How to Clean an ATV (In 7 Simple Steps)

ATVs can get extremely dirty after all fun and games or work. Cleaning an ATV requires both skill and patience. Here is how to do it.

ATVs are just like any other vehicle and need to be cleaned after use. They get the most dirt as compared to other vehicles and cleaning them regularly is the first step in maintaining them.

Generally, it doesn’t matter they type of ATV, they collect all forms of dirt like dust from off-road areas, debris, grime, and mud. If not cleaned, mud can harbor moisture which can lead to the ATV’s parts rusting and if this happens it will reduce performance.

Well, cleaning the ATVs is not the most exciting ever to do when you do the math of the workload you are about to face. However, am going to make it easier for you.

How to clean ATV

Using a variety of washers, degreasers, and protectants makes it easier and simple to clean. There are so many ways and tips on how to clean ATVs but today we will share the easiest way to make your ATV sparkly clean.

Tricks and Tips on How to Clean ATVs

  1. Look for a wash area

The best place to wash and clean ATVs is an open area. In such an area you will not struggle as much and get to worry that you will make the place dirty.

You are not about to do double work, cleaning the ATV and cleaning the place. A place with good drainage is also recommendable as you won’t struggle with the flow of water.

An open area also helps not to contaminate other objects and items that are near. With this, you are free from the water sprinkles and drops.

  1. Presoak the ATV

Sometimes stubborn mud can be hectic to get rid of. The best trick is to soak it with some water by using a hose pipe with a nozzle or use a pressure washer if you have one.

Soak the entire body and every part including the undercarriage. The main areas to tackle are the body, wheels, and skid plates. Ensure that all the nooks and crannies are well reached.

Leave it to sit for 15-20 minutes and the mud will loosen and blasting the mud off is easier. Doing this makes it a fun and easier activity to do.

The gas-powered washer does also a good job since it has more pressure but you can use what you have. The more dirt that comes out at this stage the more stress-free the next step becomes.

For the plastic parts, the best cleaner for ATV plastics is the use of the X-team spray cleaner or simple green to remove dirt and grime. This product does not leave the plastics faded or discolored. They are safe on the plastics and leave them shiny and brand new.

How to clean ATV plastics? It might be tiresome and not the prettiest thing to do. Well, the first step is to detach all the plastics that include the skid plates, racks, and any other that is removable.

Use plastic restorer and you will be good to go as your plastics are all shiny and glowing.

Some other ATV owners use anti mud coating but this is optional.

  1. Wash the ATV with detergent

This is the stage that most of the washing materials are used. Wash your ATV from up and down using a sponge with the right detergents /soap meant for vehicles and water.

If for example, your ATV has alloy rims use the right products for them. For easier use, it is advisable to follow the instructions as per the product displays. Remember the goal now in this stage is to wash the areas that the pressure washer could have missed.

Well, there is an ATV cleaning kit if used your vehicle will be very clean without scratches. The kit is a complete set of cleaning tools. This can be used with Chemical Guys CWS20264 Wash Soap for a sparkling clean shine.

The Chemical Guys CWS20264 Wash Soap is the best soap for ATV because it has a high foam formula that loosens mud, dirt, and grime. It is also highly lubricated which is recommendable since it reduces any scratches. It leaves a clean sparkle finish.

All-purpose cleaner is the highlight it is good at removing all the stubborn stains found in plastics and also it is a natural de-greaser that cuts grease and grime.

The surface prep cleaner is easy to use and is a multipurpose cleaner. It can be used on most surfaces. This cleaner is best for removing dust, dirt, and oil residues you just need to spray and buff it in the EZ- CLEAN mud guard forms a clear protective and water-resistant layer that helps not to attract mud, grime, and dirt from sticking.

Lastly, we have the plastic shine and protection that does a wonderful job by protecting the plastics and vinyl surface from fading. It also leaves the surfaces with a shiny finish.

That is the cleaning kit that is the best ATV cleaner kit but you can also work with what is available for you.

  1. Scrub off the dirt

Sometimes using a sponge can be so soft for some tough dirt and grime. Well, you can use a brush to scrub off the stubborn dirt that might be on the distressing spots.

The brush you use should also not be hard as it can cause scratches and remove paint as well. Soft bristles brush would do.

  1. Rinse the wash

It is now time to rinse the soap suds. Warm water is better than cold since it will get rid of the tiniest particles that can be left behind.

Cleaning an ATV

Top-down is the best method to avoid repeating the clean areas as well it is a way of saving water.

  1. Dry it off

There are different options to go with in this step but it depends on what is available for you. If it dries with the water drops then the results will not be pleasing.

A lint-free cloth is the best that you can use to dry which will avoid your vehicle from getting scratched. Nevertheless, an air compressor could be the best of all options since it will dry even the inaccessible parts.

However, drying is the most important part as it will reduce the chances of rust and corrosion.

  1. Polish it up

Finally, your ATV is clean and dry. Make it look brand new by polishing the plastic parts by spraying the plastic polish. You will get a shiny finish on your automobile which makes it looks new and clean.

The polishing will help to avoid dust from clinging to your vehicle easily.

It is not a must that you break the bank while buying the cleaning materials you can DIY a homemade ATV cleaner and do the same job. Homemade ATV cleaner is way affordable and safe way since you know the ingredients that made the cleaner.


That is basically how to clean an ATV. If you keep your ATV clean, your adventures are about to be breathtaking and fresh.

It is important to take care of your ATVs and wash them after every ride. It is rewarding to travel in a clean vehicle. As we said earlier cleaning them is the first step in maintaining them and you will never have problems with your vehicle.