Keeping the Outside of Your Off-Road Rig Clean

When I was a younger man, I spent countless hours keeping my vehicle spotless inside and out. Then I drove quite a few less than stellar cars that even when clean, looked like the wrong end of the junkyard.

About ten years ago, life changed, and I was able to start buying new vehicles, but I had fallen off the cleaning wagon, and it seemed I couldn’t get back on. I always kept them well maintained but not that beautiful shine and detail job like those first cars.

I have been slowly working back into it the last several years, and I found two things about myself as I have aged. Number one I don’t have the same amount of time to spend detailing a car that I used to. Number two is that I prefer less labor-intensive methods of cleaning the paint.

Dealer Tip

One quick tip I picked up from the dealership. When we picked up the Nissan Titan, it had a layer of dirt on it from sitting on the back lot near a tree. When the detail technician was washing the truck, he sprayed wax while he washed and rinsed the soap and wax off all at once. I left such a high shine and held up well to multiple washes I adopted the technique.

Synthetic Clay Bar

My other new favorite item is Mother’s synthetic clay bar. Using clay to clean the paint on a vehicle works wonders. The synthetic bar works faster and safer than traditional clay.

The technique is still the same. Spray a lubricant liberally over the area to be cleaned and lightly rub the bar over the paint until it’s smooth as glass. The ergonomic hand shape and soft-touch material makes quick work of any panel and is easier on your hands than working with a piece of clay.

I enjoyed the process a lot more and completed the Jeep in less time than I thought possible.

Eagle One Nano Wax

To let the clay bar slide over the finish, I use Eagle Ones’ Superior Nano Wax. Instead of a synthetic polymer, the Eagle One product is 1/10,000 sized carnauba wax particles. Wax is an excellent lubricant, and I trust it to protect my paint from scratches.

Tech Shine from AEROLON Wet Activated Polymeric Film

Heck of a fancy title for another quick detail product that makes keeping a car clean much easier.

The process is stone simple. Wash your car, truck, motorcycle, lawnmower, whatever you want. Rinse the soap off, leave the item above wet, wipe it down with the AEROLON Tech Shine and rinse again. You have to make sure the surface stays wet the entire time. I end up doing sections at a time and cleaning the Tech Shine off each section. I make sure to overlap a little, so I don’t miss areas.

Like many other products on the market, each application improves the overall finish look of your paint. It does last for several washes before the water sheeting stops and it has kept the color on our Camaro from getting the same debris in the finish that I cleaned off the Jeep.

What drew me to using the Tech Shine and others like it is the promise of dirt and mud not adhering to the paint. The smoother a finish is on a vehicle; the less chance dirt has to find a foothold to stick to your rig. It’s not a magic elixir that keeps your paint perfect. It does make it easier to clean when you get home, and that pays for itself in very little time.

What do you use?

What’s your cleaning regimen? Tell us your favorite products or gadgets you use to keep your baby shiny and spotless.

William Connor

As the Editor, William is responsible for all the good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent that happens at 4WAAM. William brings a wide range of experience to this role having been a cook, a painter, a machinist, part time mechanic, computer programmer, and writer. He also wields a freely shared opinion on just about everything., just ask him.

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