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Man power washing his truck.

Understanding the Chemistry Behind Commercial Truck Wash Chemicals

Using truck wash chemicals is part of owning and caring for your truck. Some days you might prefer a hands-free, touchless truck wash chemical with a powerful foam cannon. Or maybe it’s time for the occasional wax.

Overall, the important thing is not only keeping the truck clean, but maintaining the integrity of the vehicle. Truck wash chemicals are designed to do precisely that. After all, you don’t want your touchless truck wash soap to harm your ride.

This is why knowing the chemistry behind truck wash chemicals is important. It’s easier to stick to products and cleaning routines that won’t harm your truck if you understand the ingredients to watch out for.

So let’s dive in and better understand a wash system that works for, and protects, your truck.

What is the Main Ingredient in Truck Wash Soaps?

We’ve all seen truck wash products that have an ongoing list of mystery ingredients. This is a red-flag for a product that’s best to avoid. You want a two-step truck wash chemical product that is straightforward and gets the job done. And this should be true for both ingredients and ease of application.

The main ingredients in commercial truck wash soaps tend to be acids. But before you worry about the idea of acidity harming your truck, keep reading.

Acids are actually needed when used in truck wash soaps in order for them to be effective. The acidity works as an agent to dissolve and remove built up film and waxes lingering on your car or truck. They also have the ability to break down organic minerals like dust or salt, which are common on the road.

Build up of these minerals can cause damage to the truck’s exterior if not broken down. Which is why they need to be removed effectively. Simply wiping them away could scratch your vehicle, or leave marks on the aluminum. But by breaking them down through solvents, truck wash chemicals remove the debris without scratching or harming your exterior.

Even better than your typical car wash soap, there are two step truck wash chemicals that make use of organic acids. This is an excellent alternative because it goes a long way in making the product biodegradable.

So while some acidity is necessary to be effective, acidic levels should register on the lower end of the pH scale.

One common example of an acid used in commercial truck wash chemicals is citrus.

Power washing semi truck headlights.

Citrus in a Commercial Truck Wash?

Citrus is a valuable component in truck washing chemicals for some of the reasons mentioned above. For one, it is an organic compound that is harmless to the environment. Because it is acidic, it breaks down the mineral components while still being safe on all surfaces.

Citrus is commonly used as a pre wash, making way for touchless washing to follow. And since it’s highly concentrated, a little bit goes a long way. If you’re a regular truck washer (which is likely the case) then you understand the importance of strength. If anything, citrus has strength.

And citrus is more favorable than many imitation chemicals that tout some of the same benefits. For instance, there are some truck wash facilities that use TFR as a pre wash. However, TFR, or rather, traffic film remover, can be damaging if not used correctly.

In fact, if not diluted properly, TFR can be corrosive to your vehicle. This is especially true for sensitive areas, such as window trims. It is best to go the organic route with citrus pre wash when it comes to truck wash chemicals. And if you have been doing this for a long time, you likely already know this.

What is Two Step Washing?

In addition to the right ingredients, it is important to follow through with two step truck wash chemicals. Why two steps as opposed to a simple wash and rinse? Glad you asked. Here is a simple breakdown regarding the benefits of two step truck washing chemicals.

The first step is to add a low pH acidic presoak to your vehicle. This should sit for about 30 to 60 seconds, and neutralizes the grime and contaminants from the road. Before rinsing, add step two, which should also sit for 30 to 60 seconds. Step two has a high pH level of alkaline, which eliminates tougher substances, like grease and oils.

Rinse your truck with clean water and appreciate the shine of your ride. Also, you can feel good about the fact that the acidic presoak and alkaline soap balance each other out. Simply put, the high pH and low pH make the runoff nearly neutral, so the environment will thank you.

Good for the environment and your rig, with less labor and scrubbing? That’s the beauty of two step truck wash chemicals.

Do What is Right For Your Truck

As any truck owner knows, a rig is not just a rig. From size and shape to power and purpose, each truck is its own. Your truck might spend hours a day on salty roads. Or your truck might cruise through dry climates with dust in the air.

Each of these trucks should be cleaned in the way that suits them. And this means applying the right balance of truck wash chemicals to your routine. Taking care of your truck means understanding the chemistry behind commercial truck wash chemicals.

Fortunately, we can help with that. We provide a range of truck wash chemical products that are designed to suit your needs. However, some mixtures are likely to better suit your truck than others.

Talk to our team of professionals today to find a commercial truck chemical for you. Or shop our truck wash soaps online.

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