As someone who loves driving off-road, chances are that you will deal with a lot of mud. After all, a good rainstorm can create enough mud to last for weeks. And for many of us, driving through mud is an extra measure of fun.
Unfortunately, while throwing your clothes in the wash is easy, getting the mud off your UTV can be a challenge. Even moderate amounts of mud can get into the crankshaft and drivetrain of your vehicle. Mud also gets into axles, springs, and door handles. An especially muddy day can leave your UTV so caked in mud that the fun of cleaning it can seem like a disincentive to off-roading.
While it might be tempting to avoid cleaning your vehicle, dirty UTVs tend not to last very long. The mud will eventually damage your vehicle if it isn’t cleaned up. Dirt is abrasive and can wear away at your metal parts or corrode the belts and hoses. Likewise, water can cause rust or short out electrical parts. Both scenarios can damage your paint job or ruin your ride. That damage can cost thousands of dollars to fix.
Luckily, we have some tips to help clean your UTV and keep it in great condition for years to come.
Overview of the Top 10 UTV Cleaning Hacks
Before we start talking about our tips, it’s important to remember that UTVs are relatively simple vehicles. At the same time, they have some unique cleaning challenges. For instance, a UTV doesn’t usually have doors, and it doesn’t have glass for windows. In addition, your UTV has exposed springs, an open bed, and instruments that can get muddy.
Before you begin, make sure that you have all your materials in one place. You may also need safety equipment depending on what products or techniques you use. Rubber gloves and goggles are almost always a good idea. Then, park your UTV in an area where you have plenty of space to work, you can clean up easily, and there’s adequate ventilation. Be sure to check the labels of any chemicals to ensure you can use them safely.
Now that you’re ready to clean, here are the tips.
1. DIY Pressure Washing: The Ultimate Mud-Buster
Even caked-on mud is no match for pressure washing. Water thins out the mud, whether it’s dried out or still fresh. Then, the high pressure forces the dirt to come off your UTV and down your driveway to the sewer. And you can use the pressure washer to tidy up your driveway when everything else has been cleaned.
With pressure washing, you can use specially formulated cleaners or opt for using only water. However, you must not use the pressure washer to clean off your digital display or places where electrical parts are exposed. This can cause a short and ruin your ride.
Best of all, you can often rent a pressure washer at a hardware store. Be sure to follow all directions closely, including by wearing safety goggles. You also need to understand how much pressure to use and when.
2. The Magic of Microfiber Towels
Microfiber towels are a very economical and highly practical tool for cleaning your UTV. These towels absorb a lot of water and are great for simple tasks like wiping down the seats or drying the headlights. In addition, the soft texture lets you polish plastic parts or paint without the risk that the towels will make scratches.
3. The All-Purpose Cleaner Hack
All-purpose cleaners are called this because you can use them on many different surfaces. They are great for cleaning seats, tidying floor mats, and restoring readability to your dials. Depending on the product and application, you can spray the product onto the surface or pour it onto a microfiber towel. Then you’ll wipe away until your surface is as clean as you can get it.
Choose any automotive all-purpose cleaner that says it can handle mud. Also, pay attention to how much ventilation a product needs, as this can help eliminate some options.
4. Detailing Brushes: Getting into Nooks and Crannies
Detailing brushes are great for cleaning the smallest areas of your vehicle, such as around the headlights and dials. To use them, select the brush which best fits into your cleaning area. Then, add all-purpose cleaners or soaps as appropriate. Think of these brushes as like a toothbrush or floss: they reach what you couldn’t otherwise. These are also useful for removing dust and dry dirt.
5. Air Compressor Cleaning: Dust and Dirt's Worst Enemy
Compressed air is a tried-and-true cleaning technique, and it works well for delicate areas of your UTV. In fact, compressed air is what you use to clean computers. For automotive use, you can remove dried, loose dust. However, for UTV enthusiasts, this is one of the best ways to dry your vehicle after pressure washing. To do this, turn on the air compressor and use the air to literally push the water away. It’s especially beneficial for hard-to-dry areas like undercarriage and suspension springs.
6. Utilizing Non-Detergent Based Soaps
While most of us think of “soap” and “detergent” as interchangeable, this isn’t always true. Especially with hand or dish “soap,” they’re detergents that remove grease (and dirt to some extent). However, soap is especially good for mud because the soap particles break up mud and dirt deposits. Then, the soap keeps the mud from gathering again.
Cleaning with soap is great once you’ve got the first layer of mud off with a pressure washer. The soapy water will get into the different small parts of your vehicle. To use, mix with water and spray on. Rinse well with water, then dry.
7. The WD-40 Hack: For Stubborn Grime
WD-40 is a water-repellant and cleaner. As such, it not only removes dirt but helps dry hard-to-reach parts of your UTV. The anti-water properties make WD-40 excellent for cleaning electrical parts like dials and lights. It’s an excellent lubricant that can help with your suspension springs. Finally, the formula protects your metal parts from rusting, which is especially useful for parts of the UTV that don’t get a lot of ventilation.
With that said, WD-40 should be used with plenty of ventilation, as it has a foul smell and relatively toxic chemicals.
8. Vinegar Solution for Windshields
Especially if windows are dirty, cleaning them often leaves streaks behind. Furthermore, many of the detergents and soaps you might use earlier in the UTV cleaning process leave residues that attract dirt. To avoid a windshield disaster on your next ride, try using vinegar. It removes the streaks and residues like nothing else.
Using vinegar is easy. You can either buy a vinegar solution in an automotive store or mix your own with white vinegar at a weak concentration. Put it in spray bottles or a sprayer, then spray on your windshield. Dry with a freshly laundered microfiber cloth. This hack works for headlights too.
9. Silicone Spray: For Shining and Protecting
After you’ve gotten all the dirt you can find off your UTV, it’s time to give your ride a nice finish. Silicone sprays are one of the best tools for polishing. Typically, you can spray it on, then use your microfiber cloths to rub it in. Use silicone spray for your interior surfaces, especially vinyl, and plastic. Done right, silicone spray can make these surfaces look as good as new. You can even use the spray to make your paint job shine.
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10. Clay Bar for Deep Cleaning
Another way to clean and shine at the same time is https://www.wikihow.com/Use-a-Clay-Bar with a clay bar. To use this technique, you’ll rub the automotive clay all over the exterior finishes of your UTV. Use a lubricant, which usually comes with your clay bars. The dirt will stick to the clay. Keep folding the clay over to get a clean surface until everything is polished off.
Post Cleaning Maintenance Tips
Once you’ve detailed your UTV, chances are that you’ll want to keep it clean until it’s time for the next ride. After all, you’ve done a lot of manual work that can take hours. If you have space in the garage, move your vehicle into its normal place. For short-term storage, this may be enough.
Long-term storage calls for more protection. Especially because your UTV doesn’t have windows, almost anything can get inside. Therefore, you’ll want to use a UTV cover to keep the vehicle clean. Done right, a cover can also discourage mice and other wildlife from damaging your adrenaline rush.
UTVs that are stored outside for the summer also need a cover. Nothing is less fun than your vehicle getting wet every time it rains and leaving the seats too wet to sit in. Similarly, you must worry about animals and anything else that falls from the sky.
Trust UTVCovers.com for your protection needs
For covers that last, you need to check us out. We have a wide variety of UTV covers to fit almost any model. In addition, you can choose different styles based on how much of the vehicle you want to cover, the frequency of use, and more.
Best of all, we offer a lifetime warranty for worry-free shopping.