    Taymar:
    You have asked one of the questions that has faced off-road enthusiasts forever: how to clean their SUV, 4x4 truck, ATV, UTV, Dirt Bike, Side-by-Side of the mud that accumulates from off-road excursions and adventures.
    Honestly, I do not think that their is a "magic no-scrub" soap or cleaner made to remove clay. That stuff is like glue. Ask any good northern Georgia resident who happens to drive red-clayed back roads after a rain or those in Vermont who travel such dirt roads during the spring thaw. It just clings to everything.

    I agree with Stokdgs on this: nothing short of a good pressure washer is going to clean off the gooey clay. There are two soaps that the off-road enthusiast use:
    1) Chemical Guys Tough Mudder Off-Road Truck and ATV Heavy Duty Wash Shampoo
    2) Slick Off-Road Products ATV Wash

    Also, your mention of chalky white residue on engine parts. This is called aluminum bloom and is due to using the wrong soap that is very alkaline or highly caustic. Super Clean (the purple stuff) is one of them and the other is OTC (over-the -counter) Simple Green, both when used full strength (IE; undiluted). Both will cause aluminum to product this white residue if not properly rinsed. This problem is exacerbated and accelerated when cleaning a warm engine and such cleaners are sprayed on to hot or warm aluminum engine or suspension parts. Machined aluminum is very vulnerable to this, as are aluminum sheet metal shrouds or guards.. Best advice: READ THE PRODUCT LABEL ON THE CONTAINER!!! Most have some sort of warning or notation on it that is may not be "compatible" for cleaning aluminum parts or not to let the product dwell.

    For other suggestions for cleaning ATVs see the thread I started on this subject:
    https://www.autopia.org/forums/boat-...tml?highlight=
    GB detailer
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  5. #5
    rlmccarty2000's Avatar
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    Re: No-scrub cleaner or degreaser to remove greasy red clay soil residue?

    I’m not sure even a pressure washer will remove South Georgia red clay. Here the clay will actually stain metal/plastic. I think it may be a chemical reaction to some materials. Your best bet is to coat anything that might come in contact with the clay, then removal will be easier. Clay is an amazing material. There is an artist here in GA that only uses clay pigments to paint with! We have colors from brick red to cobalt blue and everything in between and it’s stickier than Play-Dough and can be as hard as brick. At FT Benning, GA I had to dig a fighting position (foxhole) with a pickaxe to get through the clay. I almost died from heatstroke.
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  6. #6
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: No-scrub cleaner or degreaser to remove greasy red clay soil residue?

    Quote Originally Posted by rlmccarty2000 View Post
    I’m not sure even a pressure washer will remove South Georgia red clay. Here the clay will actually stain metal/plastic. I think it may be a chemical reaction to some materials. Your best bet is to coat anything that might come in contact with the clay, then removal will be easier. Clay is an amazing material. There is an artist here in GA that only uses clay pigments to paint with! We have colors from brick red to cobalt blue and everything in between and it’s stickier than Play-Dough and can be as hard as brick. At FT Benning, GA I had to dig a fighting position (foxhole) with a pickaxe to get through the clay. I almost died from heatstroke.
    Hello, mi Amigo ! I hope you and yours are all safe and well over there !!

    I have this 17lb., 72inch digging bar that is the only thing that will break up this lake bottom clay I am so unlucky to live on..

    The pick axe is only good for a few inches here, and then it`s the digging bar and a well worn post hole digger to get those little stubborn blocks of clay out of the hole once it starts getting to 1 foot deep..

    And if allowed to get wet and dry out, this lake bottom clay also turns to brick-like and is very unhappy to be worked..

    I have found after a few years of dealing with this impossible media, that there is actually a small window, when the moisture is -just- right, and clay will actually be a -little- easier to deal with.. But the window is very small and one has to be on it at that time or it is gone..

    Have planted over 100 things out back, each hole 3 ft wide, 3 ft deep, and all that clay that came out had to be broken up into smaller pieces, mixed with a lot of gypsum and compost, that actually yields a pretty good soil mix which has made all my plants grow way, way, faster, than everyone who just dug a small hole, and shoved the poor plant in there to fend for itself..

    Remind me to Never buy a house on Clay again !!!

    My best to you and yours, RL !
    Dan F

  7. #7
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    Re: No-scrub cleaner or degreaser to remove greasy red clay soil residue?

    From my experience lately, mostly with the interior work I do, I`ve had a lot more success removing dirt/clay type soil from interior carpeting using an acid rinse solution in my extractor. 1oz/gal added to my water drops the pH down to about 3.6 (strong acid). I`ve had a ton of success with getting carpets/floor mats much much cleaner in terms of dirt/salt since adding the rinse solution.

    From the little research I`ve done looking deeper into how pH levels effect cleaning, alkaline cleaners are not particularly effective on inorganic dirt/clay/minerals. Which may be why the things you`re using don`t work very effectively. Most APCs, and your stronger car wash soaps are on the neutral to alkaline side (pH 7.5-11+). From my experience, cleaners on the acidic side of the spectrum (pH <7, lower is stronger) are effective for dirt/minerals. A good example of this is trying to remove salt buildup in floor mats/carpet. Your strongest degreasers and APCs don`t seem to have any effect on it, however start hitting it with vinegar (acid), the salt starts to break down/dissolve and can be removed easily. This works both ways as acid cleaners are ineffective on things like grease/oil.

    Again I would recommend some experimentation with this and see if maybe mixing up a 50/50 mix of vinegar/water and pre spraying the problems areas can help. I`ve never tried this myself so take it for what its worth. And I cant stress this enough, BE CAREFUL WITH UNCOATED METALS. Obviously vinegar isn`t specifically a detailing product so there`s no warning label for side effects for automotive use. You`ll need to figure this out on your own (or with insight from others here). Maybe someone has some insight on some car wash soaps out there that are on the acid side of the spectrum rather than neutral/alkaline? Valugards ABC system comes to mind. Also, I took a quick look at the chemical guys recommendation above and its pH is "~7.5" which is pretty much neutral, as is the case with most of their soaps actually.

    Good luck finding a solution! I always tell myself if I have to scrub something really hard, I don`t have the right cleaner. I`m sure you`ll find something.
    shanesautodetail.com
    facebook.com/shanesautodetail
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  8. #8

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    Re: No-scrub cleaner or degreaser to remove greasy red clay soil residue?

    Thank you so much guys, some great new suggestions here which I will try.

    Since I`m essentially disassembling the entire underside of the vehicle to clean, would a ceramic coating be the best thing to apply before it all goes back together? I don`t anticipate it being around clay again, this all happened while it belonged to the previous owner.

    One last question - is there anything I should avoid using on the seam sealer? That`s pretty stained up from the clay. Guessing it`s not going to be as easy to clean as a painted surface.

    thanks again!

 

 

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