How to Wash a Pickup Truck


A pickup truck is a both a toy and a vehicle for many people. Some use their truck to haul loads to the dump, go camping or off-roading. Others simply enjoy the ride and the feel of a pickup. It is important to wash a pickup truck often to keep the vehicle in excellent condition.

Things You'll Need

  • Push broom
  • Bucket
  • Mild liquid dish soap
  • Hose
  • Car wash brush
  • Window cleaner
  • Tire cleaner
  • 2 rags
  • Open the tailgate of the pickup. Stand in the bed with the push broom. Sweep out all debris, mud clumps and loose dirt. Push the particles toward the tailgate and off the truck.

  • Pour the bottle of mild degreasing dish soap into the bucket. Turn the nozzle spray on the hose to stream. Fill the bucket with a strong stream to mix the soap and water.

  • Turn the nozzle to mist. Hose down a section of the truck, such as the front, sides or top.

  • Dunk the brush into the bucket. Scrub the entire section. Rinse the brush in the bucket and repeat the step. Inspect the area and scour any dirt or mud spots that you may have missed.

  • Rinse off the soap and excess dirt with the hose. Hold the hose above the pickup truck so the water runs downward.

  • Clean the remaining pickup sides and the back of the truck. Repeat Steps 3 to 5. To wash the bed of the truck, stand inside and hold the hose at an angle. Push any remaining dirt out of the bed. Scrub normally and rinse the brush two or three times. Then, rinse the bed with the hose, again holding at an angle.

  • Spray each window with the window cleaner. Wait for about 30 seconds and wipe the window with the rag. Complete this process for each window on the outside as well as the inside. Use extra clean rags for this step, if necessary.

  • Pour the tire cleaner on the second, clean rag. Wipe down each tire. Read the instructions on your specific tire-cleaning product. Some require a rinse while others do not.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pick a good time of day to wash the pickup truck. Choose dawn or dusk. If you wash the pickup during hot temperatures or sunlight, the vehicle dries too quickly. This results in visible soap scum and spots.
  • Park the pickup on a clean driveway or street; avoid any location with excessive dirt, rocks or grass.
  • You can dry the pickup with a large beach towel after washing. This is optional, as water spots do not usually form unless the truck is in direct sunlight.
  • When hosing down the truck, use a soft spray or mist only. A hard stream can cause dents or scratches in the paint.

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  • Photo Credit Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images
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