Technique for washing your ATV



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If you are like us, the ATV Trail Rider team, you probably like to always have a clean and shiny ATV for your next outing. In any case, I’m like that myself at the end of each ride, I have to wash my ATV. Otherwise, I feel guilty.


A clean quad is really cool to look at and automatically creates a buzz around it and above all a feeling of pride for the owner. However, the primary goal of an outing with friends is to get it dirty with a nice big layer of mud. Our ATVs are designed to be powerful machines for having fun in all kinds of terrain and getting dirty is part of their DNA. But, they deserve some love after their hard day at work and here we are talking about a good wash. What does it consist of? Follow the guide, we demystify the correct washing technique.

The right equipment to work

There are a variety of different soaps and accessories in store to help us accomplish this task. We use a simple garden hose or a pressure washer, one or the other will accomplish this task differently.


The quantity and diversity of soap available in stores is quite impressive. Which one to choose? Which is best for my ATV? With or without wax? Nano or not? Soap without scrubbing? The display in front of us in store is astonishing and the prices vary greatly. Whatever your choice, the soap will restore the appearance of cleanliness to your machine. But probably with more effort and work for you depending on the price and quality of the product purchased.

What to use to water and rinse this sticky mud stuck everywhere and in hard-to-reach places? Will my simple hose perform the task of dislodging all this dirt? Yes, but with more time and effort. The pressure machine, whether gasoline or electric, will be much faster and more efficient. 1000, 1200, 1500 pounds of pressure? It’s up to you to decide according to your budget. Be careful, however, with very powerful models which will lift the decals as well as the mud.


Let’s talk about serious things! What will be the best technique to carry out a beautiful wash and have a “showroom” result? The end result for a perfectly clean ATV will come from the effort put into washing and the time spent on it. The technique will remain the same for a UTV, but allow more time to do it because of the interior full of nooks and crannies.

When you arrive home after an outing with your quad really dirty, rinse it quickly if you think you won’t have time to do a complete wash. The thick layers of mud have not yet hardened and this will help you greatly. To begin, you must take the time to rinse thoroughly with your pressure washer, not forgetting any corners. This way of doing things will make cleaning easier, help the at work optimally and reduce the effort required. Keep in mind that the jet from your pressure machine is very powerful and could cause damage. We are thinking here of bodywork decals or fragile radiator fins. Maintain adequate distance from the nozzle and your quad with movements from left to right or top to bottom.


Bucket, soaps and washing mitt will be your best allies in the next step.


Now that everything is well rinsed and as much accumulated mud and other dirt as possible is gone, prepare your bucket with your favorite soap and hot water. This is where the mitten comes into action. Go firmly, rubbing thoroughly in small sections. Wet the mitt frequently to remove any small rocks that could scratch the bodywork. Rinse the cleaned sections regularly to prevent soap from drying during the cleaning process. Make sure you scrub adequately everywhere without neglecting any corners. Because it’s disappointing to see a dried part still dirty because you forgot it. Use the mitt well, including the wheel rims, it will reach the most difficult to reach places.

For users of no-scrub soap, there is some information to know and not to overlook. Once again, to start, rinse your ATV thoroughly, then prepare your sprayer. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations carefully. The required ratios can range from 1 in 4 up to 1 in 10. When applying the product, make sure your ATV is thoroughly wet at all times. Apply the soap everywhere without forgetting a single corner. Leave on for five minutes and rinse thoroughly with your pressure washer. Very important to know about contactless soaps: never do this operation in the sun, you must always be in the shade. Otherwise, you will have whitish spots on the ATV when it is dry, particularly on the black parts. Soap could even alter metal finishes. For optimal results, you will need to rub certain parts all the same. These products are quick and effective, but are not perfection.

The final touch

The washing is now done, but know that there are still steps to work optimally with other specialized products.

Probably, like me, your black plastics are faded and have more of a gray appearance. This is where our various products come into play which will restore the desired shine for a lustrous and radiant black. Many companies has a multitude of specialized products that will help you meet your needs.


To have a clean and shiny quad, it will depend on the time you spend washing and scrubbing it.

No matter how you go about the products used, the final result will mainly depend on the time spent washing. There is no real special technique for carrying out this task, it is your own effort that will guarantee the quality of the work.

On that note, have a nice ride… or rather, have a good wash!