Unless you’re spending your weekends in an arid desert, how dirty your machine is at the end of a weekend will usually correlate to how much fun you had on the trails. The south has red clay that turns to brick as it dries. The coal roads coat with thick black mud that pose a challenge to clean. The midwest combination of rocks and mud transforms into concrete. The northwest can be a sloppy mess. The southwest may be the easiest to keep clean, but the sand, rocks and dust still cover every nook of your UTV.
You can wash by hand and with a simple garden hose, but usually after doing that a few times, we start looking around and say to ourselves, “There’s gotta be a better way”. The good news is that there is indeed a better way and we’re here to give the best (and best on a budget) options on the market to making your UTV look as good as new.
Best Pressure Washer for UTVs
When it’s time to blast away the dirt and mud, there is no better tool than a pressure washer to get the job done. Gas pressure washers are usually more expensive, but have higher output and if something goes wrong with them, they can usually be repaired affordably. Electric pressure washers are cheaper, quieter and have less PSI output, but will still get the job done. We have found electric to be less reliable than gas powered models and once something goes wrong with them, repair costs are more expensive than buying a new one.
Our Top Pick: Simpson Cleaning MSH3125 MegaShot Gas Pressure Washer
The Simpson MegaShot 3200 PSI at 2.5 GPM is ideal for for cleaning a UTV and has enough output to use for other do it at home projects as well.. This is a perfect option for UTV owners, because it’s lightweight for a gas powered machine and easy to maneuver . You’ll get optimum performance with minimal effort. The MSH3125 is equipped with a HONDA GC190 engine, reliable OEM axial pump, 25-ft kink & abrasion resistant hose, ergonomic spray gun and 5 stainless steel Quick-connect nozzles.
The Simson MegaShot series is perfect for the UTV owners looking for maximum performance with minimal investment, coming in at under $400. The MegaShot Series is designed for optimum performance in the harshest environments, and renowned for being consistently easy to start.
Our Budget Pick: Sun Joe SPX3000 2030 Electric Pressure Washer
The Sun Joe SPX3000 pressure washer delivers it all to tackle the mud on your UTV. This electric pressure washer generates up to 2030 PSI of water pressure and 1.76 GPM of water flow for maximum cleaning power. The TSS (Total Stop System) automatically shuts off the pump when trigger is not engaged to save energy and prolong pump life and the dual removable detergent tanks can store different types of soaps to simultaneously tackle different cleaning projects.
The SPX3000 includes two 30 oz removable detergent tanks, a 34 inch extension wand, a 20 foot high pressure hose, a 35 foot power cord with GFCI protection, garden hose adapter, needle clean-out tool and 5 quick connect spray tips.
Best Soaps for UTVs
Soaps and detergents are essential to break down the crud and stains on your UTV. It’s a mistake just to go to the kitchen and grab the dish soap or to get the harshest cleaning chemicals available to clear your UTV. Harsh detergents can break down the oils in your plastics, stain the aluminum engine and transmissions.
Our Top Pick: Chemical Guys Tough Mudder
Tough Mudder from Chemical Guys is the ultimate UTV wash that safely removes stuck-on dirt and sand. The versatile formula works great in any bucket wash, or with a pressure washer and foam cannon for added cleaning power. The thick soap clings hard to abrasive dirt and sand, releases it from the surface, and surround it with slick lubricants to help prevent swirls and scratches if you’re cleaning by hand.
Tough Mudder is a concentrate, so a little goes a long way. A few ounces in a soap bucket or foam cannon is all you need to really attack the dirt. The soap also leaves a fresh citrus scent behind.
Chemical Guys Tough Mudder doesn’t just clean stuck on off-road dirt, debris, and mud, it also contains specialty surface release additives that leave behind a super slick surface that makes it harder for fresh mud to stick. This technology will not only leave your truck or off-road vehicle cleaner for longer, it will also make washing it next time easier!
Our Budget Pick: Zep Industial Cleaner and Laundry Detergent
This has been recommended around different UTV groups for years and it works. However, Zep is a strong detergent and should be used with caution and mixed in significantly lower portions than your laundry detergent and water mixed with it. The chemicals within Zep break down dirt and grease particles quickly and can really deep clean your machine, but the chemicals in laundry detergent will counter some of the harshness of it to protect your plastics without drying them out too much. Plus, laundry detergent leaves a nice clean scent as well.
Zep 505 Cleaner works incredibly well when undiluted and sprayed directly on tires to remove stains. Leaving Zep on the tires for a few minutes and then hitting them with a pressure washer will bring back the black.
UTV Windshield Cleaners
When it comes to the windshield on your UTV, if you’re running anything but glass, you definitely do not want to just hit it with some Windex and move on. Many glass window cleaners contain chemicals that will ruin a polycarbonate or acrylic windshield. There are many companies that make products specifically for cleaning plastic windshields.
Our Top Pick: Plexus Plastic Cleaner, Protectant and Polish
Plexus seals the pores in plastic surfaces with a micro-thin layer of shiny, protective wax, making it resistant to debris, oil, scratches, and eventual yellowing. The product was originally developed for use in the aviation industry. Specifically, it was made for cleaning and protecting aircraft windshields and painted surfaces. However, people quickly discovered it could be used on a limitless variety of plastic surfaces and the product is the best out there we’ve found for UTV windshields.
The filling properties of the Plexus Plastic Cleaner work well for filling in micro-scratches in your windshield plastic. And though you shouldn’t expect miracles, it does very well for correcting those scratches that are especially noticeable when driving into the sun. Best of all, it’s anti-static properties repel dust better than anything we have found.
Our Budget Pick: Novus Plastic Clean & Shine
Novus Plastic Clean & Shine gently cleans all plastics without scratching. It leaves a lustrous shine that resists fogging, repels dust, and eliminates static. The product even is resistant to fingerprints from handing the plastic.
For everyday cleaning on a budget, this is among one of the best cleaners out there. Though it can’t cover up micro-scratches like the Plexus brand cleaner, it does an excellent job on cleaning without abrasives or harsh chemicals.
UTV Detailing and Protectants
Once your UTV is clean and dry, you’ll will want to get it back to that factory fresh showroom shine. Some of the shines and protectants that you get at the local auto parts store are actually very bad for your factory plastics and can lead to pre-mature aging and loss of UV protection.
Our Top Pick: Maxima SC1 High Gloss Coating
High gloss SC1 Clear Coat is specifically formulated for the Powersports industry. SC1 high gloss coating is specifically formulated to protect and beautify multiple surfaces including plastic, vinyl, rubber and carbon fiber. SC1 an be applied and left untouched or allowed to setup and be buffed to a dry sheen, leaving a long-lasting luster.
The water-resistant formulation is safe for use on gloss or matte finishes and makes the clean-up process easier by forming a durable coating that repels mud, dirt and debris. This can make the next time you clean up your UTV infinitely easier. Amazingly enough, this product even works while out on the trails. It doesn’t work miracles and keep your UTV completely clean, but we’ve been impressed with how much this product acts to actually repel mud while out on the trails.
Our Budget Pick: Slick Products Shine & Protectant
Honestly, there isn’t much of a price difference between this and the SC1 spray, but the Shine & Protectant from Slick Products deserves to be on the list as well and is slightly cheaper.
Slick Products gives your UTV a protective barrier, helping to prevent mud from sticking and caking as badly next time you’re out on the trails. The Shine & Protectant is a silicone-based spray formulated to instantly shine surfaces with a temporary clear coating that protect surfaces and repels dirt and mud. It doesn’t work quite as well on the trails as SC1, but it works significantly better than auto store protectants and won’t hurt your factory plastics over time.